Vatican Prefect Strongly Criticizes 'Hermeneutic of Discontinuity'

Calling for an attentive reading of the texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy said that Catholics must reject the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” in interpreting them.http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/headlinebistro_complete/~4/axsNoMigCP8

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I applaud Cardinal Piacenza for making the statement. I wholeheartedly agree.

A comment from the above site:

Posted by: jimgrum697380 - Today 7:51 AM ET USA
“I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy…when the community of faith, the worldwide unity of the Church and her history, and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else, then, is the Church to become visible…? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless.” Ratzinger 1997 (This was the goal of some even prior to Vatican II)

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.

God Bless.

It’s about time that this topic is discussed openly. Yay.

“For such a reason,** some sort of dichotomy between pre- and post-Vatican II is unthinkable,** and certainly one must refute both the positions of those who see in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council a “new beginning” of the Church as well as those who discern the “true Church” only prior to this historical Council.”

.

Hi,

Call me dumb, but what is the issue really talking about.

Thanks

I would never call you dumb. There is a tendency for many Catholics to “take a side” about Vatican II.

Some believe it was actually heretical in some things it did and said, the SSPX is in schism over it and refuses to acknowledge it as a valid Church Council. Vat 2 is blamed for everything from the drop off in Church attendance to the sexual abuse scandal and more.

Others took the writings of Vat 2, interpreted them rather overbroadly and justified all sorts of liturgical abuses, introduction of New Age ideas into catechism or RCIA, and interpreted the parts on ecumensim to mean there is no difference really between any other religion, like Hinduism, and Christianity.

Both "sides, or the very fact there are now these two sides, are wrong. This is a common-enough thing at CAF that there are forum rules against suggesting that Vat 2 is not a valid Church Council, or saying the vernacular form of the Mass is less valid than the Latin and so forth.

I believe what the Pope through this spokesman is saying is: KNOCK IT THE H— OFF!! Only in Church-speak.

And it’s about time. The Vatican 2 documents are beautiful and essentially explain what the basics of Christianity have always been. They are not liberal or heretical and they didn’t change the Church.

I believe the amount of division within the Church, that we can often see mirrored right on these forums, is very distressing to the Pope who sees tough times ahead and wants us to put aside these things. They should be equally distressing to us.

Anyway, that’s my opinion. Others may vary.

In a pre-Christmas speech to the members of the Vatican curia in 2005, then Cardinal Ratzinger distinguished two approaches to interpreting Vatican Council II.

A large part of the difficulty in implementing the council, he said, stems from the fact “that two contrary hermeneutics came face-to-face and quarreled with each other.” The first is the hermeneutic of reform, which the pope also describes as the hermeneutic “of renewal in the continuity of the one subject – church – which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying people of God.”

The second, which he calls “the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture,” is based “on a false concept of the church and hence of the council, as if the former were from man alone and the latter a sort of constituent assembly.”

To a certain extent, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI was employing a straw man argument. Almost no theologian of note would agree with the characterization that the Church is “from man alone” – that the Church is entirely human institution in which God has no role and that the Council was no more than another meeting.

The real issue is whether the Council said anything new, or whether everything taught by the Council is a renewal of facets of the Church that is in continuity with what went before.

Moreover, particularly in liturgy, Pope Benedict seems to prefer continuity in the “look and feel” of the Tridentine liturgy, including more extensive use of Latin, Gregorian chant, etc., rather than fashioning a revised rite that is in continuity with the long Catholic tradition but seems quite different from the Tridentine liturgy.

herme…what? One thing about the Catholic church, they aren’t short on big words. Can someone please translate into dummy language?

Hermenuity means process or method of interpreting something, generally a text. In this case, the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” means interpreting the documents of Vatican II as authorizing a break with the tradition – something radically new.

THANK YOU! :hug1:

The hermeneutic of discontinuity looks at the Vatican II documents in the context of the twentieth century and extrapolates from them where the Church should be theologically and liturgically. When Bl. John Paul became Pope, his implementation of Vatican II insisted that these documents be viewed instead in the context of 2000 years of Church development. They are not something new and modern. The are instead a new way to view a continuous doctrine in the modern world. While Truth does not change, the world surely does. The Church then must change its approach to match modern culture as surely as the early church had to change its Jewish approach to bring the gospel to the Gentile world.

The Catechism that was created had as one of its goals to bring this continuity to the Masses. If you follow the footnotes, you will see that it draws from Scripture, the Saints, Church Tradition and Vatican II documents as a seamless garment. This era, while we can use the tools of the modern world, is not a new race. It is but one more lap in a long race.

:confused:

The archbishop is simply restating what Pope Benedict said in 2005 while addressing the Curia. I will quote a section where he is discussing a fundamental misunderstanding of Vatican II

[quote=Pope Benedict]On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the “hermeneutic of reform”, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.

The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.

These innovations alone were supposed to represent the true spirit of the Council, and starting from and in conformity with them, it would be possible to move ahead. Precisely because the texts would only imperfectly reflect the true spirit of the Council and its newness, it would be necessary to go courageously beyond the texts and make room for the newness in which the Council’s deepest intention would be expressed, even if it were still vague.

In a word: it would be necessary not to follow the texts of the Council but its spirit. In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim.

The nature of a Council as such is therefore basically misunderstood. In this way, it is considered as a sort of constituent that eliminates an old constitution and creates a new one.
[/quote]

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia_en.html

EXACTLY! And the repair of the “In this way, obviously, a vast margin was left open for the question on how this spirit should subsequently be defined and room was consequently made for every whim.” is what is neccesary to attain the “Reform of the Reform”. This is where the difficulty is. How does one, especially a Holy Pope who is more theologian than cage fighter, repair 50 years of “whim”? And how does one reign in Bishops and Bishop’s confrances who lean more to the liberal interpretation side? How does one reign in a westernized Church?
I fear the Holy Father was correct and perhaps prophetic when he stated “The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church”. Much as the Great Schism with the Orthodox. Pray for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI daily for strength, health and Wisdom.

I realize that the people in Rome who issue these statements are great intellectuals, but is it any surprise that the average Catholic is confused?

If you wish to make a statement on something this key, it should be issued in a way that everyone can easily understand.

John

:thumbsup:

The statement was made to priests, not the laity.

The “average Catholic” doesn’t read these forums or statements issued by the Vatican. I don’t think it’s stretch for people who do read forums to also know how to use Google if they run across an unfamiliar word and take responsibility for their own understanding. It’s not the job of the Vatican to speak to the lowest common denominator, but to make concise statements.

It’s not the job of the Vatican to speak to the lowest common denominator, but to make concise statements.

Lowest common denominator? Interesting choice of words,

Concise? How about, The Holy Father in Rome has determined that opposition to Vatican II is… and so on.

Now what’s so tough about that?

John

Sometimes simpler words lack precision. This lends to them being misused by others. Any given day you can flip through the news channels and hear this being done.

You make a sound point, but isn’t this just a bit over the top?

John

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