27 August 2023

Four Words

Recently, attempts to change the Church's Teaching have been justified by appealing to some words of S Vincent of Lerins about development. 

I have been writing about this subject since at least 2009. Henceforth, I shall repeat some of these old posts, with threads.

Four words of S Vincent of Lerins: 'Development' in the Christian Church and in her Doctrine: Development must take place eodem sensu eademque sententia [keeping the same meaning and the same judgment/opinion]. (In the Liturgy of the Hours the whole passage can be found in Vol IV.)

This phrase has a big place in the Conciliar Magisterium. It appeared (para 62) in Gaudium et Spes, and even before that it lay at the heart of the address by B John XXIII at the start of the Council. But here it is necessary to avoid a dangerous tripwire. In the popular English paperback collection of Conciliar documents (Chapman) edited by W M Abbott, a misleading paraphrase of this speech is given in which the phrase is totally omitted. This became the occasion of an important correspondence in the Tablet in December 1991, in the course of which Professor John Finnis of this University demonstrated conclusively that Peter Hebblethwaite's Pope John XXIII (p 432) is guilty of gross errors. Hebblethwaite, a failed Jesuit, fabricated a story about how some 'brave' and liberal words of John XXIII in his adddress to the Council were distorted, in a curial plot, by the later addition, in publication, of the words I quote. The papal address did not, according to Hebblethwaite, originally contain them. This gross distortion of events promptly became part of the mythology of the 'liberals', being cited as fact by Basil Hume and [the later Bishop of Guildford] Christopher Hill.

This passage by S Vincent lies at the heart of Newman's Essay on Development, which straddles his life as an Anglican and as a Roman Catholic (Chapter 5 Section 1). Its presence in the post-Conciliar Liturgia Horarum marks it as a part of the Conciliar documents which remains the everyday Magisterium of the modern Chuch.


Thomas said...

A note in passing: the term "Conciliar Church" was forged by Giovanni Benelli (who received the red hat a year later), then substitute to the Secretariat of State, in a letter sent to Abp Lefebvre on the 25th of June, 1976, wherein he spoke of "true faithfulness to the Conciliar Church".

_ said...

As the Anti-Modernist Oath puts it,

"I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely."

Deacon Augustine said...

This same phrase of St Vincent's is also cited in the concluding paragraph of Vatican I's Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Ch. 4 On Faith and Reason:

"May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding [36]."


Katalina said...

Thank You for pointing this out. I have seen the original agenda of the Council at the time of John and it was by no means LIBERAL. The bishops would not accept it and and it was discarded and the result the new 16 Council Documents were put out instead with their ambiguity.

El Codo said...

Father,a hole in one.Drinks at the Clubhouse.

Leila said...

Fr. Hunwicke, what do you think of this article, which speaks of Pope Francis' well worn breviary and has him reaching for the very same passage from St. Vincent! https://www.dominicanajournal.org/the-popes-well-worn-breviary/