New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1963-1966. Mixed editions. Four volumes. Octavo, original brick red cloth, gilt spines, illustrated endpapers, yellow top edges, uncut, original photographic dust jackets. Very slight edge-wear to original dust jackets: A near-fine set. Item #450
"HISTORY MARCHES ON. THE CHURCH IS OBLIGATED TO A REALISTIC VIEW OF THINGS" (POPE PAUL VI)
Mixed American edition of Xavier Rynne's Letters from Vatican City series, a scarce complete set of the Debates and Decrees of the Second Vatican Council. All four volumes with illustrated with photographic dust jackets, endpapers and illustrated plates in the text. These volumes were published individually over a four-year span and are rarely seen all together.
"Xavier Rynne" was the nom de plume of Fr. Francis X. Murphy, a Redemptorist priest from New York. His accounts of the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council appeared in The New Yorker magazine, generating endless rumors as to the identity of the author. Volume I is prefaced with a quote from Pope John XXIII’s “Toward Christian Unity” address opening the first session. Volume II begins with a quote from his successor, Pope Paul VI: "History marches on. The Church is obligated to a realistic view of things" while volume III is dedicated: "To the Memory of / Cardinal Albert Meyer / Archbishop of Chicago / 1903-1965." Rynne's Preface to volume IV captures the paradox of the Council: "Whatever the Church was in 1962 when the Council started; it is now something else also; it is the same Church and not the same; and as a final paradox, though the Council has ended, its work is only beginning." Volume I from the second printing, same year as the first. All other volumes are first printing. Published in Great Britain by Faber & Faber.
NOTE: This set will require an additional charge for international shipping.