18 August 2010


With regard to my post about how the Bishop of Rome is not a Patriarch ... it has been pointed out to me that as long ago as 1961 one Ratzinger demonstrated that
The principle of Patriarchy is post-Constantinian; it has an administrative sense ... the Roman claim understands itself from the original theological motive of the sedes apostolica ...To the same extent that the "New Rome" made unclear the old idea of sedes apostolica in favour of the notion of patriarchy, the "Old Rome"strengthened the reference to the totally different origin and character of its own authority. This authority is in fact totally different from a primacy of honour among patriarchs, because it is situated on a different level, which is completely independent from such administrative concepts.

This is an interesting demonstration of the continuity of Ratzinger's basic theology, contra those who see him as a one-time 'liberal' who Lost The Faith and Sold Out To Conservatism.

As an Anglican, what particularly strikes me is the similarity between all this and the conclusions, as long ago as the 1930s, of Dom Gregory Dix.

Some time ago now, before JP2 became really sick, Cardinal Ratzinger had promised to write, in his then apparently imminent retirement, a preface to an edition I then hoped to produce of Dix's writings on the papacy ...


Pastor in Monte said...

Wouldn't you still write it, please? You have thoroughly whetted my appetite, and I have been wondering where to find some more of this Dix. The Shape of the Liturgy I have, but nothing else.

William Tighe said...

Pastor in Valle,

Procure yourself a copy of Dix's posthumous *Jurisdiction in the Early Church: Episcopal and Papal* (London, Church Literature Association, 1975) - a work which was originally published in a series of 5 or 6 installments in *Laudate* (the quarterly publication of the Anglican Benedictines of Nashdom Abbey) in 1937-39 - and which is now out-of-print; and at the same time a copy (for comparative purposes) of *Communio: Church and Papacy in Early Christianity* by Ludwig (Freiherr von) Hertling, SJ (Chicago, 1972: Loyola University Press), which was originally published in the 1940s in German.

Or go to a library (few as they are that have them; I perused all the issues in the University Library, Canbridge, in 1978-79) to consult the journal *Laudate* itself, where you will find many interesting articles and reviews by Dix, among which I would recommend particularly (beyond the series later published as *Jurisdiction in the Early Church*):

"The Primitive Church" (September 1929 issue [Vol. VIII, no. 27], pp. 154-174);

"The Revealing Church" (March 1930; VIII:29, pp. 24-46);

"Nordic Spirituality" (September 1933, pp. 152-162); &

"Northern Catholicism" (December 1933, pp. 208-227).

Among other works is the little posthumous *Holy Order* published in 1975 by the Church Literature Association; and "wee bookies" such as *The Theology of Confirmation in Relation to Baptism* (1946), *A Detection of Aumbries* (1942) -- flawed, but with some of the most memorable passages that dix ever wrote -- *The Question of Anglican Orders: Letters to A Layman* (1944), and
the fragment of an incomplete book published posthumously as *Jew and Greek: A Study in the primitive Church* (1953).

Perhaps Fr. Hunwicke might add to these suggestions.

Joshua said...

Fr H.,

As you love your own soul (and your delightful church in Oxford), get cracking on that edition of Dix on the Papacy, and somehow remind the Supreme Pontiff formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger to cough up that Preface.

It would after all be most Patrimonial.

WIth "Benedicit XVI" on the front in big letters it should sell well... just think how Ignatius Press has done the same, surely most profitably.

davidforster said...

I have a copy of "The Question of Anglican Orders: Letters to A Layman" by Dom Gregory Dix, though I've always kept it under lock and key ... it's probably on the Index.