The Catholic University of America

Rocco Caporale-Vatican II

An inventory of the Rocco Caporale-Vatican Council II collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: archives@mail.lib.cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Rocco Caporale, 1927-2008
Title: Rocco Caporale - Vatican II Collection
Dates: n.d.(1963-1965)2003
Extent: 2.5 linear feet; 2 boxes
Abstract: The Rocco Caporale - Vatican Council II Collection consists of Caporale's research for his sociology dissertation on community at the Second Vatican Council: "The Dynamics of Hierocracy: A Study of Continuity-in-Change of a Religious System. The Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church." Caporale interviewed eighty-nine (89) participants of the Council from a variety of areas. The typed notes from these interviews, along with his research, and dissertation, are included within the collection.
Collection Number: 181
Language: English

Biographical Note

Rocco Caporale was born in Santa Caterina dello Ionio, Italy in 1927. He spoke nine languages, a testament to his capacity for proficiency in a number of academic areas: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Latin, Singalese. He was married to Finnish actress and dancer Taina Elg for 26 years. They had a daughter named Catherine. He was professor emeritus and former chair of the department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. John's University in New York and taught there for thirty years. Caporale also held teaching positions at Manhattanville College in New York, Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Pitzer College in Claremont, California. His education was quite global: he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University in New York, an M.S.W. in Social Research from Tata University in Bombay, India, a D.D. in Comparative Religion from De Nobili College in Poona, India, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Aloisianum College in Milan, Italy. Caporale published 9 books and countless articles on a variety of topics, including Italian immigration, religious systems, urban studies, and value systems. He also worked on the dell'AIRE (Register of Italians Abroad). His work on religious systems extended beyond research and led to him cofounding the Ecumenical Catholic Diocese of America with Bishop Peter Brennan, Raymond Kelly, and Joseph Fradale in 1984. The motto of this organization is to "Move forward with the work begun by the Spirit at Vatican II toward being an inclusive and just Church." One of his seminal works was a ten-year sociological study on the aftermath of the 1980 earthquake in Irpinia-Basilicata, Italy. Caporale was an active member of a number of organizations associated with promoting Italian-American research and global exchange, including the Institute for Italian-American Studies, the Pontes International, the International Committee for the Mezzogiorno, and the International Association Magna Grecia. He served as a consultant on a number of different organizations including the Agnelli Foundation in Turin, Italy, the Vatican Secretariat in Rome, the Italian Parliament, the National Science Foundation, and the Southern California Association of Governments. Some of his notable awards included a Fulbright Fellowship and a visiting fellowship at the Polish Academy of Science in Warsaw. He died of after open-heart surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York on June 30th, 2008 at age 80. His death was mourned by Italians and Americans alike, as all remembered his contributions to both Italian studies and his role as an educator in America.

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Scope and Contents

The collection contains the various parts and processes of Caporale's dissertation research, conducted between 1964 and 1965. It includes over 2,000 handwritten and typed index cards containing transcripts from his interview with the Vatican II participants (as a note, his handwriting is difficult to read). Caporale selected respondents who were influential leaders within the episcopate, articulate in a way that he could represent his episcopate. 73 prelates (cardinals and bishops) were interviewed, plus six of the outstanding non-Catholic observers and nine of the outstanding theologians/experts were interviewed for a total of 89 interviewees. The participants had a wide geographical distribution, ranging from North America, to Portugal, to Africa. Each interview was about 2 hours. Approximately 90% of those approached agreed to be interviewed. Additionally, because his research was sociologically based, many of Caporale's notes are attempts at categorizing the leanings (conservative, moderate, liberal) of the interviewees. He also sought to assess the sense of community/friendships at Vatican II, so some of his notes also attempt to connect some of the relationships among participants. Finally, the collection contains 2 copies of his dissertation "The Dynamics of Hierocracy: A Study of Continuity-in-Change of a Religious System. The Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church."

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Arrangement

The Rocco Caporale collection consists of 2 series:



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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

After utilizing Caporale's research for her own dissertation, Dr. Melissa Wilde (via Professor Joseph Komonchak) donated the collection of Vatican II related material to the ACUA in 2001, with Caporale's permission.

Processing completed in April 2012 by Vanessa Taylor. EAD markup completed in April 2012 by Vanessa Taylor.

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Related Material

At the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Binz, Leo, Vatican Council II Collection

Hallinan, Paul J., Vatican Council II Collection

Helmsing, Charles Herman, Vatican Council II Collection

Ligutti, Luigi, Vatican Council II Collection

Norris, James J., Vatican Council II Collection

North American College in Rome

Primeau, Ernesto, Vatican Council II Collection

Sheen, Fulton, Vatican Council II Collection

Vatican Council II - Documentary Project

Vatican Council II - Miscellany

Vatican Council II - Patrick O'Boyle

Vatican Council II - Martin John O'Connor

Vatican Council II - Val J. Peter

First Vatican Council Photo Album

Autographes des cardinaux des XVII, XVIII, et XIX siecles

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Rocco Caporale

Organizations:
Second Vatican Council

Places:
Rome, Italy

Subjects:
Vatican Council (2nd : 1962-1965)


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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Notecards from Caporale's Vatican II Interviews, 1964-1965, n.d. Boxes 1-2
There are over 2,000 notecards containing notes (primarily typed) from Caporale's 89 interviews with Vatican II participants, which took place from 1964 to 1965 (although the cards themselves are not dated). This was part of Caporale's meticulous note-taking system. He classified the cards and interviewees according to 3 classifications (liberal, moderate, or conservative leanings). The index cards comprise the majority of this collection, and factored heavily into his research on the sense of community that emerged at the Second Vatican Council. Some are lightly damaged. Caporale separated the index cards into 16 categories, including observations, personal reactions, opinions on the changes in the liturgy, communication among participants, etc. Caporale made 2 sets of his notes, both available in this collection.
Box  
1   Typed notes, sections 1-6, version 1, n.d.
    Typed notes, sections 1-6, version 2, n.d.
    Typed notes, sections 7-12, version 1, n.d.
    Typed notes, sections 7-12, version 2, n.d.
    Additional transcripts not included in original set, version 1, n.d.
    Additional transcripts not included in original set, version 2, n.d.
Box  
2   Typed notes, sections 13-16, version 1, n.d.
    Typed notes, sections 13-16, version 2, n.d.
                       
Series 2: Dissertation Research, c.1969, Box 2
This series contains Caporale's notes during his dissertation research. This includes questionnaires that guided his interviews, his various methods of categorizing the interviewees and their responses, and his preliminary outlines for the scope of his dissertation.
Box Folder
2 1 Typed transcripts of interviews with some bishops, observers, and theologians, n.d.
        2 copies
  2 Interview transcripts - original, handwritten notes, 1963
  3 Sample-names of Bishops, Observers and Periti Caporale interviewed, classification of interviewees according to leaning (liberal, moderate, and conservative), n.d.
  4 Questionnaires used for interviews, n.d.
  5 List of people interviewed by country, copy of Caporale's notes, diagrams of his interviewees, n.d.
  6 Preliminary Report on Project - submitted to Caporale's dissertation adviser, n.d.
  7 Caporale's notes on various books, n.d.
  8 List of German-speaking Dutch at council, n.d.
  9 List of materials/agreement about usage, accession information. Signed by Melissa Wilde and Rocco Caporale, 2003
  10 Analytical Categories for Interviews, n.d.
  11 Number of times leaders were recommended to Caporale by sample (tally), n.d.
  12 Provisional rules for the language work groups, October 17, 1969
  13 On the Importance of Humor at the Council - notes on jokes made during the council, n.d.
  14 Articles and documents on the Sacred Congregation of Bishops in English and Italian, 1969
  15 Interview Transcripts - original handwritten notes, n.d.
  16 Unbound copy of Caporale's dissertation, "The Dynamics of Hierocracy: A Study of Continuity-in-Change of a Religious System. The Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church," n.d.
    Bound copy of Caporale's dissertation, "The Dynamics of Hierocracy: A Study of Continuity-in-Change of a Religious System. The Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church," n.d.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Notecards from Caporale's Vatican II Interviews, 1964-1965, n.d.

Series 2: Dissertation Research, c.1969,

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