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The Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) describes a dogmatic fact as follows: 

Quote:By a dogmatic fact, in wider sense, is meant any fact connected with a dogma and on which the application of the dogma to a particular case depends.

The following questions involve dogmatic facts in the wider sense: Is Pius X, for instance, really and truly Roman Pontiff [1909], duly elected and recognized by the Universal Church? This is connected with dogma, for it is a dogma of faith that every pontiff duly elected and recognized by the universal Church is a successor of Peter. Again, was this or that council ecumenical? This, too, is connected with dogma,for every ecumenical council is endowed with infallibility and jurisdiction over the Universal Church. The question also whether canonized saints really die in the odour of sanctity is connected with dogma, for every one who dies in the odour of sanctity is saved....

Some theologians hold that definitions of dogmatic facts, and especially of dogmatic facts in the wider acceptation of the term, are believed by Divine faith. For instance, the proposition, "every pope duly elected is the successor of Peter", is formally revealed. Then, say these theologians, the proposition, "Pius X has been duly elected pope", only shows that Pius X is included in the general revealed proposition that "every pope duly elected is the successor of Peter". And they conclude that the proposition, "Pius X is successor to Peter", is a formally revealed proposition; that it is believed by Divine faith; that it is a doctrine of faith, de fide; that the Church, or the pope, is infallible in defining such doctrines. Other theologians hold that the definitions of dogmatic facts, in the wider and stricter acceptation, are received, not by Divine faith, but by ecclesiastical faith, which some call mediate Divine faith. They hold that in such syllogisms as this: "Every duly elected pontiff is Peter's successor; but Pius X, for example, is a duly elected pontiff; therefore he is a successor of Peter", the conclusion is not formally revealed by God, but is inferred from a revealed and an unrevealed proposition, and that consequently it is believed, not by Divine, but by ecclesiastical faith. It would then also be held that it has not been formally defined de fide that the Church is infallible in the definition of dogmatic facts. It would be said technically to be theologically certain that the Church is infallible in these definitions; and this infallibility cannot lawfully be questioned. That all are bound to give internal assent to Church definitions of dogmatic facts is evident from the correlative duties of teacher and persons taught. As it belongs to the duty of supreme pastor to define the meaning of a book or proposition, correlatively it is the duty of the subjects who are taught to accept this meaning.

Now just because someone questions a dogmatic fact at the time does not affect its factuality. Thus, Old Catholics questioning the validity of Vatican I does not mean Vatican I was not a dogmatic fact.  Or even when a large portion of the Church questioned the validity of Pope Urban VI's election during the Western Schism does this effect the dogmatic fact that Urban VI was a valid pontiff. 

But, especially condemned is to deny a dogmatic fact after the fact.  Thus, no one today could not question if Pius XII was a valid pontiff as this would question the validity of the Dogma of the Assumption.  To allow people to question dogmatic facts after the fact would create an anarchic faith as anything could potentially be up for grabs. 

However, in the case of Vatican II no one at the time questioned whether it was a validly convened ecumenical council or even publicly questioned the validity of the documents produced until several years after the close of the Council (in stark contrast to Vatican I which was immediately rejected by Old Catholics). To claim it took time to recognize the invalidity of Vatican II or specific documents of the council would be no different than someone today claiming it took years for him to realize that Pope Pius XII was an anti-pope or Reformation Protestants claiming it took a millennium for them to recognize the errors of the Roman Church. 

One may not question a dogmatic fact after the fact

Thus, it seems inescapable that it is a dogmatic fact that the Second Vatican Council was a valid ecumenical council and equally valid are the documents that it produced. 
But it was not a dogmatic council in that it refused to define any dogma.  It was just a pastoral council, as even Pope Paul VI admitted.  Ergo, it can be ignored.  Q.E.D.

Now that that's been solved, what shall we discuss next?
The opening of Vatican II explicitly states the council is not about any matter of doctrine.

So, in terms of Catholic belief, I think the council can be ignored. It does not change anything we are to believe.
(01-14-2013, 12:38 AM)DrBombay Wrote: [ -> ]But it was not a dogmatic council in that it refused to define any dogma.  It was just a pastoral council, as even Pope Paul VI admitted.  Ergo, it can be ignored.  Q.E.D.

Now that that's been solved, what shall we discuss next?

(01-14-2013, 12:40 AM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]The opening of Vatican II explicitly states the council is not about any matter of doctrine.

So, in terms of Catholic belief, I think the council can be ignored. It does not change anything we are to believe.

This thread is about whether Vatican II is a dogmatic fact. Not, what it was about or its importance. 
(01-14-2013, 12:53 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-14-2013, 12:38 AM)DrBombay Wrote: [ -> ]But it was not a dogmatic council in that it refused to define any dogma.  It was just a pastoral council, as even Pope Paul VI admitted.  Ergo, it can be ignored.  Q.E.D.

Now that that's been solved, what shall we discuss next?

(01-14-2013, 12:40 AM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]The opening of Vatican II explicitly states the council is not about any matter of doctrine.

So, in terms of Catholic belief, I think the council can be ignored. It does not change anything we are to believe.

This thread is about whether Vatican II is a dogmatic fact. Not, what it was about or its importance. 

People within the Church question if it was a ecumenical council (I'm assuming that's the fact being proposed here)?




I've always wondered though why an ecumenical council made it an effort to focus on one particular liturgical Rite. Bishops from other churches make it a mission to keep Roman elements out of their Eastern liturgies, and that's understandable, but the entire council (the entire Church in so many words) was involved with the new Roman Rite of worship. Just seems like a very odd practice to me.
I would say the fact that Vatican II was an ecumenical Council is a dogmatic fact, just like the identity of the Roman Pontiff, because both are endowed with infallibility and jurisdiction and it is necessary to know whether they have authority or not so we know whether or not to accept their teaching and jurisdictional acts.

Here's why this is the case, from the oft-cited manual of Tanquerey:

Quote:255 d. The Church is infallible in regard to dogmatic facts. A dogmatic fact is one which is so much connected with a doctrine of the Church that knowledge of it is necessary in order to understand the doctrine and to preserve it safely.

Dogmatic facts can be threefold: historical, doctrinal and hagiographical. Thus, dogmatic facts are the legitimacy of the Holy Pontiff, the ecumenical (universal) nature of a Council.

That the Church is infallible in regard to dogmatic facts is certain. For if the Church could make a mistake concerning the authority of the Holy Pontiff or of a Council, then there would always be grounds for doubting whether their decisions were infallible and accordingly for rejecting these decisions.

This is from Hunter's Outlines of Dogmatic Theology Vol 1:

Quote:First, then, the Church is infallible when she declares what person holds the office of Pope; for if the person of the Pope were uncertain, it would be uncertain what Bishops were in communion with the Pope; but according to the Catholic faith, as will be proved hereafter, communion with the Pope is a condition for the exercise of the function of teaching by the body of Bishops (n. 208); if then the. uncertainty could not be cleared up, the power of teaching could not be exercised, and Christ's promise (St. Matt. xxviii. 20; and n. 199, II.) would be falsified, which is impossible.

This argument is in substance the same as applies to other cases of dogmatic facts. Also, it affords an answer to a much vaunted objection to the claims of the Catholic Church, put forward by writers who think that they find proof in history that the election of a certain Pope was simoniacal and invalid, and that the successor was elected by Cardinals who owed their own appointment to the simoniacal intruder; from which it is gathered that the Papacy has been vacant ever since that time. A volume might be occupied if we attempted to . expose all the frailness of the argument which is supposed to lead to this startling conclusion; but it is enough to say that if the Bishops agree in recognizing a certain man as Pope, they are certainly right, for otherwise the body of the Bishops would be separated from their head, and the Divine constitution of the Church would be ruined. In just the same way the infallibility extends to declaring that a certain Council is or is not ecumenical.

I should add, that, like a Pope, just because a Council is endowed with the infallibility of the Magisterium, doesn't mean it will exercise it with every or any act.  Vatican II, like Lateran I and Lyons I, did not make any definitive doctrinal judgments, but like papal documents that also don't, it doesn't mean it can be ignored. Vatican II does command various classes of the faithful to do specific things so, as Paul VI noted, it does have disciplinary authority (ie it exercised its jurisdiction over all the faithful)--so, at the least, for this reason its status as ecumenical must be necessarily known.

It also does teach at a level many previous Popes taught and just like, say, no one here would argue Rerum Novarum could just be ignored, neither can the teaching of Vatican II.  We are to give the teaching religious submission, which Ott defines as:

Quote:"as an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See. The so-called 'silentium obsequiosum,' that is 'reverent silence,'does not generally suffice. By way of exception, the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error."

From things  I've read this form of assent requires a spirit of docility that gives a presumption of truth to the teaching and a good faith effort to assimilate the teaching. If that effort fails, then assent can be suspended, but criticism may only be given in a manner consonant with one's rank and competence and with due reverence for the Magisterial organ doing the teaching.

This article from Fr. Fenton goes into this issue in the context of encyclicals here, but the argument could extend to Concilliar documents of the same level (since Popes and ecumenical Councils exercise the same teaching authority):
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thec...hority.htm

See also par. 24 to 31 here for a discussion of this aimed at theologians:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congre...on_en.html


This points to theproblem, the mere mention of the words Vatican II being dogma in and of itself, and ba boom the apologetics cascade down. You'd think the original query would get a yep, so what.

tim
(01-14-2013, 12:38 AM)DrBombay Wrote: [ -> ]But it was not a dogmatic council in that it refused to define any dogma.  It was just a pastoral council, as even Pope Paul VI admitted.  Ergo, it can be ignored.  Q.E.D.

Now that that's been solved, what shall we discuss next?

What about the documents that contain the word "Dogmatic" in their titles?
(01-14-2013, 12:36 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]Thus, it seems inescapable that it is a dogmatic fact that the Second Vatican Council was a valid ecumenical council and equally valid are the documents that it produced. 

Agreed. I do not think that questioning the validity of the council is a good starting point for discussing its merits and issues.
Yes, it's a dogmatic fact that VII occurred, I and a lot of other people wish it hadn't, but it did.

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