Author: Bevans, Stephen
Date published: March 1, 2013
EXPLORING THE TREASURES OF VATICAN II. By James H. Kroeger. Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications and Jesuit Communications, 2011. $12.
Longtime Maryknoll Philippine missioner Kroeger has assembled a number of landmark articles and documents in this volume to help readers "explore the treasures of Vatican II." The book is laid out in five parts: (1) an overview by Kroeger himself; (2) two articles each by Robert Trisco and Joseph Komonchak, a single article by Avery Dulles, and a marvelous interview of Archbishop Denis Hurley; (3) several key speeches and messages of the council, including Pope John XXIII's famous opening speech, and remarks by Pope Paul VI and the bishops at the end of the council; (4) three articles on Vatican II and the church in Asia; and (5) a helpful chronicle of the council and a popular bibliography compiled by Kroeger himself.
In their usual magisterial style, Trisco and Komonchak present a handy overview of the council s preparations, Ęrocedures, periods, and documents, tulles proposes ten important principles by which to interpret the reform of Vatican II. Hurley offers the insights and candor of one of the council's key figures.
Kroeger is to be commended for including the three articles that reflect on the council's effects in Asia. Bishop Francisco Claver suggests that one word is the key to the council's meaning: participation; he then draws out a number of implications of that word, focusing on a church of basic communities, social involvement, and lay leadership. Sister of Charity Julma Neo offers a portrait of the post- Vatican II religious as servant, mystic, and prophet. Peter Phan, as always, gives a wonderful survey of Asian liturgical renewal, the Federation of Asian Bishop' Conferences (both the effect and the effector of the perspectives of the council), and the 1998 Synod for Asia.
Somewhat strangely, many of the articles, though excellent, had been written some time ago - e.g., all the Asian articles were written in 2005. The bibliography, although intended for popular readers, could have profited from the addition of David Schultenover's edited Did Anything Happen at Vatican II? (2007) and the recent eight-volume commentary on the council, Rediscovering Vatican II (2005-2009), issued by PauHst Press.
STEPHEN BEVANS, S.V.D.
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago