Documents From the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum Offer Another Look at the Council

September 09, 2020
The main members of the Cœtus at St. Peter’s Square

Scholar Philippe Roy-Lysencourt has published a large volume entitled Collection of Documents from the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum to Serve the History of the Second Vatican Council. This book brings together documents written by members of the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum (CIP), the main group of Fathers attached to Tradition at the Second Vatican Council.

As the author writes, “the purpose of this publication is to make accessible documents that are difficult to consult and of particular interest in understanding the history and theological positions of the CIP, or the thinking of some of its eminent members, but also to contribute to the history and understanding of Vatican II itself, because the CIP was one of the most important groups in the Council and had an influence on the conciliar texts.”

In fact, this collection proves to be an indispensable reference work for all researchers who wish to study the Second Vatican Council in a complete way, and not in the light of the work of the Bologna School. This book usefully complements the author’s previous study on The Preconciliar Votes of the Leaders of the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum. Philippe Roy-Lysencourt has presented the answers sent to the Council’s Pre-Preparatory Commission by the future members of the “steering committee” of the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum. The vota of Bishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Luigi Maria Carli, Dom Jean Prou, Bishop Geraldo de Proença Sigaud, and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer are successively analyzed in order to reflect their dispositions and expectations. with regard to the 21st Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. As the author points out, “these vota are a privileged instrument for knowing their ecclesial concerns on the eve of the Second Vatican Council.”

In the collection of documents he has recently published, Philippe Roy-Lysencourt shows—with the confidence provided by historical perspective—a scientific rigor that will be appreciated by readers: “The documents in this book were originally written in Latin (the official language of the Council), French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and English. All texts written in a language other than French have been translated and this translation has been placed after a copy of the original.

In addition, the book contains a brief history of the CIP, a chronology of the Second Vatican Council, a directory of dates corresponding to the general congregations of the Council, a list of conciliar documents, conciliar commissions, post-conciliar commissions, a bibliography of major works on the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum, as well as an index of names.”

Philippe Roy-Lysencourt, PhD in history and of religious studies, is a professor in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Laval University, Canada. In 2015, he founded the Institut d’Étude du Christianisme in Strasbourg, France, and is its director. His research focuses on the history of modern and contemporary Christianity, particularly the Second Vatican Council, Catholic traditionalism, the Catholic Church’s relations with Judaism, and the Holy See’s diplomatic relations.

Recueil de documents du Cœtus Internationalis Patrum pour servir à l’histoire du concile Vatican II [Collection of documents from the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum On the History of the Second Vatican Council], Institute for the Study of Christianity, col. “Second Vatican Council,” volume 2, Strasbourg, 2019, 1630 p., € 60.

Les vota préconciliaires des dirigeants du Cœtus Internationalis Patrum [The Pre-conciliar vota of the Leaders of the Cœtus Internationalis Patrum], Institute for the Study of Christianity, col. “Second Vatican Council,” volume 1, Strasbourg, 2016, 106 pp., € 15.

Both volumes can be ordered online from the website of the Institute for the Study of Christianity.