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The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council Paperback – 23 Dec 2010

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Paperback, 23 Dec 2010
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About the Author

Agostino Marchetto is secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and Titular Archbishop of Astigi. Kenneth D. Whitehead is the author and translator of numerous works on the church.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disperses the fog of discontinuity 11 April 2013
By Kenneth M. Kafoed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marchetto presents an interesting position. One which upholds the hermeneutic of continuity and respects the documents of the Council. The Second Vatican attempted to address the concerns of the near future and in many ways did just that. Unfortunately, many seized upon the documents and interpreted them in such a way as to give the impression of creating a "new" Church - impossible. Marchetto's text offers light which dispels the fog.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pope Francis praises Archbishop Marchetto as the best interpreter of Vatican II 19 Nov. 2013
By Fr. Matthew Lamb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On November 12 Pope Francis made public a letter to Archbishop Marchetto calling him "the best interpreter of Vatican II". Here is a translation of the letter:

Dear Archbishop Marchetto,

With these lines I wish to be close to you and join myself to the act of presentation of the book “Primato pontificio ed episcopato. Dal primo millennio al Concilio ecumenico Vaticano II” [Pontifical primacy and epicopate: from the first millennium to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council"]. I beg you to consider myself spiritually present in this Festschrift.

The topic of the book is an homage to the love that you have for the Church, a loyal and at the same time poetic love. Loyalty and poetry are not an object of trade: they cannot be bought or sold, they simply are virtues that are rooted in the heart of a son who feels the Church to be a Mother; or, in order to be more precise, and saying it with an Ignatian familiar "tone", as "the Holy Mother the hierarchical Church".

You have made this love manifest in many ways, including correcting a mistake or imprecision on my part - and for that I thank you from the heart -, but above all it is manifest in all your purity in the studies made on the Second Vatican Council. I once told you, dear Abp. Marchetto, and I wish to repeat it today, that I consider you to be the best interpreter of the Second Vatican Council.

I know that this is a gift from God, but I also know that you made it bear fruit. I am grateful to you for all the good that you do for us with your testimony of love for the Church, and I ask the Lord that you be abundantly blessed.

I beg you please not to forget to pray for me. May Jesus bless you, and may the Virgin protect you.

Vatican, October 7, 2013
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A significant contribution to an important debate 4 Sept. 2012
By Dr. Richard M. Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Archbishop Marchetto is a curial official who has for twenty years been writing highly critical reviews of books that promote a 'liberal' interpretation of Vatican II, presenting it as marking a 'rupture' in the Church and a call for the creation of a new Church to replace one which (they claim) no longer corresponds to the needs of our time. Marchetto argues with some plausibility that the council should be judged by the documents it issued, which were consistently balanced and aimed to harmonize the new and the old. He criticizes in particular the five-volume history of Vatican II produced by G. Alberigo and 'the Bologna School' for promoting the liberal interpretation of the council by concentrating less on the documents than on what went on behind the scenes (with extensive recourse to private diaries and memoirs). This is an important debate, which deserves full attention in this year of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the council.

Marchetto's work takes on particular significance because it represents a point of view that has the support of the Vatican. The limitation in his work is that what he has published are essentially collections of occasional pieces and reviews, which express an informed reaction, but are not works of scholarship referring to primary sources. They raise important questions, but lack weight compared to Alberigo's work.

And surely it was not merely a small faction who left Vatican II determined on a radical reform of the Church. In many countries the bishops as a whole returned home full of 'the spirit of Vatican II' and contributed to a climate where 'tradition' ceased to have weight. These bishops, who attended the council, were closer to Alberigo than to Marchetto in their understanding of its work.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No student of the Council can afford to ignore this 15 Mar. 2011
By Alcuin Reid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Archbishop Marchetto's colossal work, now happily available in English, almost certainly contributed to Pope Benedict XVI's 2005 call for a hermeneutic of continuity and not of rupture when interpreting the Second Vatican Council. So too did the publication of numerous histories of the Council based precisely on that hermeneutic of rupture.

Marchetto's detailed responses to such partisan scholarship, brought together here, enable us today to move forward and to begin to work towards a true and balanced appreciation of the history and of the import of Vatican II. Whilst the book lacks some necessary editorial finesse and it's a great pity that it's only in paperback, no student of the Council or of the reforms it inaugurated can afford to ignore the vast amount of material examined here.
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