Monday, July 31, 2006

Spanish Bishops: Progressive Theologians Behind Loss of Faith

Wow! Interesting article over at Sandro Magister's site, The Chiesa. I tried adding the photo he has in the beginning of a very sorrowful Blessed Mother, but as usual, nothing but problems with blogger photo uploading.

I have just started reading it and this is fascinating. It sounds like the era of ambiguous theology, and all that stems from it, is at an end. We must be patient because it is clear to me that the Holy Spirit is hard at work, and this new generation of bishops aren't buying the namby-pamby theology some in the previous generation have attempted to hand off. They fumbled the ball, and now Holy Mother Church has the ball - 1st and 10, on her own end of the field. It will take the team time to get it to the 50 yard line, then down field. There may be a long spectacular pass and catch here and there, but for the most point, I think this game is going to be won with a few short-yard gainers at a time. They just have to keep the ball moving downfield.

Oh how sweet it is to see bishops acting like bishops and exercising their teaching authority. We must pray for them, and for all who read and follow the nice work they have begun here. I look forward to reading the actual instruction when it is done.

I'll get you started here, and then you can continue there...

The Church in Spain Is Sick, but It’s not Zapatero’s Fault
The sickness is the loss of faith among the people, and the poor instructors are above all the progressive theologians. The accusation comes from the Spanish bishops. In a document coordinated with Rome, as a model for other episcopates

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, July 28, 2006 – The document was written by the Spanish bishops, and focuses on Spanish theology. But its horizon is much broader. It was planned in conjunction with the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when this was headed by cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now pope. And it presents itself as a working model for the bishops of other nations. “L’Osservatore Romano,” the newspaper of the Holy See, is preparing to issue it with a significant publicity effort. In Italy it was published in its entirety in the latest edition of “Il Regno,” the influential magazine of the Sacred Heart Fathers in Bologna.

The document is in the form of a “pastoral instruction,” and is entitled “Theology and secularization in Spain, forty years after the end of Vatican Council II.” It is the outcome of three years of work, and was prepared by the commission for the doctrine of the faith of the Spanish bishops’ conference. But then it was examined by all of the bishops, who in two voting sessions, in November and then in March of this year, approved it by a margin of over two thirds. The bishops most active in promoting the document included the two most “Ratzingerian” cardinals of Spain, Antonio Cañizares Lovera, of Toledo, and Antonio María Rouco Varela, of Madrid, together with one of the latter’s auxiliary bishops, Eugenio Romero Pose, president of the doctrinal commission.

What prompted the instruction, and what are its aims? In an interview with “Il Regno,” Romero Pose said that with this document the Spanish bishops intend to indicate “both the sickness and the cure.”

The sickness is “the secularization within the Church”: a widespread loss of faith caused in part by “theological propositions that have in common a deformed presentation of the mystery of Christ.”

The cure is precisely that of restoring life to the profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), in the four areas where it is most seriously undermined today:

– the interpretation of Scripture,
– Jesus Christ as the only savior of all men,
– the Church as the Body of Christ,
– moral life.

The instruction is organized under these four main headings. In each section, the document first presents the features of correct Christological doctrine, and then denounces the theologies that deform it.

It denounces the theologies, not the theologians. The instruction does not target particular authors, but limits itself to denouncing erroneous tendencies. The names found in the notes that accompany the text are simply those of theologians already marked out in the past by doctrinal condemnations and disciplinary sanctions by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or by the Spanish bishops’ conference.

Continue reading Magister 31JL06