Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Acta Synodalia of Vatican II (1st Session) - Now Available for Download

In my previous post, I briefly hinted at an exciting project to do with the Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, the exhaustive, 26 volume set of books that detail all the speeches, debates and written submissions of the Council Fathers at Vatican II. If one wants to, for example, find out what an individual bishop had to say about a particular document or paragraph, get an idea of the general tenor of the discussions at the Council, or trace the development of the conciliar documents through all the draft schemas and changes made, these are the books to turn to. 
So I am very happy to announce that the Latin text of the Acta Synodalia for the first session of Vatican II (11th Oct - 8th Dec 1962) is now accessible to anyone who has access to a computer - click on each title below to access them!
1st Session, Part 1:
Introductory material
Summary of General Congregations I-XXXVI
Public Session I (11th Oct 1962)
General Congregations I-IX (13th-29th Oct 1962)
1st Session, Part 2: 
General Congregations X-XVIII (30th Oct - 13th Nov 1962)
1st Session, Part 3: 
General Congregations XIX-XXX (14th-29th Nov 1962)
1st Session, Part 4: 
General Congregations XXX-XXVI (1st-7th Dec 1962)
Conclusion of the 1st Session (8th Dec 1962)
Appendix (consisting of three schemas not carried forward)
Please be aware that the Acta are almost all in Latin, so if your language skills are a little rusty you may need to brush up before reading, or keep a grammar and dictionary close to hand.
The first session of the Council is particularly important for an increased understanding of the liturgical reforms that happened afterwards, as most of the discussion and debate regarding what would become Sacrosanctum Concilium happened during this session. How did what happened to the liturgy after the Council match up with the hopes and expectations of the Fathers? Well, now everyone - not just those fortunate enough to have access to a stellar library - can start to really dig into the Acta and find out!
PDFs of the Acta for the remaining three sessions of the Council will be released as I finish scanning each of them. Since there are 22 more volumes - six for the 2nd session, eight for the 3rd session, seven for the 4th session, and an index volume - this may take a little while, but my goal is for this project to be finished by the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: