Bishop Robert Barron, Nouvelle Théologie, Ressourcement, Communio, and What’s Really Going on

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Most of my readers are familiar with the famous school of thought which arose in the 20th-century called the Nouvelle théologie (french for New Theology) and the method of ressourcement (French for Return to the Sources) or ad fontes (Latin for To the Sources). For those who are not, this “new” school of thought was a reaction to the Manualist neo-scholastic theology which pre-dominated Catholic thought in reaction to the heresy of Modernism which emerged in the 19th-century. This New Theology sought to return to the Sacred Scriptures and the Church Fathers, and to get at what the Biblical and Patristic authors were aiming to get at in their own literature. One of the critics of this new movement was the great Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange OP, Dominican theologian and lecturer, and it was actually from him that we believe this new method of doing theology was coined as Nouvelle théologie. He believed there was a threat to the Church’s theology if this New Theology was going to be given any space. Defenders of the New Theology (rightly, in my opinion) stressed the importance of returning to the sources in order to reach for the authentic foundations of the Christian faith, and, in particular, to contextualize it in the effort of finally engaging with the modern intellectual landscape hitherto then largely ignored. Continue reading

Saint Optatus on Schism : A Critique of an Eastern Orthodox Interpretation

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In our ongoing dialogue concerning the Papal claims vs. Eastern Orthodoxy, Craig Truglia has taken the time to spell out his interpretation of St. Optatus of Milevis’s argument in his Against the Donatists, written against Parmenian, a Donatist Bishop. As recorded previously (see here, here, and here), Truglia sees the Optatian definition of schism as a litmus test for who is really the schismatic in the Latin West vs. Greek East separation, and so it is paramount that St. Optatus truly does exemplify what is alleged. However, below I give my reasons why I have not been compelled by the exegesis of St. Optatus given by Truglia, and why other data serves to lead me contrariwise to the historic Papal position. Continue reading

Vatican II and the Liberal Tactic to Marginalize Tradition

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Vatican II (source)

Many theologians today, such as Fr. Aidan Nichols, insist that the documents of the 2nd Vatican Council are to be read with the primary criterion of the perennial Catholic tradition, otherwise known as Fr. Ratzinger’s Hermeneutic of Continuity. In other words, the premise here is that the orthodoxy of the Council’s documents are to be granted, provided they are read in a manner which is consistent with the Church’s magisterial tradition. However, as we are told that the Church welcomes open speech and invitations to dialogue, I’d like to put this under the limelight of investigation. Since ambiguity is the disease infecting our theologians today, I wish to be clear: What I am investigating here is whether the content of the Vatican II documents themselves provide sufficient precedent for what many today are calling aberrations to the Catholic faith. Continue reading