Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Il Giansenismo in Italia, Vol II/1: Roma: La Bolla "Auctorem Fidei" (1794) Nella Storia Dell'ultramontanismo. Saggio Introduttivo E Documenti

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Il Giansenismo in Italia, Vol II/1: Roma: La Bolla "Auctorem Fidei" (1794) Nella Storia Dell'ultramontanismo. Saggio Introduttivo E Documenti

Article excerpt

Il giansenismo in Italia, Vol. II/1: Roma: La bolla Auctorem fidei" (1794) nella storia dell'ultramontanismo. Saggio introduttivo e documenti. Edited by Pietro Stella. (Rome: LAS [Libreria Ateneo Salesiano]. 1995. Pp. cxl, 745. Lire 80.000.) The bicentenary celebration in 1986 of the Synod of Pistoia under the presidency of Scipione de'Ricci, Bishop of Pistoia and Prato, saw numerous publications on this controversial Synod. The acta of the Synod were republished by the indefatigable Pietro Stella (Atti e decreti del concilio diocesano di Pistoia [2 vols.; Florence, 1986]). Now Stella follows this with a massive volume on the genesis of the papal condemnation of eighty-five propositions from the Pistoia Synod by the bull Auctorem Fidei. There is an explanatory introduction (141 pages) followed by 714 pages of documents, including the correspondence between Ricci and the Pope on the issue of the loyalty of the former to the latter.

The dominant theme of the introduction is that behind the condemnation of Pistoia two rather different ecclesiologies were in conflict: the papal, which defined the Church as vertical, and the Pistoian, in which authority was horizontal, or so diffuse as to see in the pope the ministerial head of the Church. Stella makes no assertion about the rightness of either interpretation, but it is clear that he attributes no specific unorthodoxy to the decrees of Pistoia except those conditioned by dominant views at a specific historical period, i.e., subordination of the Church to the secular Dower.

When the examination of Pistoia's decrees began, Pius VII considered sommoning an examining commission drawn from all parts of Italy, but at last and perhaps prudently in view of widespread Jansenist and regalist tendencies in the several Italian courts he determined that a satisfactory examination could be carried out by Roman clergy. Thus between February, 1789, and September, 1790, the commission held seventy-six sittings, using as a basis for their deliberations the published decrees of the Synod plus a number of anti-Pistoia writings. …

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