Thursday, February 22, 2018

HE'S BACK (WITH BOMBSHELLS GALORE) THE AMERICAN THEOLOGIAN WHO CORRECTED POPE FRANCIS; HE'S DOUBLING DOWN WITH MORE OF THE SAME!!!!!!!!

 From Sandro Magister blog, February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter 

BOMBSHELL ASSERTION:  

Granted the post-Vatican II Church was rife with divisions – disputes over doctrine, morals and the liturgy.  These disagreements continue still.  However, at no time during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI was there ever any doubt as to what the Church teaches concerning her doctrine, morals, and liturgical practice.  Both recognized that what truly made the Church one is her unalterable apostolic and universal faith, and her sacraments, especially the Eucharist, as fount and means of her holiness.  They, therefore, faithfully taught, clearly developed, and ardently promoted the Church’s doctrinal and moral teaching, and her authentic sacramental practice – all for the sake of guaranteeing and fostering her ecclesial communion.  Such is not the case, in many significant ways, within the present pontificate of Pope Francis.

The Four Marks of the Church: The Contemporary Crisis in Ecclesiology

Weinandy
by Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM., Cap. *
Sydney, Notre Dame University (Australia), February 22, 2018
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The Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed (381 AD) professes that we believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  Each mark, in its fullness, must be properly conceived and articulated, and yet only together, in their perichoretic relationship, do they form the theological foundation of the Church’s authentic self-understanding.  Without them the Church’s own self-identity would become opaque, possessing no discernable defining character, and so would be exposed to any and every imposed guise – either by herself or from without.  Moreover, these four ecclesial marks are most fully expressed and most abundantly nurtured within the Eucharist liturgy.

In this talk I will argue for the above in the following way.  First, I will examine, at some length, St. Ignatius of Antioch’s seven letters. Second, I will examine, more briefly, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium.  Each text perceives the Church’s revealed identity within these four defining marks.  Lastly, with the aid of St. John Paul II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, I will contend that these four defining ecclesial marks are presently at risk.  This threat comes not only from within the Catholic theological community, but even and regrettably from within Church leadership.  Because of this danger I will conclude by advocating the need to mount a robust defense and clear advocacy of the Church’s four marks.  Without such an apology, the Church’s identity – what she truly is – will become disordered, and so will enfeeble her ability to live and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This enfeeblement, then, will also be most visibly enacted within the Eucharistic liturgy which will not only cause scandal but also, and more importantly, demean the Eucharistic liturgy as the supreme enactment of the Church being One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. (My comment: what I have highlighted in red, red underlined and dark blue is the bombshell! It is a long article read it by pressing below:)

READ THE REST AT SANDRO MAGISTER'S BLOG HERE

14 comments:

Henry said...

Magisterial. Makes one long for a magisterial pope again.

Marc said...

History seems to indicate that Catholicism has a very long history of changing doctrine and sacramental practice. Catholicism has been in a rather constant state of reform (self-imposed and otherwise) since at least the 10th century. The main reason the present cycle of that reform is disrupting is due to the advent of the mass media, which allows everyone to see the doctrinal sausage being made in real time.

In fact, history seems to indicate that Catholicism has long done precisely what is happening now: staking out some new theological proposition and only thereafter searching for a logical explanation for the new position and some historical scrap with which to assert that "this has always been the teaching."

So another reason why the present situation is different than the past is that the information flow cannot be contained as it was in the past. When Catholicism changed doctrines before, it would usually assert that no change had been made, arguing that those holding to the prior teaching were actually the ones who had changed. Since everyone now has access to historical documents, anyone with an interest can quickly ascertain the prior doctrine and compare it with the present doctrine.

While I sympathize with people who are trying to force Catholicism to be something other than a source of constant reform and change, it seems to me that holding such a position ultimately means that such a person rejects what Catholicism is and has been for over a millennium. It is a futile mission to attempt to stop the doctrinal evolution as history indicates that it will continue to press on despite any hierarchical or historical speed bumps that might get in the way.

TJM said...

Henry, or just a Catholic one

TJM said...

Marc,

Please give us an example or two of when doctrine has actually changed.

Marc said...

TJM, I have in mind major doctrinal changes, like the advent of theological and creedal filioquism that prompted patently absurd, non-historical polemics of the sort I described. I also have in mind subtler changes to sacramental discipline like the separation of confirmation and eucharist from baptism for infants. I also have in mind mixed questions of doctrinal and sacramental practice like the acceptance of baptisms conducted outside the church.

Other examples could be given as well. These are the most obvious, with the last example being a mostly 20th century development of ecclesiology that has, for the most part, gone unnoticed and little commented upon. As such it serves as a very good example of a theological position in search of rationalization and charges of "the church has always believed this," both arguments most people simply accept. But neither of which are actually supportable.

TJM said...

Marc,

Thanks. What you are pointing out may be a change in emphasis or praxis but doctrine? For example, what I mean by doctrine has the Church ever taught that the Eucharist is a mere symbol? Or has the Church ever taught that marriage is not indissoluble?

Marc said...

TJM, you are defining "doctrine" very narrowly. But at any rate, I disagree with you that a teaching about the theology of the Persons of the Holy Trinity is not doctrinal. I also disagree that a teaching about the nature of the Church and her constitution is not doctrinal. And that is just two examples that I have mentioned while others could be brought forward.

As for whether the Church has ever taught that marriage is not dissoluble, the question is more complex than it would first appear. There are many examples of local councils and synods that clearly state and otherwise assume a marriage can end and that a second marriage may be lawfully entered into. So that is another good example of a commonly-held idea that "the church has always taught this" that is not supported by the facts.

Adam Michael said...

This is where things get tricky. The Church did tolerate Melchior Cano and many theologians of the 17th and 18th century to teach that the priest and not the couple were the ministers of the sacrament of Matrimony. The Church likewise tolerated diversity of opinion regarding the truth of the Immaculate Conception through the 15th century (e.g. St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Bonaventure rejected it and Pope Sixtus IV allowed Catholics to either accept or reject it). In the same manner, Catholics in good standing such as Bishop Bossuet and bishops in England, Ireland, and America were permitted to deny papal infallibility until 1870. Also, there were fathers at the Council of Trent who interpreted the indissolubility of marriage as a legal, not doctrinal belief/practice (and Cardinal Cajetan taught that adultery completely dissolved the marriage bond). Furthermore, there were learned Catholics (e.g. the School of Paris in the 12th century and St. Ivo of Chartres) who publicly denied that physical consummation makes marriage indissoluble until the 12th century. Our history does contain examples of current beliefs being optional for past members of the Church. Even before these teachings were made dogmatic or given certain doctrinal status by the Papacy, eminent churchmen and future saints could deny them with impunity, thus possibly demonstrating that these beliefs were not historically viewed as part of the ordinary and universal magisterium (i.e. can you imagine permitting denial of the Eucharist or the Trinity before these were dogmas?) This makes it difficult to respond persuasively to progressives who maintain that debated ideas today can become the sole belief of the Church in the future. As much as we may cling to a traditional interpretation of doctrinal development, our history appears to support a view of doctrine that is understood in its essence over time and that replaces previously held understandings - the very thing the progressives want for autonomy of conscience and same-sex unions. And since every new understanding somehow replaces/changes the previous view to some extent, how can we convincingly argue that they are changing the Tradition when we have not? I welcome discussion of this issue since it has been heavily on my mind of late.

Adam Michael said...

Marc,

Your thoughts are very well expressed. They also sound Eastern Orthodox and remind me of some of the points of Fr. Peter Heers in his book, "The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II." Have you returned to the Orthodox Church?

TJM said...

Marc,

What about the Doctrine of the Real Presence? Also, the whole filique controversy in my view didn't change doctrine, but emphasis. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all members of the Blessed Trinity and I suggest that whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son did not contradict prior teaching (doctrine) on the Trinity but merely fleshed it out or expressed it in a different manner . I am concerned you are defining a Doctrine too broadly, to include praxis or further elaboration of the Doctrine rather than substance.

Marc said...

Adam, yes, I have. Fr. Peter Heer’s book was an important step for me too, actually.

TJM, I disagree with your assessment of the Filioque question. It is most certainly not a problem of emphasis. But this isn’t the venue to sort that out. I think the history of the Nicolaitan Schism through Florence indicates everyone agreed this was a doctrinal issue. It remains so today.

Adam Michael said...

A simple test for discerning the difference between development of praxis & theological formulation and alteration of the historical belief itself is to ask whether those who previously affirmed or denied a teaching may do so now. If not, there has been an alteration of the actual faith of members of the Church. I outlined above several examples of these changes and Marc alluded to others. I think these go beyond different expressions of faith or sacramental discipline.

TJM said...

Marc,

You have never responded to my question about the Real Presence. I am just curious as to why not and you seem to be begging off on the filoque question. Both before and after, wasn't the Blessed Trinity the same?

Marc said...

TJM, I'm not sure what you're asking about the Real Presence. Has the doctrine changed? No, I have seen no evidence it has (except to note that it has been hyper-rationalized by some). I'm not sure how that relates to this discussion, though.

The Trinity is always the same since the Trinity is Reality. What you're suggesting is a form of nominalism. Knowledge of God is the very essence of theology, which is why the councils of the Church worked to properly define the doctrines pertaining to the Holy Trinity.

As an example, the Blessed Trinity was the same before and after the rise of Sabellianism. But that doesn't mean that those heretics were somehow justified in holding to their error or that their error didn't touch on doctrine.