Rorate Caeli

Pope addresses PBC on the Divine Inspiration and Truth of Scripture

Vatican Information Service has reported that Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday morning delivered an address to 30 members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission upon the completion of teir plenary assembly, which was dedicated to the theme of "Inspiration and Truth in the Bible."

The complete Italian-language text of the papal allocution may be read here. I do not yet have access to an English translation, so for now here is the summary of the Pope's address as reported by VIS, with emphasis added:

Benedict XVI began by underlining the importance of the chosen theme, which "concerns not only believers, but the Church herself, because the Church's life and mission necessarily rest upon the Word of God, which is the soul of theology and, at the same time, the inspiration of all of Christian life". Moreover, "the interpretation of Sacred Scripture is of vital importance for Christian faith and for the life of the Church."


"From a correct approach to the concept of divine inspiration and truth in Sacred Scripture derive certain norms that directly concern its interpretation", said the Pope. "The Constitution 'Dei Verbum', having affirmed that God is the author of the Bible, reminds us that in Sacred Scripture God speaks to mankind in a human manner. For a correct interpretation of Scripture we must, then, carefully examine what the hagiographers really sought to say and what God was pleased to reveal with their words."


The Pope then recalled how Vatican Council II had identified "three perennially-valid criteria for interpreting Sacred Scripture in accordance with the Spirit that inspired it. In the first place, great attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture. Indeed, however different the books it contains may be, Sacred Scripture is one by virtue of the unity of God's plan, of which Jesus Christ is the centre and the heart.


"In the second place", he added, "Scripture must be read in the context of the living Tradition of the entire Church. . . . In her Tradition the Church carries the living memory of the Word of God, and it is the Holy Spirit Who provides her with the interpretation thereof in accordance with its spiritual meaning. The third criterion concerns the need to pay attention to the analogy of the faith; that is, to the cohesion of the individual truths of faith, both with one another and with the overall plan of Revelation and the fullness of the divine economy enclosed in that plan."


The task of scholars, the Holy Father went on, "is to contribute, following the above-mentioned principles, to a more profound interpretation and exposition of the meaning of Sacred Scripture. The academic study of the sacred texts is not by itself sufficient. In order to respect the coherence of the Church's faith, Catholic exegetes must be careful to perceive the Word of God in these texts, within the faith of the Church."


"The interpretation of Sacred Scriptures cannot be a merely an individual academic undertaking, but must always be compared with, inserted into, and authenticated by the living Tradition of the Church. This norm is essential in order to ensure a correct and reciprocal exchange between exegesis and Church Magisterium. Catholic exegetes do not nourish the individualistic illusion that biblical texts can be better understood outside the community of believers. The opposite is true, because these texts were not given to individual scholars 'to satisfy their curiosity or to provide them with material for study and research'. The texts inspired by God were entrusted to the community of believers, to the Church of Christ, to nourish the faith and to guide the life of charity."


"Sacred Scripture is the Word of God in that it is written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors so that they, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, could faithfully conserve, explain and spread it through their preaching."


"Only within the ecclesial context can Sacred Scripture be understood as the authentic Word of God which is guide, norm and rule for the life of the Church and the spiritual development of believers. This means rejecting all interpretations that are subjective or limited to mere analysis [and hence] incapable of accepting the global meaning which, over the course of the centuries, has guided the Tradition of the entire people of God."


In truth, the VIS quotes from the Holy Father do not say anything that Benedict XVI has not said on this subject before. It is noteworthy that in portions of his allocution not quoted by VIS, he refers to Leo XIII's Providentissimus Deus and Pius XII's Divino afflante Spiritu, which, though they are neglected or ignored by modern Catholic exegetes (as the Pope seems to hint at), provide the key for a proper understanding of Dei Verbum 11. If an English translation of the complete address is obtained, this post will be updated.

Previous posts on this subject:

Synod Retrospective: Proposition 12 on Inspiration and truth in the Bible

Pontifical Biblical Commission to take up Synod Proposition 12

39 comments:

Ogard said...

What a nonsense, dangerous for that matter, are all those "Bible study groups" in our parishes; the aim of which is: what the Bible "means to me".

LeonG said...

The pope's restatement of criteria for interpreting Sacred Scriptures within the appropriate parameters is very welcome. However, it cannot escape notice that he repeats what has become the neomodernists escape clause into individual scriptural perspectives via "living tradition". Unfortunately, this has very flexible boundaries for the liberal and socialist wing of the church, as we frequently attest.

dcs said...

Or one might take a charitable view of the Pope's remarks and conclude that His Holiness is saying that the Tradition of the Church is not dead. :)

Ogard said...

I think you got it wrong, LeonG. Thradition is living by definition; there is no any other.

Jordanes said...

And not only charitable, but also correct.

Paul Haley said...

From the VIS article a couple of quotes:

"Sacred Scripture is the Word of God in that it is written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors so that they, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, could faithfully conserve, explain and spread it through their preaching."

"Scripture must be read in the context of the living Tradition of the entire Church. . . In her Tradition the Church carries the living memory of the Word of God, and it is the Holy Spirit Who provides her with the interpretation thereof in accordance with its spiritual meaning.”
No problem with the first quote. In the second, however, we find that troubling phrase "living Tradition of the entire Church" and we have to ask if that means the same thing as the first quoted paragraph: "Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors"..?

This is really at the heart of the debate between the SSPX, and other traditional groups, and the Holy See. IMHO unless the two quoted "Traditions" mean the same thing always and everywhere, there is no possibility of a rapprochement and it is at the heart of my question: What are we, traditionalists, expected to adhere to in the 2nd Vatican council or the post-council magisterium of the popes that is not part and parcel of the first quoted Tradition? Or, to put it another way, what is it that a "living Tradition" requires in the way of assent that is not part of the first quoted Tradition?

We don't have a full translation and thus cannot view these remarks "in context" so my questions are based only on what we've been provided by the VIS. They should not be taken as disloyal to the Holy Father or to the Magisterium but only as questions seeking clarification.

LeonG said...

Terminology such as "living tradition" in an era of itching ears allows liberal interpretations since it is by its very nature a flexible term as many parishes with their own bible study groups are finding out now: the one here being certainly no exception. To exploit such a generous term for the liberal individualist approach can hardly charitable either, nor can it be correct. Not only do we have "what the Bible means to me" but "Adventures in Revelation" and "the scriptures and metaphorical meanings". If I were a liberal modernist I would readily embrace "living tradition" like the "spirit of the councils" and "interreligious dialogue". They are all without any doubt wide open doors.

Dan Hunter said...

When the Holy Father speaks of "Living Tradition", he most certainly means that what has been handed down from Christ to the Apostles to the Church, is still alive and taught to this day and forever.

No wiggle room for liberals and modernists here.

The FSSPX and all Catholics of good will have always believed this.

Archbishop Lefebvre certainly made this the core of his teaching.

Cosmos said...

I think this is going to take a while because Europeans and academics are obsessed with committees, but I think the Pope's detractors are going to be surprised by the Pope's view of inspiration. Dei Verbum is often cited as standing for the proposition that only the "religious" meaning of the Bible is inspired- other things, like dates, events, locations, are all just as fallible as any other book. So, in the extreme extreme, it is "spiritually true" that Jesus rose from the dead and that his disciples experienced him, though it did not necessarily happen as described, or maybe not literally at all. The broader application is to OT texts.

Dei Verbum, when translated and read correctly, is not nearly as modernist as people think. In fact, it is not modernist at all. This is one of those times in VII when disingenuous interpretation, rather than disingenuous drafting of the document, really is the culprit.

Dei Verbum basically says that God is the author of Scripture through inspired writers, and is therefore inerrant:

"Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(1) In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him (2) they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, (3) they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (4)

"Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text)."

The place where there is wiggle room (frankly, because it is true) is in determining what the author, and therefore the Holy Spirit, actually "asserted." This inevitably means looking to the genre/literary form of the book.
"However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, (6) the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.

"To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse."

In the past, theologians were not so predisposed to read everything as "myth" or "story" or "fable," I.e., fiction, and therefore this process was not so destructive. For example, Exodus and Kings would be considered history and read accordingly, Psalms were poem/prayers (or whatever), while there was genuine debate about books like Genesis and Job. Nowadays, everything is assumed to be some religious genre in greater (exodus) or lesser (the Gospels) conformity with the "mythical" genre of Genesis. The real test is what was the author asserting? Tradition would hold that most books were asserted as history, though some may not have been.

This is where the Pope is in this debate, as far as I can tell. this is why he emphasizes the personal faith of the scholar and their need to conform to the faith and doctrine of the Church- if they did this, the rampant skepticism would not taint the legitimate endeavor.

LeonG said...

The preconciliar emphasis was more usually & appropriately Sacred or Holy Tradition with living tradition as an appendix-type gloss. However, by placing the stress on "living", as he does continually, with Sacred and Holy being more or less abandoned, mindful of the current penchant for exploiting any excuse for change implied in "living", then there is ample "wriggle room" for liberals and socialist clerics in the current liturgical and pastoral situation. One can be as doctrinaire as one wishes but to ignore the spirit of the contemporary age is unrealistic in this particular instance. "Living Tradition" is exploited by neomodernists to imply personal preferences as are other terms such as "religious liberty" and "primacy of conscience" and "interreligious dialogue". In an era that has lost its sense of the sacred and that which is truly holy, living, and the baggage it carries, is a significant usage.

Jordanes said...

This is what the Holy Father means when he says "living Tradition":

"Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors so that they, illuminated by the Spirit of truth, could faithfully conserve, explain and spread it through their preaching."

While neomodernists may seek to exploit the Church's belief that the Tradition is living, I find it unlikely that they could easily affirm the above explanation of Tradition.

Anonymous said...

"Tradition is living by its very definition"

No, "tradition" by its very definition (small t) means the doctrine handed down, (big T) the inerrant extra-bilical inheritance passed down by Christ and the Apostles. Like the genetic code of a tree and the seed it sprouted from it never changes never grows, and is not alive. What it vivifies is alive. The Church is living, tradition is only living in the sense that a principle of life is living. This is a transferred sense, not a proper one.

The hallmark of Tradition is that whatever we believe today was and would be believed in the same terms by the Apostles, if they knew the languages and terms we use today.

The unchanging character of Tradition guarantees the unity of the signification in the changing forms of expression.

The members of the Church, properly speaking according to nature and grace live, the Church properly speaking lives, but neither Scripture nor Tradition are living, becaus they are the Deposit of the Faith, and deposits don't live, except insofar as they cause life.

I have read Ratzinger's interventions on the inerrancy question before he was pope: he said quite clearly that only truths necessary for salvation in the bible are inerrant, historical and extraneous truths could be in error.

This is not the Catholic Faith.

So I do not expect any clear statement on this question under his papacy....

RC

LeonG said...

Then a very significant element of the contemporary church does not agree since this has permitted liberal & socialist sections to imply change which emphasising "living" encourages - consciously or otherwise. That is the reality in any case. Therefore, Sacred and Holy perform this definitive task in a much less flexible and more assured manner. That is the essential nature of language as liberals know only too well, with the liturgy in mind and current pastoral processes. If this were not so there would be no crisis in the modern church. Language and its usage is a powerful tool in the wrong hands as we understand only too clearly today.

Ogard said...

No one disputes that the notion of " ‘living tradition’ …allows liberal interpretations …in bible study groups” etc., but that is the problem even with dogmatic definitions. However, the term cannot be properly used out of context of the Dei Verbum, which makes it perfectly clear that the Tradition is a process in which the Church in her “doctrine, life and worship” hands on, and reflects upon, what she has received from the Apostolic Church (No.8), and that the interpretation of this Tradition is “entrusted exclusively to the living voice of the Church Magisterium” (10/2); and the same applies to the Scripture. What the liberals make out of it is another matter, and can’t be stopped by anybody; likewise, what the so-called traditionalists of the SSPX kind make of it. It is characteristic of both that they insist on their own understanding of tradition which is different from the Catholic understanding of what it is.

When the SSPX insist on interpretation of Vatican II, and of the subsequent documents of the Magisterium, “in the light of tradition” what they actually mean is that their own arbitrary DIY selection from what they conceive to be “tradition”, as interpreted by them, should be used as a yardstick of the Vatican II’s, and the subsequent documents’, conformity with the Tradition, and it is them who arrogate the authority to judge what is the case. They cannot come to terms with the fact that the Vatican II, at the time when it took place, and the subsequent documents when they were promulgated, were themselves a living articulation of the whole Tradition on the subjects they dealt with.

The SSPX’ position is, essentially, a Protestant one. The difference is that the latter reject the judgement of the living Magisterium when in comes to interpretation of Scripture; the SSPX reject the judgement of the living Magisterium when it comes to interpretation of Tradition. The Protestants set up the Scripture against the living Magisterium; the SSPX set up the Tradition against the living Magisterium.

The SSPX would, of course, deny this by saying that they submit to the “Magisterium of all times”, failing to realize that what they “submit to” is not the Magisterium of all times but their unauthorized DIY interpretation of it. The past Magisterium is a constitutive element of Tradition itself, the authentic interpretation of which, together with other elements of Tradition, is entrusted to the LIVING Magisterium (DV 10/2). That is what the hermeneutic of continuity is all about.

The LIVING Tradition is nothing but a contemporary expression of what the present Church has received through the doctrine, life, and worship from the Church that immediately preceded it. To set up the living Tradition in opposition to the alleged past tradition, as conceived by the SSPX, is to misunderstand the very notion of tradition as a process of handing on, receiving, handing on etc., not only of propositions, but also of the worship and the life of the Church.

Tradition is not “by its very definition …the doctrine handed down, (big T) the inerrant extra-biblical inheritance passed down by Christ and the Apostles”. There is no magisterial document asserting an existence of such an esoteric set of propositions, nor is there any material evidence of it.

“(b)y its very definition” tradition is the process of handing down, not only of the doctrine but of, as DV 8/1 puts it, “everything that contributes towards holiness of the life of the People of God, and to increase of their faith”, which, besides the doctrine, includes worship and life itself (moral life, organization etc). The present, living Church is continuation of the Church that preceded it, and the latter was itself a continuation of the Church that had preceded it etc, right down to the Apostolic Church. In point of fact the Tradition is the Church itself in all its knowable expressions.

Jordanes said...

I have read Ratzinger's interventions on the inerrancy question before he was pope: he said quite clearly that only truths necessary for salvation in the bible are inerrant, historical and extraneous truths could be in error.

This is not the Catholic Faith.
***

No, it's not.

RC, if it is not an inconvenience, could you direct us to those interventions? It is very important context for this discussion.

Anonymous said...

"What a nonsense, dangerous for that matter, are all those "Bible study groups" in our parishes; the aim of which is: what the Bible "means to me".

This comment from Ogard is 100% true.

What is especially tragic, is that this practice and attitude is copied from evangelical and pentecostalist Protestantism....and is not in the least Catholic.

Ogard said...

In the Dei Verbum (12/3) “we find that troubling phrase ‘living Tradition of the entire Church’ and we have to ask if that means the same thing as the first quoted paragraph (DV 9, my note): ‘Tradition, on the other hand, integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors’..?"

From one angle, it doesn’t mean exactly the same thing, because what is in DV 9 refers to the Tradition as a process throughout the history of the Church, while the Living Tradition, in 12/3 refers to the latter’s expression as captured in any moment of the history, i.e. for us here and now: in the present moment.

The point is that one cannot capture, perceive, the whole history at once, any more than one can perceive the whole film at once. We can re-run the film and capture each moment by stopping the re-run, but we cannot capture any moment of the history, because we can’t re-run it. All we can capture is the present moment, and the fragments of the past ones depending on the available historical evidence (writings of the Fathers, doctors or more recent authors, liturgical books, penitential books, magisterial documents, any other historical witnesses of the doctrine, life and worship of the Church).

From another angle, the Living Tradition and the Tradition-as-a- process are the same in the sense that the Living Traditions are constitutive of the Tradition as a process, as the individual pictures of a film are constitutive of the film as a process.

To paraphrase the same earlier commenter: IMHO (delete "unless") IF the two quoted "Traditions" mean both the same thing AND DIFFERENT THINGS always and everywhere, there IS (delete "no") possibility of a rapprochement. I see no problem and wonder why the SSPX make such fuss of it instead of using their God given reason and caring to be better informed.

“What are we, traditionalists, expected to adhere to in the 2nd Vatican council or the post-council magisterium of the popes that is not part and parcel of the first quoted Tradition?”

Nothing, provided that we grasp the Catholic notion of the “first quoted” Tradition properly, and admit that an authentic interpretation of it is entrusted to the living Magisterium, not to us as individual believers, theologians, priests or bishops.

“Or, to put it another way, what is it that a ‘living Tradition’ requires in the way of assent that is not part of the first quoted Tradition?”

Nothing, provided the latter is properly understood. But if it is understood as the Arians understood it when rejecting the novel term “consubstantial”, or as the Nestorians understood it when rejecting the novel term “Theotokos”, or as the Monophysite understood it when rejecting the novel doctrine of “One Substance but Two Natures”,- each heresy respectively taking the objected notions as not part of what the Church had believed before these notions were adopted by Nicea, Ephesus and Calcedon respectively; or to “translate” it for the present context: as “not part of the first quoted Tradition”..., then, obviously, the return of the SSPX to the Church is impossible.

Ogard said...

More Re: Anonymous

“The hallmark of Tradition is that whatever we believe today was and would be believed in the same terms by the Apostles, if they knew the languages and terms we use today.” – Comment: While one is entitled to his private opinion, really: that is not the Church doctrine on Tradition. If it were, one would have it stated in the documents of the Magisterium.

“The unchanging character of Tradition guarantees the unity of the signification in the changing forms of expression.” – Comment: The Tradition is both “changing” and “unchanging” It is changing in the sense that what is contained in the revealed Deposit implicitly, is understood more and more explicitly, as a fully developed tree is implicitly contained in a seed. It is unchanging in the sense that the new unfoldings never contradict the previous ones, but not that that they are fully indentical, but what they assert. A tree is always “the same” as the seed, and yet “different”.

The “changing forms of expression”, i.e the statements in a language, must not be confused with the unfolding, developing, “changing” doctrine.

LeonG said...

It is futile to protest that liberals can do what they please but The Church has its own definition of "living tradition" rooted eventually in the church's magesterium. This blatantly ignores the current realities wherein a wide variety of dubious teachings are publicised daily and weekly throughout the church via the NO liturgy and in loose teachings by ordained churchmen. In the meantime, there is no one disciplining them, nor is there a purposeful refutation of such behaviour. On occasion, and sometimes in public, those at the summit of the church hierarchy lend official credence to these by participating in them. Worse still, they are mostly ignored.
The fact that Holy and Sacred fulfill this role in much more traditional and unambiguous manner we must signal that contemporary usage serves its own purposes reflecting the liberal environment of the postconciliar church: "living" permits changes, subtle or otherwise, in accordance with liberal tendencies.

Paul Haley said...

If I understand these discussions correctly, it has been posited in this thread that the SSPX have a "do it yourself" (DIY) version of Tradition that differs both from Tradition which integrally transmits the Word of God as entrusted by Christ the Lord and by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors and, as well, differs from the context of the living Tradition of the entire Church.

Nice try. How about some examples of how the Tradition practiced and preached by the SSPX is a "DIY" version? As far as I can tell nothing the SSPX practices or teaches differs from Tradition in its proper sense or, more properly, what the church has always practiced, taught and professed to be true. No universal salvation, no salvation in other religions, no Spirit of Christ merely subsisting in the Catholic Church, no "President of the Assembly" vs acting in the person of Christ, no celebration of the cult of man vs the awesome sacrifice of the Son of God in an unbloody manner, no clown or circus masses...no, none of these things in any SSPX venue, but their detractors push on with their preposterous claims.

As a matter of fact, it was the fear that the institutional church was departing from its Tradition that caused the SSPX to invoke the term "state of necessity" to justify their actions in 1988.

Once again, the SSPX, in my opinion, have been defamed by unjust charges that have no basis in fact. They were disobedient but only out of a grave fear that they could not practice their faith side-by-side and be directed and controlled by those allowing such abuses as have been listed previously.

Where have they departed from Tradition...in what way have they taught or practiced against Tradition, assuming that there is only one Tradition with a capital "T"? The answers, as the song goes, are floating in the winds, the winds of unmitigated disaster in the church at large.

Now, someone might accuse me of being attached to the SSPX and, thereby, being prejudiced in my view but the fact is I was born and educated in the Faith (16yrs) before 1962, I do not attend a SSPX chapel, and I recognize a state of necessity regarding Tradition when I see it.

You know, it's a favorite tactic of the modernists to claim that their opponents are the ones that do not understand Tradition, thereby supposedly putting their opponents on the defensive. They then strive to place their concept of Tradition, which they confuse with magisterium, on the table as the standard by which the arguments are to be judged. It's called "bait and switch" and it's as old as the hills but not old enough to fool this old codger.

Tradition is that which has been handed down to us from the Apostles and it is a living, breathing force which, when properly applied, gives us the way to achieve our final destination with the Triune God. It is our history, our present and our future and, please God, will stay with us 'til the end of time.

LeonG said...

"They were disobedient but only out of a grave fear that they could not practice their faith side-by-side and be directed and controlled by those allowing such abuses as have been listed previously."

Indeed, Paul, the fear by genuine traditionalists that obedience meant following the unprecedented papal example of sheer ecumenical follies at Assisi and other equally well-publicised un-catholic inter-denominational events; attending a multiplicity of countless illicit and invalid NO services while "obeying" the fraudulent or at least mistaken claims that The Holy Mass in Latin was somehow abrogated & obrogated, & by modernist definitions defective in some manner; accepting that The Roman Catholic Church is a mere equal of other churches and all false religions; denying (even to ridicule) the preconciliar church had much relevance to the postmodern world; promoting endless and pointless interreligious dialogue with idolatrous and pagan religions; compromising core Gospel doctrines for friendship with the world - an empty idol that as produced the bitter fruits of intolerance of The Church by hateful secularists including many physical attacks on church property; participating in the personalist and phenomenological deconstruction of the One, Holy , Catholic and Apostolic Church by misguided social democratic neomodernist church hierarchs, clerics and laypeople whose sole ambition is to drag us all into a pantheistic omega-centred international organisation of sects and cults.

Fortunately for The Church there are those who have suffered harsh criticisms, persecution, ostracism and even excommunication to safeguard Sacred Tradition and the integrity of Sacred Scriptures according to the authoritative interpretation of The Roman Catholic Church. They have defended the Holy Sacrifice of The Mass according to the infallibly guaranteed Roman Rite handed on to us by Pope St Pius V.

Paradoxically, it is those who took the moral high ground protesting obedience to the pope & to the church's magesterium (often meaning The Vatican Councils of the 1960s) who now rebel against most papal directives and who throw down the gauntlet of rebellion to the papacy. Obedience was a mere charade behind which individualism, personal invention and the trump card of collegiality have been played out. Now we can see the real enemies of The Church for what they are.

Pray for the holy father: he has much to suffer.

Ogard said...

(To the Blog Owner: I am not sure that I have posted this already; so, it is below just in case. I am not disputing, nor can I, the Owner’s disapproval if that is the case.)

“I have read Ratzinger's interventions on the inerrancy question before he was pope: he said quite clearly that only truths necessary for salvation in the bible are inerrant, historical and extraneous truths could be in error” – claims the Anonymous.

That the “historical and extraneous truths could be in error” is such a nonsense that I can’t believe the commenter’s claim that Ratzinger has put it that way.

Could we be obliged with the verbatim quote and the full reference so that the Ratzinger’s statement can be verified in its full context? It shouldn’t be difficult if the Anonymous has “read Ratzinger's interventions”.

There can be no doubt that the Bible contains propositions which are, on their face value, erroneous. But one must distinguish the propositions as such – the proposition defined as “something taught that can be true or false” – from the propositions that are asserted, i.e.which the author expects to be accepted by a reader as accurately reflecting the state of affairs referred to in the proposition thus asserted. Only the latter come under the truth or inerrancy of the Bible, not the former.

Surely, the idea that God at end of each “Day” had to check what He has done and only then “saw it was good”, is not true. Nor is it true that the following Day He “said: Let there be firmament …etc.” God has no need to check his work, or more to the point: no eyes to see. Nor can speak to be able to say something, still less speak in Hebrew, which did not exist at that time. These are biblical propositions that are not asserted as reflecting the actual state of affairs, but merely used as a literary form to convey the fact that what God has created is good. Only this fact, i.e. this state of affairs, is asserted, and it is this state of affairs that he expects from a reader to accept as true; not that God wasn’t sure whether what He had done was good, had to check it, and see (“saw”) that it was good. And His will was enough to create whatever he wanted. It wasn’t necessary for Him to say anything; nor could He say anything; still less to say it in Hebrew – an obvious anachronism.

This doesn’t mean that, in point of fact, the Bible contains errors, but only that the face-value-errors, being not asserted are not claimed to be true at all. An error is only possible if the author asserts that his proposition is true, while, in point of fact, it isn’t true. But if he doesn’t assert that his proposition is true in the first place, he cannot be challenged that he proposes what isn’t true.

Paul Haley said...

Surely, the idea that God at end of each “Day” had to check what He has done and only then “saw it was good”, is not true. Nor is it true that the following Day He “said: Let there be firmament …etc.”, God has no need to check his work, or more to the point: no eyes to see. Nor can [He} speak to be able to say something, still less speak in Hebrew, which did not exist at that time.It has been said by my teachers that the story of Creation in the bible has been adapted by the writers and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that humans can understand it. A "day" is like a thousand years, and so forth, and references to time and human senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, etc) when the Author is eternal and not in need of such tings are examples. But to imply that God spoke falsehoods in the process by which he communicated to us in the bible casts doubt on the bible itself.

The Holy Spirit had a purpose in inspiring the human authors to write as they did and I certainly will not question that purpose. Nor will I accept the concept that humans have the right to interpret the bible for themselves as the Catholic Church is the primary and sole interpreter of the bible passages. And, here's the biggie, I do not accept the proposition that the Catholic Church will change its interpretation from what it has always and everywhere proclaimed, Tradition with a capital "T", to fit the times as described by some Modernist.

God can do what He deeds to do and employ whatever means are necessary to do it. It's really as simple as that. He is the All-powerful and Ever-loving God and if He says: "Let us make man in our image and likeness"...I certainly believe Him.

Ogard said...

AFAIK – but, sincerely, will be grateful for a correction – the SSPX conceive Tradition as a set of esoteric propositions communicated by Jesus or Apostles, handed on orally, and put on record as the Church v. state doctrine of the 18th/20th cent. Popes, ending with the Pius XII; as the ecumenical doctrine of Mortalium Animos; as the Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus doctrine of Florence, modified by Pius IX, and supplemented by Pius XII; as the “two sources” doctrine of the post-Tridentine theologians; as the “Is” doctrine of Pius XII; as the “representation” of the Death on the Cross doctrine of St. Thomas. I think I have listed most “examples of how the Tradition practised and preached by the SSPX is a ‘DIY’ version”.

Why is it the DIY tradition? Firstly, because the very idea of an esoteric set of propositions has never been proposed by the Magisterium. Nor is there any evidence of its existence. And it is not the matter of propositions only. Dei Verbum was the first document in the Church’s history that addressed the issue of Tradition comprehensively (transl. CTS, London Do 361; the capitals are mine):

DV 7/1. “Christ our Lord, in whom the complete revelation…is fully accomplished …gave command to his apostles that the Gospel…fulfilled by him and promulgated by his own lips should be preached by them…This work was faithfully performed, first by the apostles, who by their oral preaching, their EXAMPLES and their INSTITUTIONS handed on what they had received either from Christ’s lips, from their ASSOCIATION with him, and from his WORKS or from what they had learned from the promptings of the Holy Spirit.”

DV 8/1. “That which the apostles transmitted includes EVERYTHING that contributes towards holiness of life and …increase of faith. And so the Church in her doctrine, LIFE and her WORSHIP perpetuates and hands on to ALL generations to come, ALL THAT SHE IS AND ALL THAT SHE BELIEVES.”

DV 8/2. “THIS TRADITION which comes from the apostles, PROGRESSES with the assistance of the Holy Spirit in the Church (my note: ref. given to Vatican I, Denz. 1800 (3020)), in so far as the understanding both of the EVENTS and of the words transmitted grows, both by REFLECTION AND STUDY on the part of the faithful…, as also through the preaching of those who have received with the episcopal succession an assured spiritual gift of truth. The Church, in the course of centuries, TENDS PERPETUALLY TOWARDS THE FULLNESS of divine truth, until the words of God shall find their complete expression in her.”

Secondly (why DIY), because the SSPX wouldn’t admit that the Vatican II was an authentic living expression of this process at the time when its documents were promulgated. For them the Tradition had its end-points with their arbitrarily selected documents of the past, referred to above. That is, they think, “what the church has always practised, taught and professed to be true” (whereby the “always” ceased with these end-points). It was indeed true in a sense, but not the full truth – that is my point. No ecumenical council was a photocopy of the received message: each proposed its own interpretation of it. So did Vatican II. This explains John-Paul’s qualification of the SSPX attitude: “incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition” (Ecclesia Dei).

“Where have they departed from Tradition...in what way have they taught or practised against Tradition, assuming that there is only one Tradition with a capital ‘T’?”

The answer is above, but more can be added. An individual, or a group like SSPX, have no authority to determine which of the numerous received traditions constitute Tradition properly so called, nor are they authorized to interpret that same Tradition. Dei Verbum 10/2 teaches: “The office of interpreting authentically the word of God, whether scriptural OR TRADITIONAL, has been entrusted EXCLUSIVELY to the LIVING voice of the Church’s Magisterium (my note: ref. given to Humani Generis, Denz. 2314 (3886)). – For us here and now that living voice cannot be the past documents the authors of which can no longer speak to us, but the present Magisterium; or, at the time of the Council, the Magisterium of that time. This is truly the “Tradition … which has been handed down to us from the Apostles and it is a living, breathing force…”, not the Tradition that has its end-points in the past.

The SSPX arrogate the right analogous to that of the Protestants. The latter insist on their own interpretation of Scripture, the SSPX insist on their own interpretation of Tradition. Both reject the living Magisterium. The SSPX are arbitrarily selecting documents of the past, interpret them in their own way, and use the documents thus interpreted as a yardstick of conformity of the documents of the living Magisterium (again interpreted in their own way) with what they conceive to be the authentic “Tradition”.

There can be little doubt that what the dissenting forces “in” the post-Vatican II Church, i.e. the modernists, want to make of the latter is contrary to the Tradition properly so called, and the SSPX’ fear of these elements is fully justified. If it were only that, their invocation in 1988 of the “state of necessity” would have been understandable, in my view. The modernists are more powerful than the SSPX, they have so infiltrated the Church, all aspects of its life, that the Pope with those bishops who fully, not merely nominally, share communion with him, are practically powerless. Regrettably, however, the modernists are de facto, albeit unwittingly, supported by the SSPX in those aspects of the dissent, which are related to the post-Pius XII Tradition; although not in rejection of the earlier one.

The Holy Father, desperately in my opinion, needs a worldwide ex-territorial diocese of Catholics, loyal to the whole, not merely to the prior to Pius XII, Tradition, and independent of the local hierarchies. The SSPX are in an ideal position to take this responsibility, if only they could come to their senses and accept the doctrine of the post Pius XII Magisterium.

Jordanes said...

This doesn’t mean that, in point of fact, the Bible contains errors, but only that the face-value-errors, being not asserted are not claimed to be true at all. An error is only possible if the author asserts that his proposition is true, while, in point of fact, it isn’t true. But if he doesn’t assert that his proposition is true in the first place, he cannot be challenged that he proposes what isn’t true.Quite right. That’s why attention must be paid to genre and the author’s intent: if the author did not intend to be taken in a rigidly literal sense, taking his words in a face-value literalist or hyperliteralist sense would result in a ridiculously erroneous interpretation. I’ve noticed that liberal/modernistic scholars and skeptics always seem to think the Bible should be interpreted literally if it will result in an interpretation that makes the Bible assert something erroneous, but they seem to abhor literal interpretations if they yield support for the Church’s teachings.

Paul Haley said...

Ogard,

If the SSPX says that such and such a practice of the institutional Church appears to them to depart from Tradition, that does not mean, to me at least, they are engaging in a DIY Tradition. It means they are asking the question and, in my mind, those questions need to be asked.

What are these practices? The list is almost endless but let's start with salvation outside the Church, praying with heretics and schismatics, Old Covenant still being in effect, religious liberty (right to error), collegiality, the "counter-syllabus" described by the then Cardinal Ratzinger in Gaudium et spes, the failure to adhere to Lamentabili Sane, the de facto elimination of the Oath Against Modernism prescribed by St. Pius X, the de facto abrogation of the traditional Mass, and those additional points listed by LeonG in his post.

Apparently, then, with no specific examples of theological or liturgical deviations cited against them, the SSPX is guilty of a DIY Tradition. This is because they have raised red flags and asked the questions that need to be asked and have yet to be answered with any degree of specificity by those in power in Rome.

With all due respect don't cite suppositions; cite documents of the SSPX which give examples of departing from that which has always been taught, held and professed to be true and don't try to represent this Tradition as including the dubious propositions emanating from Vatican II documents and liturgical practice following the council. Remember it was the then Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, then Prefect of the CDF, who said that Vatican II promulgated no superdogma and continues to insist that Vatican II must be interpreted with the hermeneutic of continuity with the past not rupture. He also said that what was sacred for previous generations remains sacred for us as well.

IMHO, Ogard, you have not cited examples of how the SSPX teaches and practices a DIY Tradition except to say they have resisted the efforts of the Modernists to impose their own point of view. Many of us formed in the Faith prior to 1962 have seen the inroads of Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies, and the impact it has had on faith and practice, especially the Mass, and we concur with their position.

Apparently, Ogard, you believe the SSPX is still outside of the Church and not qualified to submit dubias on the questions that trouble them, in fact, questions that trouble most of us formed in the Faith before 1962.

Well, that is what they have been doing all along, in my view, with nary an answer from the one person who holds the power of the keys and the power to bind or to loose, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Until that happens, the opinions of us lay people have no bearing whatsoever except to alert the church authorities that something is terribly wrong in the Church today.

Ogard said...

Paul Haley, re: Bible

You have misunderstood me. “God” DID NOT “spoke falsehoods in the process by which he communicated to us” any more than Jesus spoke it when He communicated to His audience the Samaritan story. The latter is composed of many propositions which are not true, He did not claim they were true, nor did His audience took them as true. The purpose of the story and its truth was to explain who is our neighbour and what does it mean to love the neighbour. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, on the face value the propositions of which the story was composed were not true. Asserted as true were the propositions about the neighbour and love, which were not even articulated, but had to be inferred, which wasn't difficult, from the context

JORDANES has understood me correctly. Basic to the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, and of any other text for that matter, is to determine the literal sense (DAS, DV 12, CCC 109-110). As he rightly comments, although without using this technical term, the literal sense is what the author has in mind, what he wants to say, or as he puts it: “the author’s intent”. Jesus’ intent was to explain who is our neighbour and what does it mean to love him; the intent of the author of the Creation Story was, among other things, to tell us that God has created the world, and that the world thus created was good.

The literal sense must not be confused with what a reader makes out of the text without an attempt to establish the meaning intended by the author; in other words: the meaning imposed on the text by the reader who, to use Jordanes’ words, takes it “in a face-value literalist or hyperliteralist sense.” This would be the case if one insisted that there was really a man robbed on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho, ignored by a priest and levite, helped by a Samaritan etc. Likewise, that God wasn’t sure of what He had done before He “saw” it, or that He really “said” this or that; or that He created all animal species individually, as the “creationists” believe.

As for your assertion: “Nor will I accept the concept that humans have the right to interpret the bible for themselves as the Catholic Church is the primary and sole interpreter of the bible passages” , I agree: it is made perfectly clear in DV 10/2. “And, here's the biggie, I do not accept the proposition that the Catholic Church will change its interpretation from what it has always and everywhere proclaimed”. Correct, but one must establish those matters which the Church has always and everywhere proclaimed. Pius XII in DAS says that it is relatively rerely the case.

Anonymous said...

Ogard,

Whoever you are, you know nothing about Catholic theology or the principles for interpreting the Magisterium.

The anonymous you attempt to refute has stated the truth of the Matter as it is had in textbooks of theology during the past 200 years.

DV has no binding magisterial authority to assert anything in regard to Tradition, as it never claimed any in the first place. It is a pastoral document, so to claim it so as to put outside of the Church those who do not accept its formulations is ludicrous!

I saying "Tradition is not “by its very definition …the doctrine handed down, (big T) the inerrant extra-biblical inheritance passed down by Christ and the Apostles”. "You utter rank heresy, contradicting the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, of Vatican I, which says:

"Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal church, as declared by the sacred council of Trent, is contained in written books and
unwritten traditions, which were
received by the apostles from the lips of Christ himself,
or came to the apostles by the dictation of the holy Spirit,
and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us"
(cf. 16 Council of Trent, session 4, first decree).

The rest of your musings are mush and worthless, because you set yourself up to reinterpret the Magisterium while hypocritically criticising traditionalist for this alleged crime which you are infact committing, by departing from the accepted definitions of Tradition and denying their existence, asserting DV above Trent and Vatican I, which taught explicitly infallibly and which in rejecting you would put yourself in peril of eternal damnation.

Finally, I believe the anonymous above is refering to Conference Cardinal R. gave in the 80's on scriptural inerrancy, wherein the Cardinal did assert such a thing as claimed, according to what my Professor Dr. Peter Fehlner, OFM Conv. taught us.

Br. Alexis Bugnolo

Paul Haley said...

Ogard said:

God” DID NOT “spoke (sic) falsehoods in the process by which he communicated to us” any more than Jesus spoke it when He communicated to His audience the Samaritan story. The latter is composed of many propositions which are not true, He did not claim they were true, nor did His audience took them as true. The purpose of the story and its truth was to explain who is our neighbour and what does it mean to love the neighbour. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, on the face value the propositions of which the story was composed were not true.Ogard, I most assuredly disagree with your statements about what is true and what isn't. How is it that you come to this forum and lecture us about what is true, particularly concerning the words of Jesus Himself? By what authority do you do this? What you are engaging in is individual interpretation of the bible passages and this is without any doubt condemned by the Church. I will not have anything more to say to you other than I shall pray for your immortal soul.

Ogard said...

Paul Haley,

The “SSPX …are” not merely “asking the question(s)” that “need to be asked”; they claim to know the right answers, and if the Church does not accept their answers, the majority, or a substantial number of them, led by +Tissier and +Williamson, are determined to maintain the status quo. Nominaly, they admit that the Pope is the Pope; de facto, he is so only in so far as he is willing to go along with their views. We are all, of course, “qualified to submit dubias on the questions that trouble” us (the SSPX’ dubias do not trouble "most of us”, not myself in any case, although “formed in the Faith before 1962”), but we have to do our own homework first.

They are not interested in any kind of serious study: they “know” enough to arrogate to themselves the suppreme authority of judging what is/is not in conformity with what they conceive to be “Tradition”.

The Pope allegedly “holds the power of the keys and the power to bind or to loose”, but should he venture to bind them, they would dismis him as “modernist”. He is, I think, prepared to legalize the status quo on condition that they undertake serious study, and, in the meantime, refrain from any public criticizm of the post-Pius XII documents. There are so many dissenting bishops in more serious matters who are “in full communion” with him, whom he has to tolerate because it is not possible to root that evil out so easily at once. But the SSPX would not accept even that concession: so much do they “love” the Church. Can one envisage +Williamson shutting up ?

It “has always been taught, held and professed to be true” that the interpretation of both Scripture and Tradition is entrusted to the living Magisterium. That living Magisterium now is the present Pope and the present Bishops who share communion with him, but the SSPX take the liberty of insisting that the Pope’s position on all issue controverted by them is negotiable. As if they were on equal footing with him. That very attitude is itself not a traditional attitude.

They exclude from Tradition as “dubious” the “propositions emanating from Vatican II documents”, as if the Vatican II were a devilish concoction, and not the greatest coucil in the history; and, with due respect, you seem to agree with them.

You already produced the list of contentious issue last time, now expanded, and I briefly replied to the former, briefly because, to deal with each, one would need an extra post. Now, three more are added: praying with heretics and schismatics, Old Covenant still being in effect, and collegiality. That would make a total of nine, i.e. I would need nine extra posts to meet your expectation of “specific examples”, while at the same time do not feel entitled to make of this Blog my own monologue. The points don’t include what I would call practices, which, although with doctrinal implications, are not a doctrine itself. As they are “endless” and important, I would have to start my own blog… I have, however, my own informed aswer to all that, and do not intend to submit any dubium to Rome, still less start the blog. Rome has already answered to all that, directly or by implication – one only has to approach the matter with a self-critical good will and a serious study.

By insisting “that Vatican II must be interpreted with the hermeneutic of continuity with the past not rupture” the Pope clearly states that there is no rupture if the Vatican II is correctly interpreted. Who insist on the existence of “rupture”, then ? From one side, the modernists who “accept” it but as if it were the “break with the past”, as if the New Church had been set up by the Vatican II. From another side the quasi traditionalists headed by the SSPX who reject it (or many of its propositions), as if it were, again, the “break with the past”; as if the postconciliar Church were the “New Church”. Common to both is that they consider it to be the break with the past; in other words, the “traditionalists” are in a good company.

Yes, “the SSPX is still outside of the Church”, not fully however. The same applies to the Ortodox although less, and even less to other Christians and Jews.

Why “outside”? In the standard pre-conciliar dogmatic manual of L.Ott , pp 302-304, one finds that the unity of the Church consists of the unity of faith, and the communion of worship and government. It can’t be disputed - it is eveident from our debate - that the SSPX are not in the full unity of faith with the present Pope and those Bishops who are in a full unity with him. They are not in full unity of government either: they run their own affairs as if the Pope and Bishops did not exist. Neither are they in full unity of worship: they consider a participation in the New Mass to be a violation of their principles, while the Eucharist is supposed to be the sacrament of the Church unity. So, either the present Pope with Bishops are out, or the SSPX are out – the facts must be faced.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

I am curious, are saying that when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan he was affirming that it was an actual historical event he was relating?

Speeaking of praying for souls, Stanley Jaki (RIP) certainly should be commended to the mercy of God. His voluminous writings denying the truth of Genesis have caused great harm to the Catholic Faith.

Paleothomist

Jordanes said...

I would ask that the discussion move away from the question of the status of the SSPX and back to the topic of the weblog post.

Thank you.

Paul Haley said...

Paleothomist said:

I am curious, are saying that when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan he was affirming that it was an actual historical event he was relating?Not at all. I'm merely saying that we don't know if it was a true incident of not but to say that something Our Lord said is definitely not true in the historical sphere is to interpret Scripture for oneself. How can we know that Our Lord was not recalling an incident from the recent history of the time? We don't this and neither does Ogard.

As for Ogard's recent remarks, he simply shows an antagonism towards the SSPX and refuses to identify specific instances where they reject Tradition with a capital "T" and uses non-infallible sources to prove his point (I should say attempts to prove his point as Bro. Alexis has already pointed out). But, as Jordanes says, we must get back to the main topic of this thread.

Jordanes said...

Mr. Bugnolo said: DV has no binding magisterial authority to assert anything in regard to Tradition, as it never claimed any in the first place.It is a dogmatic constitution of a valid oecumenical council, hence a binding magisterial document of the highest authority.

It is a pastoral documentOnly in the sense that all magisterial documents are pastoral documents. It's both pastoral and magisterial. The notion that a dogmatic constitution isn't really a dogmatic constitution if it is issued by the Magisterium at a pastoral oecumenical council is untenable. Be careful that you don't, as you put it, set yourself up to reinterpret the Magisterium, which clearly treats DV as more than simply a "pastoral document" (whatever that is). DV has had a significant effect upon the Church's teaching regarding Scripture and Tradition, and it can't simply be dismissed or ignored -- it must be grappled with and correctly interpreted and understood, because the Church treats DV as authoritative teaching.

In saying, "Tradition is not 'by its very definition …the doctrine handed down, (big T) the inerrant extra-biblical inheritance passed down by Christ and the Apostles,'” you utter rank heresy, contradicting the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, of Vatican I, which says: "Now this supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal church, as declared by the sacred council of Trent, is contained in written books and unwritten traditions, which were received by the apostles from the lips of Christ himself, or came to the apostles by the dictation of the Holy Spirit, and were passed on as it were from hand to hand until they reached us" (cf. 16 Council of Trent, session 4, first decree).In this you are entirely correct, Mr. Bugnolo. Thanks for bringing that quotation to the discussion. Ogard is simply in error on this point, and I'm surprised he did not know about, or forgot about, that dogmatic teaching of Vatican I.

I believe the anonymous above is refering to Conference Cardinal R. gave in the 80's on scriptural inerrancy, wherein the Cardinal did assert such a thing as claimed, according to what my Professor Dr. Peter Fehlner, OFM Conv. taught us.Could you or someone else retrieve those comments for us? As I said before, it will be very helpful background information to have Cardinal Ratzinger's past statements on biblical inspiration and inerrancy.

Ogard said: They exclude from Tradition as “dubious” the “propositions emanating from Vatican II documents”, as if the Vatican II were a devilish concoction, and not the greatest coucil in the history;The greatest council in history, Ogard? Really?

Paul Haley said: I'm merely saying that we don't know if it was a true incident of not but to say that something Our Lord said is definitely not true in the historical sphere is to interpret Scripture for oneself. How can we know that Our Lord was not recalling an incident from the recent history of the time? We don't this and neither does Ogard.The point here is that no one should expect a parable to be a true historical narrative. That's not the purpose of a parable. If some of Jesus' parables happen to have had a historical basis, that is not important to understanding what Jesus taught in the parable, because if Jesus had intended to make an inerrant historical assertion, then He wouldn't have spoken in a parable. Consequently no one has to wonder if there was ever really a Good Samaritan, nor would the non-existence of the Good Samaritan in any way establish that the Bible has an assertion in it that is contrary to history.

Anonymous said...

Jordannes,

I will dismiss the evident assertions in the past whereby you yourself admit to holding a modernist approach to many topics such as heresy, the Rosary (given by Our Lady to St. Dominic, according to Pope Leo XIII encyclials on the Rosary) and the such.

But when you write:

"Mr. Bugnolo said: DV has no binding magisterial authority to assert anything in regard to Tradition, as it never claimed any in the first place.It is a dogmatic constitution of a valid oecumenical council, hence a binding magisterial document of the highest authority."

You show your complete ignorance of the categories of magisterial Authority as well as the history of V2. The title "dogmatic constitution" found in Vatican II documents is merely honorific, it does not signify anything more than that, as the Council Fathers themselves determined: read a history of Vatican II before lecturing this thread about it.

Second, no pronoucement by a general council is formally magisterial ("magisterium" means teaching) unless it teaches, and to teach it must declare its statements as true AND binding (truth is binding for us Catholics you might note; conversely what is proposed as not binding is not proposed a definitely determined to be true, let alone obligatory). No Vatican II document declares its statements to be both true and binding upon all Catholics. (without these 2 conditions -- See Vatican I -- no teaching is protected by the charism of infallibility, hence is not necessarily true or correct)

Therefore it is exact and correct to understand V2 documents as they were proposed, that is a pastoral documents, which have as much binding force upon believers as the resolution of a quinquinennial synod of bishops. I. e. none, dogmatically. They are pastoral resolutions and provisional public statements. They are in no manner binding, as you suggest. Read the Nota Previa in the documents themselves.

Finally, I would point out that my RC Ordinary accords me the title Brother. And if you insist on calling me a Mister, you only weaken your credentials as a Catholic, if you are one.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the statments made by some on this thread, regarding truth in scripture and there being false propositions in the Bible, I would point out that No Father or Doctor of the Church speaks like this.

Why?

Because the Catholic concept of what constitutes a true proposition is such that we can say consistently that every statement in the Bible is true, and that there is no falsehood in it. Infact Pope John 22nd said that it was wicked and heretical to put forth opinions which contract the plain sense of scripture (Quum inter nonnullos).

It is also Catholic doctrine that Christ as a Man beheld the Beatific Vision from the moment of His conception, and that as such, he has actual knowledge of all history.

Therefore I say to him who declares any proposition in any verbal statement, esp. the parables, of not being a historical truth, to bring forth such evidence from all past and future history, until the end of time, to prove such an assertion. But making such an assertion as he does, he puts himself in the judgment seat over the Son of God, and thus his statement is clearly contrary to the faith, suspect of heresy, illogical, ridiculous, and blasphemous.

For the Catholic audience, a little primer on what is meant by a true proposition.

Modern followers of logical positivism alter the definition of truth in regard to verbal propositions by engaging in games such as this:

In the proposition: "Martin Luther believed in the heresy of consubstantiation, which holds that the bread remains after the consecration", they say that the proposition contains a falsehood, namely, "that the bread remains after the consecration", whereas a sound catholic mind says that the proposition contains no falsehood, because the subordinate clause which they cite as false, has no formal declaratory value, but is as matter to the form of the entire proposition, which is true, because it characterizes such a subordinate clause as false.

Because many modern exegetes play the same games with the definition of truth, they consider themselves justified in uttering the blasphemous assertions that there are many falsehoods in Sacred Scripture.

But since everything in Scripture is for our edification and sanctification (as St. Paul infallibly teaches), everything proposed in it is proposed as a truth.

We ought not allow such modernists or logical positivists to set the terms of the discussion or to propose their erroneous notions of formal signification.

Everything in Scripture is true, from the Stat of Bethlehem to the wagging tale of Tobias' dog, and if you doubt so much as a word of it, you shall be damned eternally for your precocious impiety!

Jordanes said...

Mr. Bugnolo, please adopt a tone and attitude of humility and respect here. If you can't bring yourself to do that, then it will be pointless and unedifying to continue to attempt to interact with you. Silly and insulting, or blatantly false remarks, such as "you yourself admit to holding a modernist approach to many topics," "You show your complete ignorance," "read a history of Vatican II before lecturing this thread about it," and, "you only weaken your credentials as a Catholic, if you are one," do not further the discussion, but suggest that your comments are not to be taken seriously. Frivolous remarks and personal attacks are not welcome here.

The title "dogmatic constitution" found in Vatican II documents is merely honorific*** Then why does the Magisterium treat DV as a dogmatic constitution? You are welcome to your opinion, shared by other traditionalists, but there is simply no evidence that the Church regards "dogmatic constitution" in Vatican II documents as merely honorific. Quite the contrary. If it were merely honorific, what would be the point of the Church grappling with the doctrine of DV11? She could just casually dismiss DV as nonbinding and ignore it the way you do, instead of treating its contents as if they were magisterial teaching.

Second, no pronoucement by a general council is formally magisterial ("magisterium" means teaching) unless it teaches, and to teach it must declare its statements as true AND binding (truth is binding for us Catholics you might note; conversely what is proposed as not binding is not proposed a definitely determined to be true, let alone obligatory).*** Sorry, but the Church's declaration Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and the CDF's supplementary comments referencing Lumen Gentium show that your take on things is not the Church's take on things.

Read the Nota Previa in the documents themselves.*** Thanks, but I already have several times.

Finally, I would point out that my RC Ordinary accords me the title Brother.*** "Brother" refers to Catholic male religious who live in community. I have been corrected by consecrated religious who do not live in a religious family for calling them “Sister” and “Brother.” Have you found a Catholic religious community that will accept you yet? If not, I think "Master" is a more accurate honorific than "Brother."

Ogard said...

Paul Haley, 28th April

“How is it that you come to this forum and lecture us about what is true, particularly concerning the words of Jesus Himself?”

I take it that everybody knows that the Samaritan story is a parable, as all other parables of His; and the “events” of this story were not meant by Our Lord to be accounts of what has really happened. So, if they did not happen in reality, they were not true. This does not mean that Jesus told the lie, but that He did not mean them to be true in the first place. He used them as an illustration to tell us who is our neighbour and how to love him. This is the truth without error, not the content of the story.

I am not actually “engaging in is individual interpretation of the bible passages” but take it that it is the interpretation of all biblical scholars, old and new.

Whether I am right on this point – it is conceivable that there might somewhere a pseudo-scholar who insists on historicity of the Samaritan story –is in itself of a secondary importance, because there are hundreds of other examples of individual non-asserted propositions in the Bible being “not true”, i.e. the face-value-errors; not in the sense that they are errors, but in the sense that they are not claimed by the author to be true at all. I only used the Samaritan story to illustrate what the Church means when she expects of biblical scholars to establish the literal sense of a particular text. Pius XII wrote extensively about it in the Encyclical DAS, and DV – a more authoritative document, dogmatic constitution in fact - has made it its own; it was also adopted in the CCC. It can’t be disputed that it is morally binding for Catholics.

Essential for the doctrine of truth/inerrancy of the Scripture is that it refers to the Sacred Author’s assertions (some render it: affirmations), because what he “asserts is to be regarded as asserted by the Holy Spirit” who inspired him, and therefore cannot possibly be erroneous (DV 11/2). And what he asserts has to be established by a scholarly analysis of the text. This is not my DIY claim but can be found in the DAS. On the other hand, for those propositions which are not asserted, the issue of truth or error is irrelevant, because they are not related to a reality, but only employed by the inspired Author to make his assertions more evident, illustrated.

These principles are applicable to interpretation of any, not only Biblical, text.

Paul Haley said...

Ogard said:

"I take it that everybody knows that the Samaritan story is a parable, as all other parables of His; and the “events” of this story were not meant by Our Lord to be accounts of what has really happened. So, if they did not happen in reality, they were not true."You know, I'm really tired of you lay people instructing us on what is true and what isn't. Everybody concedes, I think, that the main purpose of the Good Samaritan parable is to show that Charity is not dependent on one's station in life, or one's position vis-a-vis the standards of mankind. But, neither you nor any other lay person can say: if they did not happen in reality, they were not true. No matter how you try and slice it my friend, that is individual interpretation of the bible.

But, no matter, I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the tenor of posts in this forum which, to me, are tending towards the positions held by Modernists and so, I bid you adieu. According to St. Pius X, Modernism is the synthesis of all heresies and I will have no part of it.