Monday 21 May 2012


During the "lull" between the CDF's recommendations to the Supreme Pontiff, and the Pope's final decision before the end of May, it may be a good time to recall with sobriety the actual weight of the pastoral Council, Vatican II. This, in light of Cardinal Koch's recent musing on the conciliar declaration (question: what exact doctrinal authority does a "declaration have? - but I digress) Nostrae aetate. Commenting on the conciliar documents, Archbishop Nicola Bux, consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the Papal Office of Liturgical Celebrations stated:

...“those who have isolated Vatican Council II from the history of the Church and who have attributed to it a greater value than intended, do not abstain from criticizing, for example, Vatican Council I or the Council of Trent. Some pretend that Vatican II’s Dei Verbum has replaced Vatican I’s dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius; this is nothing but a ‘fanta-theology’. It seems to me that a good theology is a theology that questions the value of the documents, of their teachings, of their significance; in Vatican Council II, the different documents have different values, and consequently, they have different weight, which allows for different degrees of discussion. The Pope, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, in 1988, spoke of the risk of transforming Vatican II into a ‘super-dogma’; today, with ‘the hermeneutic of reform in continuity’, he has provided a criterion with which to face the question, not to close it. We mustn’t be more papist than the Pope. The Councils, all the Councils and not just Vatican II, must be received with obedience, but we can make an intelligent evaluation of what belongs to the doctrine and what ought to be criticized.” – For this Italian theologian, said to be close to Benedict XVI, the hermeneutic of reform in continuity makes it possible to open the debate about the Council, not to close it. And he does not see in this debate a questioning of “the pontifical infallibility itself.”

The original German may be read here

An English translation may be read here

1 comment:

Freyr said...

I think I saw the spirit of Vatican II wandering the aisles of my parish church. It was dolefully going through the motions of some liturgical dance with a very forced smile on its face. I looked straight at it, said a brief prayer, and it vanished in a flurry of multicolored sprinkles which faded until they were indistinguishable from the dust on the floor of the church.