God Can Deliver the Damned From Hell?
#91
I was hoping this response was a joke and your evidence would be forthcoming, but I fear you're posting this as a serious response.

StevusMagnus Wrote:Herein lies the danger of trusting theologians with morality...

Catholic theologian promotes ‘false teaching,’ U.S. bishops say in ‘public correction’

Do you offer this as "evidence" or commentary?  Because it's not what was asked for, and even given that, it's not evidence of anything.  The Church has always corrected theologians.

Quote:I proposed to you an example situation where a new case was presented of scientific technology and so a moral question was presented. The theologians went and did their thing and there emerged a majority and minority view of the moral licitness of the procedure. A Catholic priest with an S.T.D., teaching bioethics at a noteworthy conservative Catholic grad school told me that the matter would be up to our informed consciences after proper study and reflection on the matter and that we were not bound by the majority theologian opinion because the Church had not officially decided or ruled on the matter one way or the other.

First, this is an anecdote, not evidence in support of your argument. 

Would you accept it if I said, "I talked to Father Jones and he said I'm right!"?  Further, the priest is unnamed as is the university.

However, if you were to e-mail or snail mail the priest and get him to side with you, that would be fine.  Or, if you want to post his name and affiliation, I will be happy to e-mail or snail mail him.


Quote:Any theologian worth his salt, including Aquinas, submits his theological opinions to scrutiny by the Pope and Bishops.

I don't understand this.  It seems to be a comment out of nowhere.  It has nothing to do with what you said above, it is not evidence as asked for, and it has nothing to do with your question on consensus below.

Is this some kind of stream-of-consciousness thing, like performance art?  What's your point?  Do you even have one?

Quote:You've yet to define "consensus" as an exact % of theologians and until you do the word "consensus" is meaningless. Is a majority a consensus? 75%? 98% The best you can do is Webster, but last I checked Noah Webster was not a Pope nor did he have any Magisterial authority. Therefore the his definition is irrelevant.

More legalisms?  Didn't you just complain about legalistic arguments?

Consensus means the common definition of the word.  There is no special ecclesiastical meaning of consensus.  There is no special ecclesiastical meaning of a lot of words.  I've stated this already.

If you disagree, either 1) Show my definition incorrect or inappropriate with a different definition and cite where it comes from, or, 2) show that there is a special ecclesiastical definition.

One cannot, by logic, prove a negative - that a special definition does not exist.  However, one can prove a positive - that it does exist.  You can prove your implied position - that it has a particular ecclesiastical meaning and that is the one that needs to be applied.

So, please do so.

Quote:In addition to the Professor, my view is supported by the Catholic moral system of probabilism which is an accepted methodology of the Catholic Church. It holds that, when there is question solely of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an
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#92
7HolyCats Wrote:Stevus invoked my name, so I'm just stopping by to clarify, most current theologians and hierarchs (and myself) lean towards the view that the infusion of the rational soul happens at fertilization...but the "consensus" of all theologians throughout history, probably does lean against it and leans more towards 40 days.

Those in the "consensus" only include those who defend it as doctrine. 

Quote:(Objection)
B.  But theologians erred in the past Throughout history, theolo-
gians held various errors, and then disputed about grave issues
amongst themselves.

Response: I let pass the accusation that scholastic theologi-
ans erred in certain questions of the faith. They did not, however,
unanimously defend an error as a doctrine of the faith.

Source: SCHULTES

Aquinas did not do that, and many other theologians did not either.  Really, the question was fairly uninteresting in the Church.

St. Augustine believed in multi-stage ensoulment, but he did not defend that as a doctrine, either.  In fact, he admitted we do not know when the rational soul enters the body.

However, one of the earliest concrete statements on ensoulment is by Tertullian back in ~200 A.D.  And he said this:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.iv.xi.xxvii.html

Quote:Now we allow that life begins with conception, because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does

Mostly it was the Middle Ages and later who considered a post-conception ensoulment because of the rediscovery of Aristotle who got it terribley wrong.  He thought ensoulment of the rational soul occurred after birth.

If you count the number of theologians who talk about the theological question of ensoulment, the number is pretty small.  If you count the number that defended a doctrine of later ensoulment, which is the theologians that would be counted towards a consensus, the number is miniscule and didn't even include St. Thomas.  In fact, I can't think offhand of a particular theologian who did defend a doctrine of later ensoulment - can you?

The reason, I would guess, is because ensoulment wasn't a major question until closer to our time because of the abortion issue and advances in biology.  So, it wasn't given real consideration.
Quote:I think that a good document on the different levels of teaching an assent came out from the CDF while Ratzinger was its head. Has anyone quoted that yet?


Not familiar with it.  If you find it, can you post a link?

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#93
Quote:Not familiar with it.  If you find it, can you post a link?

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFADTU.HTM



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#94
OK, that's really about the additions to Canon Law and creed, but it does explain it well in that context.
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#95
Quis,

Good to see that you have now clarified you are proposing your theory as to dogmatic matters only. We had discussed the moral matter of artificial contraception before and you applied the same principles with no distinction. Therefore, we've at least established that you are admitting your theory has no application to the moral realm.

Unfortunately, you've yet to demonstrate any sort of definition of "consensus". This is not a technicality. It really is do or die for your argument. If you can't authoritatively define "consensus" then your argument is meaningless. No matter what you claim one must to accept to a moral certainty, I can say it is not "consensus" and you can't argue with that because you have no official definition. You'd be sunk. The only doctrinal points you'd be left with are points the Magisterium has not officially ruled on that almost every single theologian has sided one way on from the beginning, which is pretty much the definition of ordinary Magisterium. If that's all you are saying, then we agree in principle and the rest are technicalities.

But beyond that, you've yet to produce any document from a Pope or Council or the Vatican that specifically supports your theory as Catholic teaching. You've quoted Pius IX, but I must have missed the citation. The quote you use from him speaks of "universal and common consent", not "consensus". In addition no context is provided.

It is good that we agree "Interim" opinions are not binding. Therefore if there is an open question that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements) have not officially ruled on, we are not bound by theologian opinion, unless it has been unanimous and constant from the beginning (ordinary Magisterium).

To help clarify this matter we need official statements from the Vatican, Popes, Councils, etc. that nail down the teaching on this matter and we need to study those. I think you would agree that the writings of theologians establishing authority for themselves doesn't do us much good. If the principle you cite is truly a Catholic doctrine or dogma (some # of theologians agreeing on an undefined doctrine makes it dogma to a moral certainty) the Magisterium (not theologians) will have clearly laid it out somewhere.

Until then we are left with individual priests and theologians writing their own pious opinions on the matter, which we are not bound to.

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#96
StevusMagnus Wrote:Quis,

Good to see that you have now clarified you are proposing your theory as to dogmatic matters only. We had discussed the moral matter of artificial contraception before and you applied the same principles with no distinction. Therefore, we've at least established that you are admitting your theory has no application to the moral realm.

Good to see you haven't stopped being a weasel.  One of the signs of armageddon is that you stop using rhetoric and avoiding the topics of debate and actually answer one of my arguments with a citation or counter-argument.  So, it appears the sun will rise tomorrow.

You are deliberately blurring the arguments.

There are two separate questions:

1) Is a consensus of theologians binding on belief?  To this, I argue, yes.  This is a question of dogmatic theology.  It has to do with belief.

2) Can a person proceed with moral certitude (i.e., can they act without fear of culpability or without cupability itself) if they ask their pastor advice on a moral question and they have no reason to mistrust said pastor?  To this, I argue, yes.  This is a question of moral theology.  It has to do with actions.

Quote:Unfortunately, you've yet to demonstrate any sort of definition of "consensus". This is not a technicality. It really is do or die for your argument. If you can't authoritatively define "consensus" then your argument is meaningless.

I have authoritatively defined it.  The authoritative definition of a word is the definition in the appropriate Lexicon.  In this case, the appropriate Lexicon is a common Latin (or English, but let's be strict since Latin is the official language of the Church, shall we?) dictionary.  If you show that it appears in a different Lexicon, such as an ecclesiastical or theological one, then I will submit to that definition, and gladly.

Quote: No matter what you claim one must to accept to a moral certainty, I can say it is not "consensus" and you can't argue with that because you have no official definition.

1) You're misusing "moral certainty" again.  You'd think 30 posts later you would have bothered to understand what these words mean.
2) I never claimed one must accept anything to a "moral certainty".  You are the one using that phrase, and consistently wrong.  I have not.

2) Let's be clear.  I do have a definition.  The question, at hand, is whether it is official or not.

Quote:You'd be sunk. The only doctrinal points you'd be left with are points the Magisterium has not officially ruled on that almost every single theologian has sided one way on from the beginning, which is pretty much the definition of ordinary Magisterium. If that's all you are saying, then we agree in principle and the rest are technicalities.

I am not sunk, but you know that you are and that's why you're grasping at these straws.  And I will offer a proof of my position, right now, and semi-formally.

The burden then goes to you to disprove my argument either with a counter argument or, as you like to do, finding fault with mine.  But stop with the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy you usually use, and argue using some facts for once.

As I said, the authoritative definition of consensus is the common use of the word, and if you really want to get legalistic, it is the common use of the word in Latin.  

Here is my proof that my argument is plausible and cannot be dismissed out-of-hand as you are attempting to do:

1) Latin is the official language of the Church (by Church statement)

2) The Church accepts the definition of some common terms in Latin without specific ecclesiastical meaning (historical evidence - e.g., "est" means "is" without a specific ecclesiastical meaning), and it does so authoritatively because it uses those words authoritatively.

3) Therefore at least some definitions of common terms in Latin are accepted authoritatively by the Church as its own definitions.


You have two premises you can refute as well as the logic leading to the conclusion.  If you want to dismiss my argument out of hand, show that it isn't even plausible by refuting this (and, if you succeed, I of course may correct my argument and try again).  But, first you need to try instead of avoiding the argument.


Now, if you accept that some Latin words are taken by the Church to have the common meaning, then we can proceed onward.

1) Consensus is a common term in Latin (by any Latin dictionary)

2) Consensus does not have a specific ecclesiastical definition (by any Ecclesiastical Latin dictionary)

3) Therefore consensus is one of those common terms in Latin where the Church accepts the common definition as authoritative and its own.

So, if you don't counter the first argument, you can counter this one.  Again, two premises and a conclusion you can refute.

In addition, you can offer counter evidence.  Show me the "official definition" of consensus and that it disagrees with my own. 

You won't do any of that, though.  I know you won't. You haven't responded to 90% of the arguments I've put before you.  You won't attempt to contradict what I've said here formally.  You're going to go on claiming that there is some magical definition of consensus buried in the Vatican archive somewhere and that is the one that is needed before you accept a definition.

Quote:But beyond that, you've yet to produce any document from a Pope or Council or the Vatican that specifically supports your theory as Catholic teaching. You've quoted Pius IX, but I must have missed the citation. The quote you use from him speaks of "universal and common consent", not "consensus". In addition no context is provided.

What do you mean no context is provided?  Are you blind or just being purposefully obtuse?

Quote:Tuas libenter, 1863, DZ 1680.

The Apostolic Letter of 1863, Tuas Libenter.  Found in Denziger, 1680.

Stop being lazy and look it up.

While you're there, you can read this condemned statement from the Syllabus:

Quote:1722 22. The obligation by which Catholic teachers and writers are absolutely bound is restricted to those matters only which are proposed by the infallible judgment of the Church, to be believed by all as dogmas of faith (30 [see n. 1683]).

And also read Humani Generis:

Quote:2312 Therefore, to neglect, or to reject, or to deprive so many great things of their value, which in many instances have been conceived, expressed, and perfected after long labor, by men of no ordinary genius and sanctity, under the watchful eye of the holy magisterium, and not without the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit for the expression of the truths of faith ever more accurately, so that in their place conjectural notions may be substituted, as well as certain unstable and vague expressions of a new philosophy, which like a flower of the field exists today and will die tomorrow, not only is the highest imprudence, but also makes dogma itself as a reed shaken by the wind. Moreover, the contempt for the words and ideas which the scholastic theologians customarily use, tends to weaken so-called speculative philosophy, which they think is void of true certitude, since it rests on theological reasoning.

2313 Surely it is lamentable that those eager for novelty easily pass from a contempt for scholastic theology to a neglect, and even a disrespect for the magisterium of the Church, which supports that theology by its authority. For, this magisterium is considered by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle to science; indeed, by certain non-Catholics it is looked upon as an unjust restraint by which some learned theologians are prevented from pursuing their science. And, although this sacred magisterium, in matters of faith and morals, should be the proximate and universal norm of faith to any theologian, inasmuch as Christ the Lord entrusted the entire deposit of faith to it, namely, the Sacred Scriptures and divine "tradition," to be guarded, and preserved, and interpreted; yet its office, by which the faithful are bound to flee those errors which more or less tend toward heresy, and so, too, "to keep its constitutions and decrees, by which such perverse opinions are proscribed and prohibited,''* is sometimes ignored as if it did not exist. There are some who consistently neglect to consult what has been set forth in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs on the character and constitution of the Church, for the reason that a certain vague notion prevails drawn from the ancient Fathers, especially the Greek. For the popes, as they repeatedly say, do not wish to pass judgment on those matters which are in dispute among theologians, and so there must be a return to the early sources, and the more recent constitutions and decrees of the magisterium are to be explained from the writings of the ancients.

Quote:It is good that we agree "Interim" opinions are not binding. Therefore if there is an open question that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements) have not officially ruled on, we are not bound by theologian opinion, unless it has been unanimous and constant from the beginning (ordinary Magisterium).

You're committing an error in logic as well as using false premises.

The first false premise is your statement that "we agree 'interim' opinions are not binding".  We do not agree on that, and I have made it clear we do not agree on that.

Your second false premise is that we only need to believe what the Magisterium has ruled on by Pope, Council, or Vatican statements.

Quote:"Therefore if there is an open question that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements) have not officially ruled on, we are not bound by theologian opinion, unless it has been unanimous and constant from the beginning (ordinary Magisterium)."

That is provably wrong in that the premise is flawed.

"therefore if there is an open question that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements) have not officially ruled on, we are not bound by theologian opinion"

Your premise is that we are only bound on a particular topic if "the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements)" have ruled on it.

This premise is false.  My counter-argument:

There do exist open questions that the Magisterium (Pope, Councils, Vatican statements) have not officially ruled on where we are bound to a certain belief.  E.g., "Christ posessed the beatific vision while on earth, even before his death and resurrection."

If that is the case, and it is, then your premise has failed.  We can be bound to things the Magisterium has not officially ruled on.  Therefore, you cannot exclude the opinion of theologians.

The real question: is the (consensus) opinion of theologians one of those things that binds us to a belief that the Magisterium (as you define it) has not ruled on?

And I'm hoping we can get to that question and avoid any further distortion you may have in mind to try.

Quote:To help clarify this matter we need official statements from the Vatican, Popes, Councils, etc. that nail down the teaching on this matter and we need to study those. I think you would agree that the writings of theologians establishing authority for themselves doesn't do us much good. If the principle you cite is truly a Catholic doctrine or dogma (some # of theologians agreeing on an undefined doctrine makes it dogma to a moral certainty) the Magisterium (not theologians) will have clearly laid it out somewhere.

I have given you those.  I've given you more today including one from Humani Generis which states outright that the magisterium of the Church supports Scholastic theology by its authority.

You're also using a bad argument here:

Quote:If the principle you cite is truly a Catholic doctrine or dogma ...  the Magisterium (not theologians) will have clearly laid it out somewhere.

The Magisterium does not clearly lay out everything that is doctrine.  It does not lay out the principles and methodology of Scholastic theology though the use of Scholastic theology is doctrine.  The Church doesn't expect us to act like pedantic legalistic idiots; it assumes some level of common sense - like the ability to use a dictionary.

Quote:Until then we are left with individual priests and theologians writing their own pious opinions on the matter, which we are not bound to.

That is an unsubstantiated conclusion and a willful blindness to the evidence offered.

Look, you've offered zero citations.  You've offered zero evidence.  You haven't even offered a counter-argument to my definition of consensus - you just say it's "wrong" because, well, you think it's wrong (a fallacious argument from personal incredulity).

All you've given is smoke and mirrors.  All you're doing is making a fool out of yourself.  You have no rock to hide under.  You can post this to all the forums in the world "seeking opinions" (which is really trying to get other people to make arguments for you) and you won't have a leg to stand on unless it is an heretical leg.   Theologians don't agree with you, the SSPX doesn't agree with you, the Popes don't agree with you.  You know all this, yet you obstinately deny the evidence in front of your face and engage in pedantry and legalisms to keep your sinking ship alive.

Put up or shut up.  Show that you are arguing in good faith and not out of a contrarian or personal interest position.

Offer the two citations I asked for.  It's really that simple.  Also, now you have my semi-formal argument about the definition of "consensus".  Answer to that or accept the definition I - and Webster and Latin dictionaries - propose as the correct one.

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#97
I'm going to take this step by step, before going further and responding to things you may not have meant or intended to say and to avoid further misunderstanding.

I believe you have made the following assertion:

On matters of non-moral doctrine where the Magisterium has not definitively ruled, the opinion of a consensus of theologians binds all Catholics to personally believe this consensus opinion to a moral certainty.

Please tell me if this is what you are asserting. If you need to clarify or correct, please rephrase your assertion in a sentence or two in your own words.

Thanks.

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#98
OK, you're putting me between a rock and a hard place by refusing to answer challenges or provide any sort of evidence.

If this were a discussion I wasn't involved in, it would be easy for me to put an end to this.  But since I'm involved in it, I have to do something that is fair yet reasonable.

So I'm going to do this:

With moderator hat on.

It is my opinion that this discussion is outside the bounds of this rule:

Quote:2) Arguments must be done in good faith.  That is, those advancing a position should believe in the position they are advancing, and they should be advancing it for the good of souls and the Church

Someone advancing a position they believe in, and advancing it in good faith, would make an attempt to answer arguments and/or provide evidence.  I see no effort on your side to provide citations, answer to questions or challenges, etc.

So, each person gets a closing argument, then this thread will be locked.  I will go first, then you may have the last word.

I will prepare my final post this evening.  Then, you may have your final post without rebuttal from me.  Then, this thread is locked and this topic of discussion will be banned from the forum for a period of one week from the locking to avoid it ending up in this scenario again.  After that, it is fair game again.

I am also going to update the above rule to make it clear that people are expected to either 1) answer to reasonable requests of evidence, etc., to show good faith, or 2) explain why such a requests are unreasonable and/or cannot be done (e.g., a broken leg and no ride to the library).

Moderator hat off
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#99

If I may interject (the grand finale!); I appreciate this discussion.  What began as a rather innocuous but starting revelation to Stevus, turned into an excellent discussion on the authority of theologians, the definition of theological consent and the levels of required submission to the same. 

One of the shortcomings of the Quis/Fr. Cekada argument, at least as it appears to me, is a misapplication of Tuas libenter.  Let’s review:  

Quote:II.  You must believe those teachings of the universal ordinary magisterium held by theologians to belong to the faith  (Pius IX).

For even if it were a matter concerning that subjection which is to be manifested by an act of divine faith, nevertheless, it would not have to be limited to those matters which have been defined by express decrees of the ecumenical Councils, or of the Roman Pon-tiffs and of this See, but would have to be extended also to those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world
, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith. Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1683. 

2.  Pius IX. Reproof to those who reject the teachings of scholastic theology:  
  Nor are we ignorant that in
Germany there also prevailed a false opinion against the old school, and against the teaching of those supreme Doctors, whom the universal Church venerates because of their admirable wisdom and sanctity of life. But by this false opinion the authority of the Church itself is called into danger, especially since the Church, not only through so many continuous centuries has permitted that theological science be cultivated according to the method and the principles of these same Doctors, sanctioned by the common consent of all Catholic schools, but it [the Church] also very often extolled their theological doctrine with the highest praises, and strongly recommended it as a very strong buttress of faith and a formidable armory against its enemies. Tuas libenter, 1863, DZ 1680.


The two paragraphs are related but they are not saying the same thing. In the first paragraph, Pius IX is clearly speaking to the assent of faith owed to revealed truth (dogma), and in the later paragraph he is speaking about the strong recommendation the Church gives to theological science and her noted schools and doctors. Yet, the following thesis is presented in order to demonstrate that “The unanimous teaching of theologians in matters of faith and morals establishes certitude for the proof of a dogma”, yet, none of the “proofs” include the rigorous and limiting language of Tuas libenter which qualifies theological “proof of a dogma” in the context of  “those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith”:

 

Quote: IV. Thesis: The unanimous teaching of theologians in matters of faith and morals establishes certitude for the proof of a dogma. [Only
those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed
by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world
, and therefore,
by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith
]

A.  First Proof: The connection of theologians with the Church.

1.  As men who study theological science, theologians have only a scientific and historical authority. But as servants, organs, and witness of the Church, they possess an authority that is both dogmatic and certain. [Only in
those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed
by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world
, and therefore, by universal and common consent are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith
]

2.  Church doctrine on matters of faith and morals possesses an authority that is dogmatic and certain. (a) The unanimous teaching of theologians testifies and expresses the doctrine of the Church, because the Church accepts the common teaching of theologians as true and as her own when she either tacitly or expressly approves it. (b) Theologians as ministers and organs of the Church instruct the faithful in the doctrines of the faith. So, in fact those things preached, taught, held and believed are those same things the theologians propose and teach.

3.  And so, because of the theologians connection with the Church, their agreement on a doctrine has an authority that is both dogmatic and certain [Only
those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed
by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world
, and therefore, by universal and common consent
are held by Catholic theologians to belong to faith
], because otherwise the authority of the Church herself would be endangered, because she admitted, fostered or approved the [false] doctrine of theologians.

Source: SCHULTES, op. cit.

If
(a) The unanimous teaching of theologians testifies and expresses the doctrine of the Church” is referring only to ‘those matters which are handed down as divinely revealed by the ordinary teaching power of the whole Church spread throughout the world”, then the thesis is proven; but if “unanimous teaching” is not presented in the context provided by the
letter from Pius IX to the Archbishop of Munich-Freising (1863) on The Conventions of the Theologians of Germany, then it is going beyond the limits established by this same letter.  

 

And yet, it is then asserted that to “refuse to consider the connection of theologians with the Church” is to deny “the dogmatic authority of theologians” (as presented in the thesis above), when the very connection appears to be a complete misrepresentation of the dogmatic authority of theologians:   

Quote:4.  This proof is confirmed because the dogmatic authority of theologians is denied by all those and
only those
who: (a) Deny or refuse to admit the dogmatic authority of the Church; or (b) At least refuse to consider the connection of theologians with the Church. It is no wonder that all enemies of the Church or Catholic truth are likewise enemies of Catholic theology.


By this, I suspect the author means that the “unanimous” and “common teaching of theologians” = “dogmatic authority”; when this is simply not always the case. What is true isit 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.” Pope Pius IX, Tuas Libenter
(1863), DZ 1684.


 

Of course, theological censures must correspond to the sliding scale classifications assigned by theologians to proposed doctrines possessing varying degrees of theological consent and varying relationships to revelation - and these are not always consistent. With all such fallible opinions, there are times when there may exist legitimate reasons for withholding one's consent; e.g., a perceived and unresolved conflict with an existing dogma.  


 

Speaking of the “common and constant consent of Catholics”, in "The Teaching of the Catholic Church", 1948, Canon George D. Smith teaches that a consensus of theologians is infallible when it is a witness to the unanimous belief of the faithful (belief in a universal truth): 

Quote:"Circumstances may demand that the Church should exercise her teaching office in a solemn manner, either by an infallible pronouncement of the Head of the Church, by the definitions of an Oecumenical Council, or by the authoratative proposition of some creed or formula of belief; all such statements of doctrine form a part of divine Tradition. Ordinarily, however, the Church teaches the faithful through their more immediate legitimate pastors, and their universal consensus on a point of doctrine - expressed either in official pronouncements, in catechisms issued by episcopal authority, or through other channels - is an organ of divine Tradition. Similarly the universal practice of the Church, if it essentially implies a dogmatic truth, is a source of divine revelation. Thus St Augustine rightly pointed to the universal practice of the Church of baptising children as an indication that the doctrine of original sin is divinely revealed. Moreover, many of the theologians of the early centuries of the Church, conspicuous for their sanctity and learning, are called "Fathers." The consensus of these, similarly, considered as witnesses to the general belief of the Church, is an indication that the truth which they unanimously hold to be divinely revealed is in fact a part of the deposit of faith. The same is true of the consensus of later theologians. For although neither Fathers nor theologians as such represent the teaching authority of the Church, yet they are witnesses to the universal belief of the faithful which is the result of that teaching. Hence, finally, the belief of the faithful themselves, expressed unanimously, is a further indication that a truth is contained in the deposit of faith. For the faithful, considered as a body, believe infallibly what they have been infallibly taught." (Page 29-30).


Notice once again the reference to the deposit of faith - revealed truth

 

My purpose was not to define "consensus" or to challenge the levels of required subjection to the consensus of theologians on any particular doctrine, but only to separate dogma (revealed truth) from the mix of non-infallible, non-revealed opinions of theologians - and to caution against attributing "dogmatic authority" to non-revealed and non-defined doctrines which may or may not have universal moral consent.  

 

As much as theologians would like to "dogmatize" the theological note "proximate to the faith", for example, that which is only "proximate" to the faith is not "of" the faith. Where there is universal consent, there is no question of assent; but where theologians disagree, for example, with the Patristic Fathers; or, universal moral consent is inconsistent and disputed by other theologians - "consent" is not always so clear when it is subject to varying opinions.  

 

A universal truth taught for 16 centuries, for example, cannot be brushed aside when certain later theologians "develop" their understanding of this doctrine and end up opening it up to a different interpretation from what the Church has always held; e.g., the doctrine of explicit faith comes to mind.    


Reply
I've wasted enough time on this already, thanks to Stevus, so I'm not going to answer you in detail, but just point out a few things.

1) If you read the paper, you will see there are multiple arguments given.  Tuas libenter is one, the proof by Fr. Schultes is another.  These are separate arguments.

2) The text in which Fr. Schultes proof appears was dated after Tuas libenter by many  years.  It would seem that Fr. Schultes and the other theologians at the Angelicum and those who use the text would be familiar with Tuas libenter (and Fr. Schultes clearly is), yet do not find a limit or contradiction.  In which case, it is safe to assume that at least in their opinion Tuas libenter does not function as a limiting factor in the way you claim.

2) In Fr. Schultes proof, he does not apply the definition of Tuas libenter as you do.  Thus, the application is speculation on your part, and probably an errant application given what I said in 2.  We can assume that Fr. Schultes meant what he said, as he said it.

3) It is your claim that Tuas libenter establishes a limit, but Tuas libenter does not say it does, nor do subsequent theologians act like it does.  So, any limit is at best an unsubstantiated claim on your part, and, at worst, an erroneous claim.

4) As for separating the degrees of theological certitude, what is dogma, and what we need to assent to, I agree.  Those are clearly spelled out by Fr. Ott and the other post I made.  It is unfortunate that the term dogma appears to be used loosely in some contexts, but the fact remains we are bound to assent to things that are held by the consensus of theologians whether they reach a dogmatic level or not.  As is clear from the degrees of theological certitude, not everything we are bound to assent to is de fide.
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