Tuesday, November 05, 2019

10-Year Anniversary Jubilee

NCReg: Ordinariates Mark 10 Years of Anglican Traditions and Catholic Communion by Peter Jesserer Smith
The Catholic Church is marking the tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s historic apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

True Light Podcast: Episode 07 Evangelization

Reprints of Books by Joseph C. Fenton

Missed this in 2018.

First Things: Fenton Returns by Patrick Carey

Fenton told readers of his “The Ecumenical Council and Christian Union” (1959) that the council’s ecumenical work would amount to nothing more than the Church’s previous emphasis on a “return of dissident Christians to the one true fold of Jesus Christ.”
He probably included the Orthodox as dissident Christians.

Related:
Cardinal Ottaviani and the Council by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton

1966 Letter Reveals Cardinal Ottaviani’s Post-Conciliar Concerns

Monday, November 04, 2019

More on the Development of Doctrine

CWR: The Spirit versus the letter: Responding to a false view of doctrinal development by Eduardo Echeverria

Sergio Centofanti’s recent essay for Vatican News claims that the Church teaches, “It is necessary to follow the Spirit, rather than the strict letter.” This opposition could not be further from the truth.

I am not of course suggesting that there is not development. But there is development without change even when there is reversal in Church teaching. Centofanti completely overlooks the distinctions between development, continuity, change, and reversal. He focuses on examples of reversals (unbaptized babies, the exegesis of 1 Timothy 11-12 regarding the place of woman in the Church, and religious liberty) but never refers to the theological notes that qualify certain teachings as infallible such that they possess the highest degree of certainty. This means that he fails to account for development, clarifications, reformulations, while nevertheless maintaining the stable continuity of fundamental meaning and truth of authoritative dogmas/doctrines. I will return to this point below.

But does Echeverria make enough distinctions between theological opinion (even if it is of the bishop of Rome) and dogma? Let us look at the two examples of reversals: religious liberty and ecumenism. Was religious liberty (or anything pertaining to the political community and the laws that it may or may not issue) part of Divine Revelation? No -- religious liberty, like contemporary Roman Catholic Social Teaching, pertains to moral theology, and so papal theological opinion on this point isn't "reversed" as if it were dogmatic (even if some Latins think it is) but contradicted.

As for ecumenism -- precepts concerning whom to admit to worship, or with whom one can pray is more a human determination that is (ecclesiastical) positive law than a precept of Divine Law, something taking into consideration goods secondary to God Himself. And so in so far as we are dealing with ecclesiastical positive law, that can be changed. As for human judgments as to who is a heretic or schismatic, those judgments can be erroneous and are not protected by an Latin notion of infallibility.

In order for theories of doctrinal development to be taken seriously, we must talk about doctrine, what constitutes doctrines, whether there are levels of doctrine, and if historically what has been understood to be doctrine was mistaken.

(MAJOR VATICAN EVENT: Schneider, Burke Speak During Amazon Synod)

CHRISTUS VINCIT: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age

DEFEND & RESIST: Michael Matt Interviews Bishop Schneider