XXIII (2002)

Ruggieri G., Cristianesimo. Una denominazione modulata dalla sua storia, XXIII, 1-52.

The term ≪Christianity≫ is often loaded with a significance for which there is no justification in the use which Christians themselves have made of the term throughout their long history. An analysis of the use actually made shows that the term has served as a vehicle for the various preoccupations which have animated the followers of Jesus of Nazareth down through the ages: from Christianity’s distancing of itself from Judaism to it search for its origins, from its doctrinal character and its imposition of an Orthodoxy to its dimension as a path towards personal experience and sanctity, and even its identification in medieval times with the use of force of arms. More recently its use has been characterized by an eschatological dimension, by the relationship of Christianity to modernity (Overbeck, Barth), by the search for unity, by the relationship with Judaism on the one hand and with the great world religions on the other, by its configuration as a ≪civil religion≫.

Somos R., Origenian Apocatastasis Revisited, XXIII, 53-78.

The author attempts to revisit an old dispute concerning the Origenian apocatastasis, namely, whether Origen thought that the end of all is an absolutely incorporeal state of the purified souls or he maintained that the rational creatures have a body, that is, a kind of ethereal corpus, which is attached eternally to the souls due to the fact that corporeal existence is inseparable from the essence of created beings. After investigating the arguments worked out by different interpretations of this question the paper l.) analyses the role of alternative theories in Origen, 2.) treats the question of pre-existence of rational creatures, 3.) gives a weaker interpretation of that Origenian principle according to which only Trinitas is without corporeity, 4.) focuses the attention on the inner logic of De principiis, and 5.) finally, it wants to evaluate the informations contained in other texts.

Faggioli M., Urbano VIII e la riforma del procedimento di nomina dei vescovi, XXIII, 79-122.

This essays outlines the reform undertaken by Pope Barberini, Urban VIII (1623- 1644), of the nomination procedure of Bishops. It analyses the most important  steps that led to the instructio particularis Si processus inquisitionis of 1627 which reformulated the mode of investigation used on Episcopal nominees. It becomes apparent that the Papal Bull of 1627 was not an isolated incident or the fruit of a momentary priority; but was part of an overall process of reform of the system beneficiaries. This was supported by a reform also of the Vatican bureaucracy and by the creation in 1635 of the super residentia episcoporum congregation. This process of reform was characterised by a push towards a more centralized administration, fruit of a ≪Roman≫ interpretation of the decrees of the Council of Trent, and introduced profound changes in the mechanism used to nominate Bishops. The result was a system of changeover of Bishops accompanied by a practice of monitoring and the implementation of bureaucratic sanctions which remained in place, with few alterations, until the reform of the Curia carried out by Pius X in 1908.

Beozzo J.O., Le Concile Vatican II (1962-1965). La participation de la Conférence Épiscopale du Brésil-CNBB, XXIII, 123-196.

The article studies the participation of the Brazilian episcopate in the Second Vatican Council, convoked and inaugurated by Pope John XXIII (1959-1963), continued and concluded by Paul VI (1963-1965). It analyses key aspects of the life and activities of the Brazilian episcopate in Rome: where the bishops stayed, where they found support; how they were linked into the various networks that were formed before and during the Council; the promoting of the events that went under the title of the ≪Domus Mariae Conferences≫. Special attention is paid to the Messages of the Bishops to the Brazilian People at the end of each of the four Council’s periods; to the main contributions of the Brazilian Bishops Conference (CNBB), to the implementation of the conciliar focus on pastoral and collegiality; the elaboration of the Emergency Plan for the Church in Brazil (PE -1962) and the steps taken to ensure the reception of the Council, with the Joint Pastoral Plan (PPC – 1965). It recovers the memory of some interventions prepared by Brazilian bishops on issues like the ordination of married mature men and never presented in the Aula, because they were removed of the Council’s agenda by the Pope.

Bailey M.D., The Sources of Witchcraft: review of «L’imaginaire du sabbat. Édition critique des textes les plus anciens»,XXIII, 197-206.

Between approximately 1430 and 1440, five important accounts were written describing the concept of the witches’ sabbath, only then just beginning to emerge in western Europe. These texts were: a report by the Lucerne civic chronicler Hans Frund, a treatise by the Dominican theologian Johannes Nider, the anonymous tract Errores Gazariorum, a treatise by the lay judge Claude Tholosan, and the poem Le champion des dames by Martin Le Franc. In L’imaginaire du sabbat, the pertinent sections from each of these sources are selected and edited. In addition, modern French translations of the texts are provided, as well as extensive commentaries and analysis that offer many useful insights into the origins of the idea of witchcraft in western Europe. The volume is an important addition to the historical study of witchcraft in the late Middle Ages, and will serve as an invaluable resource for those who wish to explore this issue in the future.

Mucci G., Un problema storiografico del «grand siècle». Jean Baptiste de La Salle, XXIII, 207-214.

This essay in the historiography of hagiography examines the writing of the biography of St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719), founder of the Brethren of Christian Doctrine, or Christian Brothers. The biography was based on a single untested source and was written by clerics with no historiographical culture. It is modelled on the devotional cliché of the ≪Life of the Saints≫, a form of literature which remained popular until the end of the 19th century, and was re-worked by order of the superiors of the Brethren in the heated political and religious climate of 18th century France. The author of this essay, an experienced philologist and archivist, does not simply detail the short-comings of this biography but also suggests a critical methodology aimed at reconstructing the biography of La Salle, at least to the extent to which it is possible to recover La Salle’s thinking from corrupt texts.

Perrone L., «Eunuchi per il regno dei cieli»? Amore e sessualità dal Nuovo Testamento al primo cristianesimo, XXIII, 281-306.

The discourse on love and sexuality in early Christianity is closely linked to the origins of Christian ascetism. Recent studies have tended to attribute a greater importance to the influence of Judaism than possible Hellenic influences, though there is still much that needs to be clarified. Ascetic practices find their justification in writings within the Old Testament, according to the interpretation of these texts given by inter-testament Judaism and then adopted by Christian authors. The message embodied by the historical figure of Jesus does not in itself encourage the renunciation of sexuality, although he himself practised celibacy as part of his prophetic mission. The case of Paul is different. His hierarchy of values placed the ideal of virginity above matrimony, though this was within an eschatogical perspective. In the Deutero-Pauline letters we can sense his reaction to the more extreme ascetic tendencies, which went under the name of Encratism and professed a complete rejection of marriage. It was these tendencies which would lead to the birth of Monachism.

Rainini M., I predicatori dei tempi ultimi. La rielaborazione di un tema escatologico nel costruirsi dell’identità profetica dell’ordine domenicano, XXIII, 307-344.

Following on from previous historiography the article outlines the evolution and the increasing importance of eschatological themes in the make up of the identity of the Order of Preachers, from its origins to 1260. In particular, the author examines: documents produced by the chancellery of Onorius III and Gregory IX, the first hagiographies produced by the order, early iconography of St. Dominic, as well as exegetical texts, encyclopaedias and letters from the Master of the Order on the same theme. A re-reading in prophetical terms of references to a generic ordo praedicatorum in preceding authors, the appearance of images present in the writings of Joachin from Fiore and the projection of the fight against heretics as a battle against the heretics as a battle against the servants of the Antichrist; these themes show Dominic in the role of precursor of the parousia and the Preaching Fathers creating an order immediately before the End with the purpose of gathering together the justs. These themes, far from being marginal, were dissident to some extent and played an important role in the formation of the Order’s identity in these years.

Croce G.M., Santa Sede e Russia sovietica alla Conferenza di Genova, XXIII, 345-366.

In April-May 1922 at the Genoa Conference organized on the insistence of Lloyd George to find solutions to the serious political and economic problems of the post-war period, Soviet Russia made its d.but as a protagonist on the international diplomatic stage. Behind scenes of the conference, the Holy See tried to exploit the presence of so many diplomatic and state representatives to draw attention to the religious situation in Soviet Russia and obtain freedom to practice for all faiths and denominations. This article uses a vast amount of new documentation to describe the most important stages of the Vatican’s diplomatic campaign and to illustrate the reasons for its eventual failure.

Routhier G., Famille, mariage et procréation. Le combat de deux cardinaux canadiens, XXIII, 367-428.

It is difficult to understand the development following the Vatican Council of the Canadian Church on questions of matrimony and fertility without examining the efforts made on this theme during the Council itself. This article begins its reconstruction with the two Canadian Cardinals, Léger and Roy, and the important reflection that was conducted within the two schools of thought that they represent: respectively, Personalist and Humanist, and Thomist. Both these schools, Montréal and Québec, understood the difficulties that couples were facing and attempted to resolve the impasse by developing Catholic thinking on these issues. These efforts, conducted along quite different lines due to the differing personalities of the two cardinals, certainly made some progress but were unable to come to any substantial solution to the questions that were worrying so many of the Council fathers.

Mann J.D., Henry of Langenstein and Juan de Segovia on the Census, XXIII, 429- 442.

In the late Middle Ages, the census, or rent-contract, issue attracted the attention of numerous important theologians and canonists. Among these was Henry of Langenstein (d. 1397) whose Tractatus bipartitus de contractibus, emptionis et venditionis enjoyed great popularity in the 15th century. Indeed, Langenstein’s tract appears to have influenced many notable subsequent authors, including several participants at the Council of Basel. This article argues that one such council participant, namely the Spanish theologian Juan de Segovia, drew upon Langenstein’s tract when composing his own Votum super materia contractuurn de censibus annuis as Basel sought to address the census question. Several similarities between these two works are outlined; most notably the authors’ common objection to census contracts with redeemability clauses.

Leclercq J., La mémoire douloureuse et la justice rendue: un ouvrage de G. Losito sur Lucien Laberthonnière, XXIII, 443-458.

The important work by G. Losito Cristianesimo e Modernità. Studio sulla formazione del personalismo di Laberthonnière, 1880-1893 (Christianity and Modernity. A Study of the Development of the Personalism of Laberthonni.re, 1880-1893) should be read as the logical continuation of the works of R. Aubert, P. Beillevert and L. Pazzaglia. It is both a biography of the ≪young≫ Laberthonnière, concerned with the relationship between Christianity and modernity, and a rigorous research into the philosophical grounding of his ≪Personalism≫, conceived as an ≪ontology of the individual≫. This critical study shows how his intellectual development is rooted in a critical sympathy towards modernity. Formed in a Kantian university culture, this Kantian but heterodox thinker was saved from the contradictions of a certain kind of Thomism by the literature he read (Chateaubriand, Musset, Hugo, Lamartine and Pascal) and by the philosophy of his different ≪masters≫ (Oll.-Laprune and Boutroux to whom he owed a profound knowledge of 17th century philosophy, Gratry, Maret and Baunard). Yet, the same man was also well-read in late 19th century French philosophy: Janet, Bourget, Ribot, Taine, Rauh, Boirac, Fouillée, Secrétan, Delbos or Tarde were constant interlocutors and important sources of reflection. The study concludes with a subtle account of the beginning of the tragic friendship between Laberthonni.re and Blondel (1893).

Velati M., Gli osservatori non cattolici al Vaticano II: fonti e documentazione, XXIII, 459-486.

The note presents the results of a research through available sources on the participation of non-Catholic observers at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). 168 observers took part in the Council from 34 different ecclesiastical institutions – mostly Protestant and Anglican. These observers were composed of official delegates of the various Churches and so-called .guests. of the Secretariat and they played an important role in the workings of the Council, both because of their interventions and because of the very fact of their presence and the desire for unity which it expressed.  Within the wider task of constructing a history of the Council, the author has identified archival sources which allow us to come to a clearer understanding of the experience of these observers and the influence their presence had on the work of the Council. To date, the only available sources were the memoirs of some of these Protestant observers which were published in the years following the Council. New sources from various parts of the world allow us to understand the richness and complexity of the discussion which took place during the Council, the first moment of dialogue between the Catholic Church and other Churches. The Council was an important moment not just in the history of the Catholic Church but in that of all Christianity; one which brought to light new perspectives, as well as new obstacles, on the road towards unity.

Alberigo G., Corruptio optimi, pessima. Tra fascino della Pentecoste e splendore della nuova Gerusalemme, XXIII, 585-622.

In its most ancient period the Church drew up a series of rules to regulate life within the Communities and relations between the Communities. It was to be the introduction of Christian communities in Greek-Roman society, together with the multiplication of conversions, which posed the problem of conformity with the ecclesiae primitivae forma. When numerous Christian Bishops also acquired social authority, they gave voice to criticisms of late-ancient society. The corruption of society threatened the Church itself and the bishops put forward the problem in terms of reform. It was a request for a reform of social customs rather than for a reform of the Christian communities themselves. The great social upheavals that occurred in the western world towards the end of the first millennium, made reform of the Church, and particularly rules of behaviour for the clergy, urgent and necessary. The reform appeared necessary with regards to the external image of the Church; spiritual attitude became a personal and private matter. Renewal was still carried out at a moral level. With the Gregorian ≪turning point≫, the reform abandoned reference to the Primitive Church, while the need for the Church to be in a position to respond to the new needs of society took centre place. And the centre of Christendom – the papacy – was to guide the new period of reform that tended to take the form of a ≪project≫ for the Church as a whole. The distinction between  ≪tradition≫ and ≪conservation≫ is important. In the second millennium the need for renewal became an appeal expressed in many quarters, in particular by the ≪Spirituals ≫, but also by temporal leaders and many .common. Christians. In order to satisfy these requests, the Councils were committed to a reform which was in capite et in membris. The trauma of the Great Western Schism led to the identification of a connection between Church unity and reform. This explains the origin of the coupling of doctrine/reform. From this moment on, resistance against the reforms could carry the risk of the reform opening the way to doctrinal submissions. The Council of Trent in fact approved a series of disciplinary reforms, but it remained outside the scope of themes of an ecclesiastic nature. In contrast, the Vatican Council of 1870 ratified the papal prerogatives, but did not tackle the reform of the .crucified. Church, as had been written by Rosmini. Every new wave of calls for reform has produced heated dialectic confrontations between different proposals, negative reactions, and warnings of the risks and possible errors. When extensive and insistent appeals for reforms have been disregarded, the consequences in more than one case have been serious, or even catastrophic. The most extreme of these consequences occurred in the first half of the 16th century, culminating in the division of western Christianity. Every period of reform – after having produced results of renewal – has gradually run its course and left space for new and different forms of decadence. When, on the other hand, appeals for reform remain ignored, the suffering of the Church results in retreat, with a loss of commitment for study and a passive tolerance towards decadence.

Drecoll V., Die Stadtklöster in Kleinasien und Konstantinopel bis 451 n.Chr., XXIII, 623-648.

The common view of the monasteries being founded only in the desert or in remote places needs correcting. Already in the 4th century it is possible that they were present inside or in the vicinity of cities and rural settlements. This is what can be deducted from information imparted by Basil. In his regulations there is not mention of a difference between urban and rural monasteries. Handcrafted products are referred to, on the other hand, which could imply a relationship with nearby settlements. The problem of more than one brotherhood in the same settlement is also discussed. The large monastic complex of Cesarea in Cappadocia, the Episcopal seat of Basil, can reasonably lead to the conclusion that such a complex, supplied with handicraft workshops, medical centres and living quarters for guests in the immediate vicinity of a city, had a significant influence on the city’s development. Similar to this situation is the evolution seen in Constantinople. For this purpose, rather than hagiographic sources, it is better to refer to the lists of the signatories of the Councils of the 5th and 6th centuries. The probable conclusion to be drawn is that most of the monasteries were originally situated near the city, but that in the process of the city’s growth, these monasteries became urban monasteries in a real sense. This is also true for the St. Job monastery of Eutyches, which was perhaps located inside the 7th district, near the Church of S. Mokios.

D’Acunto N., L’importanza di chiamarsi Urbano. Onomastica papale e canonistica nella riforma ecclesiastica del secolo XI,XXIII, 649-680.

Like almost all of the reforming popes in the 11th and 12th centuries, Odo of Ch.tillon chose to adopt the name of one of the popes (Urban II) indicated in the ≪Pseudo-Isidorians≫ as authors of the false papal decrees. This choice of name implicitly alluded to the desire to implement the ≪programme≫ put forward by the Pseudo-Isidorians, referring to a canonical legacy rich in associations with various themes of the reform. In particular Urban II strove to concentrate his interest not only on the communal life of the clergy (a theme that is also present in the text of Urban I), but also on other aspects of the reform that contemporary political law and canon law dealt with, referring explicitly to the papal decree. All this was confirmed on numerous occasions in the juridical works of Urban II, largely traceable to the same themes to be found in the Pseudo-Urban.

Gonneau P., Solovki au péril de la mer, havre de sainteté et enjeu de pouvoir entre Novgorod et Moscou (XVe-XVIIe s.), XXIII, 681-704.

The cult of the founders of Solovki, Sabbatios and Zosimos, developed towards the end of the 15th century and reached its peak with the discovery of the relics of the two saints on August 1566. The hagiographic texts and the images dedicated to them during this period manage to achieve a delicate compromise: that of maintaining the original links of the abbey with the region of Novgorod, whilst at the same time demonstrating perfect loyalty to the Moscovite dynasty which suppressed the autonomy of Novgorod in 1478. This collection also shows how Solovki, from a devil’s den, transformed into a port of salvation which the faithful reached after crossing a sea of trails. Here the relationship between opposition and complementarity, between liquid and solid, was perfectly combined, achieved through five principle elements: the ice, the island, the lake, the sea, and the port.

Dossetti G., La chiesa di Bologna e il Concilio, XXIII, 705-746.

The complete text of the lecture given by Giuseppe Dossetti in San Domenico in Bologna on 21 October 1986 is here published. The Author’s aim is a reflection of an ecclesiological nature, rather than a historical nature and in this framework retraces the development of the Bologna Church starting from the conclusion of the Council of Trent, presenting a number of particularly important bishops. The fervent pastoral work of Card. Gabriele Paleotti is described first of all, carried out over a thirty-year period during the 16th century and dedicated mainly to the application of the Trent Council decrees; with regards to the work of Card. Prospero Lambertini, the author instead places emphasis on the commitment to overcoming the absolutist closure of the Counter-Reformation; coming finally to Card. Domenico Svampa, the great spirit of cultural freedom is highlighted, in a difficult phase of transition for the Catholic world. The author sees these three figures, far apart from a chronological point of view, sharing an incessant commitment to the strengthening of the sacramental and Eucharistic dimension, an element that certainly links up with the last Episcopal figure referred to in this lecture, Card. Lercaro, whose commitment to the celebration of the 2nd Vatican Council and in the application of its decrees is highlighted.

Battelli G., Cattolicesimo, laicismo, laicità. A proposito di un recente volume, XXIII, 747-774.

The text examines the contents of the Verucci’s miscellany, not so much taking account of the current arrangement of the volume, but rather reinstating the various contributions here re-edited within their original historiographical context: with respect to both the Author’s study approach, and according to the background of the historiographical trends considered from time to time. The result is a general overview that makes it possible to retrace, even though in brief terms, several decades of Italian historiography connected with religious but also cultural and political themes, recovering at the same time the role that a number of the fundamental insights of Antonio Gramsci and the historiographical .school. of Federico Chabod played in the general background.

Pagano S., Riflessioni sulle fonti archivistiche del concilio Vaticano II. In margine ad una recente pubblicazione, XXIII, 775-812.

Taking its cue from the recent publication by Massimo Faggioli and Giovanni Turbanti, Il Concilio inedito. Fonti del Vaticano II (The unpublished Council. Sources of the 2nd Vatican Council), from which the Author illustrates the set-up of the examination and describes its merits in the light of a progressive research of sources still little known with regards to the 2nd Vatican Council, this publication is a general description of three ≪unpublished≫ texts of the Secret Archives of the Vatican relating to the Council: the ≪Carte Bea≫ (relating to the chairmanship of Cardinal Agostino Bea of the Secretariat for Christian Unity and other 2nd Vatican Council materials), the ≪Carte Ciriaci≫ (relating to the Council Commission on Discipline, chaired by Cardinal Pietro Ciriaci), the ≪Carte Giusti≫ (composed of few and scanty notes on the work of the Commission for the Conservation of Historical-Ecclesiastic Heritage). The Author then gives a brief outline of the text by the Secretary of State known as the  ≪Studies of Cardinals and Curia Officials≫; there is a brief description of papers of cardinals who took part in the Council, which, however, still cannot be consulted at present (closed period of the Secret Archives of the Vatican).

Pombeni P., Sulla «rivoluzione» del Vaticano II. Noterelle di uno storico della politica a margine della storia del concilio diretta da G Alberigo, XXIII, 813-822.

Called upon to reflect on the great history of the 2nd Vatican Council, directed by Giuseppe Alberigo, the author concentrates on certain matters that have caused this event to be referred to as a ≪revolution≫, not only within the Catholic Church. After having set the Council within a climate of .optimism. which was characteristic of the 1960s, the question was raised as to what interpretation of the ≪history of the world≫ the cultural legacy of the Council fathers was associated with. A second aspect dealt with is the meaning of the ≪political form≫ adopted by a conference that in some ways is a ≪parliament≫ that promotes ≪government by discussion≫ (and therefore a wide-ranging search for consensus) and in other aspects encounters theological difficulties in approaching from this viewpoint. However, the position of the papacy, as a uniting structure and as a means of resolving conflicts, refers to very particular dynamics precisely in the crises of representative systems and their decision-making structures.