Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock
So is this a retired non-theologian bureaucrat expressing a personal opinion, or something else? Is this attempting another framing of the thought that Vatican II can be dismissed as "pastoral" and thus non-authoritative - supposedly?
First, I don't think that it would be appropriate to call either a cardinal archbishop (Brandmuller) or an archbishop (Marchetto) "a non-theologian." I also don't think it would be appropriate to call senior officials of dicasteries, even retired ones, "bureaucrats".
I think there are two points that were being made:
First, that conciliar documents are of varying degrees of authority. While they are all Magisterial, there is a difference in authority between "Constitutions", "Decrees", and "Declarations." Correspondingly, there are differences in the degree to which they must be regarded in the INTERNAL
forum. Believed with "Divine and Catholic Faith" versus "Religious Submission of the Intellect and Will."
Secondly, they both point out the importance of interpreting Vatican II correctly. As stated by the Holy Father in his 2005 Christmas Message to the Roman Curia
. In that document, he identified two basic hermeneutics used to interpret the council.
The first, the one popularized by liberals, is the "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture." With this hermeneutic, they believed the intent of the Council was to completely re-form (as opposed to reform) the Church, casting aside 2,000 years of patrimony to remake the Church from the ground up. In fact, according to the Holy Father, many believed that "it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit" -- and that the Council Fathers did not properly and fully express themselves in the council. Thus (my words), many of the innovations that sprung up that totally abandoned tradition and put so many souls at risk in the past 50 years.
The second, and the proper one, is the "hermeneutic of continuity and reform." This interprets the council in light of the prior 2,000 years of patrimony and views the council as a re-framing of existing doctrine to reflect the modern world. As Pope John XXIII said at the opening of the Council:
Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest
will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries.
The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all.
For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.
So, ironically, while it is obvious that those liberals who attempt to cast aside everything, saying "the Spirit of Vatican II changed all of that..." are completely off the rails, those ultra-traditionalists who utterly reject Vatican II are also off of the same rails, but in a different direction.
The point being that the SSPX needs to interpret all of the documents of Vatican II, not only with the appropriate level of canonical authority, but also they need to be interpreted in light of the Magisterium building up to that point. (On the subject of ecumenism, for example, they would do well to interpret the V-II declaration in light of the Magisterium of Popes Pius IX and Pius XII)
And I think that's what these two retired bishops were getting at.