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Bp. Tissier discusses Newman's conception of the development of Christian doctrine in this section of his excellent Sel de la Terre article "Faith Imperiled by Reason: Benedict XVI's Hermeneutics" (cf. The Remnant's interview with Bp. Tissier).

Cf. to the original Newman section Bp. Tissier cites.

If you read it, doesn't it sound like Modernism, idealism, and Hegelianism to the tee? He sees doctrinal development not as the deepening understanding, using the external instruments of philosophy, of the unchanging deposit of Faith / Tradition (using a premise of faith, a premise of reason, and drawing a theological conclusion); but compares it to the growth of an organism that assimilates "external materials;" thus this could be called "fides manducans intellectum" ("faith eating understanding")! He even uses the term "living tradition" and upholds the utilitarian notion of dogma that whatever is most vital or successful must be truest.

Against all this are Lamentabili's condemned propositions, e.g.:
Lamentabili Wrote:53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.
54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.
58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.
59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

Bp. Tissier relates this to why Rahner and Ratzinger refused to "proclaim the blessed Virgin ‘Mediatrix of all graces,’ because, they said, such a title ‘would result in unimaginable evils from the ecumenical [utilitarian] point of view.’," and thus it fails to be a good "doctrinal development" according to Newman.

The Modernists see everything from a Naturalistic perspective… (In fact, Card. Manning wrote about Newman's' thought: "worldly Catholicism, and it will have the worldly on its side, and will deceive many.") Domine, miserere nobis!

And, finally, an interesting quote:
Newmans Development of Christian Doctrine Wrote:In Christianity, opinion, while a raw material, is called philosophy or scholasticism; when a rejected refuse, it is called heresy.
Does this imply dogma is an accepted opinion

Cf. Newman's Development of Christian Doctrine to Card. Manning's excellent [i]The temporal mission of the Holy Ghost : or, Reason and revelation[i].
Doctrinal development has to be in reference to living dogmas, because they are the truths of the living God. They are not static truths which we slowly enlighten with our flashlight. God is in act, not stasis. Doctrinal development is like a budding flower which develops what it always was, transferring that which was latent into that which is concrete and discernible. It is living, and changing in time, just as Christ changed in time, but never into something it is not, nor contradicting its nature. The modernists have an excessive evolutionism, in which dogmas evolve into contradictions. The opposite is not true, though, that there is no evolution. Man does not stop becoming man though we see over time a progression and evolution, a budding and development. Christ made flesh was not a "demotion" of the unchanging God, but a revelation, a "development" in the economy of salvation. From the perspective of reality in time this must be conceded, otherwise such things as the Incarnation, or canonization of saints, the Immaculate Conception, make no sense. Otherwise we'd have to deny many things related to the personality of God.
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]Doctrinal development has to be in reference to living dogmas, because they are the truths of the living God. They are not static truths which we slowly enlighten with our flashlight.
I thought that was the way it was. St. Thomas compares doctrinal development to a student's deepening understanding of an unchanging subject the teacher teaches him:
St. Thomas Aquinas, I-II q. 1 a. 7, "Whether the articles of faith have increased in course of time?" Wrote:Objection 2. Further, development has taken place, in sciences devised by man, on account of the lack of knowledge in those who discovered them, as the Philosopher observes (Metaph. ii). Now the doctrine of faith was not devised by man, but was delivered to us by God, as stated in Ephesians 2:8: "It is the gift of God." Since then there can be no lack of knowledge in God, it seems that knowledge of matters of faith was perfect from the beginning and did not increase as time went on.

[...]

Reply to Objection 2. Progress in knowledge occurs in two ways. First, on the part of the teacher, be he one or many, who makes progress in knowledge as time goes on: and this is the kind of progress that takes place in sciences devised by man. Secondly, on the part of the learner; thus the master, who has perfect knowledge of the art, does not deliver it all at once to his disciple from the very outset, for he would not be able to take it all in, but he condescends to the disciple's capacity and instructs him little by little. It is in this way that men made progress in the knowledge of faith as time went on. Hence the Apostle (Galatians 3:24) compares the state of the Old Testament to childhood.

Also, the deposit of Faith is not better known now than it was to the Apostles. "[T]he further off a thing is the less distinctly is it seen; wherefore those who were nigh to Christ's advent had a more distinct knowledge of the good things to be hoped for," and "those who were nearest to Christ, wherefore before, like John the Baptist, or after, like the apostles, had a fuller knowledge of the mysteries of faith." (Summa II-II q. 1 a. 7 ad 1 et 4, "Whether the articles of faith have increased in course of time?")
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]God is in act, not stasis.
But God is also immutable.
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]Doctrinal development is like a budding flower which develops what it always was, transferring that which was latent into that which is concrete and discernible.
But this development is with respect to us; the doctrine itself doesn't change. That'd be like a math teacher one day morphing into a history teacher the next, to draw on St. Thomas's analogy.
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]It is living, and changing in time, just as Christ changed in time, but never into something it is not, nor contradicting its nature. The modernists have an excessive evolutionism, in which dogmas evolve into contradictions. The opposite is not true, though, that there is no evolution.
With respect to us, sure; but not with respect to the dogmas. Lamentabili condemns, e.g.:
Lamentabili Wrote:53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.
54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.
58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.
59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]Man does not stop becoming man though we see over time a progression and evolution, a budding and development. Christ made flesh was not a "demotion" of the unchanging God, but a revelation, a "development" in the economy of salvation. From the perspective of reality in time this must be conceded, otherwise such things as the Incarnation, or canonization of saints, the Immaculate Conception, make no sense. Otherwise we'd have to deny many things related to the personality of God.
The 2nd Person of the Trinity was a Person before his Incarnation and after His death.
(10-22-2012, 07:54 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]And, finally, an interesting quote:
Newmans Development of Christian Doctrine Wrote:In Christianity, opinion, while a raw material, is called philosophy or scholasticism; when a rejected refuse, it is called heresy.
Does this imply dogma is an accepted opinion

I understand that theological statements and even opinions (as made in pre-VII approved theology manuals) can carry different "notes": probable, safe, theologically certain conclusions... etc. all the way through dogma (revealed). ( http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/theolnotes.htm).  Theological opinions that are merely "probable" can become more certain when more theologians (at one time and over time)  hold them. This doesn't change the truths, but only the firmness with which we must hold them.
"Pope Pius IX Tuas Libenter" Wrote:But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the foresaid dogmas of the Church, but that it is also necessary to subject themselves to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are issued by the Pontifical Congregations, and also to those forms of doctrine which are held by the common and constant consent of Catholics as theological truths and conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.

So opinions accepted by theologians (and even Catholics, over centuries) CAN become truths we must believe under pain of mortal sin, if they are commonly taught; and if they are commonly rejected they can become heresy.  But of course revealed dogma does not come to us as an opinion; and none of these truths themselves change.
(10-23-2012, 12:32 AM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ][..]the deposit of Faith is not better known now than it was to the Apostles. "[T]he further off a thing is the less distinctly is it seen; wherefore those who were nigh to Christ's advent had a more distinct knowledge of the good things to be hoped for," and "those who were nearest to Christ, wherefore before, like John the Baptist, or after, like the apostles, had a fuller knowledge of the mysteries of faith." (Summa II-II q. 1 a. 7 ad 1 et 4, "Whether the articles of faith have increased in course of time?")

In the "I answer that" of that same article, St. Thomas also says:

"Accordingly we must conclude that, as regards the substance of the articles of faith, they have not received any increase as time went on: since whatever those who lived later have believed, was contained, albeit implicitly, in the faith of those Fathers who preceded them. But there was an increase in the number of articles believed explicitly, since to those who lived in later times some were known explicitly which were not known explicitly by those who lived before them."

(I agree with what you are saying; I just wanted to point out in what way faith does grow over time. I think that St. Thomas is speaking here about our times, not only the Old Covenant.  Here too, it is our understanding of the truth (moving from implicit to explicit) and not the truth itself that is changing.)
This is beautiful stuff to read.

I was almost of the opinion that anyone with soul and brains was already dead.
Doctrine developing like an organism is pretty much straight from St. Vincent de Lerins' Commonitory:

"Therefore, whatever has been sown by the fidelity of the Fathers in this husbandry of God's Church, the same ought to be cultivated and taken care of by the industry of their children, the same ought to flourish and ripen, the same ought to advance and go forward to perfection."

Anyway, Newman earlier explains the notes of a development that is not corruption:

"There is no corruption if it retains one and the same type, the same principles, the same organization; if its beginnings anticipate its subsequent phases, and its later phenomena protect and subserve its earlier; if it has a power of assimilation and revival, and a vigorous action from first to last. On these tests I shall now enlarge, nearly in the order in which I have enumerated them."

It's the "power of assimilation" that is disputed here, if I understand correctly.  What Newman is saying with regards to assimilation is not that the substance of the faith is changed by external things being assimilated (otherwise that would destroy a different note of true development Newman proposes), but quite the opposite.  He is talking about the external idea being assimilated, not the external idea doing the assimilating.  That's why he says an idea that cannot be assimilated, but is instead rejected, is heresy.  For example, ideas about forms, substances, etc. are taken not from the deposit of faith, but from pagan philosophers, but they were assimilated by the Church and increased her vitality and ability to defend and explain the faith--which resulted in true development.

He gives examples of false religions which cannot do this. They are either dead and cease to authentically develop or they are themselves assimilated and corrupted by ideas.
God is immutable through activity, not through stasis. Our limited knowledge would view Him as static (devoid of activity), and in turn dogmas as static, because our activity seems to be always characterized by change. The evolution of dogmas must presuppose no true change on their part, but there is still "activity" in their nature, and we change in regard to them. The key is to not put on God's truths the mutability of this world with passivity/lack. That's why I think life is the way to go, because that is how we understand God best. Even deeper would be love, and the intimately tied biblical concept of knowledge. There is an unveiling, but it is the unveiling something living and active. Not like illuminating a room of inanimate objects, but of unveiling the living God in our midst. I think understanding doctrinal development is tied in to all the problems we have with understanding God entering into time, or time entering into God. The dichotomy of time and eternity probably is held too strictly by some. It would seem to be more true that time and eternity are not really as dichotomous as we think, but not err in pantheism or subvert the teachings of St Thomas.
(10-22-2012, 09:14 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]Doctrinal development has to be in reference to living dogmas, because they are the truths of the living God. They are not static truths which we slowly enlighten with our flashlight. God is in act, not stasis. Doctrinal development is like a budding flower which develops what it always was, transferring that which was latent into that which is concrete and discernible. It is living, and changing in time, just as Christ changed in time, but never into something it is not, nor contradicting its nature. The modernists have an excessive evolutionism, in which dogmas evolve into contradictions. The opposite is not true, though, that there is no evolution. Man does not stop becoming man though we see over time a progression and evolution, a budding and development. Christ made flesh was not a "demotion" of the unchanging God, but a revelation, a "development" in the economy of salvation. From the perspective of reality in time this must be conceded, otherwise such things as the Incarnation, or canonization of saints, the Immaculate Conception, make no sense. Otherwise we'd have to deny many things related to the personality of God.

All of this necessitates a God that too is "budding like a flower" and is not just "static truth".  However, that does not at all fit with God, who is indeed unchanging truth, existence itself, actualizing all potentiality so that there is no possibility of budding or growing.

Given that, the development of doctrine really is just the continual unpacking of the information we already have of a God who is absolutely unchanging.

The development of doctrine that you espouse is truly dangerous and a fruit of Modernism.
:popcorn:
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