God Can Deliver the Damned From Hell?
#71
Quote:
If we take the idea that living theologian consensus can bind then this document does just that. It binds that there is good hope for unbaptized infant salvation to a moral certainty.

If we take the idea that past theologian consensus binds then we are bound in the other direction to accept limbo to a moral certanity.

Which is it?
Having a consensus amoung the theologians who signed a particular document doesn't mean you have a consensus of all the theologians. And seeing what so many theologians write nowadays it's hard to see how many are actually still Catholic.
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#72
Are Kung, Rahner, Schillebecx and Congar to be included in this Schola Theologica?
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#73
I sure hell wouldn't. But then again, whom am I really to judge?
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#74
StevusMagnus Wrote:Nevertheless, the paper stands for the proposition that a unanimous statement of the theologians provides certitude, not a mere consensus.

And Ott uses "consensus" and it has to do with how the term is applied.  Let me give an example.

St. Thomas didn't believe the ensoulment occurred until Quickening.  However, now the Church teaches through the Ordinary Magisterium that it occurs at conception, and most traditional Catholics believe that.

Yet, clearly, there is not a unanimous opinon on when the ensoulment occurs because here we have a Doctor of the Church whose opinion is held in the highest esteem by not only other theologians, but by the Church itself.  But, as Catholics, we are certainly called to believe ensoulment occurs at conception.  How could this be?

Well, because it is the consensus of theologians that it occurs at conception.  And it is also the unanimous statement of theologians, in a narrow sense.

Now, I'm obviously not an expert or a theologian, so I will try to describe my understanding as best as possible and leave it at that.  I also don't have a vast library of theological textbooks, so I'll have to go with what I have.

We see in Fr. Cekada's paper a few hints:


Quote: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 conclu-
sions
, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of
doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless
deserve some theological censure

So, the first thing we notice is that some of these things are conclusions.  If all theologians follow strict Scholastic approaches, which was the approach of the Church before V2, it is likely they will come to the same conclusion.  Note that it isn't written in stone that all will, but it is likely that most if not all will.  That is because theology, like any type of philosophy, has a set of rules for the game.  If all work within those rules, it is likely they will come to the same conclusion much as if two scientists do an experiment with the same fixed parameters they will have the same outcome.

Note that is why the Church, in the old code of Canon Law required this:

Quote:ìInstructors in conducting the study of the subjects of ra-
tional philosophy and of theology and in the training of the semi-
narians in these subjects shall follow the Angelic Doctorís method,
doctrine and principles, and steadfastly adhere to them.î
(Canon
1366.2)

So, peer review by theologians and other theologians working on the same question can spot errors in logic, etc., and theological posits can be refined, etc.  And, this doesn't happen over a matter of months, necessarily.  It can take years or centuries because the questions can be that complicated.

Now, even if they follow the same approach and rules, it is certainly possible that some come to a different conclusion as St. Thomas did about ensoulment.  One reason could be an honest mistake in logic or such.  If this is the case, then it would be argued that if St. Thomas were shown his mistake, he would come to the side of the other theologians and so we have a situation that would be unanimous if St. Thomas were alive and found his honest mistake, and being who he was, only someone with an axe to grind would argue St. Thomas would not give up his position.  However, he's not alive, so we have a consensus.

That is one way that consensus and unanimous mean the same thing in this context.  We have a consensus, but we believe that any who disagree, if they were to understand an objective error they made that the majority of theologians see, would change their minds.  So, there is a consensus implying unanimous approval.

And, as was stated elsewhere in this document, we believe that any mistakes a particular theologian makes will be corrected over the long term via consensus because the Schola Theologica is an organ of the Ordinary Magisterium which is infallible.

But there is also a further thing that needs to be considered.  What must there be a unanimous / consensus on?

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

Did St. Thomas defend ensoulment at the quickening as a doctrine of the faith?  No, he did not.  It was a theological posit.  Much like St. Paul's theological posit where he states clearly that this is his opinion and not from God.  St. Thomas doesn't say that quite so clearly, however, he is not on record as arguing that it as a doctrine of the faith.

So the bar is not only that there is a unanimous approval, but unanimous as defending something as a doctrine of the faith.  In that sense, too, it is a consensus because it may be unanimous that it is defended as a doctrine of the faith, but at a lower level of posit there may only be consensus.

And, when it is at a lower level, it is treated as at a lower level of theological certainty, cf. Ott.

Which, as an aside, is why I get cranky at Hahn and some of his statements like feminity of the Holy Ghost.   That is (possibly) fine as a posit and needs to be presented as such in the appropriate arena, which is the arena of the Schola Theologica so any errors are caught and corrected.  The arena of a book for the masses is the wrong place for such a posit, even if he is clear that it is a posit and he is not arguing it as a doctrine.

Even if I have not explained it well, at least do not make the mistake of thinking that it must be held true at all times and everywhere by every theologian to require our assent.   It should be clear on that point that is not what the Church says.

Quote:In addition, by "theologians" we are not just talking about living theologians here, but always in conjunction with he theoogians of history and what they have said regarding whether a doctrine is Catholic or not. If this is the case, it is a key distinction since I understood you to mean living theologians.

I'm not sure why you understood it that way especially since I referred to limbo and the theologians mentioned in the CE article are either dead or over 100 years old.  Be that as it may, it makes no difference if all theologians taking up a particular point are alive, dead, or some of both.

Quote:What Fr. Cekada's article basically says is that the unanimous opinion of theologians (past and present) is important in establishing the ordinary Magisterium which consists of that which Catholics everywhere and always believed. Ok, fair enough.

No, it says they are an organ of the Ordinary Magisterium.  That is why the Pope says to condemn them attacks the Ordinary Magisterium.

Quote:However, I doubt you would agree that if 51% of living theologians said that women can be ordained you'd agree that binds us to a moral certainty.

No, because that conclusion cannot be arrived at using the Scholastic method which is what the Church requires/required.  Also, we have the Extraordinary Magisterium and JP2 condemned that proposition from the Chair of Peter.

Quote: This was my point. That just because living theologians get a consensus and declare something doesn't mean we are bound to believe it to a moral certainty. By your texts it looks like these living theologians are bound to the opinions of previous ones throughout time, establishing the ordinary Magisterium (unless the Vatican trumps them in establishing a clarification I presume).

Yes, the Vatican can trump them via the Extraordinary Magisterium, and even via the Ordinary Magisterium which extends past the School of Theologians.

But here is where I have to insist you are confused and misusing a term.  You are equating "moral certainty" with "moral certitude".  Moral certitude means that we can act (and believing is an act of a type) without fear of culpability.  It does not mean we are correct.

If, in St. Thomas' time, people believed that the ensoulment happened at the quickening because most of the prominent theologians thought so, then they were proceeding with moral certitude and are not held culpable.  That is why St. Thomas has not been stripped of his sainthood or title Angelic Doctor.

As far as "moral certainty" goes, I'm going to have to assume you mean "theological certainty" because I don't know how else to apply it.  In that case, there are degrees of "theological certainty" as show by Ott.

Now, if something is de fide or at a certain level of theological certainty, then, yes, theologians are bound by previous ones.  But, at lower levels of theological certainty, they are not.  Proof of this is the ensoulment question that St. Thomas got wrong.


Quote:Now as to our question, the CE says that one may hold that God saves the damned and not violate any dogma. Then the CE says we should believe He does not because of the teaching of the theologians.

Question. Does this mean I'm bound to hold, to a moral certainty, that God does not free the souls of the damned? If so, that seems to contradict the CE's statement that I can hold the contrary position and not contradict Catholic dogma.


First let's get rid of the possibly misleading and questionable phrase "hold, to a moral certainty" and use the more common phrase "assent to"

1) It depends what level of theological certainty the Church states that belief is at.  If the Church says, like in Denziger for example, "theolgice certa" then, yes, we need to assent to it.  If it says, "sententia pia" then we may not have to. 

With that statement comes a warning:  we are not theologians and should not go spelunking in Denziger unnecessarily.  There are other considerations that may not be apparent to us.  If we need moral clarity such as "Do I need to assent to this teaching?", we go to our Pastor, the Ordinary, or Rome.  We don't become like Protestants and read Denziger like they read the Bible.   If we have an intellectual question, though, then I think it may be OK to read on our own as long as we realize we may err in our conclusions and the Church has the final word.  I know you well enough, Steve, to know that you agree with this sentiment, but I put it here for anyone else reading the thread so they don't get the wrong idea.  This is also why, however, this thread makes me nervous and I jumped ship.

2) Even if we are bound to assent to something, that does not mean what we are bound to assent to is dogma.  We are bound to assent to things other than dogma, and this is explained in Father's paper.  So, if we hold the contrary position, we may not be guilty of heresy (denying dogma) but we may be in a "bad place".  As the Pope said, "opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure"
 
And this goes to what the CE said: "theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted."  What it doesn't say is that if we don't accept them, we may deserve some censure.  But, this is the CE, not the CDF.  And this goes to my fear of armchair theology and discussing stuff in this much detail.  Again, I know you agree, but for anyone else reading, it is crucial that we do not proceed with moral certitude (yes, that phrase again) in our beliefs based on what some jackass with a keyboard said on the internet, or, often worse, our own personal and usually erroneous conclusions.  The CE is not where to get moral certitude from - we get that from our priests, bishops, and the Holy See by asking them when in doubt.

As far as the ITC of the Vatican and limbo go, there is what LaRoza said. 
 
There is also the consideration that a lot of post-V2 theology is not based on scholasticism which makes it worrisome.  And there is the final consideration that unless it is dogma, the Church can correct what it had previously required us to assent to.  This incurs no penalty on our former belief (as long as we change) and it does not go to making the Church disreputable - on the contrary, it is proof of the Magisterium and the Holy Ghost working within the Church that errors are corrected and the actual Truth revealed no matter what mistakes were made before.  It can take centuries, as we see with ensoulment.  So, while I don't think so, it can be that there is some error in the theological posit of limbo and someday, though I hope not, the Church may say, de fide, "Limbo does not exist".  And if it is de fide, we need to assent no matter how distasteful that is.


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#75
StevusMagnus Wrote:Are Kung, Rahner, Schillebecx and Congar to be included in this Schola Theologica?

You need to read Father's paper.  He answers that exact question in his own words.

"Fr. Cekada in his paper" Wrote:D.  *Theologians and Vatican II.* The teachings of theologians were
responsible for the doctrinal errors of Vatican II. Because these theo-
logians erred and we reject their teachings, we are also therefore free
to reject the teaching of earlier theologians if a teaching does not
make senseí to us.

ïResponse: The group of European modernist theologians
primarily responsible for the Vatican II errors were enemies of tra-
ditional scholastic theology and had been censured or silenced by
Church authority: Murray, Schillebeeckx, Congar, de Lubac, Teil-
hard, etc. When the strictures were removed under John XXIII, they
were able to spread their errors freely. If anything, the fact that
they had been previously silenced demonstrates the Church's
vigilance against error in the writings of her theologians.

And this is part of traditional Catholicism.  We want the Scholastic approach to theology because 1) the Church previously demanded it so it's part of tradition, 2) it has proven itself correct over centuries unlike approaches such as "Liberation Theology".

That is not to say we can never take other approaches.  St. Augustine wasn't a scholastic, for example.  But those other approaches have not proven themselves, and they should not contradict the Scholastic approach.

Personally, I like St. Augustine and I love Neo-Platonic theology.  But I love Neo-Platonic theology only as far as it enhances what Scholastic theology says and expands areas of consideration, and where it contradicts, I assume the Scholastic theology is correct and look for the error in the Neo-Platonic premise.

But these jokers threw Scholasticism out the window and used a broken methodology.
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#76
didishroom Wrote:I sure hell wouldn't. But then again, whom am I really to judge?

You don't need to judge.  The Church already censured these bozos.
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#77
Quis,

As a preliminary matter, 7 Holy Cats, for instance does not believe the ordinary Magisterium teaches that ensoulment begins at conception. I've heard that from a conservative Pro-Life priest as well. I'll let him expound that idea.
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#78
"Fr. Cekada in his paper" Wrote:D.  *Theologians and Vatican II.* The teachings of theologians were
responsible for the doctrinal errors of Vatican II. Because these theo-
logians erred and we reject their teachings, we are also therefore free
to reject the teaching of earlier theologians if a teaching does not
make senseí to us.

ïResponse: The group of European modernist theologians
primarily responsible for the Vatican II errors were enemies of tra-
ditional scholastic theology and had been censured or silenced by
Church authority: Murray, Schillebeeckx, Congar, de Lubac, Teil-
hard, etc. When the strictures were removed under John XXIII, they
were able to spread their errors freely. If anything, the fact that
they had been previously silenced demonstrates the Church's
vigilance against error in the writings of her theologians.

But we have a different problem than Fr. Cekada. We have to accept these rehabilitated Modernists as legit "theologians" until the Church says otherwise, so they still have standing as theologians as far as I know.
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#79
StevusMagnus Wrote:
"Fr. Cekada in his paper" Wrote:D.  *Theologians and Vatican II.* The teachings of theologians were
responsible for the doctrinal errors of Vatican II. Because these theo-
logians erred and we reject their teachings, we are also therefore free
to reject the teaching of earlier theologians if a teaching does not
make senseí to us.

ïResponse: The group of European modernist theologians
primarily responsible for the Vatican II errors were enemies of tra-
ditional scholastic theology and had been censured or silenced by
Church authority: Murray, Schillebeeckx, Congar, de Lubac, Teil-
hard, etc. When the strictures were removed under John XXIII, they
were able to spread their errors freely. If anything, the fact that
they had been previously silenced demonstrates the Church's
vigilance against error in the writings of her theologians.

But we have a different problem than Fr. Cekada. We have to accept these rehabilitated Modernists as legit "theologians" until the Church says otherwise, so they still have standing as theologians as far as I know.

You name 5 theologians.  Counting the number of theologians starting with the Apostles, how far to anything approximating a consensus do you think we're going to get?  So, I'm not worried that something screwy will become de fide, especially because the indefectibility of the Magisterium will prevent that at least over the long term.

But, I'm not sure what it is you're worried about.  Is it worry about committing a sin based on what these guys say?  That would only happen with someone who is "theologian shopping" and holds these guys up while ignoring everything else.   And if it is the pastor doing the shopping and giving bad advice to his sheep, the sheep are not culpable (as long as they were not pastor shopping, etc.).

Is it worry about the Church making an erroneous call on what is OK (which can happen for a time while something is a low-level posit, but not de fide)?  Again, sure that happens, but not de fide, and it will be corrected.
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#80
StevusMagnus Wrote:Quis,

As a preliminary matter, 7 Holy Cats, for instance does not believe the ordinary Magisterium teaches that ensoulment begins at conception. I've heard that from a conservative Pro-Life priest as well. I'll let him expound that idea.

Well, 7HolyCats should read Father's paper on BOB/BOD and understand that we have to assent to things that are not dogma.  If that doesn't change his mind, I will try to.

As far as the priest goes, even priests make mistakes, and in this case I think he did.  Like we can't go shopping for pro-birth-control theologians, we can't go shopping for pro-quickening theologians and point to Aquinas.  Aquinas is not the final word on Catholic theology, the Ordinary Magisterium is.  And I think St. Thomas would be all over himself to admit he made a mistake, and then he would be all over that priest trying to convince him of his mistake.

There was not too long ago that a doctor that gave up abortion because St. Thomas, supposedly, appeared to him.  In that vision, St. Thomas showed much grief and suffering over his error.  While I do not know if this vision is authentic or not, I do believe that St. Thomas, when outside of the beatific vision (i.e., if he were sent by God as a messenger) would feel suffering over his error - at least symbolic suffering.  Of course, within the beatific vision, St. Thomas feels nothing but supernatural bliss.

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