"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Melkite Influence at Vatican II

As I have noted before, we are seeing a surge in publications commemorating the opening of Vatican II. Some of those new books are diaries of participants at the council. Now comes a study, which I have just received, of one of the hugely influential figures at the council: G.T. Murphy, Maximos IV at Vatican II: a Quest for Autonomy (Sophia Press, 2011), xi+182pp. 

About this book the publisher tells us:
In this engaging book, Fr. Murphy chronicles the participation, influence, and lasting impact of l'enfant terrible, Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Sayegh, at the Second Vatican Council. Fr. Murphy was aided in his extensive research “by my fortunate access to primary sources and personalities at the Council who shared generously of their experiences…” The late Archbishop Joseph Tawil gave Fr. Murphy “many hours of his time in recollecting his own first hand involvement with the dynamics of the Council deliberations and his participation in the many weeks of preparation made by the Melkite bishops prior to the Council and the interaction of the Melkite bishops with other bishops who participated in the various sessions of the Council.” In addition, Fr. Murphy was also given access to the unpublished works of the late Archimandrite Orestes Kerame, a long-time friend of Archbishop Tawil and an erudite peritus to Maximos IV at the Council, as well as the unpublished daily journal of Archbishop Neophytos Edelby who served as a counselor to Maximos throughout the various sessions of the Council.
Those who know the history of the council know that Patriarch Maximos IV was an enormously important figure whose impact far exceeded anything anyone expected. I look forward to reading this.  

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