It is currently Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:35 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 69 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
 Ambiguities in Previous Councils? 
Author Message

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:40 am
Posts: 438
Location: Tucson, Arizona
New post Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Was Vatican II the only council to have ambiguities, and is it true that Vatican II is the only ecumenical council not to have had an official interpretation published afterwards?

Didn't Vatican I have ambiguities regarding papal infallibility? (Card. Newman, at least, called its teaching on papal infallibility "vague", but I doubt Card. Manning thought so.)

Didn't Trent's phrase
Quote:
without the laver of regeneration, or the desire thereof, as it is written; unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God
sound like Baptism of Desire to some and not to others?

Thanks

_________________
«The Essence & Topicality of Thomism»: http://ar.gy/5AaP
by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
e-Book: bit.ly/1iDkMAw

Modernism: modernism. us.to
blog: sententiaedeo.blogspot. com
Aristotelian Thomism: scholastic. us.to


Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:26 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Alan, which approved theologian didn't know that this is a reference to baptism of desire?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:36 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Alan Aversa wrote:
Was Vatican II the only council to have ambiguities, and is it true that Vatican II is the only ecumenical council not to have had an official interpretation published afterwards?


I am not aware of any council which had an official interpretation published afterwards. Where did you get that?

Many texts have a level of ambiguity. What is evil about V2 was precisely that it introduced error or ambiguity where before there was clarity. Think about "is" vs "subsists in" and you'll see the point.

Alan Aversa wrote:
Didn't Vatican I have ambiguities regarding papal infallibility? (Card. Newman, at least, called its teaching on papal infallibility "vague",


Did he? Where?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:40 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:40 am
Posts: 438
Location: Tucson, Arizona
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Alan Aversa wrote:
Was Vatican II the only council to have ambiguities, and is it true that Vatican II is the only ecumenical council not to have had an official interpretation published afterwards?


I am not aware of any council which had an official interpretation published afterwards. Where did you get that?
A friend told me, but I must have misunderstood him. Perhaps he meant publications after a council like syllabi with anathema sits etc.

John Lane wrote:
Many texts have a level of ambiguity. What is evil about V2 was precisely that it introduced error or ambiguity where before there was clarity. Think about "is" vs "subsists in" and you'll see the point.
Fr. Gredt apparently wrote some interesting things regarding subsistit in in his theological manual that I mentioned in an earlier post.

John Lane wrote:
Alan Aversa wrote:
Didn't Vatican I have ambiguities regarding papal infallibility? (Card. Newman, at least, called its teaching on papal infallibility "vague",


Did he? Where?
Ward's biography of him, chapter 27 {"Papal Infallibility (1867-1868)"}, cites a letter to a certain Mr. Pusey in which Card. Newman says (my emphasis):
Quote:
The words then of Councils, &c., on the subject of the Pope's powers are (to a certain degree) vague, as you say, and indefinite; even for this reason, viz.—from the strong reluctance which has ever been felt, to restrict the liberty of thinking and judging more than was absolutely necessary, as a matter of sacred duty, in order to the maintenance of the revealed depositum. It has always been trusted that the received belief of the faithful and the obligations of piety would cover a larger circuit of doctrinal matter than was formally claimed, and secure a more generous faith than was imperative on the conscience. Hence there has never been a wish on the part of the Church to cut clean between doctrine revealed and doctrine not revealed; first indeed, because she actually cannot do so at any given moment, but is illuminated from time to time as to what was revealed in the beginning on this or that portion of the whole mass of teaching which is now received; but secondly, because for that very reason she would be misrepresenting the real character of the dispensation, as God has given it, and would be abdicating her function, and misleading her children into the notion that she was something obsolete and passé, considered as a divine oracle, and would be transferring their faith from resting on herself as the organ of revelation (and in some sense improprié) as its formal object, simply to a code of certain definite articles or a written creed (or material object) if she authoritatively said that so much, and no more, is "de fide Catholica" and binding on our inward assent. Accordingly, the act of faith, as we consider, must now be partly explicit, partly implicit; viz. "I believe whatever ever has been and whatever shall be defined as revelation by the Church who is the origin of revelation"; or again, "I believe in the Church's teaching, whether explicit or implicit," i.e. "Ecclesiae docenti et explicite et implicite." This rule applies both to learned and to ignorant; for, as the ignorant, who does not understand theological terms, must say, "I believe the Athanasian Creed in that sense in which the Church puts it forward," or, "I believe that the Church is veracious," so the learned, though they do understand the theological wording of that Creed, and can say intelligently what the ignorant cannot say, viz. "I believe that there are Three Aeterni, and one Aeternus," still have need to add, "I believe it because the Church has declared it," and, "I believe all that the Church has defined or shall define as revealed," and "I absolutely submit my mind with an inward assent to the Church, as the teacher of the whole faith."

_________________
«The Essence & Topicality of Thomism»: http://ar.gy/5AaP
by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
e-Book: bit.ly/1iDkMAw

Modernism: modernism. us.to
blog: sententiaedeo.blogspot. com
Aristotelian Thomism: scholastic. us.to


Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:29 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Alan,

Thanks for that passage, it is actually very good, and I don't very often say that about Newman. :)

As always with Newman, however, there is an unhappy expression. "It has always been trusted that the received belief of the faithful and the obligations of piety would cover a larger circuit of doctrinal matter than was formally claimed, and secure a more generous faith than was imperative on the conscience." This seems wrong to me, or at least, unnecessarily ambiguous. If he means that some doctrine is imposed by customary law and some by statute, he is right. If he means that the Church wishes to inculcate some truths without imposing them authoritatively, he is absolutely mistaken. The Church when she teaches always and necessarily imposes an obligation of belief on the consciences of the faithful.

I was referring precisely to what he is referring when I said that many texts carry a level of ambiguity. Even a dogmatic definition will be perfectly clear in what it primarily treats, without necessarily touching some related doctrinal points which at present the Church does not wish to settle or clarify. Did the Blessed Virgin die before she was Assumed? The definition doesn't tell us. Are there papal doctrinal acts, directed to the universal Church, in which the pope does not employ his full power and is therefore not infallible? The definition of papal infallibility doesn't tell us. Pius XII in Humani generis very carefully avoided telling us too. There are any number of examples.

A definition always entails the dangers that Newman here mentions, which are that the faithful might be tempted to believe that the faith consists of the few statements of that kind made down through the ages, inaccurately narrowing it down, and also lose sight of the fact that the Church herself is the pillar and ground of truth, that she is the living witness, the living judge, the living teacher, who at all times knows the faith perfectly and can bring it securely to every generation, and will do so infallibly. It is precisely the problem with traditional Catholics who are not sedevacantists that they tend to think of the faith as an archeological relic, something ossified into specific texts and preserved only in that way. They are quite right that they cannot trust "rome" but in thinking of "rome" as Rome they are forced to construct a theory which fits their view of the facts, in which the living magisterium is untrustworthy. This is disastrous.

The proximate rule of faith is the preaching of the Church. This doctrine, a dogmatic truth, is implicitly rejected by all non-sedevacantist traditionalists.

That is also why the problem with V2 must be stated clearly and accurately. Archbishop Lefebvre put his finger on it in his reply to Cardinal Ottaviani one year after the Council:
Quote:
In a more or less general way, when the Council has introduced innovations, it has unsettled the certainty of truths taught by the authentic Magisterium of the Church as unquestionably belonging to the treasure of Tradition.


That's it. Pure evil. It's the tactic of Pistoia resurrected and universalised.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:06 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
A definition always entails the dangers that Newman here mentions, which are that the faithful might be tempted to believe that the faith consists of the few statements of that kind made down through the ages, inaccurately narrowing it down, and also lose sight of the fact that the Church herself is the pillar and ground of truth, that she is the living witness, the living judge, the living teacher, who at all times knows the faith perfectly and can bring it securely to every generation, and will do so infallibly. It is precisely the problem with traditional Catholics who are not sedevacantists that they tend to think of the faith as an archeological relic, something ossified into specific texts and preserved only in that way. They are quite right that they cannot trust "rome" but in thinking of "rome" as Rome they are forced to construct a theory which fits their view of the facts, in which the living magisterium is untrustworthy. This is disastrous.

The proximate rule of faith is the preaching of the Church. This doctrine, a dogmatic truth, is implicitly rejected by all non-sedevacantist traditionalists.

That is also why the problem with V2 must be stated clearly and accurately. Archbishop Lefebvre put his finger on it in his reply to Cardinal Ottaviani one year after the Council:
Quote:
In a more or less general way, when the Council has introduced innovations, it has unsettled the certainty of truths taught by the authentic Magisterium of the Church as unquestionably belonging to the treasure of Tradition.


That's it. Pure evil. It's the tactic of Pistoia resurrected and universalised.



Your words are very wise, John. And Lefebvre's quote is very interesting (have you the bibliographic references?).
It seems to me that many traditional Catholics (often not sedevacantists) make the mistake of interpreting narrowly the definition of papal infallibility of the Vatican Council. Thus, they reduce papal infallibility at rare papal pronouncements and they end up believing that the papal ordinary magisterium is infallible only when it repeats doctrines already defined infallibly by the extraordinary magisterium.
I have read recently Fr. Fenton’s article about infallibility in papal encyclicals posted in this forum. What do you think, John, about the infallibility of ordinary papal magisterium?


Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:56 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
And Lefebvre's quote is very interesting (have you the bibliographic references?).

It's from this fascinating document: http://www.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre ... ouncil.htm


Quote:
It seems to me that many traditional Catholics (often not sedevacantists) make the mistake of interpreting narrowly the definition of papal infallibility of the Vatican Council. Thus, they reduce papal infallibility at rare papal pronouncements and they end up believing that the papal ordinary magisterium is infallible only when it repeats doctrines already defined infallibly by the extraordinary magisterium.

Yes, exactly, and this is wrong.

Quote:
I have read recently Fr. Fenton’s article about infallibility in papal encyclicals posted in this forum. What do you think, John, about the infallibility of ordinary papal magisterium?


I presume you mean this article:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=319

It's a very good article. I think the following.

Fenton distinguishes the following conditions in the definition of papal infallibility:

A. He speaks in his capacity as the ruler and teacher of all Christians.
B. He uses his supreme apostolic authority.
C. The doctrine on which he is speaking has to do with faith and morals.
D. He issues a certain and definitive judgment on that teaching.
E. He wills that this definitive judgment be accepted as such by the universal Church.

In relation to each condition, my thoughts:

A. Fenton states that when a speech or a text is directed to the entire Church, this condition is verified. I agree, and I think this is indisputable.

B. Fenton states that whenever the Holy Father teaches all of the faithful, he uses his supreme apostolic authority. "In other words, when we examine the matter closely, what I have listed as the second of the five conditions requisite for the existence of an ex cathedra pontifical doctrinal decision turn out to be not a distinct condition at all."

C. This includes the primary and secondary objects of infallibility. Nobody disputes this or has difficulty with it.

D. I will deal with D below.

E. I agree with Fenton, that this condition is verified in all direct teaching on faith and morals directed to the universal Church. There is no case of direct teaching which does not by the very fact demand a sincere inward assent which is unconditional. Here's how Wilhelm and Scannell (i.e. Scheeben) explain it: "The ordinary Proposition of the law of Faith is identical with the ordinary exercise of the Teaching Apostolate; for the Word of God by its very nature exacts the obedience of Faith, and is communicated to the Faithful with the express intention of enforcing belief. Hence the ordinary teaching is necessarily a promulgation of the law of Faith and an injunction of the duty to believe, and consequently the law of Faith is naturally an unwritten law. But the Proposition of or by the Church takes the form of a Statute or written law when promulgated in a solemn decision. Such decisions, however, are not laws strictly speaking, but are merely authoritative declarations of laws already enacted by God, and in most instances they only enforce what is already the common practice. Both forms, written and unwritten, are of equal authority, but the written form is the more precise. Both also rest ultimately on the authority of the Head of the Apostolate. No judicial sentence in matters of Faith is valid unless pronounced or approved by him; and the binding force of the unwritten form arises from his tacit sanction."

Now, in relation to condition D, the theologians interpret "defines" to mean "decides a case" or "judges." Nothing in the text of the definition supports that interpretation, but perhaps the term "define" was commonly used by theologians before the Vatican Council in this restricted sense, so we should research it to see if that's the case. Here is what I have found, with not very much research.

F. Perrone, a classical source on infallibility:
Quote:
The Church, when she discharges her function of teaching, performs a threefold office: the office (1) of “witness”; (2) of “judge”; (3) of “teacher” (magistra). She performs the office of “witness,” in professing those verities of the Faith which she has received from Christ; that of “judge” in deciding those controversies which affect the Faith or are related thereto; that of “teacher,” in that her daily ministry wherein by verbal and by practical inculcation (viva voce et praxi) she instructs the faithful in all those things which conduce to their training in pure doctrine and morality, and leads them as it were by the hand along the path of eternal salvation. That Christ has endowed His Church with Infallibility for the performance of these several offices Catholics maintain and all non-Catholics deny. (F. Perrone, De Locis, nn. 347-8.)


Now this distinction between the three "offices" which are incorporated in the office of Teacher is common doctrine. You can see it in Wilhelm and Scannell and also in Van Noort (if memory serves).

When the Church teaches, she acts in all three ways, however in some of her teaching acts her role of witness will be paramount, in others her role of judge, and in yet others she will act most clearly as instructor.

A witness stands for the truth, verifying that a fact is true by testimony. The Church acts primarily as witness when she professes the Creed. The Creed is imposed authoritatively, it is true, the imposition of it also includes the judgement that incompatible doctrines are false, but primarily here and now in the profession of the Creed the Church is witnessing to the unchanging doctrine she received from Our Lord and the Apostles.

A judge determines authoritatively what is true by distinguishing it from what is false. The Church acts primarily as judge when she condemns false or dangerous doctrine, which she always does infallibly, with either infallible truth or infallible security. Likewise she acts primarily as judge when she settles a controversy by asserting the truth clearly and directly, even if she does not at the same time comment on a hitherto tolerated conflicting doctrine. In all such acts she is also witnessing to the fact that the doctrine she teaches is traditional, not novel, and she is instructing the faithful also.

A teacher inculcates truths by stating them, explaining them, repeating them, dressing them in different forms of words better suited to the student here and now, who will have his own prejudices both negative and positive, and by arranging practical exercises which express those truths. The Church acts primarily as teacher when she preaches, publishes catechisms, approves pious practices and prayers, including the liturgy, the public worship of the Church, and when bishops and popes publish encyclical letters to explain more fully particular points of doctrine. She likewise acts as teacher when she supervises and approves the works of theology used in her institutes, and she points out to the faithful the most reliable and clear of these works by naming some theologians Doctors of the Universal Church. Indeed, everything the Church does involves her prerogative of teacher. She is always teaching. Her teaching is always necessarily also a witness to the fact that her doctrine has been handed down from the Apostles, and every act of teaching implies the judgement that conflicting doctrine is false.

The Church is an infallible witness, an infallible judge, and an infallible instructor of the faithful.

Now, if we read the text of Humani generis in this light, it seems to me to become a lot clearer. I will insert comments between square brackets.

Quote:
What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients.

19. Although these things seem well said, still they are not free from error. It is true that Popes generally leave theologians free in those matters which are disputed in various ways by men of very high authority in this field; but history teaches that many matters that formerly were open to discussion, no longer now admit of discussion.

20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority [this Fenton characterises as a condemnation of the entire clause "since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority", and I agree with him. The Italian translation in L'Osservatore Romano is decisive.]. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me";[this is ambiguous - it could be a reference merely to the authority of teaching, or it could be a reference to both authority and infallibility. However, it seems strikingly clear as a reference to the office of authoritative witness. A witness, after all, testifies that what he has heard from another he repeats here and now] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine [this definitely refers to the office of witness, that is, when the doctrine is not legitimately a matter of dispute, and is merely repeated by the pope, and to the office of teacher, inculcating truths already known to be infallibly true]. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians. [this is clearly, as Fenton says, a reference to the occasions when the Roman Pontiff directly asserts as true something which has previously been the subject of legitimate controversy. If that isn't a reference to the office of judge, nothing is. This is reinforced by the text in para 19. above, where Pius XII alludes to the fact that controversies do get settled.]


Make sense?

OK, the other thing to notice is that the definition says this:
Quote:
the Roman Pontiff... enjoys ... that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished his Church to be equipped in defining doctrine about faith or morals...


Now "defines" in the first part of the definition is obviously to be understood in the same way as it used later in the very same sentence. In any case, we should look at how the theologians speak about the infallibility of the Church. It is active infallibility we are focusing on, obviously, the infallibility of the magisterium. And what they say is that the Church is infallible in her ordinary, universal, magisterium, and they also say that she is infallible when she defines doctrine of faith and morals. The term "define" carries with it a clear characteristic of making a final decision, issuing a judicial act, in this context (it is used generally to mean "making doctrine clear" in other contexts, I think). The ordinary, universal, magisterium is infallible even when not making a "decision" (i.e. when deciding some point hitherto controverted). This is manifest in the sources the theologians give for infallible teaching of this kind - e.g. ordinary daily preaching, catechisms, etc.

So I understand Billot to be saying that the Roman Pontiff is infallible in defining, and he is also infallible in teaching things not controverted. Franzelin teaches the same thing. This parallels the Church's infallibility, which is verified when she teaches the same thing universally in her ordinary teaching activity, and when she makes a doctrinal decision, a judicial act, in a general council.

Franzelin adds (and Billot agrees with him) that the Roman Pontiff enjoys an infallible protection also in declaring that a doctrine is safe or unsafe.

Summarising, the Church is infallible in witnessing, in judging, and in teaching (i.e. explaining, proposing, illustrating, etc.). The pope enjoys the same infallibility in all three offices. Therefore the Council only defined the infallibility of judging. The reason was that this was the only infallibility which was disputed, the one which causes all the angst (on the part of those who are shown to have been wrong and have now to correct their views).

Supporting this understanding is the fact that when treating the pope-heretic thesis, the theologians only ever consider a pope falling into heresy as a "private person." The idea that a pope could express heresy officially is entirely alien to the minds of the approved theologians. Here's a typical example:

Quote:
Qu. … Another question which obtrudes itself here is: Is it admissible that the Sovereign Pontiff could ever be heretical in his expressions on subjects of faith? And how could such expressions be distinguished as heretical since there is no authority above the Pope to judge the degree of his orthodoxy, which by reason of its coming formally from the actual head of the Church, is, it would seem, stamped with the seal of infallibility?

Resp. … As to the question whether a Pontiff could be heretical in his expressions, it seems altogether futile. History has hitherto furnished no example of such an occurrence, though there have been allegations of the kind, as in the case of Honorius. If Christ has promised to keep the Church from error through the instrumentality of the Holy Ghost, we may suppose that He will keep the Pontiff, to whom He has committed the guidance of that Church, likewise from error. And as the weaknesses of members in the Church do not militate against this operation of the Holy Ghost, neither would the personal weaknesses of its head interfere with the divine promise. For the rest, the admission that the Pope, whilst personally peccable, yet in his office as supreme teacher and moderator of the Church is infallible, covers the whole case; nor is there any more difficulty here than there is in distinguishing between the official acts of a sovereign and his private deeds, not as a private man but as sovereign [i.e. as Head of State of the Papal States, or the Vatican State nowadays]. (Question and Answer, American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. XVII 1897, pp. 312 -314.)


Let me know what you think.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:20 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele,

The following of Fenton's is an interesting argument. He is addressing the condition, "D. He issues a certain and definitive judgment on that teaching."

On the one hand, we know that "define" in this context is always understood by the theologians in the sense of deciding something. On the other hand, consider what Fenton says here:
Quote:
It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand. If he is proposing something as morally certain, as a statement which, though quite firm as it is now proposed, may still possibly turn out to be erroneous, it is presumed that he will, in his very expression of that statement, bring out its ultimately conditional character. If, on the other hand, he makes an absolutely unqualified assertion about some matter that concerns faith or morals, it would seem that he should be presumed to be presenting a teaching that is definitive and irrevocable. That, at least, would seem to be the presumption or line of conduct most consistent with the presentation of truth, and with the reception of doctrine in the Catholic Church.

In other words, if we examine the content and the immediate implications of the Vatican Council’s teaching on an ex cathedra or infallible papal definition, it appears that the Council had nothing to say about the more or less solemn character of the papal document in which a teaching is set down, but had everything to say about the quality of the judgment or decision rendered by the Holy Father in the course of his teaching. What is required for the issuance of an ex cathedra judgment is a pontifical definition, an absolutely definitive and irrevocable decision on some point which had hitherto been subject to free discussion among Catholic theologians. In any infallible papal teaching it goes without saying, the absolutely definitive and irrevocable character of that decision must be apparent.

It is quite clear that one way in which these qualities may be apparent is through the use of the solemn formulae employed in dogmatic bulls and constitutions. But it is also clear that these solemnities need not be employed for every absolutely certain and definitive decision issued by the Sovereign Pontiff. Any man who is teaching, and who is setting forth some doctrine which, though “morally certain,” might still turn out to be incorrect, will present his teaching for what it is. He certainly will not be in a position to propose such a doctrine in an absolutely unconditional categorical statement, particularly when he is a teacher who is recognized as competent to propose infallibly true doctrine.


An examination of Mirari vos is very helpful in order to grasp the force of this argument, I think. It was certainly only an encyclical, laid down no anathemas, was written in a highly rhetorical style not a legal one, and contained no specific demand that all accept the doctrine taught in it, nor did it make unambiguous reference to the fact that in this encyclical the Roman Pontiff is using his supreme power. Finally, Gregory XVI did not, in this document, invoke the Holy Ghost (a condition of infallibility demanded by at least one theologian I have seen - I can't recall which - and often mentioned as the reason that Vatican II was not infallible). The plain fact is that in this case there is none of the external solemnity of a solemn definition.

Yet all accept that Mirari vos contained the infallible condemnation of numerous errors.

Now what is particularly interesting about Fenton's argument is this first paragraph: "It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand. If he is proposing something as morally certain, as a statement which, though quite firm as it is now proposed, may still possibly turn out to be erroneous, it is presumed that he will, in his very expression of that statement, bring out its ultimately conditional character. If, on the other hand, he makes an absolutely unqualified assertion about some matter that concerns faith or morals, it would seem that he should be presumed to be presenting a teaching that is definitive and irrevocable. That, at least, would seem to be the presumption or line of conduct most consistent with the presentation of truth, and with the reception of doctrine in the Catholic Church."

If this is true, and I can't see how it isn't - it seems plainly and obviously true - then it applies equally to direct statements of doctrine which have not been subject of controversy as well as to those which have been disputed. In other words, this argument takes us to Billot's conclusion, which is that the Holy Father certainly teaches infallibly even when not deciding controverted cases.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:00 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
One final comment on this question. Some theologians assume that the terms of the definition of the concept "dogma" - that is, those things which must be believed with divine and catholic faith - by the Vatican Council are equivalent to those used to define papal infallibility. But this is not at all clear.

In the definition of "dogma" the Vatican Council used the term "solemn judgement" and distinguished it from "ordinary and universal" teaching.

Quote:
by divine and catholic faith all those things are to be believed which are contained in the word of God as found in scripture and tradition, and which are proposed by the church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.


In the definition of papal infallibility the term used was "defines a doctrine". The main point is that the word "solemn" is absent. Such differences in terminology are never accidental, most especially when the same bishops define two related truths in the same general council. An example, noted by all theologians, is the choice of the word "tenendam" instead of "credendam" (i.e. "held" instead of "believed") in the definition of papal infallibility, which choice has huge significance, since it alludes to the fact that the Church can and does teach infallibly truths which are only connected or related to the revealed deposit.

To my mind this argument is very strong for Fenton's position, which is that external solemnity as such has nothing to do with the question of whether a pope speaks infallibly. Other theologians give the same conclusion as Fenton, however I have not seen anybody rely explicitly on this argument. It may be argued that it is an argument from silence, however it isn't. It is an argument which destroys the assumption made by some theologians that the definition of "dogma" informs us as to the meaning of the definition of papal infallibility.

It's also possible that "defines a doctrine" was used rather than "solemn judgement" in order to soften the concept of "judgement" in the definition of papal infallibility. As I've mentioned above, it does seem that theologians generally are clear that "define" in this context refers to a judicial act, a decision by authority. It seems odd therefore that they would choose the word "define" in this case if they meant exactly what they meant by "judgement" in the earlier case. This is something which more research, specifically in the pre-Vatican Council theologians, would clarify. I am not of course suggesting that the post-Vatican Council theologians should be neglected, just that on a point like this, which is clearly a legitimately disputed matter in which various views have been put, the question of what the bishops at the Council actually meant will be clarified particularly by reference to the meaning of the terms they used which was then current. Franzelin, of course, is uniquely positioned as a witness, since he was both Pius IX's papal theologian at the Council and continued to write about these matters afterward. The other ideal source for clarifying this question would be the various texts in which the proposed definitions were explained and defended to the fathers at the Council.

In any case, having already used the term "solemn judgement" in the former definition, the fathers could easily have used it, or the term "judgement" without the qualification "solemn", if it had expressed their mind. Clearly it didn't.

I wish Fenton were still alive!

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:39 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
I presume you mean this article:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=319

It's a very good article. I think the following.

Fenton distinguishes the following conditions in the definition of papal infallibility:

A. He speaks in his capacity as the ruler and teacher of all Christians.
B. He uses his supreme apostolic authority.
C. The doctrine on which he is speaking has to do with faith and morals.
D. He issues a certain and definitive judgment on that teaching.
E. He wills that this definitive judgment be accepted as such by the universal Church.

In relation to each condition, my thoughts:

A. Fenton states that when a speech or a text is directed to the entire Church, this condition is verified. I agree, and I think this is indisputable.

B. Fenton states that whenever the Holy Father teaches all of the faithful, he uses his supreme apostolic authority. "In other words, when we examine the matter closely, what I have listed as the second of the five conditions requisite for the existence of an ex cathedra pontifical doctrinal decision turn out to be not a distinct condition at all."

C. This includes the primary and secondary objects of infallibility. Nobody disputes this or has difficulty with it.

D. I will deal with D below.

E. I agree with Fenton, that this condition is verified in all direct teaching on faith and morals directed to the universal Church. There is no case of direct teaching which does not by the very fact demand a sincere inward assent which is unconditional. Here's how Wilhelm and Scannell (i.e. Scheeben) explain it: "The ordinary Proposition of the law of Faith is identical with the ordinary exercise of the Teaching Apostolate; for the Word of God by its very nature exacts the obedience of Faith, and is communicated to the Faithful with the express intention of enforcing belief. Hence the ordinary teaching is necessarily a promulgation of the law of Faith and an injunction of the duty to believe, and consequently the law of Faith is naturally an unwritten law. But the Proposition of or by the Church takes the form of a Statute or written law when promulgated in a solemn decision. Such decisions, however, are not laws strictly speaking, but are merely authoritative declarations of laws already enacted by God, and in most instances they only enforce what is already the common practice. Both forms, written and unwritten, are of equal authority, but the written form is the more precise. Both also rest ultimately on the authority of the Head of the Apostolate. No judicial sentence in matters of Faith is valid unless pronounced or approved by him; and the binding force of the unwritten form arises from his tacit sanction."

I agree, John.

John Lane wrote:
Now, in relation to condition D, the theologians interpret "defines" to mean "decides a case" or "judges." Nothing in the text of the definition supports that interpretation, but perhaps the term "define" was commonly used by theologians before the Vatican Council in this restricted sense, so we should research it to see if that's the case. Here is what I have found, with not very much research.

F. Perrone, a classical source on infallibility:
Quote:
The Church, when she discharges her function of teaching, performs a threefold office: the office (1) of “witness”; (2) of “judge”; (3) of “teacher” (magistra). She performs the office of “witness,” in professing those verities of the Faith which she has received from Christ; that of “judge” in deciding those controversies which affect the Faith or are related thereto; that of “teacher,” in that her daily ministry wherein by verbal and by practical inculcation (viva voce et praxi) she instructs the faithful in all those things which conduce to their training in pure doctrine and morality, and leads them as it were by the hand along the path of eternal salvation. That Christ has endowed His Church with Infallibility for the performance of these several offices Catholics maintain and all non-Catholics deny. (F. Perrone, De Locis, nn. 347-8.)


Now this distinction between the three "offices" which are incorporated in the office of Teacher is common doctrine. You can see it in Wilhelm and Scannell and also in Van Noort (if memory serves).

When the Church teaches, she acts in all three ways, however in some of her teaching acts her role of witness will be paramount, in others her role of judge, and in yet others she will act most clearly as instructor.

A witness stands for the truth, verifying that a fact is true by testimony. The Church acts primarily as witness when she professes the Creed. The Creed is imposed authoritatively, it is true, the imposition of it also includes the judgement that incompatible doctrines are false, but primarily here and now in the profession of the Creed the Church is witnessing to the unchanging doctrine she received from Our Lord and the Apostles.

A judge determines authoritatively what is true by distinguishing it from what is false. The Church acts primarily as judge when she condemns false or dangerous doctrine, which she always does infallibly, with either infallible truth or infallible security. Likewise she acts primarily as judge when she settles a controversy by asserting the truth clearly and directly, even if she does not at the same time comment on a hitherto tolerated conflicting doctrine. In all such acts she is also witnessing to the fact that the doctrine she teaches is traditional, not novel, and she is instructing the faithful also.

A teacher inculcates truths by stating them, explaining them, repeating them, dressing them in different forms of words better suited to the student here and now, who will have his own prejudices both negative and positive, and by arranging practical exercises which express those truths. The Church acts primarily as teacher when she preaches, publishes catechisms, approves pious practices and prayers, including the liturgy, the public worship of the Church, and when bishops and popes publish encyclical letters to explain more fully particular points of doctrine. She likewise acts as teacher when she supervises and approves the works of theology used in her institutes, and she points out to the faithful the most reliable and clear of these works by naming some theologians Doctors of the Universal Church. Indeed, everything the Church does involves her prerogative of teacher. She is always teaching. Her teaching is always necessarily also a witness to the fact that her doctrine has been handed down from the Apostles, and every act of teaching implies the judgement that conflicting doctrine is false.

The Church is an infallible witness, an infallible judge, and an infallible instructor of the faithful.


Thank you very much to have quoted F. Perrone.
I agree with you John, and I think that your considerations are very reasonable.
About the problem of the meaning of the word "define", I think it is important to take in consideration what he said Bishop Gasser at the Vatican Council in the name of the Deputation of the faith: «La Députation de la foi n’a pas l’intention de donner à ce verbe [définit] le sens juridique, pour lequel il signifie seulement que l’on met fin à des controverses qui surgirent en matière d’hérésie ou d’une doctrine, qui appartient à proprement parler à la foi. Mais le mot “définit” signifie que le Pape, directement et de façon à clore la question, prononce son jugement sur une doctrine qui concerne les choses de la foi et de la morale, de telle sorte que désormais chaque fidèle puisse être certain de la pensée du Siège Apostolique, de la pensée du Pontife Romain; de telle manière que chacun sache avec certitude que telle ou telle doctrine est considérée par le Pontife Romain comme hérétique, proche de l’hérésie, certaine ou erronée, etc.
Tel est le sens du terme “definit” (...) En appliquant cette infaillibilité aux seuls décrets du Pontife Romain, il faut faire une distinction: de telle manière que quelques-uns (et la même chose vaut pour les définitions dogmatiques des conciles) sont certains de foi: c’est pourquoi celui qui nierait que le Pontife dans ce décret serait infaillible, déjà, par le fait même (…) serait hérétique; d’autres décrets du Pontife Romain sont eux aussi certains quant à l’infaillibilité, mais cette certitude n’est pas la même (...) en sorte que cette certitude sera seulement une certitude théologique en ce sens, que celui qui nierait que l’Eglise ou de la même façon le Pontife dans ce décret serait Une session du Concile Vatican Iinfaillible, ne serait pas ouvertement hérétique en tant que tel, mais commettrait une erreur très grave et, en se trompant de cette manière, un péché très grave» (MGR GASSER, 86ème Congr. Générale, 16-7-1870, Mansi 52, 1316).

The intervention of Bp. Gasser supports the view for which the word “definit” is not intended in a strict sense. Instead, he uses the word “jugement”, but only after specifying that “ La Députation de la foi n’a pas l’intention de donner à ce verbe [définit] le sens juridique, pour lequel il signifie seulement que l’on met fin à des controversies.

John Lane wrote:
Now, if we read the text of Humani generis in this light, it seems to me to become a lot clearer. I will insert comments between square brackets.

Quote:
What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients.

19. Although these things seem well said, still they are not free from error. It is true that Popes generally leave theologians free in those matters which are disputed in various ways by men of very high authority in this field; but history teaches that many matters that formerly were open to discussion, no longer now admit of discussion.

20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority [this Fenton characterises as a condemnation of the entire clause "since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority", and I agree with him. The Italian translation in L'Osservatore Romano is decisive.]. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me";[this is ambiguous - it could be a reference merely to the authority of teaching, or it could be a reference to both authority and infallibility. However, it seems strikingly clear as a reference to the office of authoritative witness. A witness, after all, testifies that what he has heard from another he repeats here and now] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine [this definitely refers to the office of witness, that is, when the doctrine is not legitimately a matter of dispute, and is merely repeated by the pope, and to the office of teacher, inculcating truths already known to be infallibly true]. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians. [this is clearly, as Fenton says, a reference to the occasions when the Roman Pontiff directly asserts as true something which has previously been the subject of legitimate controversy. If that isn't a reference to the office of judge, nothing is. This is reinforced by the text in para 19. above, where Pius XII alludes to the fact that controversies do get settled.]


Make sense?

I think yes, John. But I reserve to review. Also Fr. Fenton quotes the great passage of Humani generis, but I have not understood the problem of the Italian translation. I must read again.

John Lane wrote:
OK, the other thing to notice is that the definition says this:
Quote:
the Roman Pontiff... enjoys ... that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished his Church to be equipped in defining doctrine about faith or morals...


Now "defines" in the first part of the definition is obviously to be understood in the same way as it used later in the very same sentence. In any case, we should look at how the theologians speak about the infallibility of the Church. It is active infallibility we are focusing on, obviously, the infallibility of the magisterium. And what they say is that the Church is infallible in her ordinary, universal, magisterium, and they also say that she is infallible when she defines doctrine of faith and morals. The term "define" carries with it a clear characteristic of making a final decision, issuing a judicial act, in this context (it is used generally to mean "making doctrine clear" in other contexts, I think). The ordinary, universal, magisterium is infallible even when not making a "decision" (i.e. when deciding some point hitherto controverted). This is manifest in the sources the theologians give for infallible teaching of this kind - e.g. ordinary daily preaching, catechisms, etc.

So I understand Billot to be saying that the Roman Pontiff is infallible in defining, and he is also infallible in teaching things not controverted. Franzelin teaches the same thing. This parallels the Church's infallibility, which is verified when she teaches the same thing universally in her ordinary teaching activity, and when she makes a doctrinal decision, a judicial act, in a general council.

Franzelin adds (and Billot agrees with him) that the Roman Pontiff enjoys an infallible protection also in declaring that a doctrine is safe or unsafe.

I’m glad. About this last point, please can you give me some quotes?

John Lane wrote:
Summarising, the Church is infallible in witnessing, in judging, and in teaching (i.e. explaining, proposing, illustrating, etc.). The pope enjoys the same infallibility in all three offices. Therefore the Council only defined the infallibility of judging. The reason was that this was the only infallibility which was disputed, the one which causes all the angst (on the part of those who are shown to have been wrong and have now to correct their views).

What is certain is that Vatican Council gives a definition of papal infallibility restricted (perhaps) but not restrictive. Therefore, traditional Catholics who have a minimalist view about papal infallibility they must look elsewhere.

John Lane wrote:
Supporting this understanding is the fact that when treating the pope-heretic thesis, the theologians only ever consider a pope falling into heresy as a "private person." The idea that a pope could express heresy officially is entirely alien to the minds of the approved theologians. Here's a typical example:

Quote:
Qu. … Another question which obtrudes itself here is: Is it admissible that the Sovereign Pontiff could ever be heretical in his expressions on subjects of faith? And how could such expressions be distinguished as heretical since there is no authority above the Pope to judge the degree of his orthodoxy, which by reason of its coming formally from the actual head of the Church, is, it would seem, stamped with the seal of infallibility?

Resp. … As to the question whether a Pontiff could be heretical in his expressions, it seems altogether futile. History has hitherto furnished no example of such an occurrence, though there have been allegations of the kind, as in the case of Honorius. If Christ has promised to keep the Church from error through the instrumentality of the Holy Ghost, we may suppose that He will keep the Pontiff, to whom He has committed the guidance of that Church, likewise from error. And as the weaknesses of members in the Church do not militate against this operation of the Holy Ghost, neither would the personal weaknesses of its head interfere with the divine promise. For the rest, the admission that the Pope, whilst personally peccable, yet in his office as supreme teacher and moderator of the Church is infallible, covers the whole case; nor is there any more difficulty here than there is in distinguishing between the official acts of a sovereign and his private deeds, not as a private man but as sovereign [i.e. as Head of State of the Papal States, or the Vatican State nowadays]. (Question and Answer, American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. XVII 1897, pp. 312 -314.)


Let me know what you think.


Very very interesting, John. Thank you.
Mgr de Ségur in a clear and popular way confirms this. “Il faut distinguer ici: dans le Chef de l’Eglise, il y a le Pape et l’homme. L’homme est faillible, comme tous les autres hommes. Lorsque le Pape parle comme homme, comme personne privée, il peut parfaitement se tromper, même quand il parle des choses saintes. Comme homme, le
Pape n’est pas plus infaillible que vous et moi. Mais quand il parle comme Pape, comme Chef de l’Eglise et comme Vicaire de Jésus-Christ, c’est une autre affaire. Alors il est infaillible: ce n’est plus l’homme qui parle, c’est
Jésus-Christ qui parle, qui enseigne, qui juge par la bouche de son Vicaire
” (MGR DE SEGUR, Le Pape est infaillible, Paris
1872, p. 192, ouvrage approuvé par Pie IX le 8-8-1870).

Ps. Among the fathers of IMBC, Fr. Giuseppe Murro has wrote in Sodalitium about the ‘Magisterium’. In the number 47 (pp. 48 ss.: “Mgr Williamson contre le Concile Vatican... I!” http://www.sodalitium.eu/index.php?ind= ... ew&iden=32) he refutes Williamson’s position on papal infallibility. I allow myself to signalize you this article because it does not speak of Cassiciacum Thesis but only of papal magisterium. So I think you can read it willingly.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:34 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Gabriele,

The following of Fenton's is an interesting argument. He is addressing the condition, "D. He issues a certain and definitive judgment on that teaching."

On the one hand, we know that "define" in this context is always understood by the theologians in the sense of deciding something. On the other hand, consider what Fenton says here:
Quote:
It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand. If he is proposing something as morally certain, as a statement which, though quite firm as it is now proposed, may still possibly turn out to be erroneous, it is presumed that he will, in his very expression of that statement, bring out its ultimately conditional character. If, on the other hand, he makes an absolutely unqualified assertion about some matter that concerns faith or morals, it would seem that he should be presumed to be presenting a teaching that is definitive and irrevocable. That, at least, would seem to be the presumption or line of conduct most consistent with the presentation of truth, and with the reception of doctrine in the Catholic Church.

In other words, if we examine the content and the immediate implications of the Vatican Council’s teaching on an ex cathedra or infallible papal definition, it appears that the Council had nothing to say about the more or less solemn character of the papal document in which a teaching is set down, but had everything to say about the quality of the judgment or decision rendered by the Holy Father in the course of his teaching. What is required for the issuance of an ex cathedra judgment is a pontifical definition, an absolutely definitive and irrevocable decision on some point which had hitherto been subject to free discussion among Catholic theologians. In any infallible papal teaching it goes without saying, the absolutely definitive and irrevocable character of that decision must be apparent.

It is quite clear that one way in which these qualities may be apparent is through the use of the solemn formulae employed in dogmatic bulls and constitutions. But it is also clear that these solemnities need not be employed for every absolutely certain and definitive decision issued by the Sovereign Pontiff. Any man who is teaching, and who is setting forth some doctrine which, though “morally certain,” might still turn out to be incorrect, will present his teaching for what it is. He certainly will not be in a position to propose such a doctrine in an absolutely unconditional categorical statement, particularly when he is a teacher who is recognized as competent to propose infallibly true doctrine.


An examination of Mirari vos is very helpful in order to grasp the force of this argument, I think. It was certainly only an encyclical, laid down no anathemas, was written in a highly rhetorical style not a legal one, and contained no specific demand that all accept the doctrine taught in it, nor did it make unambiguous reference to the fact that in this encyclical the Roman Pontiff is using his supreme power. Finally, Gregory XVI did not, in this document, invoke the Holy Ghost (a condition of infallibility demanded by at least one theologian I have seen - I can't recall which - and often mentioned as the reason that Vatican II was not infallible). The plain fact is that in this case there is none of the external solemnity of a solemn definition.

Yet all accept that Mirari vos contained the infallible condemnation of numerous errors.

Now what is particularly interesting about Fenton's argument is this first paragraph: "It is, I believe, to be presumed that the Vicar of Christ speaks to the faithful in a way they are able to understand. If he is proposing something as morally certain, as a statement which, though quite firm as it is now proposed, may still possibly turn out to be erroneous, it is presumed that he will, in his very expression of that statement, bring out its ultimately conditional character. If, on the other hand, he makes an absolutely unqualified assertion about some matter that concerns faith or morals, it would seem that he should be presumed to be presenting a teaching that is definitive and irrevocable. That, at least, would seem to be the presumption or line of conduct most consistent with the presentation of truth, and with the reception of doctrine in the Catholic Church."

If this is true, and I can't see how it isn't - it seems plainly and obviously true - then it applies equally to direct statements of doctrine which have not been subject of controversy as well as to those which have been disputed. In other words, this argument takes us to Billot's conclusion, which is that the Holy Father certainly teaches infallibly even when not deciding controverted cases.


A very good argument, John.
We must remember that Pope Leo XIII in the Encyclical Satis cognitum, speaking about the Magisterium, affirms that “As often as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true”. His Holiness – deliberately – does not specify if this declaration is the result of a judgment over a controversy (and much less He speaks of conditions, solemnity or special operating modes of teaching). On the contrary, He uses the utterance as often as, almost to avoid that the cavil can make irrelevant and non-binding every doctrine proposed by the Magisterium.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:36 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
I will read your last post tomorrow.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:37 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
About the problem of the meaning of the word "define", I think it is important to take in consideration what he said Bishop Gasser at the Vatican Council in the name of the Deputation of the faith: «La Députation de la foi n’a pas l’intention de donner à ce verbe [définit] le sens juridique, pour lequel il signifie seulement que l’on met fin à des controverses qui surgirent en matière d’hérésie ou d’une doctrine, qui appartient à proprement parler à la foi. Mais le mot “définit” signifie que le Pape, directement et de façon à clore la question, prononce son jugement sur une doctrine qui concerne les choses de la foi et de la morale, de telle sorte que désormais chaque fidèle puisse être certain de la pensée du Siège Apostolique, de la pensée du Pontife Romain; de telle manière que chacun sache avec certitude que telle ou telle doctrine est considérée par le Pontife Romain comme hérétique, proche de l’hérésie, certaine ou erronée, etc.
Tel est le sens du terme “definit” (...) En appliquant cette infaillibilité aux seuls décrets du Pontife Romain, il faut faire une distinction: de telle manière que quelques-uns (et la même chose vaut pour les définitions dogmatiques des conciles) sont certains de foi: c’est pourquoi celui qui nierait que le Pontife dans ce décret serait infaillible, déjà, par le fait même (…) serait hérétique; d’autres décrets du Pontife Romain sont eux aussi certains quant à l’infaillibilité, mais cette certitude n’est pas la même (...) en sorte que cette certitude sera seulement une certitude théologique en ce sens, que celui qui nierait que l’Eglise ou de la même façon le Pontife dans ce décret serait Une session du Concile Vatican Iinfaillible, ne serait pas ouvertement hérétique en tant que tel, mais commettrait une erreur très grave et, en se trompant de cette manière, un péché très grave» (MGR GASSER, 86ème Congr. Générale, 16-7-1870, Mansi 52, 1316).

The intervention of Bp. Gasser supports the view for which the word “definit” is not intended in a strict sense. Instead, he uses the word “jugement”, but only after specifying that “ La Députation de la foi n’a pas l’intention de donner à ce verbe [définit] le sens juridique, pour lequel il signifie seulement que l’on met fin à des controversies.


Thank you for finding that text! It's a beauty. I had been reviewing the Relatio, and did not know about that text. It is very apropros! Indeed, perfect.

Here is a rough English translation. The first paragraph is not bad, but the second is very difficult and I can't get it straight. Perhaps somebody could assist?

Quote:
The Deputation of the Faith does not intend to give this verb [defines] the forensic sense, meaning only to put an end to the controversies that arose in cases of heresy or doctrine , which belongs strictly speaking to the faith. But the word "defined" means that the Pope directly and in order to close the question, gives his judgment about a doctrine concerning matters of faith and morals, so that now every believer can be certain of mind of Apostolic See, the mind of the Roman Pontiff, so that everyone knows with certainty that this or that doctrine is considered by the Roman Pontiff as heretical, proximate to heresy, certain or erroneous, etc..

This is the meaning of "defines" (...) In applying this infallibility only to decrees of the Roman Pontiff, must be distinguished: in such a way that some (and the same applies to the dogmatic definitions of the Councils ) are certainly of Faith: so he who would deny that the Pope is infallible in this decree, already, in so doing (...) would be a heretic; other decrees of the Roman Pontiff are also uncertain about the infallibility but this certainty is not the same (...) ensure this certainty is only a theological certainty in the sense that he who would deny that the Church or in the same way the Pope would be a decree in this session of the infallible Vatican Council would not be openly a heretic as such, but would commit a very grave error and, deceiving themselves in this way, a very grave sin.




Quote:
John Lane wrote:
Franzelin adds (and Billot agrees with him) that the Roman Pontiff enjoys an infallible protection also in declaring that a doctrine is safe or unsafe.

I’m glad. About this last point, please can you give me some quotes?

http://strobertbellarmine.net/viewtopic ... 43&start=0



Quote:
Very very interesting, John. Thank you.
Mgr de Ségur in a clear and popular way confirms this. “Il faut distinguer ici: dans le Chef de l’Eglise, il y a le Pape et l’homme. L’homme est faillible, comme tous les autres hommes. Lorsque le Pape parle comme homme, comme personne privée, il peut parfaitement se tromper, même quand il parle des choses saintes. Comme homme, le Pape n’est pas plus infaillible que vous et moi. Mais quand il parle comme Pape, comme Chef de l’Eglise et comme Vicaire de Jésus-Christ, c’est une autre affaire. Alors il est infaillible: ce n’est plus l’homme qui parle, c’est Jésus-Christ qui parle, qui enseigne, qui juge par la bouche de son Vicaire” (MGR DE SEGUR, Le Pape est infaillible, Paris 1872, p. 192, ouvrage approuvé par Pie IX le 8-8-1870).


Yes, exactly. And a rough English (google) translation:

Quote:
We must distinguish here: the Head of the Church, there is the Pope and man. Man is fallible, like all other men. When the Pope speaks as a man, as a private person, may well be wrong, even when he speaks of the holy. As a man, the Pope is no more infallible than you and me. But when he speaks as Pope, as Head of the Church and as Vicar of Jesus Christ, is another matter. Then it is infallible: it is not the man who speaks is Jesus Christ who speaks, teaches, judging by the mouth of His Vicar.


Quote:
Ps. Among the fathers of IMBC, Fr. Giuseppe Murro has wrote in Sodalitium about the ‘Magisterium’. In the number 47 (pp. 48 ss.: “Mgr Williamson contre le Concile Vatican... I!” http://www.sodalitium.eu/index.php?ind= ... ew&iden=32) he refutes Williamson’s position on papal infallibility. I allow myself to signalize you this article because it does not speak of Cassiciacum Thesis but only of papal magisterium. So I think you can read it willingly.


:)

I will take a look at it. It certainly sounds interesting!

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:07 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
We must remember that Pope Leo XIII in the Encyclical Satis cognitum, speaking about the Magisterium, affirms that “As often as it is declared on the authority of this teaching that this or that is contained in the deposit of divine revelation, it must be believed by every one as true”. His Holiness – deliberately – does not specify if this declaration is the result of a judgment over a controversy (and much less He speaks of conditions, solemnity or special operating modes of teaching). On the contrary, He uses the utterance as often as, almost to avoid that the cavil can make irrelevant and non-binding every doctrine proposed by the Magisterium.


Yes, that's a cracker of a quote too. I am surprised Fenton didn't use it in that article.

Here are some extracts from the Relatio of Bishop Gasser to the Vatican Council.

Quote:
There is contained in the definition the act, or the quality and condition of the act of an infallible pontifical definition, i.e., the Pontiff is said to be infallible when he speaks "ex cathedra." This formula is received in the schools, and the meaning of this formula as it is found in the very body of the definition is as follows: when the supreme Pontiff speaks "ex cathedra," not, first of all, when he decrees something as a private teacher, nor only as the bishop and ordinary of a particular See and province, but when he teaches as exercising his office as supreme pastor and teacher of all Christians. Secondly, not just any manner of proposing the doctrine is sufficient even when he is exercising his office as supreme pastor and teacher. Rather, there is required the manifest intention of defining doctrine, either of putting an end to a doubt about a certain doctrine or of defining a thing, giving a definitive judgment and proposing that doctrine as one which must be held by the Universal Church. This last point is indeed something intrinsic to every dogmatic definition of faith or morals which is taught by the supreme pastor and teacher of the Universal Church and which is to be held by the Universal Church. Indeed this very property and note of a definition, properly so-called, should be expressed, at least in some way, since he is defining doctrine to be held by the Universal Church.

...

[Responding to the suggestion: "let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment."]

It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium. But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

Perhaps someone will say: if we don't have a law, let us make one. But let us not do this lest we run up against that already condemned law which said that the council was above the Pope. Furthermore, of what use would be such a law? Would it not be completely useless, since it would never be able to be verified by the faithful and the bishops scattered throughout the world? Even more, it would be a very dangerous thing since it would offer the opportunity for innumerable foolish objections and anxieties. Therefore, let Peter gird himself according to the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, since Peter does not grow old while the world grows old but rather renews his powers like the eagle.

Emphasis added.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:31 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Argentina
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:

Here is a rough English translation. The first paragraph is not bad, but the second is very difficult and I can't get it straight. Perhaps somebody could assist?

Quote:
The Deputation of the Faith does not intend to give this verb [defines] the forensic sense, meaning only to put an end to the controversies that arose in cases of heresy or doctrine , which belongs strictly speaking to the faith. But the word "defined" means that the Pope directly and in order to close the question, gives his judgment about a doctrine concerning matters of faith and morals, so that now every believer can be certain of mind of Apostolic See, the mind of the Roman Pontiff, so that everyone knows with certainty that this or that doctrine is considered by the Roman Pontiff as heretical, proximate to heresy, certain or erroneous, etc..

This is the meaning of "defines" (...) In applying this infallibility only to decrees of the Roman Pontiff, must be distinguished: in such a way that some things (and the same applies to the dogmatic definitions of the Councils ) are certainly of Faith: so he who would deny that the Pope is infallible in this decree, already, in so doing (...) would be a heretic; other decrees of the Roman Pontiff are also uncertain about the infallibility but this certainty is not the same (...) ensure this certainty is only a theological certainty in the sense that he who would deny that the Church or in the same way the Pope would be a decree in this session of the infallible Vatican Council would not be openly a heretic as such, but would commit a very grave error and, deceiving themselves in this way, a very grave sin.


Ok, my translation reads something like this

Quote:
This is the meaning of the term “defines” (…) when we just apply this infallibility to the decrees of the R. Pontiff we should make a distinction: in the same way that some are on faith (and the same holds for the dogmatic definitions of the councils) and for this reason he who would deny that the Pope is infallible in this decree would be ipso facto (…) heretic. Other decrees of the Pope are also certain regarding their infallibility, but this certainty is not the same (…) in such a way that it would be just a theological certainty in the sense that he who would deny that the Church or the Pope in this decree would be a session of the infallible Vatican I council, he wouldn´t be openly heretic as such, but he´d make a very serious mistake, and, being wrong in this way, he would sin gravely”

Not sure of the last part of the translation :) I guess he is saying that if you deny what it falls on the primary object of infallibility you are heretic whereas if you deny, a theological conclusion you are not. Anyway not sure!

_________________
"Il n`y a qu`une tristesse, c`est de n`etre pas des Saints"

Leon Bloy


Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:59 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Here are some extracts from the Relatio of Bishop Gasser to the Vatican Council.

Quote:
[Responding to the suggestion: "let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment."]

It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium. But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

Perhaps someone will say: if we don't have a law, let us make one. But let us not do this lest we run up against that already condemned law which said that the council was above the Pope. Furthermore, of what use would be such a law? Would it not be completely useless, since it would never be able to be verified by the faithful and the bishops scattered throughout the world? Even more, it would be a very dangerous thing since it would offer the opportunity for innumerable foolish objections and anxieties. Therefore, let Peter gird himself according to the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, since Peter does not grow old while the world grows old but rather renews his powers like the eagle.

Emphasis added.



Very good. Would you have the part of the Relatio which precedes these word?

In any case, it would be nice to collect all the testimony of theologians or men of the Church (and even better the teachings of Magisterium) which contrast the "minimalist" view of papal infallibility. Even before Vatican II this great truth of faith it was not well understood. Now even less.


Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:44 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
I'll post the entire Relatio when I have corrected the formatting.

But while doing so, I noticed this, which is very striking:

Quote:
Suggestion #47 can also not be permitted, not because of proposed conditions [on infallibility] but for another reason. The reverend father appears to restrict pontifical infallibility only to controversies of faith, whereas the Pontiff is also infallible as universal teacher and as supreme witness of Tradition, the deposit of faith.


That settles something for me which was previously a strongly probable opinion but now I think is certainly the truth. The Roman Pontiff is infallible witness, infallible judge, and infallible teacher.

This point of the Relatio is not merely the opinion of Gasser or even of the Deputation "de fide". It is the faith itself. This is clear in the text, precisely because other suggestions are put to the vote even though the Deputation disagrees with them. This is rejected even for a vote. It will not be permitted to be voted upon by the fathers, because it cannot be permitted, and there can only be one reason for this - it violates the faith.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:39 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Now posted in Texts, the entire Relatio along with the original draft of the definition of papal infallibility and the final text of the definition.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1070&start=0

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:13 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Not sure of the last part of the translation :) I guess he is saying that if you deny what it falls on the primary object of infallibility you are heretic whereas if you deny, a theological conclusion you are not. Anyway not sure!


I think you are right - this particular text is difficult, but it is paralleled in the Relatio:

Quote:
4. There is contained in the definition the object of infallibility. Infallibility has been promised in order to guard and unfold the integral deposit of faith. From this it can easily be seen that, in general, the object of infallibility is doctrine about faith and morals. But not all truths which pertain to the doctrine of faith and Christian morals are of the same kind. Nor are they all necessary in one and the same degree in order to guard the integrity of the faith. Therefore it follows that the errors which are opposed to guarding the deposit of faith are opposed in different degrees, just as the truths themselves, to which the errors are opposed, pertain to the same deposit in different degrees. These different degrees of error are distinguished by different notes of censure.

1. It is certain that the infallibility promised by God completely includes the same extent of truths whether that infallibility resides in the whole Church teaching, when it defines truths in council, or in the supreme Pontiff considered in himself. This is so since the purpose of infallibility is the same in whichever mode it is exercised.

2. In the very word of God by which infallibility, whether considered in the Pope "per se" or in the Church teaching, has been promised in order to guard the deposit of faith, there is undoubtedly contained the fact that this infallibility extends at least to those things which in themselves constitute the deposit of faith, namely, which are necessary for defining the dogmas of the faith and, what comes to the same thing, for condemning heresies. Hence it clearly is believed and must be believed as a matter of faith by all the children of holy Mother Church that the Church, is infallible in proposing and defining dogmas of faith. Now in the same manner, the infallibility of the head of the Church is not able to be revealed and defined unless, by that very fact, it is revealed and defined that the Pontiff is infallible in defining dogmas of faith.

3. But, together with revealed truths, there are, as I said a little while ago, other truths more or less strictly connected. These truths, although they are not revealed "in se," are nevertheless required in order to guard fully, explain properly and define efficaciously the very deposit of faith. Truths of this type, therefore, to which dogmatic facts pertain "per se," inasmuch as the deposit of faith is not able to be preserved and expounded without them, these truths, I say, concern the deposit of faith, not indeed of themselves, but as necessary for guarding that deposit of faith. All Catholic theologians completely agree that the Church, in her authentic proposal and definition of truths of this sort, is infallible, such that to deny this infallibility would, be a very grave error. A diversity of opinion turns only on the question of the degree of certitude, i.e., on whether the infallibility in proposing these truths - and therefore in proscribing errors through censures inferior to the note of heresy - should be considered a dogma of faith, so that to deny this infallibility to the Church would be heretical, or whether it is a truth not revealed in itself but one deduced from revealed dogma and as such is only theologically certain.

Now, since what must be said about the infallibility of the Pope in defining truths is completely the same as what must be said about the infallibility of the Church defining, there arises the same question about the extension of pontifical infallibility to those truths not revealed in themselves but which pertain to the guarding of the deposit of the faith. The question, I say, arises as to whether papal infallibility in defining these truths is not only theologically certain but is a dogma of the faith, exactly the same question as has arisen about the infallibility of the Church. Now, since it has seemed to members of the Deputation, by unanimous agreement, that this question should not be defined, at least not now, but should be left in the state in which it presently is, it necessarily follows, according to the opinion of the same Deputation, that the decree of faith about the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff should be seen in such a way that there is defined, as far as the object of infallibility in definitions of the Roman Pontiff is concerned, that there must be believed exactly the same thing as is believed in respect to the object of infallibility in definitions of the Church. Thus, the present definition about the object of infallibility contains two parts which are intimately connected. The first part enunciates the object of infallibility only generically, namely that it is doctrine of faith and morals. The second part of the definition distinctly sets forth this object of infallibility, not indeed by individual considerations, but by circumscribing and determining it by comparing it with the infallibility of the Church in defining, so that the very same thing must be confessed about the object of infallibility when the Pope is defining as must be confessed about the object of infallibility when the Church is defining. These two parts always have to be taken together if the true meaning of our definition is to be grasped. Therefore not only must it be said that the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, when he defines doctrines about faith and morals, but that this infallibility is that infallibility which the Church enjoys. Therefore, someone who would simply assert that the Roman Pontiff is infallible when he defines something about faith or morals has by no means comprehended the meaning of our definition. Nor is the meaning of our formula comprehended by someone who simply asserts that the Roman Pontiff is infallible when he defines something which simply must be held by the Church. The two things must always be joined so that the meaning of our formula be correct and true. Moreover, this formula seems most suitable to express both things: "The Roman Pontiff, when he defines a doctrine of faith and morals to be held by the universal Church, enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith or morals."

Therefore, in this entire definition, the following three things are contained: 1) The Roman Pontiff, through the divine assistance promised to him, is infallible, when, by his supreme authority, he defines a doctrine which must be held by the Universal Church, or, as very many theologians say, when he definitively and conclusively proposes his judgment; 2) the object of these infallible definitions is doctrine about faith or morals; 3) in respect to the object of infallibility, generically proposed in this way, the infallibility of the Pope is neither more nor less extensive than is the infallibility of the Church in her definitions of doctrine of faith and morals. Therefore just as everyone admits that to deny the infallibility of the Church in defining dogmas of faith is heretical, so the force of this decree of the Vatican Council makes it no less heretical to deny the infallibility of the supreme Pontiff, considered in itself, when he defines dogmas of faith. However, in respect to those things about which it is theologically certain - but not as, yet certain "de fide" - that the Church is infallible, these things are also not defined by this decree of the sacred Council as having to be believed "de fide" in respect to papal infallibility. With the theological certitude which is had that these other objects, apart from dogmas of the faith, fall within the extension of the infallibility which the Church enjoys in her definitions, so, with that same theological certitude, must it be held, now and in the future, that the infallibility of definitions issued by the Roman Pontiff extends to these same objects.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:19 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
OK, another distinction which I think might be very important and assist to clarify the matter. Consider this point about Condition E (The Roman Pontiff wills that this definitive judgment be accepted as such by the universal Church):

John Lane wrote:
E. I agree with Fenton, that this condition is verified in all direct teaching on faith and morals directed to the universal Church. There is no case of direct teaching which does not by the very fact demand a sincere inward assent which is unconditional. Here's how Wilhelm and Scannell (i.e. Scheeben) explain it: "The ordinary Proposition of the law of Faith is identical with the ordinary exercise of the Teaching Apostolate; for the Word of God by its very nature exacts the obedience of Faith, and is communicated to the Faithful with the express intention of enforcing belief. Hence the ordinary teaching is necessarily a promulgation of the law of Faith and an injunction of the duty to believe, and consequently the law of Faith is naturally an unwritten law. But the Proposition of or by the Church takes the form of a Statute or written law when promulgated in a solemn decision. Such decisions, however, are not laws strictly speaking, but are merely authoritative declarations of laws already enacted by God, and in most instances they only enforce what is already the common practice. Both forms, written and unwritten, are of equal authority, but the written form is the more precise. Both also rest ultimately on the authority of the Head of the Apostolate. No judicial sentence in matters of Faith is valid unless pronounced or approved by him; and the binding force of the unwritten form arises from his tacit sanction."


Now this only certainly applies per se to what is of faith. Whatever is of faith is by its very nature obligatory.

But is that true of the secondary objects of infallibility? Does the obligation to accept these with sincere inward assent not arise from their definition by the Roman Pontiff or of the Church in her ordinary magisterium, rather than from their very nature?

This takes us back to the question of ecclesiastical faith, and the answer to this present question would appear to depend upon the view one takes of that controversy.

There is no doubt that whenever the Roman Pontiff or the Church makes clear that something within the secondary objects is to be held or reprobated, the faithful are obliged to give sincere inward assent, and this assent is of a nature that if it is lacking then the virtue of faith itself is lost and the culprit is a heretic (i.e. a heretic at least against ecclesiastical faith) and if he expresses his doubt or denial publicly he forfeits membership in the Church.

Yet still, the question of whether these objects in themselves carry the obligation of assent in such a way that the mere witness of the Church makes that obligation clear to all, or whether the Church must actually impose that obligation along with the clear statement of the truth, seems to me to be open. And that would explain the specific wording of definition of papal infallibility in that it demands Condition E distinctly.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:42 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Here's a text which condemns all sedeplenist theories of the present crisis, and at the same time is enlightening on the distinction between the Church as "witness" and "guardian."

Quote:
But a man may imaginably take a much more extreme ground. He may say that the doctrines, taught practically by the Church, inflict a most grave injury on souls, by obscuring those fundamental truths which God has committed to her keeping. Or he may go still further, and say that the former doctrines are absolutely inconsistent with the latter truths. In either case we do not see how such an opinion can deserve a lower censure, than that of heretical. For it directly contradicts the Dogma, so undeviatingly proposed by the Church as revealed by God, concerning her own office and prerogative; the Dogma namely, that she is infallibly protected in every age, as the witness and faithful guardian of the Deposit. According to the lesser error above named, she has ceased to be its faithful guardian; according to the graver, she has ceased even to be its true witness.

Dr. Ward, "Essays on the Church's Doctrinal Authority" p. 195, emphasis in the original.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:36 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
I have a problem with the Relatio of Bishop Gasser. The Bishop say:

"Indeed it should not be said that the Pontiff is infallible simply because of the authority of the papacy but rather inasmuch as he is certainly and undoubtedly subject to the direction of divine assistance. By the authority of the papacy, the Pontiff is always the supreme judge in matters of faith and morals, and the father and teacher of all Christians. But the divine assistance promised to him, by which he cannot err, he only enjoys as such when he really and actually exercises his duty as supreme judge and universal teacher of the Church in disputes about the Faith. Thus, the sentence "The Roman Pontiff is infallible" should not be treated as false, since Christ promised that infallibility to the person of Peter and his successors, but it is incomplete since the Pope is only infallible when, by a solemn judgment, he defines a matter of faith and morals for the Church universal".

This passage it would approve a strict view of infallibility. Decisive, above all, it is the reference to "a solemn judgment". This excludes the infallibility of the ordinay papal magisterium. What do you think? The question is addressed to all.


Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:12 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
This passage it would approve a strict view of infallibility. Decisive, above all, it is the reference to "a solemn judgment". This excludes the infallibility of the ordinay papal magisterium. What do you think? The question is addressed to all.


I read the whole thing, and I thought that other passages make it clear that this is not what he means. Did you read the whole thing?

Keep in mind that Franzelin and Billot didn't take from it that this was true.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:42 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
I read the whole thing, and I thought that other passages make it clear that this is not what he means. Did you read the whole thing?

Keep in mind that Franzelin and Billot didn't take from it that this was true.



I have not read the whole thing yet, John. It is true that there are some other passages which approve a large view of infallibility, like this for example:

"However, these things, since they concern the conscience of the Pontiff rather than his relation [to the Church], must be considered as touching on the moral order rather than the dogmatic order. For with great care our Lord Jesus Christ willed that the charism of truth depend not on the conscience of the Pontiff, which is private - even most private - to each person, and known to God alone, but rather on the public relation of the Pontiff to the universal Church. If it were otherwise, this gift of infallibility would not be an effective means for preserving and repairing the unity of the Church. But in no way, therefore, should it be feared that the universal Church could be led into error about faith through the bad faith and negligence of the Pontiff. For the protection of Christ and the divine assistance promised to the successors of Peter is a cause so efficacious that the judgment of the supreme Pontiff would be impeded if it were to be erroneous and destructive of the Church; or, if in fact the Pontiff really arrives at a definition, it will truly stand infallibly.

But some will persist and say: there remains, therefore, the duty of the Pontiff - indeed most grave in its kind - of adhering to the means apt for discerning the truth, and, although this matter is not strictly dogmatic, it is, nevertheless, intimately connected with dogma. For we define: the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible. Therefore let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment. It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium. But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

Perhaps someone will say: if we don't have a law, let us make one. But let us not do this lest we run up against that already condemned law which said that the council was above the Pope. Furthermore, of what use would be such a law? Would it not be completely useless, since it would never be able to be verified by the faithful and the bishops scattered throughout the world? Even more, it would be a very dangerous thing since it would offer the opportunity for innumerable foolish objections and anxieties. Therefore, let Peter gird himself according to the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, since Peter does not grow old while the world grows old but rather renews his powers like the eagle".


But the passage above continues to worry me. :(


Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:57 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
According to the traditionalist minimalists the Pope is infallible only in his extraordinary Magisterium, when he defines solemnly. In the ordinary Magisterium he is not infallible; he is infallible only if he repeats doctrines already solemnly defined. This is apparently confirmed, not by the text of the Council (who, about papal infallibility, does not speak neither of extraordinary Magisterium nor of solemn judgments), but by that passage of the Relatio of Bishop Gasser. Nevertheless, the encyclical Casti connubii of His Holiness Pius XI seems to exclude this opinion:

"Rien ne convient moins en effet à un chrétien digne de ce nom que de pousser l'orgueilleuse confiance en sa propre intelligence, jusqu'à refuser son assentiment aux vérités dont il n'aurait pu acquérir personnellement une connaissance directe ; jusqu'à regarder l'Eglise, envoyée par Dieu cependant pour enseigner et régir toutes les nations, comme médiocrement informée des choses présentes et de leurs aspects actuels, ou même jusqu'à n'accorder son assentiment et son obéissance qu'aux définitions plus solennelles dont Nous avons parlé, comme si l'on pouvait prudemment penser que les autres décisions de l'Eglise sont entachées d'erreur ou qu'elles n'ont pas un fondement suffisant de vérité et d'honnêteté"

I have found, then, an important declaration of Bishop D'Avanzo, of the Deputation of the Faith, made during the First Vatican Council, from the site 'catholique-sédévacantiste', but I have not the exact source:

"Le Saint-Esprit, l'Esprit de Vérité demeure tous les jours dans l'Église, l'Église aussi enseigne tous les jours les vérités de la foi, avec l'assistance du Saint-Esprit. Elle enseigne toutes les vérités soit déjà définies, soit explicitement contenues dans le dépôt de la révélation, mais non définies encore, soit enfin celles qui font l'objet d’une foi implicite. Ces vérités, l'Eglise les enseigne quotidiennement, tant principalement par le Pape , que par chacun des évêques en communion avec lui. Tous, et le Pape et les évêques, dans cet enseignement ordinaire, sont infaillibles de l'infaillibilité même de l'Église. Ils diffèrent seulement en ceci: les évêques ne sont pas infaillibles par eux-mêmes, mais ont besoin de la communion avec le Pape qui les confirme mais le Pape, lui n'a besoin de rien d'autre que de l'assistance du Saint-Esprit . Ainsi il enseigne et n'est pas enseigné, il confirme et n'est pas, confirmé" (Dom Paul Nau, "Le magistère pontifical ordinaire, lieu théologique. Essai sur l'autorité des enseignements du souverain pontife", in: Revue thomiste).


Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:00 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 210
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
English please, for us non-Frenchies. :shock:

_________________
Laudare, Benedicere et predicare...
Bitcoin donations: 15aKZ5oPzRWVubqgSceK6DifzwtzJ6MRpv


Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:48 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Gabriele, Salve Maria!

Since you read French, wouldn't you have access to Father Bernard Lucien's book Les degrés d'autorité du magistère, La Nef, 2007 ?

In it, there is the revised and expanded version of an older article where Fr. Lucien is said to deal more thoroughly with the objection based on that Gasser quote you brought.
Here is the brief treatment of this objection, from the first appearance of that article of his:

"We do not ignore that one might advance, in favor of this [minimist] position that finds no support in the promulgated text, a statement of Mgr Gasser's, spokesman for the Deputation De Fide (cf. Mansi 52, 1213). We cannot expand on it here, but it is easy to show that this locus does not provide the minimalists with a concluding argument. The spokesman is explaining that infallibility attaches itself "only" to the ACT of teaching, and not in a HABITUAL fashion to the person who teaches."
(Abbé Bernard Lucien, "L'infaillibilité du magistère pontifical ordinaire" [The infallibility of the Pontifical Ordinary Magisterium], in Sedes Sapientiae, n° 63, p. 39, note 17)

The original:

Quote:
"Nous n'ignorons pas que l'on pourrait avancer, en faveur de cette position [la définition de Vatican I est restrictive] qui n'a aucun appui dans le texte promulgué, une affirmation de Mgr Gasser, rapporteur de la Députation de la foi (cf. Mansi, tome 52, col. 1213). Nous ne pouvons nous étendre ici, mais il est aisé de montrer que ce lieu ne fournit pas d'argument concluant aux minimalistes. Le rapporteur explique que l'infaillibilité s'attache "seulement" à l'acte d'enseignement et non de façon habituelle à la personne qui enseigne."


To sum it up, it all boils down to paying close attention to what precisely is the distinction aimed for by an author at some point, in order to refrain from interpreting his words in a sense not intended by him.

These kinds of instances are not in any way rare. Please allow me to bring to your attention two other examples of similar occurrences, having to do with the same overall subject and dating from the same glorious days of the Vatican Council, so that you may see how difficulties such as these are even trivial ones:

1. Fr Murro in his 1997 refutation of Williamson's theories on infallibility (in Sodalitium) brings some quotes of Fr Kleutgen's; the second quote ends as follows:

Quote:
«In alcuni libri pubblicati si legge, secondo una sentenza comune dei teologi, che il Pontefice Romano allora soltanto parla “e cathedra”, quando propone a credere dei dogmi di fede divina. È vero che, se si guarda solo alle parole, si legge questo presso non pochi teologi più recenti; ma è lontanissimo dalla verità che questa sentenza sia comune tra i teologi. Tutti gli antichi e molti dei recenti rendono quelle parole “parlare e cathedra” con queste o simili: “iudicialiter”, o “in sudicio determinare”, “pro potestate decernere”, “cum auctoritate apostolica”, “ut papam loqui” [“Con giudizio”, determinare con giudizio”, discernere con autorità”, “con autorità apostolica”, “parlare in tanto che papa”.] ecc. di modo che la locuzione e cathedra si distingue dall’altra per il modo con cui insegna il pontefice, non per la cosa che trasmette, né per la censura che emette. Sembra che anche quelli più recenti (…) non diano un significato diverso. Infatti poiché, come a volte accade, spiegano la cosa per mezzo dei contrari, non dicono: non vi è locuzione e cathedra, se il Pontefice Romano condanna un’opinione con una censura minore; ma se ciò che gli sembra, l’esprime o lo consiglia, senza però decretare nulla con autorità. Pertanto questi teologi parlano di dogma di fede, nel senso che distinguono la sentenza definita con autorità apostolica dalla sentenza del dottore privato, e non nel senso che distinguono la sentenza definita con la nota di eresia da quella con una censura minore» (35).
35) Atti della Deputazione della Fede: Relazione di P. Joseph Kleutgen sullo schema riformato, Mansi, 53, 326-9.]


(The gist of it, for non Italian speakers: Fr Kleutgen during the Vatican I debates mentions the widespread usage of the expression "ex cathedra" by theologians in a way that seemed to exclude the secondary object of infallibility and thus be incompatible with the dogmatic definition. He then proceeds to observe that the distinction aimed for by theologians in those problematic passages had nothing to do with the undue restriction that the litteral reading of their (not always so careful) words out of their context would seem to imply: their aim in those places was only to distinguish between acts of the Pope as Pope from acts of the Pope as private person. Apples and oranges, then!)

2. For the second example, I refer readers to the following article of the Dublin Review, wholly available online:
http://books.google.com.br/books?id=6FL ... C&pg=PA204

Here is how it begins:

Quote:
"In April (p. 496, note) we drew our readers' attention to a remark of the " Civilta Cattolica," on the inaccurate expressions occasionally and incidentally used by certain eminent Ultramontane writers, concerning the extension of infallibility. The " Civilta Cattolica " evidently feels keenly on this matter; for it repeated the same remark on April! 7th (p. 217); and now, in its number for June 4th, it has once more reverted to the same theme. "Some controversialists," it says (p. 597), "in disputing on the subject of infallibility, speak only by accident, and then with but little exactness on its object; with superfluous polemical restrictions or concessions; although elsewhere they explain their meaning more adequately."* We heartily concur with the "Civiltà" in this opinion; and we will take the liberty of illustrating it from Dom Gueranger's admirable work "La Monarchie Pontificale." [...]"


(For the remainder of the article, please click on the link above.)

So you see, Mr. Gabriele, this kind of thing happened a lot, so it would be really absurd for modernists (either left or right-wing ones) to take instances such as these as evidence to sustain any sort of minimism with regard to infallibility.

(On the infalliblity of the Church's and the Pope's Ordinary Magisterium, Fr. Murro's late nineties studies on numbers 42, 45, and 46 of the italian edition of Sodalitium are easily available online and should be very helpful to you, I think.)

Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:53 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Felipe Coelho,
I am sorry for the delay of my reply. Thank you so much for the aid. The works of Fr. Lucièn and Fr. Murro on the Magisterium are important points of reference in this matter. I have not read yet Fr. Bernard Lucien's book Les degrés d'autorité du magistère, but I know all his articles appeared in Sedes Sapientiae.

The note of Sedes Sapientiae n. 63 that you quote is not resolutive for me, because it is true that Bp. Gasser “is explaining that infallibility attaches itself "only" to the ACT of teaching, and not in a HABITUAL fashion to the person who teaches”, but he says that this act must contain a “solemn judgment”.

What is decisive, for me, it is the fact that Bp. Gasser refuses deliberately to fix a determined form for the infallibility (“Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?”). So we can all understand that many infallible teachings are proposed by ordinary acts of the Pope and not only by his extraordinary Magisterium.

This is confirmed very clearly by Bp. Martin, of the Deputation of the Faith, always during the Vatican Council: « Il faut croire toutes les choses que Dieu a révélées et nous propose de croire, par l'intermédiaire de l'Église, et ce quel que soit le mode d’expression qu'elle choisisse (quomodocumque). Par cette doctrine est exclue l'erreur de ceux qui veulent qu’il faille seulement croire de foi divine les articles de foi formellement définis, et qui par conséquent, s'efforcent de réduire quasiment au minimum la somme des vérités à croire » (Jean Michel Alfred Vacant: Étude sur les constitutions du concile du Vatican d’après les actes du concile, Paris et Lyon 1895, 1. II. p. 372). Bp. Martin here speaks of the infallibility of the Church, but we know that the Pope enjoys the same infallibility of the Church (as it teaches us Vatican Council).

The lefebvrians say: the Pope in his ordinary Magisterium is infallible only if he repeats doctrines already solemnly defined. They distinguish an ordinary infallible Magisterium from an ordinary Magisterium merely “authentic”, not infallible (it is the case of the errors proposed by the “conciliar church”). So for the lefebvrians the Pope can err in his Magisterium. But this is false.

The same Bp. Gasser says: “[…] in no way […] should it be feared that the universal Church could be led into error about faith through the bad faith and negligence of the Pontiff”.

And Vatican Council reminds us: ”Indeed, their apostolic teaching [of the successors of Peter] was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren. This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See…”.

From the Church, from the See of Peter can not come the error.

I think that a correct view of pontifical infallibility could open the eyes to many traditionalists on the actual crisis of the Church.

Thank you again.


Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:14 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
I think that's true.

It's also true that Rome tolerated quite minimalist theories of infallibility by her theologians after 1870, and the ambiguity that is in the definition, leaving the scope of infallibility unstated (it was intended to define the infallibility of the Church in a later session), means that we have to keep in mind the status of the truth that we believe. The strict and true understanding of infallibility is not a dogma, it is the more probable opinion, I think.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:19 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:14 pm
Posts: 210
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Divine Providence willed for it not to be defined. It could of probably been the very thing that Leo XIII had in his vision when speaking of the Devil being given the time and the power. I do believe that it is what essentially brought the Council to an end, we would be having things much easier if they would of had more time like Trent. Remember that after Trent the Church blossomed after a True Council the Church blossoms as a result of true doctrine. How I wish that it would of ended after everything that they wanted to define would be defined :(.

I have often prayed, that the Vatican I would of been finished and as a result of that maybe Vatican II would of never been called. Woe to me, the Lord knows what he is doing his knowledge is perfect and yet at the same time he wills that all men be saved. Despite of the massive apostasy there are more souls that will be saved then if it would of never happened. The other Catholics maybe were too comfortable and like the people of Israel became worldly and no different than the people of the world. I am sure that we have deserved much worse, and yet God chose this way. Ultimately, it must be the most perfect way. This breaks my heart and I am sure that all of you would be living life much differently if it were not for the crisis. Maybe none of you would be the Catholics that you are now as a result of the crisis. Think and ponder, will the Lord give you something that you can ever not handle? Supernatural faith, hope and charity is the only means whereby we can be saved now.

However, God knows best and His will was to put us through the test through fire. So that his servants may be truly known, it is a very hard thing to understand, but many good books written on the subject. Father Drexel S.J. is a good author on the Providence of God. God has promised THROUGH ever age of the Church great Saint's, and this era IS NO EXCEPTION. Never forget that! I believe honestly that one of those great Saint's was the Archbishop, many of you will heartily disagree. That is okay, to be a Saint means to have heroic virtue it does not necessarily mean that you got it right on every single topic. Once we change our perspective on what true Holiness is, then we will see how many Saints are out there among our priest etc... God is good, truly good. God Bless all of you.

_________________
Laudare, Benedicere et predicare...
Bitcoin donations: 15aKZ5oPzRWVubqgSceK6DifzwtzJ6MRpv


Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:51 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
I think that's true.

It's also true that Rome tolerated quite minimalist theories of infallibility by her theologians after 1870, and the ambiguity that is in the definition, leaving the scope of infallibility unstated (it was intended to define the infallibility of the Church in a later session), means that we have to keep in mind the status of the truth that we believe. The strict and true understanding of infallibility is not a dogma, it is the more probable opinion, I think.


But if we consider that Vatican Council reiterated that the Holy See always remain pure from every error (as they have always professed the Popes before and after the Council) there is no space for minimalist visions. And since the pontifical infallibility is a truth of faith, its negation is a grave error against the faith. That said, I am sure that many traditionalists, especially among the laity, err in good faith. But the error should not be hidden or minimized.

The Fathers of Vatican Council claim there is a close link between the gift of the faith always pure and unfailing of the Popes and their infallibility in the teaching. The infallibility in the teaching comes from the faith always pure. So that, being the faith always pure, the teaching will be necessarily always pure from every error. It suffice to read entirely the "Chapter 4" of the Pastor aeternus, and not the only definition.

I know that the lefebvrians adopt the minimalism to feel entitled to disagree in front of what is really an error (more errors), but in this way they besmirch both the Papacy than the Church, stating that the poison and the error come from the Vicar of Christ and from the same Ecclesia docens. They appeal to Tradition reducing to nothing the Magisterium of the Church. Just like the protestants.


Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:41 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele,

Obviously I agree with you, but have you read Fessler on infallibility?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:35 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear John,
I have not read Fessler. I see that his work is on the web and I will read it. Watching the structure of his work on infallibility it seems to me that he touches more the problem of the relationship between infallibility of the Pope and national States. Perhaps did he want to present the teaching of the Magisterium on infallibility in a temperate way to win the resistances of the anti-infallibilists?


Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:27 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Exactly, his work was an apologistic effort aimed at a pamphlet by a Dr. Schultes, if memory serves, who was claiming what Gladstone also claimed, that the popes were asserting global sovereignty in secular matters.

Newman had his mate Ambrose St. John translate it, no doubt because it appeared to minimise infallibility. I wonder if the translation's ever been checked?

Pius IX gave explicit praise to the work and the author for writing it.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:06 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Salve Maria!

I think Pope Pius IX's approval of Msgr. Fessler's pamphlet should be viewed in a similar way as his approval of Msgr. Dupanloup's defense of Vatican I, i.e. not as an endorsement of everything written therein (which would contradict, by the way, Pius IX's approval of Veuillot and others who said the opposite on many points), but as merely a sort of general approval of their defense of Vatican I in view of public opinion and against malicious opposition by protestants and laicists.

That Msgr. Fessler's presentantion is not wholly accurate is seen not only by its being favoured by Newman (though this is certainly sufficient evidence that there was something wrong with it!), but also by Cardinal Mazzella's strong words citing Fessler by name as one of the "viros aliquot, paucos tamen haud mediocris ingenii" (De Ecclesia, p. 822)!

Mazzella says that about Fessler, Vacant tells us (Le Magistère ordinaire de l’Église et ses organes, 1887), because Fessler is one of those who confuse sollemn decrees with ex cathedra definitions and, hence, deny the [ex sese] infallibility of the Syllabus.

FC


Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:39 pm
Profile E-mail

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 11:46 pm
Posts: 728
Location: Western Washington, USA
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Pax Christi ! And Happy/Merry New Year ! :)

Quote:
know that the lefebvrians adopt the minimalism to feel entitled to disagree in front of what is really an error (more errors), but in this way they besmirch both the Papacy than the Church, stating that the poison and the error come from the Vicar of Christ and from the same Ecclesia docens. They appeal to Tradition reducing to nothing the Magisterium of the Church. Just like the protestants.


This position appears to also be Robert Sungenus view. He holds the sede position to also be " anti-papacy", all the while he berates the errors of Benedict, stating that none of his errors are from the " magisterial church", but just private babblings of a true pontiff...he then falls at the feet of his papal claim, and states “ I am not a sedevacantist because I respect and honor the papacy”……I guess by default, he thinks sede's do not respect and honor the papacy.........

In Xto,


Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:48 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:02 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Spokane
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Vince Sheridan wrote:
Pax Christi ! And Happy/Merry New Year ! :)

Quote:
know that the lefebvrians adopt the minimalism to feel entitled to disagree in front of what is really an error (more errors), but in this way they besmirch both the Papacy than the Church, stating that the poison and the error come from the Vicar of Christ and from the same Ecclesia docens. They appeal to Tradition reducing to nothing the Magisterium of the Church. Just like the protestants.


This position appears to also be Robert Sungenus view. He holds the sede position to also be " anti-papacy", all the while he berates the errors of Benedict, stating that none of his errors are from the " magisterial church", but just private babblings of a true pontiff...he then falls at the feet of his papal claim, and states “ I am not a sedevacantist because I respect and honor the papacy”……I guess by default, he thinks sede's do not respect and honor the papacy.........

In Xto,


Mind boggling, isn't it? :shock: How do they do that?


Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:11 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Felipe Coelho wrote:
Salve Maria!

I think Pope Pius IX's approval of Msgr. Fessler's pamphlet should be viewed in a similar way as his approval of Msgr. Dupanloup's defense of Vatican I, i.e. not as an endorsement of everything written therein (which would contradict, by the way, Pius IX's approval of Veuillot and others who said the opposite on many points), but as merely a sort of general approval of their defense of Vatican I in view of public opinion and against malicious opposition by protestants and laicists.

That Msgr. Fessler's presentantion is not wholly accurate is seen not only by its being favoured by Newman (though this is certainly sufficient evidence that there was something wrong with it!), but also by Cardinal Mazzella's strong words citing Fessler by name as one of the "viros aliquot, paucos tamen haud mediocris ingenii" (De Ecclesia, p. 822)!

Mazzella says that about Fessler, Vacant tells us (Le Magistère ordinaire de l’Église et ses organes, 1887), because Fessler is one of those who confuse sollemn decrees with ex cathedra definitions and, hence, deny the [ex sese] infallibility of the Syllabus.

FC


Yes, understood, but if the work was censurable it would not have been praised. And yes, I understand that sometimes things are not censured which could have been. In this case a solemn definition had been promulgated, and these men were purporting to explain it to others. If their interpretation was not merely wrong, but censurable, they could not have received actual praise for that specific work from the Roman Pontiff.

The praise of Veuilllot could easily be explained by his opponents on the same ground, and I'm sure it was.

So dislike it as we might, and I detest it, the minimising position is a tolerated opinion.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:12 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

I think I still owe you a reply to an answer you gave me here weeks ago, and I'm working on it, but meanwhile:

When I read Monseigneur Fessler, years ago, I was still struggling with sedevacantism, yet I don't recall finding it irredeemably opposed to the premises that lead to sedevacantism, not at all!

Even with regard to some of his more "minimist"-sounding statements, to the effect that "The Pope is infallible if and only if..." (as I recall them), I remember thinking, even then, that given the context of his book (an explanation of the definition), they could naturally be read as possibly implying that "The Pope [was defined to be] infallible if and only if...", which does not necessarily exclude other modalities of infallibility that have not been defined yet.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, a little later I was very happy to find the following distinction (rather elementary, I know...), between Infallibility in the strictest sense (the one defined at Vatican I) and infallibility in a larger sense:

Quote:
“The authority of government, in the Supreme Pontiff, must be considered absolute. When the Pope commands, and under whatever form by which he commands, all in the Church must obey. But is it necessary to say that the Pope, when he commands, even as Pope and Head of the Church, can make no mistake? Are we to speak of infallibility here? It cannot be a matter, anyway, of an infallibility identical to doctrinal Infallibility. No one holds that the Pope, when he commands, necessarily orders everything that there is of most excellent and best for the good of individuals, of various groups, or the whole Church. We’re not talking of a positive infallibility. It’s only a matter of negative infallibility; which is to say, that the Pope has no way of ordering anything that might go against the definitive good of those he addresses. In that sense, one can hardly fail to admit that the Pope is infallible, at least concerning laws or disciplinary measures that bind the whole Church. But as all can see, it’s no longer a matter of Infallibility in the strictest sense.”
(Fr. Th.-M. PÈGUES, O.P., L’Autorité des Encycliques Pontificales, d’après Saint Thomas [The Authority of Pontifical Encyclicals, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas] in: Revue Thomiste, XII (1904), 513-32; the quotation is at pages 520-521.)

[L'autorité de gouvernement, dans le Souverain Pontife, doit être tenue pour absolue. Quand le Pape commande, et sous [520/521] quelque forme qu'il commande, tous, dans l’Église, doivent obéir. Mais est-il nécessaire de dire que le Pape, quand il commande, même comme Pape et en tant que chef de l'Eglise, ne peut pas se tromper? Faut-il, ici, parler d'Infaillibilité? Il ne peut être question, en tout cas, d'une infaillibilité identique à l'Infaillibilité doctrinale. Nul n'admet que le Pape, qnand il commande, ordonne nécessairement tout ce qu'il ya de meilleur et de plus excellent pour le bien des individus, des divers groupes, ou de l'Eglise tout entière. On ne veut pas d'une infaillibilité positive. Il n'est question que d'une infaillibilité négative; et cela revient à dire que le Pape ne peut rien ordonner qui soit contre le bien définitif de ceux à qui il s'adresse. Auquel sens il serait bien difficile de ne pas admettre que le Pape est infaillible, du moins quand il s'agit de lois ou de mesures disciplinaires qui obligent toute l'Eglise. Mais, on le voit, il ne s'agit plus d'Infaillibilité au sens strict.]


That distinction is another way I'd manage to explain to myself more minimist-sounding statements by respectable people, and actually even that one statement made en passant by Msgr Gasser, quoted above by Gabriele, before I found that other explanation by an expert on these matters, Father Lucien, whom I quoted above.

So that makes three possible explanations to the difficulty we're discussing here, I think.

With regard to the theological note of the infallibility of the Pope's Ordinary Magisterium, I never meant to say anything about it, one way or the other.

Yours In JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:09 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Felipe Coelho wrote:
When I read Monseigneur Fessler, years ago, I was still struggling with sedevacantism, yet I don't recall finding it irredeemably opposed to the premises that lead to sedevacantism, not at all!


I agree, but that wasn't my point.

Felipe Coelho wrote:
Even with regard to some of his more "minimist"-sounding statements, to the effect that "The Pope is infallible if and only if..." (as I recall them), I remember thinking, even then, that given the context of his book (an explanation of the definition), they could naturally be read as possibly implying that "The Pope [was defined to be] infallible if and only if...", which does not necessarily exclude other modalities of infallibility that have not been defined yet.

Does that make sense?


Yes, but there are quotes all through where he says that the pope is only infallible in defining matters of faith, by which he appears to mean "divine faith", and he denies the infallibility of Quanta Cura, and also the infallibility of lesser censures than "heresy" - which is a clear sign that he means "divine faith" when he says "faith."

Felipe Coelho wrote:
Quote:
“The authority of government, in the Supreme Pontiff, must be considered absolute. When the Pope commands, and under whatever form by which he commands, all in the Church must obey. But is it necessary to say that the Pope, when he commands, even as Pope and Head of the Church, can make no mistake? Are we to speak of infallibility here? It cannot be a matter, anyway, of an infallibility identical to doctrinal Infallibility. No one holds that the Pope, when he commands, necessarily orders everything that there is of most excellent and best for the good of individuals, of various groups, or the whole Church. We’re not talking of a positive infallibility. It’s only a matter of negative infallibility; which is to say, that the Pope has no way of ordering anything that might go against the definitive good of those he addresses. In that sense, one can hardly fail to admit that the Pope is infallible, at least concerning laws or disciplinary measures that bind the whole Church. But as all can see, it’s no longer a matter of Infallibility in the strictest sense.”
(Fr. Th.-M. PÈGUES, O.P., L’Autorité des Encycliques Pontificales, d’après Saint Thomas [The Authority of Pontifical Encyclicals, according to Saint Thomas Aquinas] in: Revue Thomiste, XII (1904), 513-32; the quotation is at pages 520-521.) [/i]]


Yes, that's good. But you see how undeveloped the whole field is, when you see things like that, which is really rather vague and certainly doesn't appear to be part of a cogent and complete system.

Felipe Coelho wrote:
With regard to the theological note of the infallibility of the Pope's Ordinary Magisterium, I never meant to say anything about it, one way or the other.


Understood. However, that was my only point (above) when I said this:
Quote:
It's also true that Rome tolerated quite minimalist theories of infallibility by her theologians after 1870, and the ambiguity that is in the definition, leaving the scope of infallibility unstated (it was intended to define the infallibility of the Church in a later session), means that we have to keep in mind the status of the truth that we believe. The strict and true understanding of infallibility is not a dogma, it is the more probable opinion, I think.


What do you think?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:31 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Some observations:

- Everything that is tolerated is, by definition, an evil, since we do not tolerate a good thing.

- Bp. Martin of the Deputation of the Faith has called error the minimalism (and not the less probable opinion!). I quote him again: « Il faut croire toutes les choses que Dieu a révélées et nous propose de croire, par l'intermédiaire de l'Église, et ce quel que soit le mode d’expression qu'elle choisisse (quomodocumque). Par cette doctrine est exclue l'erreur de ceux qui veulent qu’il faille seulement croire de foi divine les articles de foi formellement définis, et qui par conséquent, s'efforcent de réduire quasiment au minimum la somme des vérités à croire » (Jean Michel Alfred Vacant: Étude sur les constitutions du concile du Vatican d’après les actes du concile, Paris et Lyon 1895, 1. II. p. 372).

-The scope of infallibility has been declared: it covers all the things that touch directly or indireclty faith and morals. On the contrary, the scope of infallibility has not been voluntarily delimited for what regards the modes of expression. This argues strongly against minimalism.

- If it is true that many modern theologians are been minimalists (Fr. Lucien says the greater part of modern theologians), it is also true that the Apostolic See has constantly professed the necessity to believe or keep as true all what is teached by the Roman Pontiffs, condemning in this way the contrary view.


Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:22 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

Sorry for the delay in answering.

What I think is that perhaps the "strict and true understanding of infallibility" can be dismembered in a series of different theses, carrying varying weight?

For instance, at least with regard to the Canons of the Reformed Schema of the Second Constitution De Ecclesia, which couldn't be voted due to the Council's interruption, of course, wouldn't their doctrine be thus classed by theologians as proximate to definition? And hence the opinions they meant to condemn, wouldn't they be classed as something along the lines of... proximate to heresy?

(I've been planning for a while to go through the Italian translation of Cartechini's book again, with that particular question in mind.)

I'm thinking here particularly about Canons 9 and (above all) Canon 10:

Quote:
“D 9. Si quis dixerit, Christi Ecclesiam sive credendo sive docendo a vera fide deficere posse, aut certe in aliis nullis, quam in iis, quae per se ipsa in verbo Dei continentur, ab errorem immunem esse: anathema sit.
10. Si quis dixerit, licitum esse de opinione ulla ab ecclesia proscripta docere vel sentire, contra quam ab ecclesia statutum sit: anathema sit. – Vel: Si quis dixerit, ecclesiam falli posse, cum pravas opiniones censura haeresis minore aut nulla definita nota proscribit: anathema sit."

(Mansi, 53, 313 D)


An attempt at translation (I'm REALLY uncertain about the translation of Canon 9, so any help would be much appreciated!):

Canon 9. If anyone says that the Church of Christ, either the Teaching Church or the Learning Church, may defect from the true faith, or that She is not immune from error in anything other than that which is directly contained in the word of God, let him be anathema.

Canon 10. If anyone says that it is licit to teach or to privately hold a view that has been proscribed by the Church, going against what the Church has established: let him be anathema.
Or: If anyone says that the Church might err when She proscribes perverse opinions without the censure of heresy nor any other lesser censure: let him be anathema.

Anyway, the other book I've been planning to read again (in the absence of Fr. Lucien's books, that unfortunately I do not have) is Benedictine Fr. Paul Nau's long refutation of Louvain minimist Marc Caudron's thesis. For now, I conclude with a quotation that seems pertinent, from Fr. Nau's essay on the Infallibility of Encyclicals:

Quote:
“Is it really useful to multiply the testimonies, when the doctrine that holds possible to find error in the [local] Church of Rome was the object of solemn reprobation? Such is, in fact, one of Peter of Osma's propositions fulminated by Pope Sixtus IV with various censures even to the note of heresy: ‘Ecclesia Urbis Romae errare potest.’ (Proposition 7, condemned by the Bull Licet sa, of August 9, 1478. DENZ.-BAN. 730.)”
(Dom Paul NAU, Une Source doctrinale: les Encycliques, available online, p. 79)


Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:46 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
- Everything that is tolerated is, by definition, an evil, since we do not tolerate a good thing.


Yes, we agree on that, of course.

Gabriele wrote:
- Bp. Martin of the Deputation of the Faith has called error the minimalism (and not the less probable opinion!). I quote him again: « Il faut croire toutes les choses que Dieu a révélées et nous propose de croire, par l'intermédiaire de l'Église, et ce quel que soit le mode d’expression qu'elle choisisse (quomodocumque). Par cette doctrine est exclue l'erreur de ceux qui veulent qu’il faille seulement croire de foi divine les articles de foi formellement définis, et qui par conséquent, s'efforcent de réduire quasiment au minimum la somme des vérités à croire » (Jean Michel Alfred Vacant: Étude sur les constitutions du concile du Vatican d’après les actes du concile, Paris et Lyon 1895, 1. II. p. 372).


Translation: You have to believe all the things God has revealed and proposes for our belief, through the Church, regardless of the mode of expression she chooses (quomodocumque). By this doctrine is excluded the error of those who want that we should only believe with divine faith articles of faith formally defined, and therefore, efforts to reduce almost to a minimum the sum of truths to be believed.

This seems to me to address the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium, not the scope of infallibility. In terms of scope, it is exclusively commenting on truths of divine revelation which have been authoritatively proposed by the Church - that is, things to be "believed" (with divine and catholic faith) not things to be "held" (with ecclesiastical faith). The text of Bishop Martin here is really a close parallel with Tuas Libenter on the same point.

Gabriele wrote:
-The scope of infallibility has been declared: it covers all the things that touch directly or indireclty faith and morals. On the contrary, the scope of infallibility has not been voluntarily delimited for what regards the modes of expression. This argues strongly against minimalism.


The definition was constructed so as not to touch the question of scope. That is, so as not to add weight to the ultramontane position, nor the "gallican" position. So I don't think we can say the scope has been "declared" nor that the definition argues against minimalism in scope.

Gabriele wrote:
- If it is true that many modern theologians are been minimalists (Fr. Lucien says the greater part of modern theologians), it is also true that the Apostolic See has constantly professed the necessity to believe or keep as true all what is teached by the Roman Pontiffs, condemning in this way the contrary view.


Agreed. But this only adds to my point. We are right, but we must not condemn those who differ with us, since the Church didn't. We are in the position that anti-Gallicans were in, in 1869, on papal infallibility itself.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:58 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Felipe Coelho wrote:
Sorry for the delay in answering.


No problem at all. I think that the pace of this forum is wonderful, and suggests that people are thinking before they write, a refreshing novelty on the Internet. :)

Felipe Coelho wrote:
What I think is that perhaps the "strict and true understanding of infallibility" can be dismembered in a series of different theses, carrying varying weight?


Yes, I completely agree.

Felipe Coelho wrote:
For instance, at least with regard to the Canons of the Reformed Schema of the Second Constitution De Ecclesia, which couldn't be voted due to the Council's interruption, of course, wouldn't their doctrine be thus classed by theologians as proximate to definition? And hence the opinions they meant to condemn, wouldn't they be classed as something along the lines of... proximate to heresy?

I doubt it, I'm sorry. The definition of papal infallibility and the constitution on faith were radically revised by the Council before being adopted and promulgated. Do you have a source for the principle you suggest here?

Felipe Coelho wrote:
Quote:
“D 9. Si quis dixerit, Christi Ecclesiam sive credendo sive docendo a vera fide deficere posse, aut certe in aliis nullis, quam in iis, quae per se ipsa in verbo Dei continentur, ab errorem immunem esse: anathema sit.
10. Si quis dixerit, licitum esse de opinione ulla ab ecclesia proscripta docere vel sentire, contra quam ab ecclesia statutum sit: anathema sit. – Vel: Si quis dixerit, ecclesiam falli posse, cum pravas opiniones censura haeresis minore aut nulla definita nota proscribit: anathema sit."

(Mansi, 53, 313 D)


An attempt at translation (I'm REALLY uncertain about the translation of Canon 9, so any help would be much appreciated!):

Canon 9. If anyone says that the Church of Christ, either the Teaching Church or the Learning Church, may defect from the true faith, or that She is not immune from error in anything other than that which is directly contained in the word of God, let him be anathema.

Canon 10. If anyone says that it is licit to teach or to privately hold a view that has been proscribed by the Church, going against what the Church has established: let him be anathema.
Or: If anyone says that the Church might err when She proscribes perverse opinions without the censure of heresy nor any other lesser censure: let him be anathema.


Are those two alternative canons, either of which may be promulgated as Canon 10? If so, you see here the presentation of two radically different canons - one which stigmatises as unlawful the maintaining of a position condemned by the Church, and the other which defines that she is infallible in her lesser censures and even when she does not apply a censure (is that part of the translation right???).

Felipe Coelho wrote:
Quote:
“Is it really useful to multiply the testimonies, when the doctrine that holds possible to find error in the [local] Church of Rome was the object of solemn reprobation? Such is, in fact, one of Peter of Osma's propositions fulminated by Pope Sixtus IV with various censures even to the note of heresy: ‘Ecclesia Urbis Romae errare potest.’ (Proposition 7, condemned by the Bull Licet sa, of August 9, 1478. DENZ.-BAN. 730.)”
(Dom Paul NAU, Une Source doctrinale: les Encycliques, available online, p. 79)


Yes, well the minimalists would be happy with that quote - they would distinguish the term "errare" and no doubt they did so in fact. That text cannot have been unknown to them.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:14 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

I found my source. It's Salaverri's De Ecclesia.

I'm sure you know who he is, but this introduction by Msgr. Fenton is just too impressive for me not to quote it:

Quote:
"Cardinal Louis Billot was certainly one of the greatest ecclesiologists of the generation just past. There are many who consider him the ablest writer on the treatise De Ecclesia since the time of the Vatican Council. Fr. Joachim Salaverri, of the Jesuit faculty of theology in the Pontifical Institute of Comillas in Spain, holds very much the same position in the theological world of the mid-twentieth century that Cardinal Billot occupied in that of fifty years ago. In general, the scientific tendencies manifest in Fr. Salaverri’s work are much the same as those that appeared in the writings of his distinguished predecessor. In several instances, the teaching of Fr. Salaverri actually appears as a legitimate and laudable development of the doctrine set forth in Billot’s volumes on the Church."

(Msgr. Joseph Clifford FENTON, Infallibility in the Encyclicals, The American Ecclesiastical Review, March 1953, pp. 177-198, transcribed in:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=319 )


And here is what Salaverri has to say about our topic:

Quote:
«THESIS 17. The secondary or indirect object of infallibility are those other truths that are necessarily connected to revealed truths.

699. Nexus [with the preceding Thesis]. [...]

700-706. Notions. [...]

707. State of the question. We hold that the object of infallibility that is certainly secondary or indirect, are all those truths that are necessarily connected to truths that are revealed in themselves. They are:
1) speculative truths logically connected to revealed truths;
2) dogmatic facts, above all the doctrinal ones;
3) disciplinary decrees in general; [including liturgical decrees: cfr. par. 704]
4) the solemn edict of canonization of Saints;
5) the definitive and supreme approval of Religious Orders.

708. History of the question.
1) In general this doctrine is opposed by...
...Rationalists and Naturalists...
...to whom should be added Protestants...
2) Against this thesis...
a) ...Semi-Rationalists like Günther and Frohschamer... Cf. PIUS IX, Brief «Eximiam tuam»; Letter «Gravissimas inter»; Syllabus; Denzinger 1656, 1674-76, 1703-4, 1710-14...
b) ...Modernists...D2005....D 2023, 2058, 2084...
c) ...Jansenists... D 1098, 1350... D 1578, 1580-92...
d) ...partisans of the “nouvelle théologie” condemned by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical «Humani Generis»... D 2308, 2310...

709. Doctrine of the Church.
...Pius XII in Humani Generis...

710. The Vatican Council proposes the doctrine of the thesis:
1) In its decrees;
2) In its definition of Pontifical Infallibility;
3) In other definitions it was preparing.
[...]
712. 3) In the decrees of the Vatican Council, that were being prepared, the doctrine of the Thesis was directly and explicitly defined; therefore, the Thesis is proximate to definition.

In the First Schema, Canon 9: “If anyone says that the infallibility of the Church is limited only to those truths that are contained in divine revelation, and that it does not comprehend also other truths that are necessarily required in order to integrally guard the Deposit, let him be anathema.”

The Reformed Schema, Canon 9, is in agreement: “If anyone says that the Church of Jesus Christ may stray from the true faith, or that She is not certainly exempt from error in anything other than that which is contained per se in the word of God, let him be anathema.”

713. Dogmatic value. The doctrine of the Thesis is at least theologically certain and proximate to be defined by the Vatican Council itself

(Fr. Joachim SALAVERRI, S.J., in: Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Tome I; Treatise III: De Ecclesia Christi, [Book II: On the Magisterium of the Church and its Sources, Chapter III: On the Object of the Infallible Magisterium, Article II: On the secondary object of infallibility,] Thesis 17, par. 699-713).


With regard to Canon 10, my two answers:

1. It is indeed a composite Canon, comprising two distinct anathemas. I seem to recall seeing more than a few Canons like this one in Denzinger, i.e. Canons that contain more than one anathema; however, that was a long time ago, so I might look for them later on. For now, though, I can assure you that both of these anathemas are foreseen to be present in the same Canon 10, so it's not really a matter of choosing just one of them.

2. The translation seems accurate: the Church is infallible when she condemns a proposition even when she does not specify the censure attached to said condemned proposition. Is that too much? Where's Mr. Daly when we need him? :)

A final observation on these Canons:

Fr. Salaverri cites them in order to prove many of his Theses througout his De Ecclesia; as far as I can tell he always does so at the end of paragraphs entitled "The Doctrine of the Church"; and he emphasizes as a very important thing the fact that these Canons received no objection from the Council's Bishops and suffered no substantial changes when they were discussed between the First and Second drafts of the Scheme De Ecclesia by Fr. Kleutgen.

Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:07 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Yes, we agree on that, of course.


Very good. In this case, being the minimalist view an evil, we can consider it as a wrong or illegitimate opinion. In other terms an error. If not, how (about you)?


John Lane wrote:
Translation: You have to believe all the things God has revealed and proposes for our belief, through the Church, regardless of the mode of expression she chooses (quomodocumque). By this doctrine is excluded the error of those who want that we should only believe with divine faith articles of faith formally defined, and therefore, efforts to reduce almost to a minimum the sum of truths to be believed.

This seems to me to address the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium, not the scope of infallibility.


Exactly. It is precisely the infallibility of the ordinary pontifical magisterium to be denied by the minimalists.

John Lane wrote:
In terms of scope, it is exclusively commenting on truths of divine revelation which have been authoritatively proposed by the Church - that is, things to be "believed" (with divine and catholic faith) not things to be "held" (with ecclesiastical faith). The text of Bishop Martin here is really a close parallel with Tuas Libenter on the same point.


The scope of the infallibility is extended also to things connected to the Revelation. Indeed, the definition of pontifical infallibility of the Vatican Council (Pastor aeternus) speaks of "a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church". And not to be “believed".


John Lane wrote:
The definition was constructed so as not to touch the question of scope. That is, so as not to add weight to the ultramontane position, nor the "gallican" position. So I don't think we can say the scope has been "declared" nor that the definition argues against minimalism in scope.


See above.

John Lane wrote:
Agreed. But this only adds to my point. We are right, but we must not condemn those who differ with us, since the Church didn't. We are in the position that anti-Gallicans were in, in 1869, on papal infallibility itself.


We must to condemn, according to what the Church has always taught, the error of those who affirm that the Pope can err in his Magisterium when he shall certify that a truth is contained in the Revelation or connected to it.


Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:57 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele,

Can I ask you to re-read this post please, which kicked off this discussion?

John Lane wrote:
I think that's true.

It's also true that Rome tolerated quite minimalist theories of infallibility by her theologians after 1870, and the ambiguity that is in the definition, leaving the scope of infallibility unstated (it was intended to define the infallibility of the Church in a later session), means that we have to keep in mind the status of the truth that we believe. The strict and true understanding of infallibility is not a dogma, it is the more probable opinion, I think.


Yes, the minimalist view we are discussing is an error. But what is the status of that error?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:24 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Gabriele,

Can I ask you to re-read this post please, which kicked off this discussion?

John Lane wrote:
I think that's true.

It's also true that Rome tolerated quite minimalist theories of infallibility by her theologians after 1870, and the ambiguity that is in the definition, leaving the scope of infallibility unstated (it was intended to define the infallibility of the Church in a later session), means that we have to keep in mind the status of the truth that we believe. The strict and true understanding of infallibility is not a dogma, it is the more probable opinion, I think.


Yes, the minimalist view we are discussing is an error. But what is the status of that error?


Dear John, I beg you to excuse me for my stupidity. But what do you want to ask me with your question? Do you mean that the error has not been formally condemned? I do not undrstand, sincerely :). Specify please! I think only that the minimalist view (for example the theory of lefebvrians about the infallibility of Magisterium) is incompatible with what the Church has always taught (not a simple non-justiciable theory nor the less probable opinion about the infallibility of Magisterium).
If you admit that minimalist view is an error, as you have done, we are perfectly agree. By that very fact we condemn the minimalism. Cordially


Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:13 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
What I mean is, for example, that the notion that the pope is only infallible when condemning heresy, but not when issuing lesser censures, seems to me to have been tolerated by Rome. I agree it's erroneous, but if Rome didn't condemn it, any theologian may adopt it as his own view without censure. I may be mistaken about this, but that seems to be the reality of the situation.

Infallibility, even just papal infallibility, consists of a series of theses. We'd need to examine each one and see what the theological note proper to each actually is, but I think it is clear enough that there is a great deal of lawful dispute over many of them.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:51 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
What I mean is, for example, that the notion that the pope is only infallible when condemning heresy, but not when issuing lesser censures, seems to me to have been tolerated by Rome. I agree it's erroneous, but if Rome didn't condemn it, any theologian may adopt it as his own view without censure. I may be mistaken about this, but that seems to be the reality of the situation.

Infallibility, even just papal infallibility, consists of a series of theses. We'd need to examine each one and see what the theological note proper to each actually is, but I think it is clear enough that there is a great deal of lawful dispute over many of them.


Dear John, in any case the theologians of the theological notes they can never say that from the Holy See can come the error. The rest can be discussed only. As you have rightly said, Rome tolerated (that is, She disapproved but She is not intervened to condemn formally the single theologian; for example because he was a good theologian who was wrong on that only point in his book). Tolerate does not mean to give freedom, because freedom is a right. The absence of a censure (for one or more theologians) is not an approbation. This, obviously, because the pontifical Magisterium has constantly teached that from the Holy See can never come the error, condemning the contrary opinion, and trying to defeat in this way the error of those theologians. Until to Humani Generis of Pius XII. However, I understand your concerns. :)


Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:52 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
John Lane wrote:
This seems to me to address the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium, not the scope of infallibility.


Exactly. It is precisely the infallibility of the ordinary pontifical magisterium to be denied by the minimalists.


Gabriele,

We must distinguish between the ordinary, universal, magisterium and the ordinary pontifical magisterium.

The difficulty with your comment is that as Dom Paul Nau explained, the pope is infallible in proposing truths in his ordinary teaching when it is clear that by a series of acts he makes it clear that the doctrine is really the doctrine of the Church. The implication of this is that in any given single act there could be error.

My own preference is for the explanation of Monsignor Fenton, who says that when a truth is directly asserted as true by the Roman Pontiff, even in an encyclical, he teaches infallibly. Fenton is somewhat tentative in his presentation of this thesis, even wavering between strong and weak assertions of it, it seems to me, but nevertheless it seems to me to be right and really inescapable. If the Roman Pontiff can present as true a doctrine of faith and morals in a document addressed to the universal Church, which is in fact not true, he is not infallible. But this is inadmissible. Ergo.



Gabriele wrote:
John Lane wrote:
In terms of scope, it is exclusively commenting on truths of divine revelation which have been authoritatively proposed by the Church - that is, things to be "believed" (with divine and catholic faith) not things to be "held" (with ecclesiastical faith). The text of Bishop Martin here is really a close parallel with Tuas Libenter on the same point.


The scope of the infallibility is extended also to things connected to the Revelation. Indeed, the definition of pontifical infallibility of the Vatican Council (Pastor aeternus) speaks of "a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church". And not to be “believed".


This was not an assertion that the scope of infallibility was larger than revealed truth - it was deliberately formulated to avoid touching that question, so as to leave it in the exact state it was in prior to the definition. This was explicitly stated in the presentation of the text to the fathers. I don't think it is arguable.

As wrote before:

John Lane wrote:
The definition was constructed so as not to touch the question of scope. That is, so as not to add weight to the ultramontane position, nor the "gallican" position. So I don't think we can say the scope has been "declared" nor that the definition argues against minimalism in scope.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:09 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Felipe Coelho wrote:
Quote:
713. Dogmatic value. The doctrine of the Thesis is at least theologically certain and proximate to be defined by the Vatican Council itself

(Fr. Joachim SALAVERRI, S.J., in: Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Tome I; Treatise III: De Ecclesia Christi, [Book II: On the Magisterium of the Church and its Sources, Chapter III: On the Object of the Infallible Magisterium, Article II: On the secondary object of infallibility,] Thesis 17, par. 699-713).


With regard to Canon 10, my two answers:

1. It is indeed a composite Canon, comprising two distinct anathemas. I seem to recall seeing more than a few Canons like this one in Denzinger, i.e. Canons that contain more than one anathema; however, that was a long time ago, so I might look for them later on. For now, though, I can assure you that both of these anathemas are foreseen to be present in the same Canon 10, so it's not really a matter of choosing just one of them.

2. The translation seems accurate: the Church is infallible when she condemns a proposition even when she does not specify the censure attached to said condemned proposition. Is that too much? Where's Mr. Daly when we need him? :)

A final observation on these Canons:

Fr. Salaverri cites them in order to prove many of his Theses througout his De Ecclesia; as far as I can tell he always does so at the end of paragraphs entitled "The Doctrine of the Church"; and he emphasizes as a very important thing the fact that these Canons received no objection from the Council's Bishops and suffered no substantial changes when they were discussed between the First and Second drafts of the Scheme De Ecclesia by Fr. Kleutgen.

Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Dear Mr Coelho,

Thank you for this post (including the material I have not quoted, of course), it is very helpful indeed!

The principle here, I think, is that expressed at the end - the bishops didn't object to these canons. That's what gives them weight above that of a document prepared by Fr. Kleutgen, even if prepared under the aegis of a conciliar commission and vetted by it before being presented to the council fathers. And as you no doubt know, the fathers were not reluctant to subject the various schemas to radical and persistent criticism! I almost feel sorry for Fr. Franzelin in reviewing what happened to his text when it got to the council!

As for the thesis, "the Church is infallible when she condemns a proposition even when she does not specify the censure attached to said condemned proposition" I accept that if it is the doctrine presented and proved by Dr. Ward - the Church has condemned a series of propositions in one document, and then put the censures together at the end, without assigning them respectively to the various condemned propositions. This is inescapable when one looks at the data. But the canon could refer to something different - the condemnation of a single proposition with no censure at all attached. This is outside of my knowledge. Has the Church ever done this?

_________________
In Christ our King.


Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:22 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
Gabriele,

We must distinguish between the ordinary, universal, magisterium and the ordinary pontifical magisterium.

This distinction, in order to the infallibility, it is superfluous. Because, in other terms, you are saying that we must distinguish between the Magisterium of the Church and the Magisterium of the Pope. But, as it teaches us the Vatican Council, the Pope enjoys the same infallibility of the Church. The distinction is right to exist merely to distinguish the subject who exercises the Magisterium.

John Lane wrote:
The difficulty with your comment is that as Dom Paul Nau explained, the pope is infallible in proposing truths in his ordinary teaching when it is clear that by a series of acts he makes it clear that the doctrine is really the doctrine of the Church. The implication of this is that in any given single act there could be error.


Here is how a friend, who knows very well this author, summarizes his theory:


« pour Dom Nau (qui était moine de Solesmes), l’”équivalent” du magistère ordinaire et universel – qui est le magistère du pape et des évêques à un moment donné (et non pas dans le temps !) – serait l’exercice du magistère ordinaire des papes dans le temps. En effet (toujours pour Dom Nau) l’”équivalent” de la “dispersion” des évêques à un moment donné serait la “répétition” des papes dans le temps, car pour Dom Nau le critère de l’infaillibilité du magistère ordinaire c’est la “convergence” dans une doctrine donnée pour révélée ou connexe à la Révélation. Par définition, pour ce qui regarde le magistère ordinaire et universel, la “convergence” est d’emblée réalisée à n’importe quel moment, et n’a pas besoin de la “répétition” dans le temps : puisqu’à n’importe quel moment le pape et les évêques peuvent “converger” ensemble. En revanche, pour ce qui regarde le magistère ordinaire pontifical, la “convergence” ne peut être réalisée que par la “répétition” dans le temps : en effet, par définition, le magistère ordinaire pontifical est exercé par le pape seul, et donc il est bien vrai que la “convergence” ne peut être réalisée, dans ce cas, que par la “répétition” ».

Against the explanation of this author they can be raised three objections:
1) First of all, the Magisterium of the Pope is a living Magisterium;
2) The Pope enjoys the same infallibility of the Church;
3) In the ordinary universal Magisterium, the Magisterium of the Pope (the ordinary pontifical Magisterium) is infallible: we can not to say that, in this case, the Magisterium of the Pope is infallible for the reason that it is united to the ordinary Magisterium of all other bishops (because otherwise we would claim that the bishops confirm the Pope and not, as it really is, that the Pope confirms the bishops). By consequence, the ordinary pontifical Magisterium is infallible by himself, without the Magisterium of all the other bishops.

John Lane wrote:
My own preference is for the explanation of Monsignor Fenton, who says that when a truth is directly asserted as true by the Roman Pontiff, even in an encyclical, he teaches infallibly. Fenton is somewhat tentative in his presentation of this thesis, even wavering between strong and weak assertions of it, it seems to me, but nevertheless it seems to me to be right and really inescapable. If the Roman Pontiff can present as true a doctrine of faith and morals in a document addressed to the universal Church, which is in fact not true, he is not infallible. But this is inadmissible. Ergo.

Exactly.

John Lane wrote:
This was not an assertion that the scope of infallibility was larger than revealed truth - it was deliberately formulated to avoid touching that question, so as to leave it in the exact state it was in prior to the definition. This was explicitly stated in the presentation of the text to the fathers. I don't think it is arguable.

No, John. It is not accident that the Vatican Council has said “a doctrine to be held” instead of “a doctrine to be believed”. The same Bp. Gasser did reference to many truths which « bien qu’elles ne soient pas en elle-même révélées, sont cependant requises pour garder intrinsèquement le dépôt de la Révélation lui-même, pour l’expliquer comme il convient et le définir efficacement » (Mgr Gasser, communication aux Pères de Vatican I, au nom de la Députation de la foi, quoted by Fr. Belmont here: http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/0/18/ ... istere.pdf).

It is important to remember what it says us the “ Enciclopedia Cattolica” (1923) on this matter:
«Dans l’objet secondaire sont regroupées les vérités qu’on appelle d’un terme générique “vérités connexes”. Celles-ci ne se trouvent pas formellement dans la Révélation, mais sont étroitement liées à celleci, et l’on peut dire qu’elles y sont virtuellement contenues. L’erreur à propos de ces applications du principe révélé ébranlerait les bases mêmes sur lesquelles elles s’appuient et mettrait la foi en danger. Les vérités connexes doivent donc être considérées comme étant présentes dans l’esprit du Divin Maître dans l’acte de communiquer sa Révélation, comme sont logiquement présentes dans tout être intelligent les conséquences les plus immédiates de ses affirmations» (ENCICLOPEDIA CATTOLICA, col. 1923).

For the Council the scope of infallibility is larger than revealed truth.

The Vatican Council says :

“Furthermore the Church which, together with its apostolic office of teaching, has received the charge of preserving the deposit of faith, has by divine appointment the right and duty of condemning what wrongly passes for knowledge, lest anyone be led astray by philosophy and empty deceit. Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the Church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth”.

And again:

“If anyone says that human studies are to be treated with such a degree of liberty that their assertions may be maintained as true even when they are opposed to divine revelation, and that they may not be forbidden by the Church: let him be anathema”.

And about these texts Fr. Kleutgen, theologian of the Council, said:

« Il a été défini dans la première Constitution de Fide que c’est un droit et un devoir de l’Eglise de juger les conclusions de la Philosophie et des autres disciplines » (J. KLEUTGEN, Annotationes ad schema II de Ecclesia: Mansi 53, 325).



In any case, the principle that the scope of the infallibility is extended also to things connected to the Revelation it is peaceful.

Pius XII, in Humani generis, says:

“It would indeed be unnecessary to deplore these aberrations from the truth, if all, even in the field of philosophy, directed their attention with the proper reverence to the Teaching Authority of the Church, which by divine institution has the mission not only to guard and interpret the deposit of divinely revealed truth, but also to keep watch over the philosophical sciences themselves, in order that Catholic dogmas may suffer no harm because of erroneous opinions”.

Pius XII says again:

« Suivant l’exemple de saint Thomas d’Aquin et des membres éminents de l’Ordre dominicain, qui brillèrent par leur piété et la sainteté de leur vie, dès que se fait entendre la voix du Magistère de l’Église, tant ordinaire qu’extraordinaire, recueillez-la, cette voix, d’une oreille attentive et d’un esprit docile, vous surtout chers fils, qui par un singulier bienfait de Dieu, vous adonnez aux études sacrées en cette Ville auguste, auprès de la Chaire de Pierre et église principale, d’où l’unité sacerdotale a tiré son origine [Saint Cyprien]. Et il ne vous faut pas seulement donner votre adhésion exacte et prompte aux règles et décrets du Magistère sacré qui se rapportent aux vérités divinement révélées – car l’Église catholique et elle seule, Épouse du Christ, est la gardienne fidèle de ce dépôt sacré et son interprète infaillible ; mais l’on doit recevoir aussi dans une humble soumission d’esprit les enseignements ayant trait aux questions de l’ordre naturel et humain ; car il y a là aussi, pour ceux qui font profession de foi catholique et – c’est évident – surtout les théologiens et les philosophes, des vérités qu’ils doivent estimer grandement, lorsque, du moins, ces éléments d’un ordre inférieur sont proposés comme connexes et unis aux vérités de la foi chrétienne et à la fin surnaturelle de l’homme » (Discours aux Supérieurs, professeurs et étudiants de l'Université «Angelicum» pontificale à Rome Janvier 14, 1958).


Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:47 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Gabriele wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Gabriele,

We must distinguish between the ordinary, universal, magisterium and the ordinary pontifical magisterium.

This distinction, in order to the infallibility, it is superfluous. Because, in other terms, you are saying that we must distinguish between the Magisterium of the Church and the Magisterium of the Pope. But, as it teaches us the Vatican Council, the Pope enjoys the same infallibility of the Church. The distinction is right to exist merely to distinguish the subject who exercises the Magisterium.

John Lane wrote:
The difficulty with your comment is that as Dom Paul Nau explained, the pope is infallible in proposing truths in his ordinary teaching when it is clear that by a series of acts he makes it clear that the doctrine is really the doctrine of the Church. The implication of this is that in any given single act there could be error.


Here is how a friend, who knows very well this author, summarizes his theory:


« pour Dom Nau (qui était moine de Solesmes), l’”équivalent” du magistère ordinaire et universel – qui est le magistère du pape et des évêques à un moment donné (et non pas dans le temps !) – serait l’exercice du magistère ordinaire des papes dans le temps. En effet (toujours pour Dom Nau) l’”équivalent” de la “dispersion” des évêques à un moment donné serait la “répétition” des papes dans le temps, car pour Dom Nau le critère de l’infaillibilité du magistère ordinaire c’est la “convergence” dans une doctrine donnée pour révélée ou connexe à la Révélation. Par définition, pour ce qui regarde le magistère ordinaire et universel, la “convergence” est d’emblée réalisée à n’importe quel moment, et n’a pas besoin de la “répétition” dans le temps : puisqu’à n’importe quel moment le pape et les évêques peuvent “converger” ensemble. En revanche, pour ce qui regarde le magistère ordinaire pontifical, la “convergence” ne peut être réalisée que par la “répétition” dans le temps : en effet, par définition, le magistère ordinaire pontifical est exercé par le pape seul, et donc il est bien vrai que la “convergence” ne peut être réalisée, dans ce cas, que par la “répétition” ».


Here's a Google translation of this. If somebody could correct it that would be wonderful.

Quote:
for Dom Nau (who was a monk of Solesmes), the "equivalent" of the ordinary and universal magisterium - that is the magisterium of the pope and the bishops at one time (not in time!) - is the exercise of ordinary magisterium of the Popes in time. Indeed (Dom Nau always) the "equivalent" of the "dispersion" of the bishops at one time would be the "repetition" of the popes in time, because Dom Nau to the criterion of the infallibility of the ordinary magisterium 's is the "convergence" in a given doctrine revealed to or connected with Revelation. By definition, for what concerns the ordinary and universal magisterium, "convergence" is immediately carried out at any time, and does not need the "repetition" in time, since at any when the pope and the bishops can "converge" together. However, for what concerns the ordinary magisterium papal "convergence" can be achieved by the "repeat" in time: indeed, by definition, the ordinary magisterium is exercised by the papal pope alone, and therefore it is true that the "convergence" can be achieved in this case, by "repetition".


This is exactly how I understand Dom Nau - any given papal act could be erroneous, because only by repetition is it clear that "convergence" has occurred and it is clear that the Church has committed herself to this doctrine. I don't like the theory insofar as it pretends to explain the nature of non-solemn papal teaching, because I agree with Monsignor Fenton that a single non-solemn (i.e. "ordinary") papal doctrinal statement, if it is a direct assertion of a truth, is infallible (i.e. it meets the definition of the Vatican Council).

Gabriele wrote:
Against the explanation of this author they can be raised three objections:
1) First of all, the Magisterium of the Pope is a living Magisterium;
2) The Pope enjoys the same infallibility of the Church;
3) In the ordinary universal Magisterium, the Magisterium of the Pope (the ordinary pontifical Magisterium) is infallible: we can not to say that, in this case, the Magisterium of the Pope is infallible for the reason that it is united to the ordinary Magisterium of all other bishops (because otherwise we would claim that the bishops confirm the Pope and not, as it really is, that the Pope confirms the bishops). By consequence, the ordinary pontifical Magisterium is infallible by himself, without the Magisterium of all the other bishops.


I don't understand these objections, I'm sorry. Can you please re-word them to make them clearer?

Gabriele wrote:
John Lane wrote:
This was not an assertion that the scope of infallibility was larger than revealed truth - it was deliberately formulated to avoid touching that question, so as to leave it in the exact state it was in prior to the definition. This was explicitly stated in the presentation of the text to the fathers. I don't think it is arguable.

No, John. It is not accident that the Vatican Council has said “a doctrine to be held” instead of “a doctrine to be believed”. The same Bp. Gasser did reference to many truths which « bien qu’elles ne soient pas en elle-même révélées, sont cependant requises pour garder intrinsèquement le dépôt de la Révélation lui-même, pour l’expliquer comme il convient et le définir efficacement » (Mgr Gasser, communication aux Pères de Vatican I, au nom de la Députation de la foi, quoted by Fr. Belmont here: http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/0/18/ ... istere.pdf).


Gasser explicitly stated that the definition was formulated so as to leave the doctrine concerning the scope of infallibility untouched. I'll quote him later when I have more time (although I think it might have already been quoted above).

Gabriele wrote:
It is important to remember what it says us the “ Enciclopedia Cattolica” (1923) on this matter:
«Dans l’objet secondaire sont regroupées les vérités qu’on appelle d’un terme générique “vérités connexes”. Celles-ci ne se trouvent pas formellement dans la Révélation, mais sont étroitement liées à celleci, et l’on peut dire qu’elles y sont virtuellement contenues. L’erreur à propos de ces applications du principe révélé ébranlerait les bases mêmes sur lesquelles elles s’appuient et mettrait la foi en danger. Les vérités connexes doivent donc être considérées comme étant présentes dans l’esprit du Divin Maître dans l’acte de communiquer sa Révélation, comme sont logiquement présentes dans tout être intelligent les conséquences les plus immédiates de ses affirmations» (ENCICLOPEDIA CATTOLICA, col. 1923).


And another Google translation:

Quote:
In the subject [i] secondary [/ i] are grouped truths called a generic term "related truths." These are not [i] strictly [/ i] in Revelation, but are closely related to the pole, and one can say that they are [i] virtual [/ i] contained. The error on these applications revealed the principle undermine the foundations on which they build and put faith in danger. Related truths must be considered to be present in the mind of the Divine Master in the act of communicating His revelation, as are logically present in every intelligent being the most immediate consequences of his statements


Yes, we agree on what the scope of infallibility is. But this is not a dogma (and there are distinctions between the various kinds of truths included).

_________________
In Christ our King.


Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:32 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

I have to apologise for not bringing the following quotation earlier, but I was under the impression that it was part of that large translated Relatio by Msgr. Gasser that you recently put in the "Texts" section of the Bellarmine Forums.

Here it is:

Quote:
"All Catholic theologians completely agree that the Church, in her authentic proposal and definition of truths of this sort [i.e. "truths necessary for guarding the faith"], is infallible, such that to deny this infallibility would be a very grave error. A diversity of opinion turns only on the degree of certitude, i.e., on whether the infallibility in proposing these truths - and therefore in proscribing errors through censures inferior to the note of heresy - should be considered a dogma of faith, so that to deny this infallibility to the Church would be heretical, or whether it is a truth not revealed in itself but one deduced from revealed dogma and as such is only theologically certain.

Now, since what must be said about the infallibility of the Pope in defining truths is completely the same as what must be said about the infallibility of the Church defining, there arises the same question about the extension of pontifical infallibility to those truths not revealed in themselves but which pertain to the guarding of the deposit of faith. The question arises, I say, as to whether papal infallibility in defining these truths is not only theologically certain but is a dogma of the faith, exactly the same question as has arisen about the infallibility of the Church. Now, since it has seemed to members of the Deputation, by unanimous agreement, that this question should not be defined, at least not now, but should be left in the state in which it presently is, it necessarily follows, according to the opinion of the same Deputation, that the decree of faith about the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff should be seen in such a way that there is defined, as far as the object of infallibility in definitions of the Roman Pontiff is concerned, that there must be believed exactly the same thing as is believed in respect to the object of infallibility in definitions of the Church."

(Msgr. GASSER, cited in James T. O'CONNOR, The Gift of Infallibility: The Official Relatio on Infallibility of Bishop Vincent Gasser at Vatican Council I, Boston, St. Paul Editions, 1986, pp. 76-77)


Most enlightening, wouldn't you agree? I think here, the spokesman for the Deputation De Fide simply says it all, about this issue we're discussing.

Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:35 pm
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr Coelho,

Yes indeed, that's exactly what was going to (re) post. :)

So we are clear on the scope (i.e. in general). There is still the question of the various kinds of truths included, in the sense that the infallibility of canonisations, for example, was disputed by some few theologians and that was tolerated by Rome, if memory serves. Benedict XIV said that such a denial would not be heretical, but would deserve a lesser censure, but did the Church ever inflict such a censure?

The thing that remains under discussion is the mechanism, if you like, or the mode of exercise, of the infallible magisterium. Dom Nau equates repetition by the Roman Pontiff with the confluence of the bishops and the Roman Pontiff.

Another thing which I think is open to discussion is the meaning of the equivalence of the infallibility of the pope and the Church. Note how Gasser is careful to qualify this equivalence: "Now, since what must be said about the infallibility of the Pope in defining truths is completely the same as what must be said about the infallibility of the Church defining, there arises the same question about the extension of pontifical infallibility to those truths not revealed in themselves but which pertain to the guarding of the deposit of faith."

So the extension, the scope, is identical. But the Church is infallible in her laws, for example, and I am not convinced that these can be said to fall under the rubric, "defining." I don't have the answer to this, but I think it is a real question.

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:13 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
Posts: 17
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

I think I'm beginning to better understand your point now, but I still need to give it some more thought!

Meanwhile, here is a translation of that other pertinent Msgr Gasser quote, that Gabriele had made in French:

Quote:
“In applying this infallibility to decrees of the Roman Pontiff, a distinction should be made: in such a way that some decrees (and the same applies to dogmatic definitions by Councils) are certain de fide: so he who would deny that the Pope is infallible in such a decree, would already be, ipso facto (...) a heretic; other decrees of the Roman Pontiff are also certain with regard to being infallible, but this certainty is not of the same nature (...), so that this certainty would only be a theological certainty, i.e. he who would deny that the Church, or likewise the Pope, are infallible in such a decree, wouldn’t be openly a heretic as such, but would commit a very grave error and, erring in this way, a most grievous sin.”
(Msgr. Gasser, 86th General Congregation, 16-7-1870, Mansi 52, 1316.)


Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho


Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:28 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Yes, that's great, thank you.

In relation to the qualification "defining" have another look at what I wrote above, based upon Perrone:

Quote:
Summarising, the Church is infallible in witnessing, in judging, and in teaching (i.e. explaining, proposing, illustrating, etc.). The pope enjoys the same infallibility in all three offices. Therefore the Council only defined the infallibility of judging. The reason was that this was the only infallibility which was disputed, the one which causes all the angst (on the part of those who are shown to have been wrong and have now to correct their views).


From: viewtopic.php?p=10904#p10904

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:47 am
Profile E-mail

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:45 pm
Posts: 249
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
John Lane wrote:
I don't understand these objections, I'm sorry. Can you please re-word them to make them clearer?


Of course, John.

1) As you have rightly said: ” The implication of this is that in any given single act there could be error”. The consequence is that any single act of Magisterium, considered by itself, is irrelevant in order to the infallibility, that is, any single act of Magisterium is “dead”. Il ne s’agit pas de Magistère vivant. Instead, we all know that the Magisterium is a live Magisterium. (I had write “living Magisterium” instead of “live Magisterium”, sorry for my English. I mean “Magistère vivant”).
2) Once admitted the infallibility of the ordinary universal Magisterium, it is useless to consider the problem of the infallibility of the ordinary pontifical Magisterium, because the definition of the Vatican Council says that the Roman Pontiff possesses the same infallibility which the Church possesses (in French: le Pape jouit de la même infaillibilité que l’Eglise) (Vatican Council: “when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, … he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals”).
3) The ordinary universal Magisterium includes the ordinary Magisterium of the Pope and the ordinary Magisterium of all other bishop. If we say that the Magisterium of the Pope is infallible because it is united (conjoint) to the ordinary Magisterium of all other bishops we admit that the bishops confirm the Pope in the Faith. But this is an error since the Pope confirms the bishops! So we must conclude that the ordinary Magisterium of the Pope is infallible by himself, without the Magisterium of all the other bishops.

John Lane wrote:
Gasser explicitly stated that the definition was formulated so as to leave the doctrine concerning the scope of infallibility untouched. I'll quote him later when I have more time (although I think it might have already been quoted above).

I agree if you say that the Church leaves the scope of infallibility not precisely bounded, but I do not agree if you say that the scope of infallibility is not larger than revealed truth (as it seemed when you said: “This was not an assertion that the scope of infallibility was larger than revealed truth - it was deliberately formulated to avoid touching that question”).
John Lane wrote:
Yes, we agree on what the scope of infallibility is. But this is not a dogma (and there are distinctions between the various kinds of truths included).

We are obliged to think that the scope of infallibility is extended also to things connected to the Revelation.


Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:00 am
Profile E-mail
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 pm
Posts: 4337
New post Re: Ambiguities in Previous Councils?
Some more data. Manning, Privilegium Petri:

Quote:
We have been lately told, by those who desire to hinder the definition of this doctrine by secular opposition rather than by theological reason, that there are some twenty opinions as to the conditions required to authenticate an utterance of the Pontiff ex cathedra. I will therefore venture to affirm that no other conditions are required than this: That the doctrinal acts be published by the Pontiff, as Universal Teacher, with the intention of requiring the assent of the Church.*

* This cannot be better expressed than in the words of F. Franzelin, Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the Roman College:

‘Sive Concilio sive Pontifici infallibilitatis charisma competit, quando et quatenus, ut divinitus constitutes magister Ecclesiae, intendit definitive sententia docere Ecclesiam universam auctoritate postulante consensum in veritatem propositam.

'Locutio ex cathedra nihil est aliud quam descripta propositio authentica doctrine. Quid enim est cathedra apostolica nisi supremum authenticum magisterium pro universa Ecclesia?’

_________________
In Christ our King.


Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:22 pm
Profile E-mail
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 69 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forums/DivisionCore.