Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Magisterium of One: The Latest Alternative to Imprimatur from the "Catholic Champion" Site

Matthew Bellisario, the magisterium of one, has a new prohibited authors index of "modernists" and "new theologians" that he would avoid (link). Let's peruse his list ...

1) Karl Rahner

  • co-authored with Joseph Ratzinger, received Imprimatur, Revelation and tradition

2) Henri de Lubac

  • De la connaissance de Dieu (published with Imprimatur)

  • Fr Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office: You know and love France... what connects you most particularly to this country? Which are the French authors, secular or Christian, which have made the greatest impression on you or have left you with the most moving memories of France?

    Benedict XVI: I would not dare to say that I know France well. I know it a little, but I love France, the great French culture, especially of course the great cathedrals and also the great French art... the great theology that begins with St Irenaeus of Lyons through until the 13th century, and I have studied the 13th century University of Paris: St Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas. This theology was crucial for the development of theology in the West.... And naturally the theology of the century of the Second Vatican Council. I had the great honour and joy of being a friend of Fr de Lubac, one of the most important figures of the past century, but I also had a good working relationship with Fr Congar, Jean Daniélou and others. I had very good personal relationships with Etienne Gilson and Henri-Irénée Maroux.

3) Hans Urs von Balthasar

  • co-authored a book with Ratzinger in 1971: Two Say Why: Why I am Still a Christian

  • At Balthasar's funeral, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said, speaking of Balthasar's work in general, "What the pope intended to express by this mark of distinction [elevation to the Cardinalate], and of honor, remains valid, no longer only private individuals but the Church itself, in its official responsibility, tells us that he is right in what he teaches of the faith."

...) Yves Congar (See the item for de Lubac above)

...) Raymond Brown

  • Ratzinger stated he ‘would be very happy if we had many exegetes like Father Brown’ (Origins, February 11, 1988, p. 595).

We could go on. I stopped at Balthasar and added Congar simply because I had already addressed him, after a little reflection I tacked on Raymond Brown as well. There are a few names that probably should be on the list, such as Hans Kung, who was one of Ratzinger's classmates but who has restrictions on how he teaches (the nuances of this are important but not for this article).

Frankly the idea of Bellisario serving as self-appointed helmsman of orthodoxy is humorous in itself, but it is especially humorous when his magisterium of one condemns as theologians to be avoided those who are respected by his own pope. Yes, I'm aware that Bellisario couches his criticism with some caveats. Nevertheless, there's already a system in place for Roman Catholics to judge whether a book contains errors with respect to matters of faith and morals: the imprimatur/nihil obstat system.

- TurretinFan

P.S. However, should you be wishing to debate Mr. Bellisario on anything related to Roman Catholicism, you can be sure that going to the sources he's identified in his list will earn you his excoriations (as it recently earned me when I dared to provide a quotation from James Carroll, who - thanks to Bellisario - has managed to make a list that also includes Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Raymond Brown.)


James Swan said...

If I recall correctly, Congar served as an expert for the second Vatican Council, and some of his ecumenical concerns were incorporated into the conclusions of that council.

Turretinfan said...

Yes, I think he's not the only such expert on Bellisario's index of forbidden authors, but I may be recalling incorrectly. Ratzinger himself served as an expert, I believe.

Alexander said...

Cardinal Ratzinger's views were quite liberal earlier on. You could say that he repdiated his earlier self in his later writings.

Turretinfan said...

What does "repdiated" mean?

Kelly Wilson said...

He means repudiated.

Alexander, there`s a certain evolution in thought (as there would be for anyone who has been engaged in 50 years of personal theological reflection, like the Holy Father has), but there`s remarkable consistency too in his thought, if that makes sense.

Considering also that Benedict asks that Vatican II be read through a hermeneutic of continuity, I don't think we can dismiss his contributions to the Council (not that you are) as those of a liberal who later found the light.

Anonymous said...

Alexander, you can ask Turretin if he meant to put "I dared" rather than "I dated," in his opening post.

Your comment about continuity is a good one. It certainly would pertain to pre-Vatican II teaching. Continuity doesn't mean that there is going to be 100 % agreement. I has to do with grounding what is being proposed, and grounding it in the tradition of the Church.

Turretinfan said...

I certainly wouldn't say he repudiated his earlier teachings unless he did. Perhaps you are aware of some place where he indicated that he had repudiated his earlier works?

Turretinfan said...

Kelly - good call on "dated" rather than "dared" - I've fixed the typo.

Anonymous said...

Alexander's not drawing this out of thin air. I mean Benedict does talk about the transforming effect students riots had in his own approach. However, I don't think he would dismiss as liberal, the contributions he made at Vatican II.

Also, Benedict has been fairly consistent in noting where he agreed with the Council, and where he didn't as easily (for example, he has issues with certain articulations in Gaudium et Spes).

Turretinfan said...

"Alexander's not drawing this out of thin air."

You're right - he's not.