01:49 Hermeneutic of continuity
The Pope says that the…, he even said it recently, that the council must be put within this great tradition of the Church, must be understood within this, and in correlance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely. The problem might be in the application, that is: Is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with Tradition? But the principle we definitely do adhere to it. The Church must remain within its Tradition and cannot get out of it, because the Church has not been founded by man, but by our Lord himself, we talk about the Divine constitution of the Church and the main rules who guide the Church are given by God himself and not by man. And this cannot be changed. ... The problem of what really means Hermeneutic of continuity or of a reform, there you need to go deeper in.
Would some kind and patient soul please explain this phrase, 'hermeneutic of continuity'?
I have never been able to comprehend what it means, why it is said, what it is about. It is like JP2's bizarre writings - incomprehensible and it short-circuits my brain.
Maybe an example in simple household analogy? Bp. Felley's answer doesn't even make any sense at all; it's like they speak in code.
Bless you, dear Elizabeth!
You have the fortitude and humility to ask the burning question that so
many are reluctant to ask. When B16 pulled his hermeneutic of continuity
out of his hat, the world was struck in silence. But now, it seems to me,
that not the entire world was so struck. I appears rather likely that a
select few, at least some of whom would include scholars of ancient
Judaism, would have known right away that there is a harkening here in
this phrase back to a time long ago, a time before Christ, to be specific.
Have you ever heard of a synagogue named Temple Beth Hillel? I wouldn't
be surprised, because there are a lot of them. Here's one in the San
Francisco Bay area: http://tbhrichmond.org/
There are many, but they have something in common: Hillel. That would
be a guy who lived in the years preceding the first time Christ came to
earth. Hillel was a Jewish scholar, a "famous religious leader" (Wikipedia
article Hllel the Elder).
Hillel apparently lived to be 120, and died when Christ was about 10 years
One of his teachings was the "7 Hermeneutical Rules" of interpretation of
From one website http://virtualreligion.net/iho/sages.html
101. Hillel's Hermeneutics
37 These are the seven rules Hillel the elder used when interpreting (Torah) before the benei Bathyra [=the leading scholars under Herod]:
(1) "the light & the heavy" [qal wachomer: deduction a minori ad maius];
(2) "similar concept" [gezeyrah shawah: analogy]
(3) "principle traced from one text" [binyan ab mikatub echad: generalizing the particular]
(4) "principle traced from two texts" [binyan ab mishne kethubim: generalizing what appears more than once]
(5) "include & divide/divide & include" [mikelal uferat miferat ukelal: inference from general to particular]
(6) "as deduced elsewhere" [kayotze bobemaqom acher: inference from one passage to another]
(7) "word joined to subject' [dabar ha lamed inyano: conclusion from context].
--- Babylonian Talmud (supplement), Aboth de R. Nathan A 37
Now, I'm not saying it's useful to understand the particulars of Hillel's
Hermeneutics, but rather the point arises, why would a Pope of the
Catholic Church use a word that is so intimately connected with such a
thing as this, and use it at such a time as this, and use it for such a
purpose as this?
Hillel lived during the years immediately before and even during the
Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and Hillel never
knew that it had happened: he did not recognize the time of his visitation.
Hillel was a prominent religious leader, even well respected in his field to
this day, 2000 years later, who used "hermeneutics" as a basis for giving
current or relevant meaning to doctrines that had come before his time.
Anyway, beyond all of that, when B16 says "hermeneutic of continuity"
he is trying to put fancy words on a thing that is really not very fancy.
What the Church taught before Vatican II is not what the Church is
ostensibly teaching after Vatican II, and it is rather obvious to see that.
I suspect you understand this very well. But rather than deal with the
obvious, B16 has chosen to DENY the obvious, and has instead made
this proposition that
A) The Church is always consistent in her doctrine,
B) What the Church has always taught cannot be different from what
the Church is presently teaching, and therefore,
C) What the Church teaches after Vatican II is consistent with what the
Church taught before Vatican II.
And he uses the term "hermeneutic of continuity" to dress up this false
doctrine in clothes that make it appear, superficially, to be sophisticated
and erudite; not unlike Fr. Pfluger, who proclaims that he "would like to
make this clear: let no one imagine that he can criticize authority with
So I hope that helps explain what this "hermeneutic of continuity" is.
Furthermore, on a philosophical level, if you want to dig a little deeper
so as to get a firm grasp of what's up with this ****, there is one more
thing to know.
B16 in practice denies the principle of non-contradiction. He does not
come out openly and SAY this, nor would he admit it in public. He
would have some "word whiskers" to dance around the question if he
were to be asked, or, he would ignore the question. What is the
principle of non-contradiction? In ancient Greece, there were some
very wise and thoughtful men, called Greek Philosophers, who did
some very organized and penetrating thought, focused on thought
itself. We are indebted to them for their natural sagacity. They
recognized that in order to maintain any truth and/or logic in one's
thinking, one had to make a few axiomatic presumptions, or definitive
statements. One of these was, is, and always will be (infers eternity)
that a thing cannot both be and not be at one and the same time.
Practically speaking, that means that something, that is "anything,"
cannot be what it is, and at the same time NOT be what it is. Or, it
is really even deeper than that, because it addresses existence in
itself. Non-existence and existence are incompatible. If your glass
is empty, your glass is therefore not full. If you are with your
child, you are not without your child. If your dress is red, your
dress is not NOT red (like blue or white, or - shudder - orange!).
Canon Gregorius Hesse put it very well, even though he died before
B16 came up with this hermeneutic agenda. Canon Hesse gave the
example of a contractor, who hires two teams of painters to paint a
large room, I guess it was like a banquet hall, for example. And the
contractor tells one team to "paint the room yellow," and he tells
the other team to "paint the room blue." Then the contractor makes
himself scarce, and the painters all show up on the job and what do
you suppose happens? The painters argue with each other, and not
much painting gets done. Such a contractor, in the real world, would
not be in business for long. But this is what we have going on in the
Church. New directives are being given with the only possible aim
in mind being to instill confusion and discord amongst the faithful.
And here, B16 is saying that what the Church teaches prior to Vatican
II is consistent
with what the Conciliar Church teaches in opposition
traditional doctrine. And he does this entirely on the basis
that he has authority
, and therefore we must believe what he says.
That's what the hermeneutic of continuity is.