America Pontificia, III. Documenti pontifici nell'Archivio Segreto Vaticano riguardanti l'evangelizzazione dell'America: 1592-1644ed. by Josef Metzler (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 83, Number 2, April 1997
- pp. 288-290
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- Additional Information
288BOOK REVIEWS most universaUy used in Catholic schools and religious education programs for the instruction of chüdren and youth. Marthaler stresses the monumental importance of the Catechism of the CouncU ofTrent, which together with the Roman Missal did much to shape the spirit and language and the theology of theTridentine Church. Perhaps today's renewal of the Uturgy and the new Catechism ofthe Catholic Church wiU have a simüar effect on the postconcUiar era. Father Marthaler's book is in every way a helpful and readable analysis of the "evolution of a genre." Most Reverend Raymond A. Lucker Bishop ofNew Ulm America Pontificia, III. Documentipontifia nelTArchivio Segreto Vaticano riguardanti l'evangelizzazione dell'America: 1592-1644. Edited by Josef Metzler, with the coUaboration of Giuseppina RoselU. [CoUectanea Archivi Vaticani, 38; Pontificio Comitato di Scienze Storiche, Atti e Documenti, 5.] (Vatican City: Librería EditriceVaticana. 1995. Pp. 861.) The first two volumes of this series, America Pontificia, embracing the years 1493-1592, contain a valuable coUection of papal documents relating to the evangelization of the New World. Drawn from the Secret Vatican Archive, they are pubUshed in their Latin original and were reviewed by Stafford Poole, CM., ante, LXXVIII (October, 1992), 601-606 (see also LXXLX [July, 19931,602-603). This third volume, embracing the years 1592-1644, is structured dtfferently however, as it comprises summaries in ItaUan of 1409 documents that are of lesser value, as a survey wiU show. Only those of special importance are left in their Latin original.The fonts which this volume touches are likewise found in the Secret Vatican Archive and are representative of the various registers of bulls (the Vatican and Lateran Registers) in that Archive. Other documentation is drawn from the Archive of the Camera Apostólica and the Consistorial Archive concerning the appointment of archbishops and bishops, the erection of dioceses, and other pertinent activities. As the Church moved into the seventeenth century, papal interest in the evangelization ofAmerica moved forward despite the theological and political problems that plagued Europe during that period. Weighty American issues stemmed from the patronato and padroado systems enjoyed by the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns and, in lesser degree, from tensions among the missionaries themselves concerning popular piety, new schools, seminaries, universities , and the progress and problems of reUgious IUe.The Papacy, however, always looked upon the American Church as an integral part of the universal Church and not just as an appendage. BOOK REVIEWS289 To demonstrate Rome's concern about the overseas Church, the editor reviews some of the problems that the four popes under consideration encountered , namely, Clement VIII (1592-1605), Paul V (1605-1621), Gregory XV (1621-1623), and Urban VIII (1623-1644), the reign of Leo XI (April 1-27, 1605) having been too short for comment. Clement VHTs thorniest obstacle was the opposition of the Iberian monarchs who guarded the evangelization of their New World domains against interference from the Holy See by virtue of the patronage that had been granted their predecessors by previous popes. Like PiusV and Gregory XIII before him, he futUely endeavored to set up the Roman Office of the Propagation of the Faith, aspiring thereby to separate, Ui this complex problem, the Church's evangeUzation program from the Crowns' political policies. His efforts came to naught, but missionary activity, thanks to the reUgious orders, made advances. Under Paul V evangelization proceeded apace, the CarmeUtes and the Capuchins , together with other Orders, doing outstanding work. Two CarmeUtes were appointed superintendents of the missions by Paul, a substitute for the long-desired Congregation for the Propagation ofthe Faith.Noteworthy was the PontUf's vigilance over bishops, religious, and secular clergy in the New World regarding their performance of duty and his condemnation of abuses among the secular clergy and bishops who, assigned to New World missions, faUed to assume their obügations at the time and place designated.Also noteworthy was his forbidding of ecclesiastics, under pain of excommunication, to engage Ui business.The matter of the alternativa also reared its head at this time, a divisive problem among the Spanish Franciscans, Doininicans, Augustinians, and Mercedarians and their Creole counterparts regarding the election to office of superiors oftheir...