New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1963-1966. Mixed edition. Four volumes. Octavo, original brick red cloth, yellow top edges, uncut, original photographic dust jackets. Item #450
"MOTHER CHURCH REJOICES!" Mixed American edition of Xavier Rynne's Letters from Vatican City series, a rare complete set of the Debates and Decrees of Vatican Council II in four volumes. "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."
All four volumes with illustrated and photographic endpapers and illustrated plates in the text. These volumes were published individually over a four-year span and are rarely seen all together. Volume I from the second printing, same year as the first. All other volumes are first printing. Published in Great Britain by Faber & Faber.