- Recent Scholarship on Vatican Council II
This review continues a series of presentations of scholarly publications on Vatican II.1 I present here, first, the third volume of the office diary (covering September 29, 1963, to September 13, 1964) of Sebastian Tromp, secretary of the council's Doctrinal Commission; and, second, an archive-based account of the itinerary through developments to the final formulation of the council's Marian teaching in Lumen gentium, Chapter VIII, nos. 52–69.
Sebastian Tromp's Record of Another Year's Work by the Doctrinal Commission, 1963–64
An earlier article of this series reported on the 2011 publication of the office diary kept by Tromp during Vatican II's first period and intersession [End Page 531] of 1962–63.2 Now we present his record of the Commission's ongoing work during Period II in autumn 1963 and continuing in the intersession to mid-September 1964.3
In autumn 1963 the council members treated in St. Peter's three draft texts: on the Church, September 30 to October 31; on bishops' pastoral governance of their dioceses, November 5 to 15; and on ecumenism, November 18 to December 2. One month into the Period, October 30 was a day of decision on the De ecclesia schema, when the members indicated by votes their preferences on four doctrinal points about the episcopate and one point on restoring the permanent diaconate.4
Tromp's diary informs on how mid-way through Period II, the Doctrinal Commission divided itself into sub-commissions to begin rewriting the De ecclesia schema of 1963 in the light of hundreds of proposed revisions offered by the council members—a task that extended into the following intersession until a revised schema was completed in June 1964 and mailed to the council members in July. In addition, during the early 1964 intersession, the Commission revised the 1963 schema De revelatione, and in joint work with the Commission on the Lay Apostolate it completed the first draft of Schema XVII (soon to be XIII) on the church in the modern world.
During most of Period II, the Doctrinal Commission had as members twenty-five council fathers, under the appointed President, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, and his appointed Vice-President, Cardinal Michael Browne, the former Master General of the Dominicans. Late in the Period five new members came on, of whom four were elected by the assembly on November 29 and one was appointed by Pope Paul VI. The Commission held internal elections on December 2, to choose from its members a second Vice-President, André-Marie Charue, Bishop of Namur, and from its periti an adjunct Secretary, Msgr. Gerard Philips, dogmatic theologian [End Page 532] at Louvain, who was already the reporter (relator) of the work on De ecclesia.5 To Tromp's discomfort, the changes increased the Belgian influence on the Commission's work, which Tromp often found theologically alien. Behind this he saw Cardinal Léon Joseph Suenens, who on the Coordinating Commission of cardinals was already the overseer and reporter on both De ecclesia and Schema XVII on the church in the modern world.
The first part of the newly published edition gives Secretary Tromp's capsule accounts, from his listening in St. Peter's, of the council members' spoken comments on De ecclesia, along with minutes of the Commission's fourteen plenary meetings during Period II (pages 18–375). The diary moves on to the intersession (pages 376–723), from which come, amid much else, the minutes of meetings of both the Commission and its sub-commissions, during further working sessions March 3–14 and June 1–6...