Paolo VI "Uomo Spirituale": Discorsi E Scritti (1983-2008)

Article excerpt

Paolo VI "uomo spirituale": Discorsi e scritti (1983-2008). By Carlo Maria Martini. Edited by Marco Vergottini. [Quaderni dell'Istituto, no. 27.] (Brescia: Istituto Paolo VI- Studium. 2008. Pp. xii, 191. euro25,00. ISBN 978-8-838-24077-5.)

Sometimes a book tells much not just about its subject but also about its author. This is certainly the case for this book, which collects speeches and writings of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., who served as the archbishop of Milan from 1980 to 2002. It offers Martini's opinions on his predecessor, Giovanni Battista Montini, later Pope Paul VI (1963-78). In this collection of Martini's brief speeches and reflections (delivered or written between 1983 and 2008), the reader can appreciate Martini's perspective while gaining an understanding of Montini 's role in the twentieth-century Catholic Church and his "synodal style"; the importance of the relationship between "faith and culture" in Paul VTs teaching; and Paul VTs contribution to the Second Vatican Council, including his role in developing the doctrine of episcopal collegiality.

The volume is worthy of attention for at least two reasons. The collection shows the central role of Montini- first as a monsignor in Rome (1925-54), then as archbishop in Milan (1954-63), and finally as pope- in shaping a crucial time in the history of the Church that spanned the pontificate of Pius XI, World War II, the Second Vatican Council, and the Council's aftermath. …