New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Études Roussillonnaises XXVII : Sur les pas de Benoît XIII, édition des Actes du concile de Perpignan (15 novembre 1408-26 mars 1409). Barbara von Langen Monheim et Hélène Millet avec la collaboration de Monique Hincker et Monique Paulmier-Foucart. 278 pp.


The title of this publication deserves some explanation. The subtile, Édition des Actes du concile de Perpignan, indicates the nature of the document which is published here in full. But it says nothing about its content or what it reveals: the personality of a pope who marked his time, that of the Great Western Schism. Under its administrative cover, the document is in fact more than eighty per cent narrative: it leads the reader into the footsteps of Benedict XIII.

Like all medieval ecclesiastical documents, the Acts of the Council of Perpignan are written in Latin. Because of their exceptional interest, the editors did not want to restrict their reading to specialists: a partial translation into French, interspersed with summaries, accompanies the edition from beginning to end. A long introduction provides the information necessary for a good understanding.

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Klaus Schatz, Kirche der Einheit und der Reform. Gesammelte Aufsätze zum Ersten Vatikanischen Konzil und zum päpstlichen Primat, Münster: Aschendorff Verlag 2023 (= Studien zur Geschichte von Konzilien - Studies on the History of Councils, herausgegeben im Auftrag der Gesellschaft für Konziliengeschichte von Johannes Grohe und Thomas Prügl, Bd. 1). X + 429 pp.


This volume collects essays by the author that have appeared in various places and revolve around Vatican Council I, papal primacy and infallibility. In addition to the "unfinished" projects of the Council, the analysis of its central discussions is discussed, as well as the role and positions of some of its most prominent actors, and last but not least, further perspectives on the historical role and future viability of the Roman primacy. In this way, the publication aims to make a contribution both to further historical research on the Council of 1869/70 and to the ecclesiological discussion on primacy, for which, to speak with Ignaz von Döllinger, the synopsis of the "systematic" and the "historical eye" is particularly necessary (publisher's information).

Pope Francis receives a copy of the Annales Historiae Conciliorum

Synodality in past and present

During an audience for the participants of the Congresso Tomistico Internazionale, Thomas Prügl was able to present Pope Francis a copy of the journal Annales Historiae Conciliorum. Research about the history of councils is more topical than ever and is of great interest to the Pope, as he sees synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church.  

Conferences about Synodality at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross

La Sinodalità della Chiesa

Here you find the program of the conferences

New entries

Dictionary of Councils

Council of Santiago de Compostela 1313-1312 (18th December-11th  Januar) 

Justo Fernández, Jaime

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Thomas Graumann, The Acts of the Early Church Councils. Production and Character, OxfordUniversity Press, Oxford 2021 (= Oxford Early Christian Studies). XII + 333 pp.


The Acts of Early Church Councils Acts examines the acts of ancient church councils as the objects of textual practices, in their editorial shaping, and in their material conditions. It traces the processes of their production, starting from the recording of spoken interventions during a meeting, to the preparation of minutes of individual sessions, to their collection into larger units, their storage and the earliest attempts at their dissemination.
Thomas Graumann demonstrates that the preparation of 'paperwork' is central for the bishops' self-presentation and the projection of prevailing conciliar ideologies. The councils' aspirations to legitimacy and authority before real and imagined audiences of the wider church and the empire, and for posterity, fundamentally reside in the relevant textual and bureaucratic processes. Council leaders and administrators also scrutinized and inspected documents and records of previous occasions. From the evidence of such examinations the volume further reconstructs the textual and physical characteristics of ancient conciliar documents and explores the criteria of their assessment. Reading strategies prompted by the features observed from material textual objects handled in council, and the opportunities and limits afforded by the techniques of 'writing-up' conciliar business are analysed. Papyrological evidence and contemporary legal regulations are used to contextualise these efforts. The book thus offers a unique assessment of the production processes, character and the material conditions of council acts that must be the foundation for any historical and theological research into the councils of the ancient church (from the publisher's information).

New publications on the History of the Church Councils

Fernando López-Arias, El Concilio Vaticano II y la arquitectura sagrada. Origen y evolución de unos principios pragmáticos (1947-1970). Centro Litúrgico Vincenziano, Edizioni Liturgiche, Roma 2022 (= Bibliotheca Ephemerides Liturgicae, Subsidia 199). 430 pp. ISBN: 978-8873672890


Over the last 60 years, the form of Catholic worship has changed throughout the world. This change is attributed to the most significant event in the Church of the last century: the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). This study aims to approach the Council event from the perspective of worship and to try to answer some questions about which much has been written in recent decades: Did the Council have a concrete idea of what churches should look like? How should places of worship be built according to the Council's decisions? The study focuses on the period characterised by two key events: 1947 with Pius XII's encyclical Mediator Dei and 1970 with Paul VI's Missal. Historical, theological, liturgical and artistic aspects are taken into account. The study works directly with archival materials, many of which are hitherto unpublished, which makes it possible to reconstruct the process of creation of the most important ecclesiastical documents, including valuable oral testimony from some of the direct protagonists of these processes. A hitherto largely unknown story (from the publisher's information).