Newman Refutes Contemporary Liberal Theologians
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) deeply influenced the theological thought of a great part of the nineteenth century, first as an Anglican and then as a Catholic. His greatest contribution was on the matter of the development of doctrine within the Church established by Christ, in conformity with traditional teaching and confirmed by Holy Scripture. By development he meant both a process and the result of that process, and within it a faithfulness to an idea. Christianity, said Newman, is a fact, impressing an idea of itself on our minds; and through the use of reason that idea will expand into a multitude of ideas. The Bible, for instance, does not comprise a delineation of all possible forms, which a divine message will assume when submitted to a multitude of minds. Ideas are in the writer and reader of Revelation, not the inspired text itself; and so they must grow in the course of time. Neither can Scripture remain in its mere letter; in fact, "the whole Bible is written on the principle of development." In the process of development, he said, it is convenient to make use of a leading idea; for him, the Incarnation is the basic idea of Christianity. As an idea it arrests and possesses the mind, and becomes an active principle; moreover, it must risk corruption from intercourse with the world. Since these developments constitute "a certain body of Truth, pervading the Church," and are "exposed to corruption if the Church fails in vigilance," these expressions of Christian doctrine need "an authoritative sanction." The means of ascertaining true developments must be external to the developments themselves; and so the essence of all religion is authority and obedience. This is found ultimately in the Church, which St. Paul describes as the "pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). This Church was established by Divine Right "with a Supreme Authority needed to meet conflicting conditions." Finally, Christianity, being one, must have all its developments consistent with each other and forming a whole. "This is found only in the Catholic Church."1
Rome Contained Antiquity
In the nineteenth century, certain liberal thinkers attempted to tangle with Newman in debate; but, as one writer says, "his mind cut through the haze of … Liberal confusion"; he was "a mental giant forced into unequal battle by a series of arrogant pygmies."2 By Liberalism Newman meant "the anti-dogmatic principle and its development." He was insistent that, "from the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion." He added: "I was confident in the truth of a certain definite religious teaching, based upon the foundation of dogma; viz., that there was a visible church, with sacraments and rites which are the channels of invisible grace." As an Anglican, he held this, submitting to his bishop, as "the successor of the Apostles, the vicar of Christ"; on becoming a Catholic, he transferred this to the Pope. When he saw stirrings in the Anglican Church of doctrine (dogma) confused with mere theological opinion, he recognized the assault upon it of Liberalism. He was most concerned with and protested against the Anglican Church seeing intercommunion with Protestant Prussia and with the heresies of the Orientals in consecrating a bishop for Jerusalem. He reasoned that "the spirit of lawlessness came in with the Reformation, and Liberalism is its offspring." "This spirit," he said, " is of the Antichrist, the anomos (lawlessness), as exalting himself above the yoke of religion and law."
By July of 1844, he experienced a strong leaning toward Rome and away from Anglicanism; he began to see Antiquity on the side of Rome. It was within the Catholic Church that he saw the true principle of development, "as giving a character to the whole course of Christian thought… Modern Rome was in truth ancient Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople."3 His constant preoccupation was with the primitive Church, immediately derivative from the Apostles; and the conviction was growing upon him, as he studied the Fathers of the Church, that the Church of Rome, alone, had the credentials of the primitive Church. In fact, the antecedent probability points to a "development" of dogma as taught by Rome; and weight of proof is demanded of those who assail a teaching which is and has long been in possession of the Catholic Church.4 In illustration of this, Newman looked to particular topics of Catholic credence; and found in them a consistent continuity of teaching from the primitive teaching, through the Christian ages, and to the point of its final definition. He found this to be an historical point at which the growth of a particular doctrine ceased and the rule of Faith was once for all settled. On the matter of the Canon of Sacred Scripture (the inspired works, in contrast to apocrypha), he said that it is received on the authority of the fourth and fifth centuries; they had passed judgment on former testimony, since, in times of persecution of the Church, there was no time for research, discussion and definition. The fifth century was one of expression, as witnessed by the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon and the Nicene Creed witnessed in the fourth century to the Ante-Nicene theology. And so, at a later date, the Athanasian Creed deepened the knowledge of Revelation on the relations between the Persons in the Trinity when faced with the continuing heresy of Arian "subordination."5 We see this development of doctrine in our times, for instance, in the Credo of the People of God (1968) by Paul VI and in the profound teachings on human work (Laborem Exercens) and on marriage and the family (Familiaris Consortio) of John Paul II.6
The Seven Notes Are Applied
Another instance of development of doctrine, and essential to the understanding of this paper, is that of Papal supremacy. Newman tells us that the early Christians knew that they must live in unity, and recognized that they were so living. It was a sacramentum unitatis. The determination of its essence and means of securing this unity was to be supplied as necessity grew. While Christians were of one heart and one soul, it would be suspended; when unity was threatened, it was invoked. Newman says:
When the Church was thrown upon her own resources, first local disturbances gave exercise to bishops, and next ecumenical disturbances gave exercise to Popes; and whether communion with the Pope was necessary for Catholicity would not and could not be debated till a suspension of that communion had actually occurred.
With marked clarity Newman reasoned that, "if the whole of Christendom is to form one Kingdom, one head is essential; at least this is the experience of eighteen hundred years." And so:
As the Church grew into form, so did the power of the Pope develop; and wherever the Pope has been renounced, decay and division have been the consequence. We know of no other way of preserving the Sacramentum Unitatis but a centre of unity.7
It was quite obvious to Newman that, even though the full deposit of faith had been given to the Apostles by Christ, and transmitted by them to the Church, there was a need of correctly understanding this deposit as conflicting opinions arose among the members of the one Church. To this end, a supreme authority was needed; otherwise, the body of Revelation would be open to endless confusion; and decay, not unity, would be the mark of the Church. This could not be since Christ had not only commanded his disciples to teach "all things that He had commanded," but also had assured them that he would be with them until the end of time (Matt. 28:18).
Newman saw that the Divine Author had intended Christianity to have "a wide expansion of the ideas proper to it"; but realized that this great benefit could be hindered by "the evil birth of cognate errors which acted as its counterfeit." He, therefore, assigned certain characteristics of faithful developments, which would discriminate them from corruptions. He defined corruption as "an incipient disorganization." It is characteristic of modern sects and of dissident theologians within the Church that they give evidence of corruption through the excesses in their conduct and the errors in their doctrine. The Church has been harassed by their innovations, but has ever revived from the force of their attacks. She is ever herself; "doctrine is where it was, and usage, and precedence, and principle, and policy." In a word, she is "incorrigible," cannot change the deposit of faith that has been given her by our Divine Savior.8
As we have seen, Newman came to the overwhelming realization that the Catholic faith was logically, as well as historically, the representative of the ancient faith. As a result of his studies, he assigned certain characteristics of faithful development, as distinct from corruptions. He set down seven Notes to discriminate healthy developments of an idea from its decay: (1) a one and same type of life, that is, a religion which, while developing, remains identically what it was; (2) continuity of principles, the "special laws" of a development; (3) a power of assimilation, achieving a "unitive" incorporation into the life of the faith; (4) a logical sequence, that is, a teaching that issues from its original teaching; (5) an early anticipation of future development; (6) a conserving of the course of antecedent developments, an addition which illustrates and corroborates the thought which precedes; and (7) a chronic vigor, marked by duration. These seven Notes— marks of fidelity in the development of an idea—are to be applied to the current developments of Christian doctrine. And here Newman advises us to watch for "the unity and identity of the idea with itself through all stages of its development."9 To explain the application of each of these Notes in Newman's study is beyond the length of this paper. But it is most helpful for us to apply them to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, wherein we find a logical consistency in the course of the ages. We see that doctrine is open to development, not to change. And here we come into sharp contrast with the new teachings of the dissident theologians who take issue with Papal teaching. Let us look into some deviations of the so-called New Theology that are so widespread throughout the United States and are accepted as Catholic by many.
In a recent book review, a professor of theology commended the author of A Church to Believe In for his writing on papal infallibility and the Magisterium: "He clearly maintains that the teaching authority of the Church needs to be extended beyond the jurisdiction of the Pope and bishops. He effectively shows that the more restricted interpretation of the Church's teaching authority … is historically inaccurate." The author is said to suggest that an "ecumenical dimension" needs to be included in the notion of papal infallibility, "as some Protestant scholars have argued."10 The author, Fr. Avery Dulles, is consistent with his previous writings. He rejects the possibility of clear concepts of the mystery of the Church, insisting that we can only work from images, which "resonate with the experience of the faithful." And "in times of rapid cultural change…a crisis of images is to be expected." Traditional images must yield to those, which speak to contemporaries; and the contemporary world is largely secular and utilitarian. Images, when employed reflectively, become "models" and "serve to synthesize what we already know." Now, while admitting the imperfection of such "models" (or analogies), Dulles is ready to make an exploratory (heuristic) use of them, of "their capacity to lead to new theological insights." Here he is faced with his problem: "Because the Church is mystery, there can be no question of deductive or crudely empirical tests." Deductive reasoning, he says, is ruled out because "we have no clear abstract concepts of the Church that could furnish us with a syllogism." How then can Fr. Dulles achieve knowledge of the Faith? It, he believes, "depends upon a kind of corporate discernment of spirits; 'Christians . . . can assess the adequacy and limits of various models by consulting their own experience.' "
As support of his own charismatic experience of truth, he patently misuses Paul VI's encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam (1964). In fact, the Pontiff rejects any subjectivist "religious experience"—as espoused by Dulles — when he insists on the hierarchy's duty and authority to teach Divine Truth, saying: The Church enlightens by sound teaching… We mean systematic and accurate instruction" (Sec. 38). In conflict with Papal teaching, Fr. Dulles espouses a faulty pluralism in which diverse religious beliefs are to be tolerated on the basis of individual religious experience. But, we ask, are all "religious experiences" acceptable? He quickly corrects this impression by insisting that, "some presentations of some models must be positively rejected."11 Here we ask: Whose presentations are to be rejected? Whose religious experience is to be regarded as authentic? Since infallible teaching must be extended beyond the Pope and the bishops — even to incorporate an ecumenism of religious experience—what combination of "experiences" will bear Truth?
The Council In Contrast Says
This new ecclesiology of Fr. Dulles is neither logically nor historically representative of the ancient faith; in no sense is it "development" of doctrine, but, rather, a decay or dissolution of Catholic teaching. Applying the seven Notes of Newman, in testing for authentic development, one finds that the Divine Plan appointed an external authority to decide on true development of doctrine, separating it from mere human speculation or "religious experience"; and this infallibility resides in the Church whose teaching authority resides in the Pope and those bishops in union with him. The clear distinction between the Magisterium and the faithful is the one and same type of life of the Church; there is identity in the teaching of Vatican II (cf. Lumen Gentium, Ch. III) with Vatican I, wherein a clear distinction was made between the "teaching Church" (Magisterium) and the "learning Church." And these have their antecedents in such previous Councils as Trent, Florence, and referring back to the times of St. Cyprian who, along with Augustine and innumerable others, appealed to the See of Peter and those in union with them. This "principle" of a sacramentum unitatis allows for development, but never for rejection, nor for sharing with contrary teachers. The teachings of Vatican II are assimilative into the corporate life of the Church; those of Fr. Dulles are not. There is a logical deduction and cohesiveness in the recent Council's unfolding of the riches of the deposit of Faith; it rejoiced in this, when, at the beginning of Lumen Gentium, it made clear its purpose: "to set forth, as clearly as possible, and in the tradition laid down by earlier Councils, her own nature and universal mission" (Sec. 1). And so authentic Church teaching conserves the course of antecedent developments, and will endure with a timeless vigor.
Fr. Dulles confronts the Church's teaching of an institutional ecclesiology that incorporates seven Sacraments and a hierarchy as part of the original deposit of Faith, and demands a "scholarly criticism." This, he believes, "could not demonstrate that all these offices, beliefs, and rites were instituted by Christ." Such "modern dogmas" as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin are unprovable from Scripture and Tradition; and the ecclesiology of papal-episcopal government is "out of phase with the demands of the times…an age of dialogue and ecumenism." He finds that "in our modern pluralistic society, as in the United States, people do not experience any given church as a necessary means of giving significance to their lives." Then, turning from the Church as institution (a necessary evil), Dulles regards it under the aspect of "mystical communion"; he here finds an improvement, a more ecumenical model. Now we have a type of "inter-personal community," a product of modern sociology. With dogmatic assertion, he denies that the Church of Christ is co-terminous with the Roman Catholic Church; believes that "the principal paradigm of the Church in Vatican II is that of the People of God"; and that the People is "not exclusively identified with any given societal organization, even the Roman Catholic Church."12
The Fathers of the Vatican Council say the opposite of Fr. Dulles:
This is the sole Church of Christ (visible, with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ), which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic… This Church … subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. (Sec. 8)
Fr. Dulles' assertion of a change in meaning from Vatican I's use of "is" to Vatican II's use of "subsists in" is unfounded. Use of a Latin dictionary will tell us that there is no essential difference in the used-meaning of the verbs. Besides, the Fathers—in the footnote to this Section 8—cite as its doctrinal meaning the Profession of Faith of Trent, and also the Dei Filius of Vatican I. In no way did the Fathers of Vatican II intend a change of meaning to allow for a plurality of Christ-founded churches. But Fr. Dulles is upset with this teaching of Vatican I, because it conflicts with ecumenism; and offers as substitutions Pusey's "branch theory" or the World Council of Churches' proposals. He asserts that the Church Fathers from Irenaeus to Augustine "saw the Church as wider than any given institution"; but gives no proof. He states that: "Even if one assumes that the Roman Catholic Church alone has the 'substantials' from an institutional point of view, one cannot legitimately infer that it alone is the Church."13
As remarked above, Newman would not find authentic development in Fr. Dulles' ecclesiology, but, rather, a radical change of doctrine, an esoteric assertion. In addressing himself to the evidences for the Pope's supremacy, Newman reasoned historically that the sacramentum unitatis was acknowledged on all hands, adding:
If the whole of Christendom is to form one Kingdom, one head is essential…as the Church grew into form, so did the power of the Pope develop; and wherever the Pope has been renounced, decay and division have been the consequence.
Even the heretics, said Newman, are obliged to acknowledge that Rome was "the school of the Apostles and the Metropolis of orthodoxy from the beginning."14 Fr. Dulles' opinion is a tour de force of eclecticism, whereas the Church in and of Rome is "a living idea (which becomes many, yet remains one." Newman illustrates this in his comparison of St. Athanasius and St. Robert Bellarmine: "St. Athanasius is more powerful in statement and exposition than in proof, while in Bellarmine we find the whole series of doctrines carefully drawn out, duly adjusted with one another, and exactly analyzed one by one."15 Fr. Dulles has rejected Bellarmine's definition of the Church, and with arbitrary ease labels it "entirely in terms of visible elements," of a "baroque mentality," reduced to clear and distinct ideas, and tending to "neglect the most important thing about the Church: the presence in it of the God who calls the members to himself, sustains them by his grace." This gratuitous assertion by Fr. Dulles is maintained by no proof, but escapes into the vague statement that there is "something of a consensus today that the innermost reality of the Church . . . is the divine self-gift."16
In discussing the Church, as Servant, Fr. Dulles gives us further insights into his ideas of the Church. It must update its doctrine and institutional structures, must take the world as a theological source. This fashioning is to be achieved by light of the evolutionary theorizing of Teilhard de Chardin and the sociological structuring of Richard McBrien. The evaluations of Fr. Dulles reflect both an unhistorical and intemperate criticism of the Church, gratuitously charging the Church with pride, while failing to prove his allegations and not delineating the various theories, or "faces" of the world,17 that are sources. What "face" of the world is to be a theological source of the Church as herald or servant? And who is to determine the truth from the error in the world's propaganda? Fr. Dulles imagines that he has grounds for his assumptions in Section 59 of Gaudium et Spes of Vatican II, where the Fathers of the Council affirm "the legitimate autonomy of human culture and especially of the sciences." Such autonomy cannot be absolute, in any culture, but, teach the Fathers, "is to be subordinated to the integral perfection of the human person, to the good of the community and of the whole society." The Church, moreover, is not subordinated to any culture, but "has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations." The Fathers warn us that the Church is "not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life; but she must be "faithful to her own tradition." Her role is to combat and remove error, and "she never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples" (Sec. 58). A final observation of the Council Fathers cautions us that, "today's progress in science and technology can foster a certain exclusive emphasis on observable data, and an agnosticism about everything else" (Sec. 57).
We have seen that the mind, habituated to God, naturally contemplates ideas and forms statements of them. This fruitful principle of association is found in religion, which is expressed in a body of dogmatic statements. Deductions from a leading idea is development. In Christianity, Newman believes that the master-idea is the Incarnation. But, as we have seen, the understanding of the Incarnation and its implications must be found, conserved, and protected within the Church; and this Truth is exposed to corruption, "if the Church fails in vigilance." The Church of Christ has a whole Revelation, an objective content of belief, a determinate possession of credentials, and can validly profess its infallibility of teaching. Its structure perdures in the one same type of life, based on identical principles, with the power of assimilating deeper understandings of the one Truth. These later phenomena protect and subserve the earlier; and in this development there is a vigorous action from first to last.
Dulles Fails To Prove His Thesis
This Church of Christ is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, as expressed in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed of the fourth century, and reiterated with developed emphasis in the Vatican Council of the twentieth century. Fr. Dulles dismisses these four notes of the Church as unconvincing, "with little basis in Scripture or in the early tradition." He criticizes them with such unscholarly phrases as: "deleterious spiritual effects," a "cult of uniformity," and "irrational quest for sheer bigness." He tells us that he prefers a "community model," wherein the Church is no longer identified with one society, but is seen as a mystery. The Church is "in Bergsonian terminology, an open society." He fails to prove that Vatican II has taken a new view, "a compromise position," in respect to the oneness of the Church; and goes even further in his distortion by attempting to bring Mysterium Ecclesiae, the Declaration of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in 1973, to support his position.18 In direct opposition to his view, the Congregation teaches that the Church is holy, despite the sinfulness of many of her members; that the Catholic Church is the one Church which Christ founded and which is governed by the successors of Peter and the other Apostles, though other ecclesial communities "are joined to the Catholic Church by an imperfect communion"; and that the charism of infallibility is only in the Church's Magisterium.
In compounding his own idea of the Church, Fr. Dulles sees that Revelation "in our day is highly problematical," labeling the traditional presentation of revelation, as "mythical," "not experienced," leading to "complacency, triumphalism and disdain for others." He dismisses the work of Roman Catholic theology, since the Counter Reformation, as "colored by an institutional view of the Church; and teaches by authority of office rather than by giving evidence for what it says." He then confuses the issue by stating that, "revelation may be said to be present in all human knowledge in so far as it bears on the deepest values of life."19
Newman Was Deeply Convinced
In contrast to Dulles' espousal of a theory wherein the religious experience of the individual is preferable to any dogmatically teaching Church, we have Cardinal Newman's insistence that Revelation "has introduced a new law of divine governance over and above those laws which appear in the natural course of the world; and in consequence we are able to argue for the existence of a standing authority in matters of faith on the analogy of Nature, and from the fact of Christianity." He sees that "preservation is involved in the idea of creation … so He gave the Creed once for all in the beginning, yet blesses its growth still, and provides for its increase… As creation argues continual governance, so are Apostles harbingers of Popes."20 Dulles pleads for his "open Church," rejects "immuring oneself behind a fixed theological position"; and so effectively supports a new Gnosticism, in which the subjective religious experiences and valuations become the gnosis of the theologian. For him, "a given theologian builds his own personal theology; this is because, "of their very nature, institutions are subordinate to persons, and structures are subordinate to life"; and so the Church is to be regarded as "a sociological entity." It is to be viewed as "a social contract":
The form of the Church is constantly being modified by the way in which the members of the Church externalize their own experience, and in so doing transform the Church to which they already belong… It becomes what its leaders and its people choose to make of it.21
In concluding his reflections, Dulles creates a prophetic vision of the future Church: modernized in structure in the interest of more functional authority, and with allowance for ecumenical interplay, under which denominational divisions can no longer correspond with real issues. There must be an allowance of "internal pluralism" through a process of de-Romanization; Church decisions must have a "provisionality," making its measures mutable and tentative. There shall be "voluntariness," derived from dialogue, consensus, and persuasion. In this he rejects what he calls "static traditionalism." He assures that the ecclesiologists of the future "will no doubt devise new models for thinking about the Church."22
Against this theological subjectivism and secular relativism one realizes that the theorizing of Fr. Dulles is a voyaging on the unpathed waters of a Gnostic sea. He is caught up in the vortex of those who no longer see the Church of Christ as the barque of Peter and, separating from its authoritative teaching, is left whirling about in his conflicting and subjectivist reasoning.
After a profound study of the history and logical development of Christian doctrine, Cardinal Newman realized that "the Church is everywhere, but it is one; sects are everywhere, but they are many, independent, and discordant." St. Clement's witness appealed to Newman: "Whereas there is one God and one Lord, therefore also that which is the highest in esteem is praised on the score of being sole. In the nature then of the One, the Church, which is one, has its portion, which they (heretics) would forcibly cut up into many heresies." And St. Optatus asked: "What is that one Church which Christ calls spouse? … It cannot be in the multitude of heretics and schismatics." Newman was deeply convinced by the oneness of the Catholic Church, by its theology, which is "a diligent, patient working out of one doctrine from many materials. The conduct of popes, Councils, Fathers betokens the slow, painful, anxious taking up of new truths into an existing body of belief." He saw in it the unchanging tradition of Truth, in an ever-developing growth of understanding. It can only be a true development, he said, when it is "conservative of its original." This development was not "a silent and spontaneous process"; but, rather,
wrought out and carried through under the fiercest controversies and amid the most fearful risks. . . Large portions of Christendom were, one after another, in heresy or schism; the leading Churches and the most authoritative schools fell from time to time into serious error; three Popes, Liberius, Virgilius, Honorius, have left to posterity the burden of their defense; but these disorders were not interruption to the sustained and steady march of the sacred Science from implicit belief to formal statement.23
Looking out upon the religious beliefs of the nineteenth century, Newman found the Truth in the Catholic Church. He reasoned:
If then there is now a form of Christianity such that it extends throughout the world…; that heresies are rife and bishops negligent within its own pale; and that amid its disorders and its fears there is but one Voice for whose decisions the people wait with trust, one Name and one See to which they look with hope, and that name Peter, and that see Rome; such a religion is not unlike the Christianity of the fifth and sixth centuries. 24
With strong Faith and broad reasoning talent, Newman saw the Church, as a strong contrast to the philosophies and religions of the world. Of these he said that each had its day and was part of a succession; but "the Catholic religion alone has had no limits… Her wonderful revivals while the world was triumphing over her, is a further evidence of the absence of corruption in the system of doctrine and worship in which she has developed."25 'The tenets of Liberalism change and pass with the moods of the day, but the Church of Apostolic foundation has the constant presence of Christ and the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit.
1 J. H. Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, New York, 1960, Image, Ch. I, Secs. 1-2; Ch. II, Secs. 2-3.
2 Gary Wills, "The Liberals Convert a Cardinal," National Review, January 16, 1960.
3 J. H. Newman, Apologia pro Vita Sua, New York, 1942, America Press, pp. 73-75, 81, 171, 224, 229-230. By "antiquity" Newman meant the "primitive Church" of the immediate post-Apostolic times, which was to be the touchstone for orthodox teaching. In his Anglican period—during the "Oxford Movement"—he believed that it was most faithfully kept by the Via Media of Anglicanism; upon a deeper study of the Fathers — from the direct sources, and not from the writings of the Anglican divines—he composed The Essay on Development of Christian Doctrine, and came to the conviction that in the Catholic Church alone was the fulfillment of the "antecedent probability" of the primitive Church's development.
4 Newman, Essay, Ch. III, Sec. 2, ss. #4, 11, p. 133.
5 Newman, Essay, Ch. II, Sec. 1, ss. #l-5; Introd., Sec. 10-13, pp. 81, 41.
6 John Paul II, Encyclical, Laborem Exercens (1981) and the Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (1981), in both of which the Pontiff stresses the inter-personal relations of human work, marriage, and the family. The Pope develops profoundly the nature of the human person, in his social relations, typifying the covenants of relation between God and man.
7 Newman, Essay, Ch. IV, Sec. 3, ss. #4, 8, p. 160,163.
8 Newman, Essay, Ch. V, Introd., #4 (p. 177); Ch. XII, Sec. 8 (p. 417).
9 Newman, Essay, Ch. V, Secs. 1-7 (pp. 176-207).
10 T, Pawikowski (Catholic Theological Union, Chicago), Review of Avery Dulles, S.J., A Church to Believe In, in Catholic Sentinel (Portland, Or.), August 27, 1982. In a New York Times book review (April 3, 1983), David Tracy (professor of theology, University of Chicago) points to the continuing area of Dulles' insistence on reform in the Catholic Church from emphasis on institution to that of communion. Tracy applauds Dulles' reflection "in a new ecumenical context on such controversial issues as the infallibility of the pope."
11 Avery Dulles, Models of the Church, New York, 1974, Doubleday, pp. 19-30. In a recent publication, "St. Ignatius and the Jesuit Tradition" (Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits, Vol. 14, No. 2, March 1982), Fr. Dulles returns to his theme, stating: "Types of theology rest not so much on agreed sets of theses as on commonalities of experience, outlook, and concern." In developing this idea, he concentrates on individual freedom; and focuses on a need for pluralism, to be achieved by "major shifts in the internal organization of the Church." In the Society of Jesus, he assures us, "the Ignatian paradigm … does not dictate any particular set of theological theses. A variety of competing theologies, bound together by a loose family resemblance, can all legitimately claim, in one way or another, to be Ignatian." In his The Survival of Dogma (New York, 1973, Image), Fr. Dulles states his aim as a "dialectical interpenetration between stability and change, fidelity and initiative, in the areas of faith, authority, and dogma." We admit that he has been doing this; but has lost contact with what he labels "rigidly defined proposition," or "static conceptions" (p. 13). One can rightly question when his dialectic comes to rest in creedal belief.
12 Dulles, Models, pp. 37-42, 48-56.
13 Dulles, Models, p. 136. Emphasis is mine.
14 Newman, Essay, pp. 159-67.
15 Ibid., p. 195.
16 Dulles, Models, p. 15.
17 Ibid., 85-92.
18 Ibid., 122-30.
19 Ibid., 167-69.
20 Newman, Essay, p. 103.
21 Dulles, Models, pp. 182-88.
22 Ibid., 190-92.
23 Newman, Essay, pp. 247-56, 346, 395, 413.
24 Ibid., p. 308.
25 Ibid., p. 417. © The Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Ignatius Press, 2515 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94118, 1-800-651-1531.
© The Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Ignatius Press, 2515 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94118, 1-800-651-1531.
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