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Pope: Vatican II tried to overcome ‘divorce between theology and pastoral ministry’

CFN opening comments
by John Vennari


The contents of the
Catholic Herald article below, if true, contain some of the worst statements of Francis yet. As it stands, it is pure Modernism he propounds: the belief that the truths of the faith are somehow shaped or tempered by the 'lived reality' of people of the moment. His words a likely preparation for the upcoming Synod that may seek, in some areas, to elevate a new "compassionate" pastoral program over the objective truths of the Faith. We all know Francis favors the Kasper proposal to 'allow' divorce and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist.

Some quick quotes from article,
followed by brief comment: 

Often the two [doctrine and pastoral] had been set against each other in “a false opposition” as two “separate realities”, Francis said. - Where precisely has this happened in the past? Prior to Vatican II, there was always absolute consistency between doctrine and pastoral practice. This is one of the reasons why the pre-Vatican II Church was characterized by remarkable sanity.

Theology looks at and must stem from the Holy Spirit in “the praying people”, if not, then that theology will have “the scent of a proposal that might be beautiful, but not real”, he said. Again, precisely where has this problem existed in the past? And it is a Modernist principle to look to the lives of the people as a kind of "theological source."

“Doctrine is not a closed system devoid of dynamics able to raise questions, doubts, inquiries,” he said. Rather, Christianity is a living doctrine that is called Jesus Christ, whose life is “offered from generation to generation to all men and women and in all places”. We all know that "living doctrine" and "living tradition" are buzzwords of modernists who seek to achieve some transformation of the dogmatic message of the Church over the course of time.

After all, why is theology being done, he asked, if not for “the people we have before us? Without encountering families and the people of God, theology runs the great risk of becoming ideology”. What does he mean by ideology? Reading Francis, one would never know the Catholic Church was the past master of precision of language. Is holding to the Faith and practice of the centuries now a strange "ideology" that the Catholic must avoid? 

Final comments: It is telling that Pope Francis, when speaking of doctrine, never repeats the defined teaching in Vatican I (as also contained in the Oath Against Modernism) that Catholics are bound to hold the faith "in the same meaning and in the same explanation" as the Church always taught throughout the centuries without change. This true traditional Catholic approach to doctrine is now deprecated by various contemporary Churchmen as "legalism," "rigorism,," lacking compassion, a false "ideology," or refusing to be surprised by the"God of surprises."

Months ago, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller forcefully answered this falsehood: “It is evident that the pastoral practice of the Church cannot stand in opposition to the binding doctrine nor simply ignore it. In the same manner, an architect could perhaps build a most beautiful bridge. However, if he does not pay attention to the laws of structural engineering, he risks the collapse of his construction. In the same manner, every pastoral practice has to follow the Word of God if it does not want to fail. A change of the teaching, of the dogma, is unthinkable. Who nevertheless consciously does it, or insistently demands it, is a heretic – even if he wears the Roman Purple.” 


Oremus,
JV/CFN
(look for more on this topic in future postings)


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Catholic Herald
 Headline:
Pope: Vatican II tried to overcome ‘divorce between theology and pastoral ministry’
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Pope Francis pictured at this week's general audience (CNS)
Francis says Church must avoid 'false conflict' between pastors and academics

The Church is called to embrace its past, present and future and avoid the temptations to condemn or to legitimise everything just because it is new and different, Pope Francis has told a group of theologians.


Theology and reflection should not be at odds with pastoral ministry and the lives of real people, he said.


In fact, theologians can help by “taking both the ecclesiastical tradition and current reality very seriously, placing them in dialogue with one another”.


The Pope’s words were part of a video message he delivered in Spanish to theologians and others taking part in an international congress in Buenos Aires on September 1-3.


The event marked the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the faculty of theology at the Catholic University of Argentina and the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council.


One of Vatican II’s main contributions was trying “to overcome this divorce between theology and pastoral ministry, between faith and life.” Often the two had been set against each other in “a false opposition” as two “separate realities”, he said.


“We not infrequently identify the doctrinal with the conservative and the backward, and, on the contrary, we think of pastoral ministry as adaptation, rolling back, accommodation – as if they had nothing to do with each other.”


This also creates a false conflict between those who are pastors “on the side of the people” and academics “on the side of doctrine”.


Yet the early Christian writers and theologians were also great pastors, he said.


“Doctrine is not a closed system devoid of dynamics able to raise questions, doubts, inquiries,” he said. Rather, Christianity is a living doctrine that is called Jesus Christ, whose life is “offered from generation to generation to all men and women and in all places”.


Safeguarding doctrine means being faithful to what has been received, he said, and at the same time, taking into account the person to whom it is being offered, and understanding and loving him or her.


After all, why is theology being done, he asked, if not for “the people we have before us? Without encountering families and the people of God, theology runs the great risk of becoming ideology”.


The hopes, dreams, struggles, problems, worries and questions people have cannot be ignored “if we want to take seriously the principle of the Incarnation”, he said.


People’s unrest, struggles and “the peripheries are not an optional, rather they are necessary for better understanding the faith”.


Theology looks at and must stem from the Holy Spirit in “the praying people”, if not, then that theology will have “the scent of a proposal that might be beautiful, but not real”, he said.


Pope Francis, referring to the teaching of Benedict XVI, said Church tradition is like a flowing river, which has a fixed origin, yet flows throughout the world bringing to life the best of that region and culture.


The Pope said that any attempt to limit or cut off the relationship and communication between “received tradition and concrete reality puts the faith of the people of God in danger”.


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