Sunday, December 14, 2008

Post-Synodal Shenanigans

Just because the Synod is over, don’t think that there aren’t still problems with it. What we’re getting now are the propositions being forwarded to the Holy Father for review. My biggest concern, mentioned here in a previous post, was the treatment of Dei Verbum 11. The Instrumentum Laboris took what seemed to be a heretical view of this passage. The post-Synodal proposition isn’t much better. Prop 12 reads:

Inspiration and truth of the Bible

The Synod proposes that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarify the concepts of inspiration and truth of the Bible, as well as their reciprocal relationship, in order to understand better the teaching of "Dei Verbum" 11. In particular, it is necessary to highlight the originality of the Catholic biblical hermeneutics in this field.

The CDF needs to comment? Why? Is there a reason why the unanimous consent of the Fathers, multiple ecumenical councils, and four popes from the last century alone aren’t good enough? I’m having difficulty seeing this as anything other than modernists trying to get their foot in the door. So far, I’ll admit to being ok with the big items Levada has come out with during his tenure. It would be awesome if his response was to censure the morons who continue to try and make this some sort of issue.

Prop 25 from the Synod isn’t much better:

Need for two levels in exegetical research

The biblical hermeneutic proposed in "Dei Verbum," 12, continues to be of great present importance and efficacy, which envisages two different and correlative methodological levels.

The first level corresponds, in fact, to the so-called historical-critical methods that, in modern and contemporary research, often was used with fruitfulness and that entered the Catholic field, above all with the encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu" of the servant of God Pius XII. This method is necessary by the very nature of the history of salvation, which is not mythology, but a true history with its apex in the incarnation of the Word, divine and eternal, who comes to dwell in men's time (cf. John 1:14). The Bible and the history of salvation, therefore, also call for study with the methods of serious historical research.

The second methodological level necessary for a correct interpretation of the sacred Scriptures, corresponds to the nature, also divine, of human biblical words. The Second Vatican Council justly recalls that the Bible must be interpreted with the help of the same Holy Spirit who guided its writing.

Biblical hermeneutic cannot be considered carried out if -- along with the historical study of the texts -- it does not also seek its theological dimension in an adequate manner. "Dei Verbum" identifies and presents the three decisive references to arrive at the divine dimension and, therefore, to the theological meaning of the sacred Scriptures. It is a question of the content and the unity of the whole of Scripture, of the living tradition of the whole Church and, finally, of attention to the analogy of the faith. "Only where the two methodological levels are observed, the historical-critical and the theological, can one speak of a theological exegesis, an exegesis adequate to this book" (Benedict XVI, Oct. 14, 2008).

The historical-critical method is “necessary.” It actually says that. How amazing that the Church was able to do without it for 1900 years or so. I’ll be frank. If I may borrow a line from my colleague Karl, the historical-critical method is largely for sucks. Sure, it has some value, as Pope Benedict points out in his Jesus of Nazareth book. It’s primary use, though, is to serve as a lever for heretics to shoehorn naturalist a naturalist reading of Scripture into Church forums. This is where we get this popular attempt to separate the “historical Jesus” from the “Christ of Faith.” I guess the proposition tries to clarify its point here in an orthodox way, but that doesn’t change the fact that the beginning premise is ludicrous.

You can read all the propositions over on Zenit.

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