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Offline Augustinus

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The Theologians
« on: November 22, 2017, 12:22:12 AM »
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  • How doe those who deny BoD and BoB understand Tuas Libenter by Pope Pius IX?

    Denzinger- 1684 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 advantages to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should recognize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid 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.

    I would like to know how this is dealt with in spite of the fact that the theologians since St. Thomas generally affirm the reality of BoD. 


    I hope for something a little more substantive than merely ignoring it. Thanks ahead of time! 8)
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline An even Seven

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 07:57:33 AM »
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  • How doe those who deny BoD and BoB understand Tuas Libenter by Pope Pius IX?

    Denzinger- 1684 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 advantages to the Church by their writings, on that account, then, the men of that same convention should recognize that it is not sufficient for learned Catholics to accept and revere the aforesaid 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.

    I would like to know how this is dealt with in spite of the fact that the theologians since St. Thomas generally affirm the reality of BoD.


    I hope for something a little more substantive than merely ignoring it. Thanks ahead of time! 8)
    Prevailing theological opinion of a certain period of time, does not constitute "theological truths and conclusions". Here is a portion of the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on Limbo. Notice how some even thought it was de fide and Catholic Doctrine.


    Quote
    Besides the professed advocates of Augustinianism, the principal theologians who belonged to the first party were Bellarmine, Petavius, and Bossuet, and the chief ground of their opposition to the previously prevalent Scholastic view was that its acceptance seemed to compromise the very principle of the authority of tradition. As students of history, they felt bound to admit that, in excluding unbaptized children from any place or state even of natural happiness and condemning them to the fire of Hell, St. Augustine, the Council of Carthage, and later African Fathers, like Fulgentius (De fide ad Petrum, 27), intended to teach no mere private opinion, but a doctrine of Catholic Faith; nor could they be satisfied with what Scholastics, like St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, said in reply to this difficulty, namely that St. Augustine had simply been guilty of exaggeration ("respondit Bonaventura dicens quod Augustinus excessive loquitur de illis poenis, sicut frequenter faciunt sancti" —Scots, In Sent., II, xxxiii, 2). Neither could they accept the explanation which even some modern theologians continue to repeat: that the Pelagian doctrine condemned by St. Augustine as a heresy (see e.g., On the Soul and its Origin II.17) consisted in claiming supernatural, as opposed to natural, happiness for those dying in original sin (see Bellarmine, De amiss. gratiae, vi, 1; Petavius, De Deo, IX, xi; De Rubeis, De Peccat. Orig., xxx, lxxii). Moreover, there was the teaching of the Council of Florence, that "the souls of those dying in actual mortal sin or in original sin alone go down at once (mox) into Hell, to be punished, however, with widely different penalties."
    It is clear that Bellarmine found the situation embarrassing, being unwilling, as he was, to admit that St. Thomas and the Schoolmen generally were in conflict with what St. Augustine and other Fathers considered to be de fide, and what the Council of Florence seemed to have taught definitively. Hence he names Catharinus and some others as revivers of the Pelagian error, as though their teaching differed in substance from the general teaching of the School, and tries in a milder way to refute what he concedes to be the view of St. Thomas (op. cit., vi-vii). He himself adopts a view which is substantially that of Abelard mentioned above; but he is obliged to do violence to the text of St. Augustine and other Fathers in his attempt to explain them in conformity with this view, and to contradict the principle he elsewhere insists upon that "original sin does not destroy the natural but only the supernatural order." (op. cit., iv).
    There is no difference between an intoxicated man and one full of his own opinion, and one is no more capable of reasoning than the other.----St. Francis de Sales


    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 10:31:48 AM »
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  • So all the theologians who say to
    Deny BoD is a mortal sin, you get around this...how?
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline An even Seven

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 10:46:38 AM »
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  • So all the theologians who say to
    Deny BoD is a mortal sin, you get around this...how?
    Good question. I open the Canon and Decrees of the Council of Trent and I read this: "CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema."
    The threat of anathema by a Council of the Church infinitely outweighs the threat of anathema by theologians. Wouldn't you agree? 
    There is no difference between an intoxicated man and one full of his own opinion, and one is no more capable of reasoning than the other.----St. Francis de Sales

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 10:49:52 AM »
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  • So all the theologians who say to
    Deny BoD is a mortal sin, you get around this...how?

    By saying that they're wrong .. that they get the theological note wrong.  St. Augustine's teaching on the fate of unbaptized infants was held unanimously and unchallenged for about 700 years before being overturned by the Church [read the citation from "An even Seven"].  Widespread theological consensus on a speculative theological matter is not the same as the universal teaching of the Church.  According to Vatican I's definition of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium, this comes into play when the Church unanimously teaches that something has been "divinely revealed".  Only one or two theologians even hold that BoD is de fide ... and this stems from St. Alphonsus' exaggeration regarding the authority of a private letter written by a pope.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 11:10:06 AM »
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  • Everyone should read that article on Limbo in The Catholic Encyclopedia:

    Quote
    Besides the professed advocates of Augustinianism, the principal theologians who belonged to the first party were BellarminePetavius, and Bossuet, and the chief ground of their opposition to the previously prevalent Scholastic view was that its acceptance seemed to compromise the very principle of the authority of tradition. As students of history, they felt bound to admit that, in excluding unbaptized children from any place or state even of natural happiness and condemning them to the fire of HellSt. Augustine, the Council of Carthage, and later African Fathers, like Fulgentius (De fide ad Petrum, 27), intended to teach no mere private opinion, but a doctrine of Catholic Faith; nor could they be satisfied with what Scholastics, like St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, said in reply to this difficulty, namely that St. Augustine had simply been guilty of exaggeration ("respondit Bonaventura dicens quod Augustinus excessive loquitur de illis poenis, sicut frequenter faciunt sancti" — Scots, In Sent., II, xxxiii, 2).
    ...
    As to the difficulties against this view which possessed such weight in the eyes of the eminent theologians we have mentioned, it is to be observed:

    Modern theologians make the same mistake that Bellarmine et al. did ... thinking wrongly that the speculative theology on BoD "intended to teach no mere private opinion, but a doctrine of Catholic faith".

    AND ... the Council of Florence definition is easily reconcilable.  Limbo is in fact, strictly speaking, part of hell ... and the "widely different penalties" does not rule out that some could receive no such penalties whatsoever. 

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 11:38:42 AM »
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  • I think it's significant what Fr. Fenton writes in his article on the weight of the theological manuals:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/Manuals.htm


    "What seems to displease Father Baum is the fact that the unanimous teaching of the scholastic theologians in any area relating to faith or morals is the teaching of the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church. The manuals, like those to which we have referred, are books actually used in the instruction of candidates for the priesthood. They are written by men who actually teach in the Church's own approved schools, under the direction of the Catholic hierarchy, and ultimately, through the activity of the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, under the direction of the Sovereign Pontiff himself. The common or morally unanimous teaching of the manuals in this field is definitely a part of Catholic doctrine.
    It is quite obvious that the individual opinions of individual authors do not constitute Catholic doctrine, and could not be set forth as such. But there is a fund of common teaching (like that which tells us that there are truths which the Church proposes to us as revealed by God, and which are not contained in any way within the inspired books of Holy Scripture), which is the unanimous doctrine of the manuals, and which is the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The unanimous teaching of the scholastic theologians has always been recognized as a norm of Catholic doctrine. It is unfortunate that today there should be some attempt to mislead people into imagining that it has ceased to be such a norm in the twentieth century."
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #7 on: November 22, 2017, 12:07:14 PM »
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  • I think it's significant what Fr. Fenton writes in his article on the weight of the theological manuals:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/Manuals.htm


    "What seems to displease Father Baum is the fact that the unanimous teaching of the scholastic theologians in any area relating to faith or morals is the teaching of the ordinary and universal magisterium of the Church. The manuals, like those to which we have referred, are books actually used in the instruction of candidates for the priesthood. They are written by men who actually teach in the Church's own approved schools, under the direction of the Catholic hierarchy, and ultimately, through the activity of the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities, under the direction of the Sovereign Pontiff himself. The common or morally unanimous teaching of the manuals in this field is definitely a part of Catholic doctrine.
    It is quite obvious that the individual opinions of individual authors do not constitute Catholic doctrine, and could not be set forth as such. But there is a fund of common teaching (like that which tells us that there are truths which the Church proposes to us as revealed by God, and which are not contained in any way within the inspired books of Holy Scripture), which is the unanimous doctrine of the manuals, and which is the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The unanimous teaching of the scholastic theologians has always been recognized as a norm of Catholic doctrine. It is unfortunate that today there should be some attempt to mislead people into imagining that it has ceased to be such a norm in the twentieth century."

    Of course YOU think it's "significant" ... because you imagine that it backs your support of BoD.  Yeah, that's what Bellarmine thought too about the Augustinian problem cited above (did you even bother reading it?).  It's also significant that this "Father Baum" also disagrees with Fenton's hyperbole.  Theologians are not part of the Ecclesia Docens and enjoy only the same infallibility as the Ecclesia Credens.  Indeed the Ecclesia Credens cannot defect when it comes to dogmatic truth, but there's nothing to prevent an erroneous opinion from becoming widespread.

    So, do you accept the teachings of Vatican II?  In that case, it was the bishops of the world -- who actually ARE the Ecclesia Docens -- who taught Vatican II to the Church.    So those things taught by the Ecclesia Docens to the Church in Ecumenical Council can be rejected by you as not being part of Catholic doctrine while the theology manuals must be accepted as such?


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #8 on: November 22, 2017, 12:11:30 PM »
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  • I think it's significant what Fr. Fenton writes in his article on the weight of the theological manuals:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/Manuals.htm


    "The unanimous teaching of the scholastic theologians has always been recognized as a norm of Catholic doctrine."

    So the non-scholastic theologians don't count?  Their authority comes from scholasticism?

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #9 on: November 22, 2017, 01:27:25 PM »
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  • That’s an issue I am thinking about, because Clearly there is an implied rift between the Fathers ending with St. Bernard and the Scholastics Beginning with Hugh and Richard of St. Victor. If this were consistent, then we would have to say that at some point the scholastics themselves seem to be the radical freethinking innovators in their deviations from St. Augustine and the Augustinian fathers.

    Interestingly enough Cardinal Ratzinger seemed to suggest this when he wrote an entire document on the duties of the Theologian and says the consensus of bishops are to be understood in a “diachronic” (“Throughout Time”) sense and not merely “Synchronic” (Simultaneous at a given moment). This really puts tradition back in the driver seat. BUT then how are we to understand the claim that a unanimous consensus of the scholastics is at least infallibly safe and certain? I assume it would be more nuanced than flat out vulgar rejection.
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #10 on: November 22, 2017, 03:56:15 PM »
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  • That’s an issue I am thinking about, because Clearly there is an implied rift between the Fathers ending with St. Bernard and the Scholastics Beginning with Hugh and Richard of St. Victor. If this were consistent, then we would have to say that at some point the scholastics themselves seem to be the radical freethinking innovators in their deviations from St. Augustine and the Augustinian fathers.

    Interestingly enough Cardinal Ratzinger seemed to suggest this when he wrote an entire document on the duties of the Theologian and says the consensus of bishops are to be understood in a “diachronic” (“Throughout Time”) sense and not merely “Synchronic” (Simultaneous at a given moment). This really puts tradition back in the driver seat. BUT then how are we to understand the claim that a unanimous consensus of the scholastics is at least infallibly safe and certain? I assume it would be more nuanced than flat out vulgar rejection.

    I'll answer more later, but theological "safety" is not the same as some lower degree of certainty.  Safety simply means that one would not do harm to their faith by following a unanimous opinion of theirs.  And I agree that BoD is not INTRINSICALLY harmful to the faith.  Now ... its modern-day application with the implicit BoD and even implicit faith, well that's another thing altogether.


    Offline tornpage

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 04:17:35 PM »
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  • A contradiction between the view of St. Augustine as to the fate of unbaptized infants and that of St. Thomas and those who asserted a Limbo of "natural happiness" seems to depend on the correction translation of the Council of Constance Canon 3. 

    Here's St. Augustine's view according to the CE and Wikipedia (which quotes the same section of "Of Sin and Merit" referred to in the CE): 


    Quote
    In his earlier writings St. Augustine himself agrees with the common tradition. Thus in De libero arbitrio III, written several years before the Pelagiancontroversy, discussing the fate of unbaptized infants after death, he writes: "It is superfluous to inquire about the merits of one who has not any merits. For one need not hesitate to hold that life may be neutral as between good conduct and sin, and that as between reward and punishment there may be a neutral sentence of the judge." But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had already abandoned the lenient traditional view, and in the course of the controversy he himself condemned, and persuaded the Council of Carthage (4to condemn, the substantially identical Pelagian teaching affirming the existence of "an intermediate place, or of any place anywhere at all (ullus alicubi locus), in which children who pass out of this life unbaptized live in happiness" (Denzinger 102). This means that St. Augustine and the African Fathers believed that unbaptized infants share in the common positive misery of the damned, and the very most that St. Augustine concedes is that their punishment is the mildest of all, so mild indeed that one may not say that for them non-existence would be preferable to existence in such a state (Of Sin and Merit I.21Contra Jul. V, 44; etc.). But this Augustinian teaching was an innovation in its day, and the history of subsequent Catholic speculation on this subject is taken up chiefly with the reaction which has ended in a return to the pre-Augustinian tradition.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm

    In countering Pelagius, who denied original sin, Saint Augustine of Hippo was led to state that because of original sin, "such infants as quit the body without being baptized will be involved in the mildest condemnation of all. That person, therefore, greatly deceives both himself and others, who teaches that they will not be involved in condemnation; whereas the apostle says: 'Judgment from one offence to condemnation' (Romans 5:16), and again a little after: 'By the offence of one upon all persons to condemnation' (Romans 5:18)."[13]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo

    You get a different translation of that Canon of Carthage in my Denzinger's (1954): "some middle place or some place anywhere where the blessed infants live who departed from this life without baptism, without which they cannot enter the kingdom of heaven . . . " The "live in happiness" language doesn't appear in my Denzinger. 

    Pope Innocent III said, "The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vision of God . . ." (Denzinger 410). 

    There is no essential contradiction between St. Augustine's "condemnation" and Pope Innocent III's "punishment." And both are compatible with Limbo as a deprivation of the beatific vision. 

    Only if you read Carthage as condemning the proposition that the infants "live in happiness" can you find there to be a tension between it and Limbo, but even then Carthage was condemning the ides of a "middle place," or someplace other than heaven or hell. 

    But evidently St. Robert Bellarmine saw such a tension between Limbo on one side and St. Augustine and Cathage on the other. I don't necessarily see it. 
    "[L]et us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is 'one God, one faith, one baptism' [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

    Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadem

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #12 on: November 22, 2017, 05:17:06 PM »
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  • A contradiction between the view of St. Augustine as to the fate of unbaptized infants and that of St. Thomas and those who asserted a Limbo of "natural happiness" seems to depend on the correction translation of the Council of Constance Canon 3.

    No, that's simply not true.  Bellarmine and the scholastics were all keenly aware of the contradiction and there were two competing schools of thought on this matter as a result.  Read the CE article.  Either that or Bellarmine and St. Thomas were just idiots who didn't understand St. Augustine properly.

    Offline tornpage

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 06:04:26 PM »
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  • No, that's simply not true.  Bellarmine and the scholastics were all keenly aware of the contradiction and there were two competing schools of thought on this matter as a result.  Read the CE article.  Either that or Bellarmine and St. Thomas were just idiots who didn't understand St. Augustine properly.
    Laudislaus,

    Yeah, I had that thought myself - "if Bellarmine and St. Thomas thought there was a problem there . . . "

    Look at it simply as my wanting to see the original sources of the problem. For example, I don't see anything in what both the CE and wikipedia quoted as representative of St. Augustine's opinion - he merely speaks of "condemnation" in that quote, and doesn't talk about fires of hell or suffering, just "mildest condemnation." As I noted, Pope Innocent III called denial of heaven, by itself, a "punishment," which is compatible with "condemnation." 

    Perhaps St. Augustine had more to say and elaborated; I don't know and maybe someone who does can provide it. 

    Likewise, the quote from the Council of Carthage, in my Denzinger translation, doesn't talk about suffering or doesn't even have the language of "live in happiness" in the condemned proposition. 

    Certainly I bow to the knowledge of St. Robert and St. Thomas, and suspect there's more there or I'm missing something. But simply from what I've seen, I don't see the huge problem.  

    "[L]et us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is 'one God, one faith, one baptism' [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry."

    Pope Pius IX, Singulari quadem

    Offline Augustinus

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    Re: The Theologians
    « Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 06:32:59 PM »
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  • From “A Manual of Catholic Theology” 1906

    http://www.strobertbellarmine.net/wilhelm_scannell_04.html

    “The consent of Theologians produces certainty that a doctrine is Catholic truth only when on the one hand the doctrine is proposed as absolutely certain, and on the other and the consent is universal and constant (Consensus universalis et constans non solurn opinionis sed firmae et ratae sententiae). If all agree that a particular doctrine is a Catholic dogma and that to deny it is heresy, then that doctrine is certainly a dogma. If they agree that a doctrine cannot be denied without injuring Catholic truth, and that such denial is deserving of censure, this again is a sure proof that the doctrine is in some way a Catholic doctrine. If, again, they agree in declaring that a doctrine is sufficiently certain and demonstrated, their consent is not indeed a formal proof of the Catholic character of the doctrine, nevertheless the existence of the consent shows that the doctrine belongs to the mind of the Church (catholicus intellectus), and that consequently its denial would incur the censure of rashness.

    Again, we are called upon to adhere to the unanimous consensus of theologians in regard to their theological notes.

    We don’t have the right to be rash in denying what the theologians say is certain. It’s a mortal sin. You have to work around this positively to be without mortal sin.
    The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be!
    -St. Alphonsus Liguori. (The Holy Eucharist, 494)

     

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