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Traditional Catholic Faith => Crisis in the Church => Topic started by: Last Tradhican on August 02, 2016, 09:15:46 AM

Title: Dogma at the Service of Man
Post by: Last Tradhican on August 02, 2016, 09:15:46 AM
The article below will explain to all, the foundations, the pillars of the of Vatican II ecclesiology, the mindset, the "doctrinal" position (that was/is also was held by Fr. Fenton, Abp. Lefebvre, Bp. Fellay and all SSPX trained priests) that dogma is not a definitive expression of our Faith, a formal object of Divine and Catholic Faith, but rather a human expression open to endless theological refinement (Thus practically every trad group has unknowingly  undermined any possibility of opposing the new Ecumenical Ecclesiology).

In other words once one thinks that dogma is not the final definitive teaching, but must be interpreted by others, then they have opened the door to having to tolerate all interpretations, (in the case for instance of say EENS, all interpretations from the dogma on EENS as it is written, all the way to the teachings of Vatican II. Any dogma refiner that wants to limit everyone's belief to whatever he deems is the correct interpretation (on ecumenism, religious freedom, salvation of non- Catholics),  is just engaging in wishful thinking.

I have bolded some parts at the beginning for easier reading for those that do not have the time to read it all. Others can highlight other parts they see further down.

Catholic New World
Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago
May 9, 2016
http://www.catholicnewworld.com/rausch

Doctrine at the service of the pastoral mission of the Church
By Thomas P. Rausch, S.J.
T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University
This article originally appeared in the May 14, 2016, edition of La Civiltà Cattolica (www.laciviltacattolica.it).

In the fifth century, St. Vincent of Lèrins posed a question: “Is there to be no development of religion in the Church of Christ?” Today we could translate the question as: How can one preserve and transmit the precious deposit of the faith over time? In what sense can one speak of “the development of doctrine”?

Can there be a progress of religion in the Church of Christ?

Vincent of Lèrins answered as follows:
Certainly there is to be development and on the largest scale. Who can be so grudging to men, so full of hate for God, as to try to prevent it? But it must truly be development of the faith, not alteration of the faith. Development means that each thing expands to be itself, while alteration means that a thing is changed from one thing into another. The understanding, knowledge and wisdom of one and all, of individuals as well as of the whole Church, ought then to make great and vigorous progress with the passing of the ages and the centuries, but only along its own line of development, that is, with the same doctrine, the same meaning and the same import.

To explain his thought, St. Vincent of Lèrins uses an image unique to biology: The religion of souls should follow the law of development of bodies. Though bodies develop and unfold their component parts with the passing of the years, they always remain what they were. There is a great difference between the flower of childhood and the maturity of age, but those who become old are the very same people who were once young. Though the condition and appearance of one and the same individual may change, it is one and the same nature, one and the same person. Whatever develops at a later age was already present in seminal form; there is nothing new in old age that was not already latent in childhood. There is no doubt, then, that the legitimate and correct rule of development, the established and wonderful order of growth, is this: in older people the fullness of years always brings to completion those members and forms that the wisdom of the Creator fashioned beforehand in their earlier years.“In the same way,” Vincent of Lèrins concludes, “the doctrine of the Christian religion should properly follow these laws of development, that is, by becoming firmer over the years, more ample in the course of time, more exalted as it advances in age.” [1]

In Fr. Antonio Spadaro’s interview with Pope Francis for La Civiltà Cattolica, the Pope acknowledged that he often meditates on this passage and noted:
St. Vincent of Lèrins makes a comparison between the biological development of man and the transmission from one era to another of the depositum fidei [deposit of faith], which grows and is strengthened with time. Here, human self-understanding changes with time and, so too is human consciousness deepened. In this regard we could think of the time when slavery was considered acceptable, or the death penalty was applied without question. So, too, this is how we grow in the understanding of the truth. Exegetes and theologians help the Church to mature in her own judgment. The other sciences and their development also help the Church in its growth in understanding. There are secondary ecclesiastical rules and precepts that at one time were effective, but now they have lost their value and meaning. The view that the Church’s teaching is a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.[2]

Beginning from the historic nature of the Church

Vatican II’s Dei Verbum (DV) highlighted the historic nature of the Church. It recognized that in the understanding of the tradition growth occurs when it is handed down according to the way in which the faithful contemplate the mysteries of the faith and treasure it in their hearts, advancing towards the fullness of divine truth:
This Tradition which comes from the Apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which had been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by the believers, who treasure these things in their heart (cfr Lk 2: 19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her (DV 8).

This conciliar statement illustrates the augmentative dynamism of the doctrine of the Church in the intellectual understanding of the Tradition, explaining how the historic process of the comprehension of the truth is the result of the action of the various individuals participating in the life of the Church, given that doctrine is built in an historic process of the creative intelligence of the people of God in tradition/transmission (paradosis). It is important here to note the importance given by the Council to the spiritual experience of the faithful. There is a clear indication that doctrine, in its dynamism, is intimately connected with the living history of the Church: in proclamation and in the keeping of the faith just as in spiritual deepening and in theological elaboration.

Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes (GS) has furthermore taught that “the Church guards the heritage of God’s word and draws from it moral and religious principles without always having at hand the solution to particular problems. As such she desires to add the light of revealed truth to mankind’s store of experience so that the path which humanity has taken in recent times will not be a dark one” (GS 33). Revelation is given in history, hence the doctrinal dynamism in the Church. The declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which dates to 1973, has emphasized the “historic condition that has an impact on the expression of Revelation,” wherever it is found, that is, in the Scripture, in the Creed, in dogma and then in the teaching of the magisterium. This means that a reformulation of how the faith is expressed, and in fact of the truth of the doctrine is appropriate, by clarifying it and giving it new expressive form, so that it may be effective in a pastoral context (cfr n. 5).

In this regard, John XXIII’s speech opening the Second Vatican Council remains foundational:
What instead is necessary today is that the whole of Christian doctrine, with no part of it lost, be received in our times by all with a new fervor, in serenity and peace, in that traditional and precise conceptuality and expression which is especially displayed in the acts of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I. As all sincere promoters of Christian, Catholic, and apostolic faith strongly desire, what is needed is that this doctrine be more fully and more profoundly known and that minds be more fully imbued and formed by it. What is needed is that this certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which loyal submission is due, be investigated and presented in the way demanded by our times. For the deposit of faith, the truths contained in our venerable doctrine, are one thing; the fashion in which they are expressed, but with the same meaning and the same judgement, is another thing. This way of speaking will require a great deal of work and, it may be, much patience: types of presentation must be introduced which are more in accord with a teaching authority which is primarily pastoral in character[3].

Therefore, when it comes to the deepening and the restatement of doctrine, we must take into account the vital link between the doctrine and the proclamation (kerygma) at the heart of the gospel. Pope Francis, in the apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium (EG), uses this principle both for the dogmas of the faith and for the moral doctrine of the Church:
All revealed truths derive from the same divine source and are to be believed with the same faith, yet some of them are more important for giving direct expression to the heart of the Gospel. In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead. In this sense, the Second Vatican Council explained, “in Catholic doctrine there exists an order or a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith.” This holds true as much for the dogmas of faith as for the whole corpus of the Church’s teaching, including her moral teaching (EG 36)[4].

There the Pope refers to an important principle affirmed by the Council: a “hierarchy of truths,” according to which expressions of faith or of doctrine vary in relationship to that which is fundamental (cfr Unitatis redintegratio, n. 11)[5]. This principle refers to the “rule of faith” or “rule of truth,” formulated in the second half of the second century in reference to pastoral practice, or rather to the concrete life of the Church, consisting of no fixed formulas on essentials for the Christian faith. This rule intended to set forth a fundamental hierarchy of the contents of the faith, expressing in fact the dynamism experienced by the Church.

In a speech delivered in Florence, on the occasion of the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Church, the Pope clearly traced his pastoral perspective regarding doctrine: “Christian doctrine is not a closed system, incapable of raising questions, doubts, inquiries, but is living, is able to unsettle, is able to enliven. It has a face that is supple, a body that moves and develops, flesh that is tender: Christian doctrine is called Jesus Christ.”[6]

Doctrine and dogma

Another important point in the discourse on the evolution of doctrine is the relationship between doctrine and dogmas. Whoever rejects a dogma places himself or herself outside of the community of faith. But dogmas can be reinterpreted by successive magisterial actions, as happened when Vatican Council II developed and clarified the definition of Vatican Council I regarding that which is commonly called “papal infallibility.” When the Pope speaks ex cathedra in the exercise of his office, he possesses, through divine assistance, infallibility, which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church would benefit from. A careful reading of the decree shows that infallibility is a charism of the Church exercise by the Pope in determined circumstances[7].

Vatican II expanded the definition of Vatican I, by interjecting in their work an inclusion of the bishops in union with the Pope in the exercise of the infallibility of the Church:
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though the dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an Ecumenical Council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with of the submission of faith (LG 25).

Vatican II has equally taught that the faithful also take part in the infallibility of the Church in credendo: “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One (cfr 1 Jn 2: 20-27) cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals” (LG 12).

By applying the Ignatian principle “thinking with the Church,” during his interview with La Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis reaffirms this truth. For him this infallibility in believing concerns the entire Church, the totality of the people of God, “that complex web of relationships that can take place in the human community” into which God enters. “Therefore we must not even think that the understanding of ‘thinking with the Church’ is linked to thinking solely with its hierarchical part.”[8]

In June 2014 the International Theological Commission (ITC) published an important text titled Il “sensus fidei” nella vita della Chiesa (The “sense of the faith” in the life of the Church). The text asserts that the faithful “are not merely passive recipients of what the hierarchy teaches and theologians explain; rather, they are living and active subjects within the Church” (n. 67). They play a role in the development of doctrine, sometimes even when the bishops and theologians are divided on a given question (cfr n. 72), and in the development of the moral teaching of the Church (cfr n. 73).

As a result of this ITC document, “the caricature of an active hierarchy and a passive laity, and in particular the notion of a strict separation between the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) and the learning Church (Ecclesia discens)” must be rejected, because the Council taught that all the baptized participate, according to the way that is proper to them in the three offices of Christ prophet, priest, and king. “In particular, it taught that Christ fulfills his prophetic office not only by means of the hierarchy but also via the laity”.[9]

The official teachings of the Church derive from the Word of God, revealed and incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ. The development of doctrine comes gradually as the Church penetrates the mystery of God more deeply, profiting from the experience of the life of the faithful and from theological reflection, which must deal with different challenges. Because Church teachings are expressed by means of concepts that are the fruit of the times and different cultures, they always have to be interpreted. The rule of faith in its essence does not change, but the expressions of the doctrine and its spontaneous understanding marked by the culture do change, and for this reason the magisterium and the councils must ensure the correct formulation of the faith.

In the field of morals, and therefore of Christian life, the gift of divine grace is lived within a social and cultural reality that changes over time. This is why in pastoral life one must take into account human experience, new information, cultural and historic contexts and the resulting effects on others.

At this point, it is important not to rely on overly abstract statements but to give some examples that make this point. Obviously some of these cases would merit a longer, more detailed treatment that is not possible in the short space of an introductory article. Moreover, there are classic cases that reveal a development of doctrine—at times a profound development—in the way that we have seen above. Furthermore, most theologians today would agree that Vatican II resulted in a profound evolution of questions like religious freedom and salvation outside of the Church.

Religious freedom

According to John Courtney Murray, the Declaration Dignitatis humanae (DH) on religious freedom was “the most controversial document of the entire Council, above all because it raised with sharp emphasis the question that continually underlies all the conciliar debates, that of the development of doctrine”[10].

In the 1832 encyclical Mirari vos, Pope Gregory XVI defined the “absurd and erroneous judgment, or rather delusion, that one has to admit and guarantee to everyone freedom of conscience” (n. 14). The Sillabo of Pius IX (1864) included religious freedom among the  “errors,” as well as separation between Church and state. Leo XIII applied that teaching of Pius IX more systematically in his encyclical Libertas praestantissimum (1888), in which he denied that religious freedom is an objective human right, although he admitted one could tolerate it for the common good[11].

Pius IX, in the encyclical Qui pluribus (1846), refuting many ideas of liberalism, writes “of that system that is repugnant to the light of reason itself, that is indifference to Religion, with which they, removed from any distinction between virtue and vice, between truth and error, between honesty and turpitude, teaching that whatever religion is equally good to achieve eternal salvation, as if between justice and passions, between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial there could ever be agreement and commonality.”

One would commit an error of historic proportions in considering Gregory XVI’s or Pius IX’s concept of “religious freedom” as identical to what we consider valid today. In the 19th century religious freedom was understood as an act of the intellect, that one has the right to arbitrarily ignore the truth, while in the 20th century it is understood as an act of the will, of free choice. However, it remains true that with Vatican II there was a significant breakthrough in understanding that the act of faith had to be a personal act. Teaching that the person had a right to religious freedom (cfr. Dignitatis humanae, n. 2), Vatican II has provided a clear evolution to what theologians, bishops and popes have taught previously. Evolutions in doctrine come about by the fidelity to the principles that they express an enduring aspect, setting aside that which Benedict XVI—in his discourse of Christmas greetings to the Curia in 2005—had defined as “superfluous and erroneous contradictions.” On that occasion he spoke also of “de facto” discontinuity, recognizing precisely that “a discontinuity was in fact manifested” on the topic of religious freedom while, at the same time, being in a “continuity in the principles”[12]

Salvation outside of the Church

The Christian tradition, beginning from the earliest centuries, has affirmed salus extra ecclesia non est, there is no salvation outside the Church (Cipriano, Ep. LXXIII, 21). The rigorist interpretation of the axiom came from the work of Fulgenzio di Ruspe (467-532), a disciple of Augustine. In De fide ad Petrum, a collection of rules for the Christian life, he affirms: “Hold it with absolute certainty and never doubt that not only all the pagans, but also all the Jews, the heretics and schismatics who conclude their present life outside of the Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for his devils and his angels.” Thus in 1208, in a profession of faith to which the Waldensians, who wanted to reconcile with the Catholic Church, had to submit, Pope Innocent III prescribed the following declaration: “With the heart we believe and with the mouth we confess one only Church, not of heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic, outside of which we believe no one is saved”[13].

It is interesting to study how in the course of the centuries the Church has given different interpretations and has gradually come to a better understanding of this. But first with the discovery of the New World, and then the advent of modernity, we have come to a deeper understanding of this doctrine. Pope Pius IX repeated this teaching in 1854 in his Address Singulari quadam, excluding however people in a state of invincible ignorance: “Those who ignore the true religion, when their ignorance is invincible, are not guilty of this before the eyes of the Lord”.

After the Encyclical Mystici Corporis of Pope Pius XII (1943) there was a magisterial pronouncement provoked by the teachings of some American theologians who interpreted the axiom extra ecclesiam nulla salus in a rigorist sense, conceding salvation only to baptized Catholics and to those catechumens who had explicitly asked for entry into the Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Cushing, asked for the intervention of the Holy Office, the answer which, while reaffirming the dogmatic dignity of the axiom, condemned the rigorist interpretation, recovering the thesis of invincible ignorance (see DS 3866-3873).

Vatican Council II reiterated that the Church is necessary for salvation (LG 14), but deepened the understanding of the traditional doctrine with a decisively evolutionary passage: “Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience” (LG 16). The Declaration of Vatican II Nostra aetate at n. 2 uses other tones and above all changes the perspective, affirming that the Catholic Church recognizes all that is good and holy in the great worldwide religions. Pope Pius XII’s identification of the mystical body of Christ with the Catholic Church in the Encyclical Mystici Corporis (1943), later confirmed in the Encyclical Humani generis (1950)[14], underwent a sudden evolution in Lumen gentium, which, instead of simply saying that the only Church of Christ “is” the Catholic Church, specified that it “subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by a successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure” (LG 8, emphasis ours). Finally, in a recent interview, Benedict XVI even spoke of “a profound evolution of dogma” as having occurred in the case regarding the salvation of the non-baptized.[15]

Slavery

One could finally also refer to a social issue such as slavery. Christianity developed in a society marked heavily by slave owning. But the ecclesial Christian practice made no distinction between free and slaves, and at least two slaves became Popes: Pius I and Callisto I.

In reality the Church has never forbidden the enslavement of baptized Catholics, if their baptism was subsequent to the slavery or if the children were born of slave mothers. Furthermore Gregory of Nissa and Basil of Cesarea criticized slavery, and already in the first millennium some local synods protested against the sale of human persons. Thomas Aquinas considered slavery against nature, and yet dependence on servants was considered acceptable as a reality introduced “by human reason as useful to human life”[16]

In 1452 Pope Nicholas V granted to Alfonso V, king of Portugal, the right to make war with the Saracens and to reduce them into perpetual slavery, and he confirmed it with the Bull Romanus Pontifex. Between the middle of 15th century and the middle of 16th century the positions of the Pontiffs was very diversified on this issue. But beginning with Paul III, in 1537, he sought to put an end to slavery in Spanish and Portuguese America, above all following the efforts of Bartholomew de Las Casas[17]; however in the Papal State there were slaves even at the beginning of the 19th century, and the Jesuits of Maryland still possessed and sold slaves before the American Civil War.

Finally, the Codice di Diritto Canonico (CIC) of 1917 condemned slavery including it in the offenses “against life, freedom, property, good name and good morals.” The condemnation was revived in Gaudium et spes, at n. 27, and subsequently in the Codice of 1983 (canon 1336) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), where it reads: “The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for a reason—selfish or ideological, commercial or totalitarian—lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit” (CCC 2414).

The correction of the teaching on the issue, even in this case, came about through an evolutionary historic process by taking into consideration the full range of Catholic doctrine and an understanding of its profound meaning.

The fundamental pastorality of doctrine

The examples reported very briefly above give at least an idea of how on central issues there was a deepening and a clear development of doctrine that took place. Other cases could be added: the traditional acceptance of the death penalty, the teaching of the Church on the interpretation of Scripture, ecumenism, relationships with the Jewish people, evolution[18].

These days the words of Fr. Yves Congar ring true: “The Church must therefore develop and progress in the world, with the world […], following the incessant and polymorphic development of the humanity in perpetual growth, in perpetual invention of forms and new situations.  The Church advances on the same trail as humanity”[19]. Citing Newman, Congar affirmed that development, that is the law of this life, entails respect for the acquired and past forms, faithfulness, foundation and continuity; but it also implies movement, growth, and adaptation. We need to be vigilant because an ambiguous desire for security does not involve pusillanimity in place of an integral service of truth. The Church must be missionary not only in regards to pastoral ministry, but ideas and truth[20].

Pope Francis’ preoccupation appears to be today precisely that of “recontextualizing” doctrine to the service of the pastoral mission of the Church[21]. This can lead to evolutions and corrections guided by faithfulness to the essential kerygma and to principles that express the enduring Christian message. If we do not recognize this need, we risk being stuck in a vision of doctrine understood as a deposit of abstract and static truth, independent of any particular historic context. Then Congar’s prediction of the malaise, described to him by a priest in 1946, would happen: “the body of the Church is swollen, but not her skin. Thus everything is likely to explode….”[22].

What can we deduce, especially in light of the above examples? That the doctrine of the Church should not be reduced to something merely regulative and informative, expunging from it the lived and transformative character proper to the dynamism of faith shaped by the announcement of God’s the saving love manifested in Jesus Christ. Congar indicated some conditions that needed to be observed for the reforms of the Church to be true and authentic. The first concerns “the primacy of charity and pastoral dimension”[23]. A genuinely prophetic spirit needs to be pastoral, driven by love of God and neighbor. As we have stated previously, this was the perspective of St. John XXIII, who wanted a magisterium that is fundamentally pastoral in character, rather than one is addicted to just repeating previous doctrinal formulations[24]. Likewise, Pope Francis’ perspective emphasizes decisively the “pastorality of doctrine.” The doctrine must therefore be interpreted in relation to the heart of the Christian kerygma and in the light of the pastoral context in which it will be applied, always remembering that the suprema lex, the supreme law, should be the salus animarum, the salvation of souls[25].
________________________________________
[1] VINCENT OF LÈRINS, S., Commonitorium I, 23: PL 50, 667-668 (emphasis ours).  
[2] A. Spadaro, «Interview with Pope Francis», in Civ. Catt. 2013 III 449-477.  
In book form: Pope Francis, My door is always open.  A conversation with Antonio Spadaro, Milan, Rizzoli, 2013, 119.
[3] John XXIII, s., «Discorso per la solenne apertura del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II», October 11, 1962; cfr www.vatican.va
[4] In the interview away if La Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis reiterated it even in the pastoral context: «The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not equivalent. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates, and is a more attractive proposition, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus» (Pope Francis, My door is always open…,cit., 62).
[5] Cfr C. Clifford, «L’herméneutique d’un principe herméneutique: la hiérarchie des vérités», in G. Routhier - G. Jobin (eds), L’ Autorité et les autorités. L’ herméneutique théologique de Vatican II, Paris, Cerf, 2010, 70.  
[6] Pope Francis, Encounter with the representatives of the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Church, Florence, November 10, 2015.
[7] Cfr F. A. Sullivan, Understanding and interpreting the Magisterium.  A creative faithfulness, Bologna, EDB, 1997.
[8] A. Spadaro, «Interview with Pope Francis », cit., 459.  
[9] Cfr A. Ekpo, «The “Sensus Fidelium” and the Threefold Office of Christ: A Reinterpretation of Lumen Gentium no. 12», in Theological Studies 76/2 (2015) 337-345.
[10] W. M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, New York, America Press, 1966, 673.  
[11] Cfr R. Dionne, The Papacy and the Church: A Study of Praxis and Reception in Ecumenical Perspective, New York, Philosophical Library, 1987, 156-158.
[12] Benedict XVI thus explained the change of perspective: «Thus, for example, if religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.  It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction.
[13] H. Denzinger - P. Hünermann (eds), Enchiridion Symbolorum (ES), Bologna, EDB, 1995, n. 792. Cfr F. A. Sullivan, Salvation Outside the Church: Tracing the History of the Catholic Response, New York, Paulist Press, 1992, 5.
[14] Cfr R. Dionne, The Papacy and the Church…, cit., 197-202; Cfr Mystici Corporis, n. 13, e Humani generis, n. 27.  
[15] Interview done by J. Servais with Benedetto XVI reproduced in Oss. Rom., March 17, 2016.  It appeared within the volume Per mezzo della fede. Dottrina della giustificazione ed esperienza di Dio nella predicazione della Chiesa e negli Esercizi Spirituali, Cinisello Balsamo (Mi), San Paolo, 2016.
[16] Cfr Sum. Theol., I-II, q. 94, a. 5, ad 3m.
[17] Cfr J. S. Panzer, The Popes and Slavery, New York, Alba House, 1996, 15-38.
[18] Cfr M. Fiedler - L. Rabben (eds), Rome Has Spoken: A Guide to Forgotten Papal Statements and How They Have Changed Through Centuries, New York, Crossroad, 1998.  
[19] Y. Congar, Vera e falsa riforma nella Chiesa, Milano, Jaca Book, 2015, 133.
[20] Cfr ibid, 187 s.  
[21] Cfr R. R. Gaillardetz, «The Pastoral Orientation of Doctrine», in Th. P. Rausch - R. R. Gaillardetz (eds), Go Into the Streets! The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis, New York, Paulist Press, 2016, 125.
[22] Y. Congar, Vera e falsa riforma nella Chiesa, cit., 133.  
[23] Cfr ibid, 191-202.  
[24] Id., «The Pastoral Orientation of Doctrine», in Th. P. Rausch - R. R. Gaillardetz (eds), Go Into the Streets!..., cit., 131.
[25] This establishes the last canon, 1752 of the Codice di Diritto Canonico.  Cfr R. R. Gaillardetz, «“The Francis Moment”: A New Kairos for Catholic Ecclesiology», in CTSA Proceedings 69 (2014) 63-80.  Pope Francis «has admitted a certain reluctance to speak of “absolute truth”, not because he is a “relativist”, but because, for Christians, the truth is mediated through a relationship with the person, Christ.  As such, truth is always encountered in history» (Pope Francis, Letter to a nonbeliever, cfr http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/sintesi_lettera_bergoglio-66283390/).
Title: Dogma at the Service of Man
Post by: Last Tradhican on August 04, 2016, 11:23:22 AM
One can see that this "dogma refinement", this perpetual seeking of truth method, is never ending, for yesterdays truth is not today's nor tomorrows. There are as many opinions as there are dogma refiners. AND this is also the method used by all SSPX trained priest! (sede and indult). This is why they can't fight the conciliar church.

- Here, human self-understanding changes with time and, so too is human consciousness deepened.

- In this regard we could think of the time when slavery was considered acceptable, or the death penalty was applied without question. So, too, this is how we grow in the understanding of the truth. Exegetes and theologians help the Church to mature in her own judgment. The other sciences and their development also help the Church in its growth in understanding.

- Vatican II’s Dei Verbum (DV) highlighted the historic nature of the Church. It recognized that in the understanding of the tradition growth occurs when it is handed down according to the way in which the faithful contemplate the mysteries of the faith and treasure it in their hearts, advancing towards the fullness of divine truth:

- For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which had been handed down. This happens through the contemplation and study made by the believers, who treasure these things in their heart (cfr Lk 2: 19, 51) through a penetrating understanding of the spiritual realities which they experience, and through the preaching of those who have received through episcopal succession the sure gift of truth. For as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly moves forward toward the fullness of divine truth until the words of God reach their complete fulfillment in her

- the historic process of the comprehension of the truth is the result of the action of the various individuals participating in the life of the Church, given that doctrine is built in an historic process of the creative intelligence of the people of God

- This means that a reformulation of how the faith is expressed, and in fact of the truth of the doctrine is appropriate, by clarifying it and giving it new expressive form, so that it may be effective in a pastoral context