Monday, December 8, 2008

Benedict Asks Theologians to Not be so Practical

Following a meeting of theologians at the Vatican, Pope Benedict reminded them that the main task of theologians is to explore the truths of revelation, not necessarily their practical applications. That seems a rather odd thing to say. What is the point of theology if it cannot relate to our practical lives. The only logical explanation to this exhortation is that the practical applications of our theological truths often are at odds with hierarchical Church teaching. If the practical only agreed with hierarchical Church teaching, I do not think Benedict would be saying this. He also stressed that these expositions on the truth should lead to obedience to the faith, I agree. The meeting at which he spoke was releasing a document on natural law, the belief that all human beings have access to the basic religious and practical truths revealed by God. This would seem to have practical consequences for dialogue with other religions... I'm getting mixed messages.

A Faithful Catholic

36 comments:

CatholicSoldier said...

And some "Theologians" want to ignore the Truth about the very nature of God (Jesus Seminar), of morality (Cardinal Martino and others), of the proper structure of the Church (the soon to be excommunicate Maryknoll Priest), etc.

Many of these "Theologians" in making theology practical seek to bring God down to our level, rather than seek to elevate things to those of God.

Jack said...

C.S.

If the Church told you the earth was flat, would you believe it? Jack

Dad29 said...

Sure, Jack.

Clearly, faith and reason are separated by a chasm that only the Illuminati can bridge...

/sarcasm

Jack said...

I can bridge it. Feel sorry for you. Don't fall off edge. Jack

Terrence Berres said...

Your paraphrase of the Pope's words,
"the main task of theologians is to explore the truths of revelation, not necessary [sic] their practical applications."
becomes, two sentences later, his supposedly meaning
"theology ... cannot relate to our practical lives."

I assume your not necessarily being accurate in what you say does not mean you cannot be accurate. Your previous post indicated you were "hoping that we can move to a more genuine place".

Andrea G said...

Theology doesn't necessarily apply to our practical lives. It relates to our spiritual lives, and when better understood, happens to manifest through our daily lives and decisions. Everything the Church says is not to be taken as truth. There are those principles that must be taken as truth, such as the Immaculate Conception. There are others that are left up to the discretion of the person, such as the changes from Vatican II. It is in my opinion that Vatican II should not have created the radical changes that remain in the Mass today, creating quite a division in the Church. Believing so does not make me a fallen away Catholic. Those in the Church are human and thus are prone to err just like the rest of us. God gave us an intellect for a reason. But he also gave us spiritual leaders on earth to help us in our struggle for Heaven.

Dad29 said...

There are others that are left up to the discretion of the person, such as the changes from Vatican II.

Don't confuse legislation with interpretation of same. The Council's prescriptions were fine; the silliness was manufactured by Mgr Bugnini & Co. later on.

Jack said...

Gee, Andrea, what practical effect in my life does belief about the Immaculate Conception have on my conduct as a Christian?

Did Vatican 2 by its position on the liturgy cause a split or does the desire of a small minority who love the 'old ways' and want to return cause the split? Jack

Andrea G said...

Dad29, I don't believe the legislation was necessary in the first place. As they say , "don't fix what isn't broken." Some of the changes seemed to serve no purpose whatsoever.To my knowledge, some of the people involved in creating the new liturgy didn't have the purest of intentions. By their fruits, you will know them.
To Jack, you misread my statement. I was addressing two different topics, one the practicality of theology and two, what needs to be taken as truth and what not. I just mentioned that all Catholics are required to believe in the Immaculate Conception. I'm sorry if I made that point confusing. However, I think you could apply it to our lives as well. With this status, it makes her even more of a pure role model for us to follow and look up to. It gives us more reason to trust her and the rosary in our everyday lives. To me, my practical life is not separate from my religious life. I work on keeping them as intertwined as possible. Every little chore should be done for God. Every transaction with Him in mind. Every hardship another sacrifice to offer up to Him. Our religion is so beautiful and no, we should never be separated by labels such as "traditional" or "liberal." We are all Catholic and believe the same things. One can be just as good a Catholic in the Novus Ordo, but I believe it is a harder path. There also exist bad Catholics in the Tridentine. I find more often that now a days, if someone says they're Catholic I find myself wondering, "Well are they Catholic or are they CATHOLIC." People tend to proclaim to belong to something they don't really agree with on the fundamental issues and principles. I love talking about Catholicism and I love meeting people with the same zeal we all should have for our Faith. Please don't harbor ill feelings just because I prefer the "old ways." If you have a legitimate reason for disliking the Tridentine, feel free to let me know and I can set you straight :) Many bash what they don't understand. I'm not easily offended and obviously (as you can see) will write/talk extensively on any subject I hold dear to my heart.

Andrea G said...

Dad29, one more thing: I was under the impression that Archibishop Burgnini play quite a heavy role in the new liturgy. If you know otherwise, let me know. My information is from an excerpt of "Liturgical Time Bombs" here:http://www.chantcd.com/doct/vatican_liturgy.htm

Terrence Berres said...

"Did Vatican 2 by its position on the liturgy cause a split or does the desire of a small minority who love the 'old ways' and want to return cause the split?"

I'm assured by an advocate of the status quo that
1) if old liturgy had remained we would have seen a disastrous decline in Mass attendance, and
2) the disastrous decline in Mass attendance we have seen can in no way be attributed to the new liturgy.

Jack said...

Andrea,

I certainly do not mean to be unjust, but you seem SO concerned with personal purity. In the sheep and the goats pronouncement by Jesus, how much is devoted to personal purity as opposed to concern for others.

Pius 12 had great personal "purity" and concern for his own holiness, but so little for others. Jack

Jack said...

T.C.

Your comment is unintelligible.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Jack

Andrea G said...

Personal purity is of the highest concern due to the fact that we're all responsible for our own souls. You can't expect to help others if you yourself are not living up to God's expectations and continuously perfecting your own soul. We stand alone before God on the Judgement Day. It is our own soul that matters in the end. We are called to be selfless, giving, and charitable towards others. Each of us has an individual and unique soul, and it is wrong to generalize the intentions of another based upon someone else.

Jack said...

Yes, Andrea, we are responsible for our own souls. But at the last judgment will we be judged by what we didn't do (personal purity) or by what we did for others.?

If I fed hundreds who were starving but kissed my girlfriend with my mouth open(violation of catholic moral teaching, I've heard)am I a goat? Jack

Terrence Berres said...

Jack, or should I say Jabk,

Similarly, we are assured that
1) the application of Catholic social justice teaching could make a vast improvement in society, and
2) there is no point trying to raise Mass attendance because there is no way to change society.

Andrea G said...

What good is it to slap God in the face with moral impurity and then turn around help others? They won't cancel each other out. The state of a soul is much more important than bodily needs. I'll take starvation over mortal sin any day. That's what Confession is for. The care of YOUR soul. It's not for everybody else, it's for yourself. As to whether you're the sheep or the goat on judgement day, well, that's not for me to decide. God's the Judge. Depends on the state of your soul at death as you very well know.

Jack said...

Terrence,

You say you heard these "sayings" by someone other than me. Asl him. If you have a question for me, ask me. Jack

Jack said...

Andrea,

Well you just decided? A single Mortal sin gets you to hell and helping others gets you nowhere.

So, does avoiding mortal sins, but never helping others, get you where? Jack

Andrea G said...

It might be a mortal sin in some cases to neglect helping others in their time of need. God asks of us both faith and works. So that covers that. Our first priority is to God, second to others.

Andrea G said...

But really, all the answers to these arguments are found within our own Church if your searching the Truth. All it takes is some good research, reading, Catholic study and a whole lot of prayer!!! We are small and unintelligent beings however, so we can never expect to know it all. I don't think our brains can handle it! Pleasure talking with you. Good luck in your discerning and God bless.

Jack said...

Andrea,

I understand you do not spend much time thinkging on these things. Just ask the Church. It is always right in moral matters, you say. Have fun. Jack

Terrence Berres said...

"If you have a question for me, ask me."

Can you show that the reform of the liturgy is a success on its own terms?

Jack said...

Terrence,

No. Too many variables. Jack

Andrea G said...

Jack, it's not a matter of fun or no. Truth is truth and as Catholics there are certain truths we must hold, no matter whether we like them or not. It's a God made religion, not manmade. Elementary my dear Watson. And I will continue to look to the Church for my answers. Again, part of the package of being Catholic.

Terrence Berres said...

"Too many variables."

Wouldn't that also prevent you from showing that leaving the liturgy as it was would have produced worse results?

Dad29 said...

I don't believe the legislation was necessary in the first place

Then you've not read the liturgical writings of Pius X, XI, and XII--not to mention John XXIII.

Nor those of Cdl Ratzinger/B-16.

The proposals of VatII were based on writings of all those guys (and others.)

Of course, you can choose to disagree with their thoughts, in which case you should be prepared to refute them.

Dad29 said...

As to Bugnini, I already mentioned that he was the IMPLEMENTER (and, yes, had something to do with the drafting of SC.)

What more do you want?

Jack said...

Terrence,

Could you restate your point. Too many negatives. I want to be sure what the question is. Jack

Terrence Berres said...

Jack:

I'll recap:

Q. Can you show that the reform of the liturgy is a success on its own terms?

A. No. Too many variables.

Q. Would that be your answer if there had been different changes to the liturgy, or none at all?

Jack said...

Terrence,

I take you to be an attorney, and probably a good one. But any judge would ask you to reframe your question.

But, to be nice (not exactly knowing what you mean by "worse")I will again say, "Too many variables."

You are a good proof reader, at least.
Jack

CatholicSoldier said...

Jack,

Why are you Catholic? You obviously view yourself as inherently superior to the 2000 year old Magisterium of Holy Mother Church. In fact, why don't you declare yourself Pope Jack I and start the Church of Jackolicism? You would certainly feel more at peace and it's teachings could be in line with what you believe. You are after all a Protestant, not a Catholic, so you might as well start your own Church.

Jack said...

C.S.

I will ask you again: Try to have a thought of your own. In all your comments I have never seen one. 2000 years ago the magisterium thought the world was flat.

Jack

CatholicSoldier said...

Jack,

Try not to be condescending. In all your posts I've never seen you be anything but.

The Church might have said the earth was flat, but I don't see where the Church declared it dogmatically so. Dad29 had an excellent retort to your rather juvenile reasoning.

As for original thoughts, I'm sorry you find the Teachings of Holy Mother Church not to be novel enough for you to actually believe. We already know you support abortion, contraception and a host of other moral evils. We know you discount a number of Marian teachings and goodness knows, but I am sure you doubt a few of the Christological ones as well.

Faith requires humility. The humility to say, I submit. I may struggle with some of the Teachings of the Church, but I accept them, because She is the Body instituted by Christ through the Apostles and to whom Christ gave the Keys and the Pledge that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. This I believe.

Do you?

Jack said...

C.S.

I agree you really do "submit." Cardinal Law would really admire you.

Jack

CatholicSoldier said...

Jack,

Pride goeth before the Fall.

Lucifer thought he was his own King in Paradise, too.

One does need to submit to the Church, just as one needs to submit to Christ. I would point you to the Gospel of Matthew for reference, but I realize that for you the so-called Gospel of Thomas or Mary holds more sway.

C.S.