FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: The rotten fruits of Lumen Gentium's "subsistit in"
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
A Novus (dis)Ordo priest(?) is "united" with "Bp." Tony Palmer and denies one of the 4 marks of the Catholic Church: it's unity.


"Can you imagine that if in our generation the Church would be one again? Wouldn't that be awesome?"
He actually does make the distinction between external/internal unity, but does that really matter when he considers heretics and schismatics parts of the Church anyways? He thus desires unity in something that is not the Catholic Church. Yet, he assumes everyone is already united to the Church by the fact they're human! He desires, at the expense of truth, concord among those who disagree (such concord at the expense of truth is bad), but to assume everyone is already united to the Church by the fact they're human is heresy. Unity ≠ concord; unity is in doctrine, belief, and truth of the Catholic faith.

Here's "Bp." Tony Palmer:

See also Francis's response beginning at ~28:27, who says "the miracle of unity has begun"!
Interestingly enough, the meaning of this had to be clarified by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. I think this shows that many propositions in V2 stand in need of clarification because they are so ambiguous and I believe some of them even need to be reformed because of inaccuracies.



CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTS
OF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH
Quote:SECOND QUESTION

What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

RESPONSE

Christ “established here on earth” only one Church and instituted it as a “visible and spiritual community”[5], that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted.[6] “This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him”.[7]

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church[8], in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them.[9] Nevertheless, the word “subsists” can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.[10]

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congre...es_en.html
Father Sebastian Tromp suggested the use of the term and he likely got it from the works of Saint Gregory the Great:
“Unum quippe corpus est tota sancta universalis Ecclesia, sub Christo Jesu,
suo videlicet capite, constituta. ... Christus itaque cum tota sua Ecclesia,
sive quae adhuc versatur in terris, sive quae cum eo jam regnat in coelis,
una persona est. Et sicut est una anima quae diversa corporis membra vivificat,
ita totam simul Ecclesiam unus Spiritus sanctus vegetat et illustrat. Sicut namque
Christus, qui est caput Ecclesiae, de Spiritu sancto conceptus est, sic sancta
ecclesia quae corpus ejus, eodem Spiritu sancto repletur ut vivat; ejus virtute
firmatur, ut in unius fidei et charitatis compage subsistat.”
6 S. GREGORIUS MAGNUS, In Septem Psalmos Poenitentiales Expositio, Ps. V, PL
79, 602; S. GREGORIUS MAGNUS, Moralia in Job, Pars VI, Thirty-Second Book, Caput
XVII, P.L., 76-654.
http://www.catholic-legate.com/wp-conten...ubsist.pdf

C.
(03-14-2015, 11:37 PM)Cetil Wrote: [ -> ]Father Sebastian Tromp suggested the use of the term and he likely got it from the works of Saint Gregory the Great:
“Unum quippe corpus est tota sancta universalis Ecclesia, sub Christo Jesu,
suo videlicet capite, constituta. ... Christus itaque cum tota sua Ecclesia,
sive quae adhuc versatur in terris, sive quae cum eo jam regnat in coelis,
una persona est. Et sicut est una anima quae diversa corporis membra vivificat,
ita totam simul Ecclesiam unus Spiritus sanctus vegetat et illustrat. Sicut namque
Christus, qui est caput Ecclesiae, de Spiritu sancto conceptus est, sic sancta
ecclesia quae corpus ejus, eodem Spiritu sancto repletur ut vivat; ejus virtute
firmatur, ut in unius fidei et charitatis compage subsistat.”
6 S. GREGORIUS MAGNUS, In Septem Psalmos Poenitentiales Expositio, Ps. V, PL
79, 602; S. GREGORIUS MAGNUS, Moralia in Job, Pars VI, Thirty-Second Book, Caput
XVII, P.L., 76-654.
http://www.catholic-legate.com/wp-conten...ubsist.pdf

C.
Thanks for posting the Latin!
I never knew St. Gregory used the term. I thought Fr. Tromp chose it because some pre-Vatican II theological manuals used it (e.g., Fr. Gredt's manual).
You are welcome, we might also point out that Fr. Sebastian Tromp was apparently the chief influence to "Mystici corporis" of Pius XII,  an assistant to Cardinal Ottaviani, and was anything but a crazed modernist. Karl Rahner disliked Tromp's theology and that's also a plus in my book.

C.
(04-22-2015, 07:28 PM)Cetil Wrote: [ -> ]You are welcome, we might also point out that Fr. Sebastian Tromp was apparently the chief influence to "Mystici corporis" of Pius XII,  an assistant to Cardinal Ottaviani, and was anything but a crazed modernist. Karl Rahner disliked Tromp's theology and that's also a plus in my book.
Have you seen Alexandra von Teuffenbach's edition of Tromp's diary of the Council?

And Congar seemed to like Tromp but not Fenton
(04-26-2015, 11:29 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]Have you seen Alexandra von Teuffenbach's edition of Tromp's diary of the Council?

And Congar seemed to like Tromp but not Fenton

It looks like for this thread, your second link has a very relevant statement, where it says that a German journal said we can no longer call our Church the one Church of Christ, and that this was considered "absurd" by Tromp and Congar.
Clearly "subsistit in" has been used to make the Church of Christ not strictly identifiable with the Catholic Church, to the delight of EENS deniers and Ecumenists.

EWTN Catholic Q&A
What is the Church? Problems with Vat. II
Question from Michael Solimanto on 02-24-2002:
May God be with you Fr. Levis,


I have read some critiques on Vatican and the word "subsists in" rather than "is" when Lumen Gentium stated that "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church". The traditional formula of Lumen Gentium used "is" when the comparison of the Church arose, but those seeking to undermine the teaching of the Church replaced it with "subsists in". Many are defending the change saying that "subsistit in" is the same is "est", while the authors and experts of Vatican II state contrariwise. Can you please tell me how the Church could change the teaching of the nature of the Church after reading the drafters?

Fr. Louis Bouyer writes that thanks to the ‘subsistit’ introduced by the Council, one has sought to, "propose again the idea of the one Church, even if it is presently divided among the diverse Christian Churches, as if among many branches." (La Chiesa di Dio corpo di Cristo e tempio dello Spirito, (Cittadella: 1971) p. 603)

Fr. Congar writes: "The problem remains if Lumen Gentium strictly and exclusively identifies the Mystical Body of Christ with the Catholic Church, as did Pius XII in Mystici Corporis. Can we not call it into doubt when we observe that not only is the attribute “Roman” missing, but also that one avoids saying that only Catholics are members of the Mystical Body. Thus they are telling us (in Gaudium et Spes) that the Church of Christ and of the Apostles subsistit in, is found in the Catholic Church. There is consequently no strict identification, that is exclusive, between the Church of Christ and the “Roman” Church. Vatican II admits, fundamentally, that non-Catholic christians are members of the Mystical Body and not merely ordered to it.'” (Le Concile de Vatican II, (Paris: Beauchesne) p. 160)

Cardinal Willebrands, on May 5th and 8th of 1987, held some conferences in which he affirmed that the ‘subsistit’ supersedes and corrects the est of Pius XII (cf. Documentation Catholique, January 3, 1988).

Cardinal Ratzinger says: "The first schema of 1962 still clung to the traditional scholastic formula which saw membership in the Church as dependent on the joint presence of three prerequisites: baptism, profession of the same faith and acceptance of the hierarchy headed by the Pope, (That’s Saint Robert Bellarmine's precise definition, Ed.). Only those who met these requirements could be called members of the Church. Obviously, this was a very narrow formulation." (Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 65 Joseph Ratzinger, Paulist Press, New York, 1966)

Again Ratzinger repeats this idea last year: "explained that Vatican II did not use Pius XII's expression, according to which 'the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Jesus Christ.' Instead, it preferred the expression `The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church ruled by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him' because, he said, it wished to affirm "that the being of the Church as such is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church." (German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, p. 3 Sept. 2001)

How could such statements justify the change saying it means the same thing as Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis? “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation.” (Mystici Corporis, par. 27)

Can you please explain how these men who changed the definition of the Church can be reconcilable with previous doctrine pronounced by popes? Thank you

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 02-25-2002:
Dear Michael, I am sure that I cannot solve this problem as presented by Fr. Louis Bouyer and Pere Congar and finally by Cardinal Ratzinger. The use of the word "subsist" occasioned many a raised eyelid when first it appeared in Lumen Gentium and apparently still is a basic ecclesiological problem. Obviously it was an attempt to draw in other ecclesial communities into the Church of Christ while at the same time affirming the authenticity of the Roman Catholic Church. Notice also the latitude of the notion of possible salvation offered to non-Christians, to Moslems and Jews, in other conciliar documents, a stance not taken at all by previous Pontiffs. Time will be necessary for this "problem" to be solved, to be developed. God bless your close notice and critique. Fr. Bob Levis
There certainly was controversy regarding the phrase after the Council with various interpretations being put forth. Unfortunately, none of the quotes you provide take into account what the Church has said on the matter since.  The Church has since ruled out "substitit in" to apply to branch theory.  Rather, it has been interpreted as meaning a perduring and unique identity.  The Church can only be said to subsist in the Catholic Church, not anywhere else and it signifies the clause in the Creed that the Church is one. 

Ratzinger's quote you provide is different.  In context his explanation is that while the Church retains that perduring identity, outside the Church is not an "ecclesial vaccum" as he puts it.  There are elements that are properly only of the Church, like the sacraments.  Since the sacraments are part of the being of the Church, some of that being is now found in these other groups, even though those groups cannot be identified as the Church.  That's why it is acceptable to say the Church of Christ can be present and even operative to them in those elements, but simply having those elements does make them the Church.  In a way, this reconciles the Ignatian and Cyprianic views of the Church and her sacraments with the later prevailing view that they could exist outside the Church.  Ratzinger identifies subsistence with hypostasis.

It was Ratzinger's CDF and the CDF during his papacy that made these clarifications.  This is why one of the major proponents of the opposing view of "subsistit in" that you rightly criticize, Leonardo Boff, wrote the following:

Leonardo Boff Wrote:3. Cardinal Ratzinger regresses to pre-Vatican II.

The interpretation that the Cardinal gives to "subsiste" as "subsistence" or "hipostasis"‹which "could occur only once" as he said in his conference (Il Regno, loc. cit. 237b), or, in other words, only in the Catholic Church‹therefore makes "subsiste" a synonym of "is". The Cardinal himself says this in writing, "subsistit is a special case of "esse" (to be)" (ib. 237b). Giving this interpretation to the word voids the will of the Council Fathers, who wanted to change "is" for "subsiste". They wanted to avoid the pure and simple identification of the Church with the Catholic Church. For Ratzinger, the other "churches" were not really Church, they simply had "the elements of Church". This would be like saying, "Only my house is really a house; your house simply has the elements of a house, such as bricks, windows, and doors; all of this is not really a house, only the elements in fact derive from my house." Such a statement, aside from being arrogant, is, in the thinking of the Council Fathers, mistaken. Ratzinger has returned to a pre-Vatican II time.
http://www.muenster.de/~angergun/boff-subsistit-in.html

I forgot to address one other thing in my post above.  With regards to the Bellarminian definition of membership, what was proposed by Ratzinger was not a new definition of membership, but using "communion" to describe a range of relationships with the Church in addition to membership.  Membership is not exhaustive of all relationships with the Church, even salvific ones, as even St. Robert taught.  He greatly developed the concept of belonging to the Church "in voto" but distinguished it from membership. For example, he said catechumens were not members, but could belong to the Church and be saved.  He also taught that separated baptized persons were still subject to the Church's jurisdiction because the baptismal bond remained.

Communion, on the other hand, could be spoken of in degrees or with regard to elements, as St. Augustine did:

St. Augustine, On Baptism Book 1 Wrote:For in all points in which they think with us, they also are in communion with us, and only are severed from us in those points in which they dissent from us.
----
But if they observe some of the same things, in respect of these they have not severed themselves; and so far they are still a part of the framework of the Church, while in all other respects they are cut off from it. Accordingly, any one whom they have associated with themselves is united to the Church in all those points in which they are not separated from it. And therefore, if he wish to come over to the Church, he is made sound in those points in which he was unsound and went astray; but where he was sound in union with the Church, he is not cured, but recognized—lest in desiring to cure what is sound we should rather inflict a wound.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/14081.htm

This "partial communion" begins and is a result of Baptism.  But it is not yet membership in the Church.  This was the common doctrine of the Church prior to Vatican II as we see in Ott's Fundamentals, which makes the distinction with membership nicely:

Ott Wrote:Although public apostates and heretics, schismatics and excommunicati vitandi are outside the legal organisation of the Church, still their relationship  to the Church is essentially different from that of the unbaptised.  As the baptismal character which effects incorporation in the Church is  indestructible, the baptised person, in spite of his ceasing to be a member of the  Church, cannot cut himself off so completely from the Church, that every bond  with the Church is dissolved.

So to sum up, membership is something specific with a narrow, precise definition.  As a concept, it is primarily concerned with being able to identify the Church as a concrete, visible society, but it does not exclude the possibility of other relationships or modes of belonging, even salvific ones.
Pages: 1 2