A collection of personal reflections. Copyright © 2005-2011 K. Gurries

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Archbishop DiNoia Speaks

Archbishop DiNoia, newly appointed vice-president of Ecclesia Dei, has recently given an interview with some perspective into the obstacles that must be overcome prior to the hoped-for SSPX reconciliation.

For Achbishop DiNoia, there can be no possibility of holding a view where the Church is seen to have fallen into heretical error.

"...membership and full communion involves faith that the Holy Spirit is preserving the Church from error and that communion with the See of Peter is part of the reality of being in full communion. It’s not accidental.  So, if they comply, it has to be with the necessary requirements of being fully Catholic, not simply what the Pope says or what I say.… They have to say: “Yes, I do believe the Church is preserved from error by the Holy Spirit.” Then I can say, “Okay, then; you’re a Catholic.”  The society has been fed by people who use the word “error.” “Error” is a vague word in the Catholic tradition. There are many different levels of error. Sometimes it means you’ve fallen into heresy; sometimes it means that you are rash."

As a consequence, the council must be viewed in the light of Tradition.

What I’ve tried to argue is that all they have to do is to say there’s nothing in the Council that is contrary to Tradition and that every text, or every part of it that is controversial, should be read in context of the Council — and read it in light of the Tradition. It seems to me, despite their difficulties, they should be able to do that.

At the same time, the Church allows freedom for legitimate theological discussion and debate -- within the bounds of charity. 

Another issue is there’s a failure to recognize a simple fact of the history of the Church: that all theological disagreements need not be Church-dividing. So, for example, the Jesuits and Dominicans had a tremendous disagreement in the 16th century about the theology of grace. In the end, the Pope forbade them to call each other heretics, which they had been doing. The Pope said, “You may continue to hold your theological opinion,” but he refused to give a doctrinal determination, saying the Jesuits or Dominicans were right. Now, this is a very interesting example, because it shows that Catholicism is broad enough to include a tremendous amount of theological diversity and debate. Sometimes the Church will act, but only when it sees people slipping into heresy and therefore breaking off from communion.


Anonymous Anthony said...

What the Archbishop says seems eminently reasonable. Even if Vatican Two did not make any infallible declarations, surely as a general council of the church solemnly promulgated by the Pope, it is covered by indefectibility. I find the position of the SSPX on Vatican Two somewhat contradictory. For example, they claim that it was non doctrinal and at the same time, it contains doctrinal errors. Besides, even if it was simply disciplinary in nature, Vatican One teaches that Catholics are bound by disciplinray matters.

August 02, 2012 5:29 AM  
Blogger K Gurries said...

Anthony, that's an interesting observation. I observed something similar in the arguments proposed by Radaelli here:


His basic argument goes as follows....

On one hand, Radaelli denies that third degree doctrines touch upon the "dogmatic field". On the other hand, Radaelli considers that third degree doctrines can nevertheless contradict dogma or doctrines within the "dogmatic field" representing a "false continuity with dogma". While this does not constitute "formal rupture" it nevertheless can reflect a disparity with Tradition and a loss or disconnect with dogmatic truth. So, we are left with a situation where there is no formal rupture, nor formal continuity -- so long as the errors and contradictions persist within the third degree of doctrine.

August 02, 2012 1:48 PM  

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