The Growth of Catholic Doctrine
#1
This topic is particularly apropos given the recent discussions occurring between the Vatican and the SSPX.

The problem I see with a lot of Trads in their complete rejection of V2 seems to be that they believe that the deposit of faith Christ entrusted to His Church remains forever static and that there can never be any growth in her understanding of doctrine.  While it is true what God has divinely revealed remains unchangeable for all time, the Church's comprehension of these divinely revealed truths can and has grown and developed over time and become more clear.  I get the impression that many Trads are stuck in the last century and that for them the development of Christian doctrine came to a complete halt with V1.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that I agree with all that has happened in the last 46 years or that serious theological misrepresentations and abuses haven't happened because they clearly have and have proved to be detrimental to the faith.  I'm trying to say that I think it's a mistake to reject V2 outright.

I believe that the intentions of the Council Fathers of V2  and what they had hoped to achieve were essentially very good. Stated simply, they wanted greater participation from the laity. They recognized that each member starting with the pope and hierarchy down to the humblest member of the Church has been given unique talents and gifts by God to be used in the building up the entire Body of Christ. The concept was that we are all members of the royal priesthood and each of us have a duty and obligation to do our part in the work of evangelizing to world . Unfortunately the enemies of God and His Church took full advantage of this and succeeded in derailing their intentions.

I'm posting an article by Fr. John Hardon, S.J on this subject which is included in his Catechism.  I highly recommend his Catechism because it addresses far better than the Baltimore and Trent Catechisms many of the problems and concerns man has to grapple with in the modern world.  IMHO it certainly is an improvement over that big honking green one put out by JPII.

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/...ma_039.htm

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#2
I do not believe that other trads think doctrine cannot increase or that what was once believed implicitly cannot later be believed explicitly.  The Fathers (St. Augustine), Doctors (St. Thomas) and pre-Vatican II theology manuals (Tanquerey) all made mention of an increase in the articles of the Faith.  What trads object to is the contradiction of doctrines under the guise of "development."  For example, many trads see a contradiction between Dignitatis Humanae and the teaching of the 19th century Pontiffs with regards to religious liberty.

At Vatican II, the Council Fathers adopted a theology which had been twice condemned by Pope Pius XII (see Humani Generis), and it replaced what was then simply known as Catholic theology - Scholasticism.  Then-Fr. Ratzinger was certainly one of the men who disliked the crystal-clear logic of St. Thomas.  The rejection of Scholasticism and simultaneous adoption of the "nouvelle theologie" is directly responsible for the ambiguous and verbose documents of Vatican II.  Doing away with the Church's theological terminology allowed certain Fathers (including Ratzinger) to paint Protestants and their heretical sects in a positive, salvation-  and grace-bestowing manner.

There's much more that could be said about what happened before and during Vatican II, but this is a good start.
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#3
(09-16-2011, 10:44 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: At Vatican II, the Council Fathers adopted a theology which had been twice condemned by Pope Pius XII (see Humani Generis), and it replaced what was then simply known as Catholic theology - Scholasticism.  Then-Fr. Ratzinger was certainly one of the men who disliked the crystal-clear logic of St. Thomas.  The rejection of Scholasticism and simultaneous adoption of the "nouvelle theologie" is directly responsible for the ambiguous and verbose documents of Vatican II.  Doing away with the Church's theological terminology allowed certain Fathers (including Ratzinger) to paint Protestants and their heretical sects in a positive, salvation-  and grace-bestowing manner.

The situation is a bit more complicated than you make it out to be. Theologians like Balthasar and Lubac quote St. Thomas quite a bit in their works. What they objected to was not so much St. Thomas himself, as what they believed to be neo-scholasticism's incorrect interpretation of Thomas. In their view, neo-scholasticism was based on a misreading of St. Thomas going back to Cajetan and Suarez. Furthermore, they argued that the neo-scholastics were reading St. Thomas in light of modern philosophers such as Wolff and Kant instead of in his own historical and theological context. I'm not necessarily agreeing with this view, but it's not as simple as the nouvelle theologie just "disliking" St. Thomas.
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#4
(09-16-2011, 06:12 PM)Lion of St. Jarlaths Wrote: I get the impression that many Trads are stuck in the last century and that for them the development of Christian doctrine came to a complete halt with V1.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that I agree with all that has happened in the last 46 years or that serious theological misrepresentations and abuses haven't happened because they clearly have and have proved to be detrimental to the faith.   I'm trying to say that I think it's a mistake to reject V2 outright.

It isn't a matter of being "stuck." It's like we took a wrong turn and hit a dead-end. Traditional Catholics want to put the car in reverse and go back to where we made the wrong turn so we can keep going forward and recover lost ground. Those who are desperate to save the council want to keep banging their head against the wall, hoping it will move one day. Nobody's more stuck than the person who stubbornly refuses to admit he's hit a dead end.

There's really just no point to Vatican II anymore, whatever the Quixotic motivations behind it were (as if there was a point to it in the first place). Even trying to interpret it in the light of Tradition is pointless. It was a strange thing--a "pastoral" council, where bishops ended up setting down ambiguously-termed opinions meant for the 60's generation. Even worse, there are passages which insinuate heresy, and others that directly contradict Church teaching, like the documents on marriage and ecumenism. The bad documents, together with the bad clergy (dizzily "razing the bastions of the Church") have caused this Great Apostasy we're living through. Judge it by its fruits. The fruits are evil, so why hold on to the tree? Dig it out and burn it.
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#5
Your post title is "The Growth of Catholic Doctrine."

Authentic "development of doctrine" does not contradict previously-defined doctrine. It expands it, explains it, focuses it, etc. It doesn't distort it, obscure it, or change it to mean something different from what it has always meant. True development is like seeing the Earth from space, then zooming into your neighborhood and seeing the streets and the car-tops.
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#6
Vincent Lerins most properly summarized the right view of progress of doctrine. Plain and simple, doctrine must progress with the onset of novelty, as a reaffirmation of ancient teachings. However, it would be novelty in itself, if the progress of doctrine were from one thing into some different thing.

The example used my Lerins, is the growth of plants: The seeds planted by the Lord and the Fathers, must be nourished by us, so that the plant may grow into the seed that was sown. If we raise up a different plant, contradicting the Fathers, than we have become ourselves heretics.

That is what the 'Deformers' like Luther and Calvin did; they sacked the Traditions in favor of their own warped interpretation, which was minutely or vastly different than what the Fathers first taught.
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#7
(09-17-2011, 03:19 PM)charlesh Wrote: There's really just no point to Vatican II anymore, whatever the Quixotic motivations behind it were (as if there was a point to it in the first place). Even trying to interpret it in the light of Tradition is pointless. It was a strange thing--a "pastoral" council, where bishops ended up setting down ambiguously-termed opinions meant for the 60's generation. Even worse, there are passages which insinuate heresy, and others that directly contradict Church teaching, like the documents on marriage and ecumenism. The bad documents, together with the bad clergy (dizzily "razing the bastions of the Church") have caused this Great Apostasy we're living through. Judge it by its fruits. The fruits are evil, so why hold on to the tree? Dig it out and burn it.

This.

Interesting as well, how the pastoral council caused such great desecration of the flocks to whom the bishops were charged.

Woe to those who caused the apostasy, whether by malice, arrogance or blindness! Rightly it is said, that "The way to hell is paved with Bishops skulls"
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