Fides manducans intellectum!
#21
(10-23-2012, 09:44 PM)Geremia Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 09:26 PM)Walty Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 06:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: God continues to reveal things to us.

That is the exact opposite of what the Church teaches.  Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.
Yes, I know what you mean, but what about private revelation?

It's private.  It doesn't really matter in regard to these things, especially since it cannot really touch upon public revelation in any way that would contradict or modify it.
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#22


(10-23-2012, 09:26 PM)Walty Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 06:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: God continues to reveal things to us.

That is the exact opposite of what the Church teaches. Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.

I am not talking about Revelation (capital R), as though genuinely new dogmas arise, but a revelation, unveiling, an opening up to greater access. Likened often to organic development, often elciting what I said of a budding flower.

Cath. Ency., Revelation Wrote:Owing to Guenther's erroneous teaching that the doctrines of the faith assume a new sense as human science progresses, the Vatican Council declared once for all that the meaning of the Church's dogmas is immutable (De Fide Cath., cap. iv, can. iii). On the other hand it explicitly recognizes that there is a legitimate mode of development, and cites to that effect (op. cit., cap. iv) the words of Vincent of Lérins: "Let understanding science and wisdom [regarding the Church's doctrine] progress and make large increase in each and in all, in the individual and in the whole Church, as ages and centuries advance: but let it be solely in its own order, retaining, that is, the same dogma, the same sense, the same import" (Commonit. 28). Two of the most eminent theological writers of the period, Cardinal Franzelin and Cardinal Newman, have on very different lines dealt with the progress and nature of this development. Cardinal Franzelin in his "De Divina Traditione et Scriptura" (pt. XXII VI) has principally in view the Hegelian theories of Guenther. He consequently lays the chief stress on the identity at all points of the intellectual datum, and explains development almost exclusively as a process of logical deduction. Cardinal Newman wrote his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine" in the course of the two years (1843 45) immediately preceding his reception into the Catholic Church. He was called on to deal with different adversaries, viz., the Protestants who justified their separation from the main body of Christians on the ground that Rome had corrupted primitive teaching by a series of additions. In that work he examines in detail the difference between a corruption and a development. He shows how a true and fertile idea is endowed with a vital and assimilative energy of its own, in virtue of which, without undergoing the least substantive change, it attains to an ever completer expression, as the course of time brings it into contact with new aspects of truth or forces it into collision with new errors: the life of the idea is shown to be analogous to an organic development. He provides a series of tests distinguishing a true development from a corruption, chief among them being the preservation of type, and the continuity of principles; and then, applying the tests to the case of the additions of Roman teaching, shows that these have the marks not of corruptions but of true and legitimate developments. The theory, though less scholastic in its form than that of Franzelin, is in perfect conformity with orthodox belief. Newman no less than his Jesuit contemporary teaches that the whole doctrine, alike in its later as in its earlier forms, was contained in the original revelation given to the Church by Our Lord and His Apostles, and that its identity is guaranteed to us by the infallible magisterium of the Church. The claim of certain Modernist writers that their views on the evolution of dogma were connected with Newman's theory of development is the merest figment.



(10-23-2012, 09:34 PM)Walty Wrote: You clearly adequately understand that temporality influences our perception of things.  Why you want to keep attributing temporality to God in a round about way is beyond me.  Clearly God has revealed certain things to us.  That revelation ended with the death of the last apostle.  In the time since, we have, via reason and grace, been able to unpack further and further the treasure of what God has revealed to us and all of its logical implications.

It's simple and the above is the only theological view of doctrine that fits with God's immutability and the Church's teaching that God DOES NOT continue to reveal new things to the Church.  Everything works perfectly.  There is no need for vague and troublesome assertions that there is "an unfolding of the divine in time" or that "God continues to reveal things to us."

Because I don't see the process as one sided. God is actively engaged with His people. He didn't stop this with the death of St John. What this means is that everything was there before, but the process of implicit to explicit belief is not just an advance of man, but God actively revealing Himself to us. A seed deposited in the ground has all there within it, but it plays out in time. Meanwhile God is involved with this process the whole time. It isn't on autopilot. All the seeds were lain in the ground in the General Revelation, but He doesn't divorce Himself from the process after. In no circumstances am I saying that God contradicts Himself, or that new dogmas can come out of the blue, or that dogmas evolve to become something different and contradictory. I am asserting that the living God implies living dogmas. Living dogmas are deposited in time, like seeds in the fertile ground of the Church. In time these seeds grow and reach fullness. In this growth and fullness God reveals Himself actively. This is expressly against the view that we are slowly illuminating inanimate objects by a one-sided growth in our knowledge.
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#23
(10-23-2012, 09:57 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: Because I don't see the process as one sided. God is actively engaged with His people. He didn't stop this with the death of St John. What this means is that everything was there before, but the process of implicit to explicit belief is not just an advance of man, but God actively revealing Himself to us. A seed deposited in the ground has all there within it, but it plays out in time. Meanwhile God is involved with this process the whole time. It isn't on autopilot. All the seeds were lain in the ground in the General Revelation, but He doesn't divorce Himself from the process after. In no circumstances am I saying that God contradicts Himself, or that new dogmas can come out of the blue, or that dogmas evolve to become something different and contradictory. I am asserting that the living God implies living dogmas. Living dogmas are deposited in time, like seeds in the fertile ground of the Church. In time these seeds grow and reach fullness. In this growth and fullness God reveals Himself actively. This is expressly against the view that we are slowly illuminating inanimate objects by a one-sided growth in our knowledge.

I think you're confusing several terms and ideas here.  Yes, each of us, via grace, grows in our understanding and nearness to God.  That doesn't mean that God is revealing new things to us, however, but that He is merely giving us the grace to adhere and respond to that which He has already communicated to mankind. 

There is no new information being passed down, either to private individuals or the Church at large.  When we grow closer to God we're merely aligning ourselves more fully with his revelation and acting accordingly.  In that sense, God is a dynamic player in the universe, the Church, etc. but there is no new revelation that we didn't already have.  There is only already existant revelation which we have not yet fully unpacked.
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#24
(10-23-2012, 07:56 PM)Doce Me Wrote: This is certainly contrary to the idea that dogma merely "puts us on the right tracks".

Well, I wouldn't say "merely." But I think the point is that there is a sense in which dogma is essentially negative. When a dogma is defined, it is made clear that opinons contrary to it are untraditional. In this way, dogma "puts us on the right tracks," or prevents us from going off into error and leads us toward the truth. At the same time, I think we can recognize that there is always more to the Faith than just defined dogmas. Jaroslav Pelikan puts it well in describing the theology of St. Maximus:
Quote:Not even the words of the orthodox dogma, for which Maximus contended and suffered all his life, could adequately encompass the mystery of faith. "Theological mystagogy" transcended the dogmas formulated by the councils of the Church. A spirituality shaped by orthodox apophaticism, therefore, was one that gratefully acknowledged those dogmas and was ready to defend them to the death against those who sought to distort them, but that, at the same time, willingly--in fact, worshipfully--acknowledged the limitations that had been placed on all knowledge and all affirmation, be it human or angelic.
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#25
"Pope Pius IX Tuas Libenter" Wrote:But, since it is a matter of that subjection by which in conscience all those Catholics are bound who work in the speculative sciences, in order that they may bring new advantage to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should realize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the foresaid dogmas of the Church, but that 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 conclusions, so certain that opinions opposed to these same forms of doctrine, although they cannot be called heretical, nevertheless deserve some theological censure.” Tuas Libenter (1863), DZ 1684.
(10-23-2012, 01:06 AM)Doce Me Wrote: So opinions accepted by theologians (and even Catholics, over centuries) CAN become truths we must believe under pain of mortal sin, if they are commonly taught; and if they are commonly rejected they can become heresy.
"Geremia " Wrote:But their being commonly taught or rejected is accidental to them.

It is accidental to them - truth is the same whether it is commonly taught or not.  But it is not accidental to our understanding that they are true and accepting them firmly -
I think that is what Pope Pius IX is saying.

Isn't being commonly taught the heart of tradition?

Commonly taught doesn't mean "right now" or "in the last 50 years", but taught through the ages, and consistent with what the Church has defined.   What theologians (shall we say, before Vatican II) are asserting more commonly today is only making explicit what was commonly taught all along.  (Perhaps one such example might be limbo, another baptism of desire).

So your example of the teaching of contraception doesn't really fall under Pope Pius IX's idea of common teaching.

Opinion (what is first seen as an opinion) could become a theological conclusion (what is proven to be a theological conclusion) because of the work of theologians.
Theological "notes" can change (not from "doctrine" downward, but upward, as a result of theological thinking (common thinking, in the right sense of "common"; using the illative process, in Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange's words).
"Geremia" Wrote:From Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, #1-2 are dogmatic, #3-5 are non-dogmatically-defined doctrines, and #5-6 are opinions:
Quote:1. The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact that a truth is contained in Revelation, one’s certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are “de fide definita.”

2. Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

3. A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church.

4. A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions).

5. Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of the free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally.

6. Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.

Only what pertains to faith and morals can be defined as dogma. As Dei Filius (DS 1839-1840) said (my emphasis):
Dei Filius, Vatican I Wrote:we teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church.
"such definitions…are…not from the consent of the Church." As Lamentabili condemned:
Lamentabili Wrote:22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.
Defined dogmas are "not based on any such weak foundation", such as interpretations or opinions, as Humani Generis says.
Humani Generis §16 Wrote:These things are based on principles and notions deduced from a true knowledge of created things. In the process of deducing, this knowledge, like a star, gave enlightenment to the human mind through the Church. Hence it is not astonishing that some of these notions have not only been used by the Oecumenical Councils, but even sanctioned by them, so that it is wrong to depart from them.

(Somewhat repeating myself) To me it seems that Ott's description of doctrine allows for an opinion rising as far as "A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church." because of theologians (protected by the care of the Church).  (Of course what was previously an opinion would no longer be just an opinion)

Defined doctrines of the Church are irreformable.  But I didn't think Newman was saying otherwise.  Granted, he once opposed the definition of infallibility.  But I don't think he rejected the doctrine once it was defined.  (Then, I'm no expert)
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#26
(10-23-2012, 10:10 PM)Walty Wrote: I think you're confusing several terms and ideas here.  Yes, each of us, via grace, grows in our understanding and nearness to God.  That doesn't mean that God is revealing new things to us, however, but that He is merely giving us the grace to adhere and respond to that which He has already communicated to mankind.

There is no new information being passed down, either to private individuals or the Church at large.  When we grow closer to God we're merely aligning ourselves more fully with his revelation and acting accordingly.  In that sense, God is a dynamic player in the universe, the Church, etc. but there is no new revelation that we didn't already have.  There is only already existant revelation which we have not yet fully unpacked.

So God's back home. He lovingly packed our bag, and we're just slowly sifting through it? Or is He next to us helping us unpack? "No, move that over. There!" Or rather are we unpacking Him? How divorced from this process is the living God who is "over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6)?
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#27
The faith once delivered to the saints and the Apostles, and passed down to us in the holy scriptures as Irenaeus said, must be the same then and now.

New information being "unveiled" as supposedly revealed dogmas under the pretext of a living tradition, or a living magisterium who can be infallibly guided by the Holy Ghost in discerning these obscure truths that are being handed down orally for more than two thousand years now, eventually negates the very concept of divine revelation having ended with the death of St. John the Evangelist. After all, there is really no point where you can confidently say that the deposit of faith has fixed and discernible boundaries: there can be, and probably there still are, many dogmas floating around in the midst of ecclesiastical tradition that we already believe "implicitly" and that are just waiting to be found and defined.
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#28
(10-23-2012, 10:38 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 10:10 PM)Walty Wrote: I think you're confusing several terms and ideas here.  Yes, each of us, via grace, grows in our understanding and nearness to God.  That doesn't mean that God is revealing new things to us, however, but that He is merely giving us the grace to adhere and respond to that which He has already communicated to mankind.

There is no new information being passed down, either to private individuals or the Church at large.  When we grow closer to God we're merely aligning ourselves more fully with his revelation and acting accordingly.  In that sense, God is a dynamic player in the universe, the Church, etc. but there is no new revelation that we didn't already have.  There is only already existant revelation which we have not yet fully unpacked.

So God's back home. He lovingly packed our bag, and we're just slowly sifting through it? Or is He next to us helping us unpack? "No, move that over. There!" Or rather are we unpacking Him? How divorced from this process is the living God who is "over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6)?

It is Him that we are unpacking and we can only do it via His active grace, but that doesn't mean that he's revealing more content to us than we had, say, 1,000 years ago.  The fact that the content of revelation ended with the last Apostle is de fide teaching and it sounds like you have no argumentation against it (how could you?) other than that it doesn't tickle your fancy as much as this dynamic, "budding" God does.

I cannot emphasize enough how dangerous this idea is.  And it's not necessary.  God remains dynamic, actively moving in our lives and the life of the Church.  That doesn't require the breadth of revelation to increase.
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#29
Walty, sorry, my posts get behind the latest posters'...

(10-23-2012, 10:38 PM)Scriptorium Wrote:
(10-23-2012, 10:10 PM)Walty Wrote: I think you're confusing several terms and ideas here.  Yes, each of us, via grace, grows in our understanding and nearness to God.  That doesn't mean that God is revealing new things to us, however, but that He is merely giving us the grace to adhere and respond to that which He has already communicated to mankind.

There is no new information being passed down, either to private individuals or the Church at large.  When we grow closer to God we're merely aligning ourselves more fully with his revelation and acting accordingly.  In that sense, God is a dynamic player in the universe, the Church, etc. but there is no new revelation that we didn't already have.  There is only already existant revelation which we have not yet fully unpacked.

So God's back home. He lovingly packed our bag, and we're just slowly sifting through it? Or is He next to us helping us unpack? "No, move that over. There!" Or rather are we unpacking Him? How divorced from this process is the living God who is "over all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:6)?
"Pope Pius X, Syllabus of Errors" Wrote:[Condemned]

21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.

God acts in creation, acts in the history of the world, in the Incarnation of His Son, and in His passion and death.  He acts in our lives, in the Church, in the understanding and explanation of what the Church has revealed.  He is not "divorced" from any of these.  That doesn't mean revelation is not complete, any more than it means that Christ did not die. He died and He lives.  Revelation is complete, but the Church continues to preserve and interpret the deposit of faith that is under Her care.
"Pope Pius XII Humani Generis" Wrote:[..] the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation.

Note that the teaching authority is indeed living, but this does not mean new revelations, but explanations/interpretation of the revelation that ended with the death of the last Apostle.
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#30
THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM
Given by His Holiness St. Pius X September 1, 1910.
To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .

(Emphasis mine)
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