"Many years ago, Fr. de Lubac showed me his handwritten Carnets du Concile and said, with a twinkle in his eye: 'Here's what really happened at the Council.' He then recounted some of the more bizarre conversations he had witnessed." - Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.
"Surprising news!" With these words, Fr. Henri de Lubac, S.J., whose orthodoxy had been so vigorously attacked, responded to the announcement of his selection to participate in the 2nd Vatican Council. His participation as a theologian and expert would make a lasting impact on the Council, and his insights and comments are recorded in this long-awaited volume.
De Lubac does not hesitate to express clearly what he thinks of the theologians around him, of the new concepts appearing because of the Council, or of the problems he judges to be most serious for the Christian faith. These Notebooks invite us to a greater historical and theological understanding of the Council.
Besides information about the numerous aspects of the conciliar assembly, what makes the testimony of these notebooks so captivating is the strongly rendered presence of men and their psychology. De Lubac excels in sketching the portrait of the participants with only a few words. Among the many interesting encounters, he tells of deepening his acquaintance with Josef Ratzinger, whome he describes as a "theologian as peaceable and kindly as he is competent". In the same way, during the long discussion over the drafting of the constitution Gaudium et Spes, he observed the assertiveness of Karol Wojtyla, whose interventions struck him because of the seriousness, the rigor, and the solidity of his faith, which created in him a lively sense of spiritual friendship, which was reciprocated.
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