HomeSynergeiavol. 3 no. 1 (2009)

A Note on the “Suma de una junta,” the Second Draft of the Handbook for Confessors of the Synod of Manila of 1582

Paul Arvisu Dumol

Discipline: Religion, History, Theology



The “Suma de una junta” (henceforth “Suma”) is the second draft of a handbook that the Synod of Manila of 1582 had wanted to produce for the guidance of confessors. As far as is known, the handbook was never published; however, two drafts of it, of which “Suma” is the second, survive. The first draft (“Junta y congregación,” henceforth “Junta”) survives in a single manuscript in the Jesuit archives in Rome. The second draft survives in four manuscripts, two of which are to be found in the archives of the library of the University of Santo Tomás, one in the Dominican archives in Quezon City, and one in the Real Academia de Historia in Madrid. All four manuscripts are incomplete, being, in fact, copies of a single clean draft made of an incomplete original. The copy of the first draft is likewise incomplete, almost certainly because, like the copies of “Suma,” it was the copy of a damaged manuscript. While the first and second drafts of the handbook were written between 1586 (when the Synod ended) and 1598, the clean copies of the two drafts that survive today were produced around the middle of the seventeenth century, probably soon after the drafts were discovered to be in a badly damaged state.