Rorate Caeli

Just in time for March 7: BAC's classic Summa back in print

In the 1940s-1960s, Spanish publishing house Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos (BAC) published one of the most celebrated annotated editions of the Summa Theologica, in 16 bilingual volumes (Latin/Spanish), with comments by Dominican friars under the direction of Bishop Francisco Barbado Viejo, O.P., who helped found BAC following the Civil War. It is considered by many to provide the very best and the most profound and didactic introductions and notes on the Summa in any modern language.

It has come to our attention that, after a few decades publishing only its post-Conciliar very inferior 5-volume version (also available online here), BAC has since last year begun the republication of a facsimile version (3rd. edition) of the 16-volume classic - first providing the 1st (I, q.1-26) and 2nd (I, q.27-74) volumes of the series.

Congratulations to BAC for this magnificent Thomist gift to the world.


  1. The Pope himself would probably benefit by reading the Suma Theologica at least 10 times.

    This also include the Hierarchy.

    And yes I know he has probably read it before, but I think he needs to again.

  2. Why is the "post-Conciliar" 5-volume version inferior?

  3. Anonymous9:15 PM

    Some comments from the 5v version are not orthodox. For example, fr. Niceto Blázquez against the death penalty.

  4. Inferior in the length and depth of its comments, most important for those beginning to understand the Summa, not the exactitude of the text itself - no offense intended, dear Don Paco. And, naturally, the 5v-version is much handier.


  5. Anonymous10:04 PM

    When one considers what the BAC used to publish, e.g., the 10-volume series "Palabra de Cristo" which is nothing short of staggering; a 2-volume set of all references to the Eucharist in the Church Fathers, given in Latin or Greek along with the Spanish translation, "Textos Eucaristicos Basicos"; the writings of Donoso Cortes, Balmes, etc., we can be profoundly grateful that they have taken this step with St. Thomas and pray that many more such steps will follow.

  6. Anonymous10:15 PM

    I think the Summa Theologica should be made available in audio.

    If anyone also has some information on the City of God in audio or mp3, could you provide any sites where I can get it.

    I hope this comment is allow by the moderators I would really appreciate it.
    I enjoy reading but audio is more convenient.

  7. Anonymous11:15 PM

    I would add to this that BAC's edition of the Latin Vulgate is both beautifully produced and extremely useful. It includes a good set of references, helpful section headings, and is the perfect size.

  8. Johannes12:50 AM

    My priest lent me a copy of an annotated - but not commented upon - copy of the BAC Svmma Theologica Tertia Pars which I still have on the table beside me - beginning with De convenientia incarnationis. Precio 90 pesetas. I am not a Thomist because I know Thomism. He can be read - but he should not be enforced. The Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos publish some bilingual editions of the fathers as well. Gregorio Magno, Juan Crisostomo, Augustin.

    We - Christians - are much more deeply in need of a prolonged, sincere and serious reading of the fathers (preferably the fathers themselves and not translations...) not mediated through present or thirteenth century speculative theology and with an understanding of their independence in their work and thought in mind (i.e. not imposing an interpretation according to a preferred, or just voluminous, father upon the rest).

    But the edition is welcome. The Oxford bilingual version of the Svmma Theologica is drawn out across too many volumes and to have good substantial commentaries that do not have to be sought out in separate volumes is obviously very good for a reader.

  9. David1:26 AM

    Anonymous at 20:04, you are dead on. I too wish that they will republish some of their classics. Their present publications are such a disgrace to the past glory of the BAC.

  10. Johannes3:08 AM


    - It is the Cambridge bilingual edition - of the Svmma "Theologiae" - that is drawn out across to many volumes; and I do not know whether the Latin or Greek text is included in the BAC editions of the fathers I wrote of. I was looking at the back of the copy of the Svmma Theologica I had mentioned and since the titles are in Spanish I do not know if they are bilingual.


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