Tuesday, September 22, 2015

(5th- and) 6th-century enhypostaticism (ἐνυπόστατ-icism) brought to bear on contemporary sexual ethics

"Journalist Brandon Ambrosino argued that the best argument for same-sex marriage is that Jesus was simply wrong about marriage, owing to the fact that he was ignorant of contemporary scientific notions of sexual orientation and the evolving standards of a morality of love. It takes quite a messiah complex to school the actual Messiah on moral and ethical truth, all while claiming to follow him. This argument is immediately off-limits for Evangelicals because they are, first of all, “mere Christians” who agree with Nicaea and Chalcedon about who Jesus is. The argument that “Jesus would agree with us if he’d lived to see our day” won’t work for people who know that Jesus is alive today—and that his views aren’t evolving (Heb. 13:8)."

     Russell D. Moore, "Evangelicals won't cave:  why Evangelicals will not be surrendering to the sexual revolution," First things no. 266 (October 2015):  .

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Agreeing to agree

     "For this unity to be fully realized, we do not ask our separated brethren to forego any part of what is positive and authentic in their great religious insights. On the contrary, we ask them to draw from these fearlessly all their logical conclusions. We ask them to realize that the Church does not oppose them in order to deny or to minimize what they rightly hold to be essential, but rather to safeguard the full reality, in a completeness that no truth of Christianity can possess except in the one, whole Body of Christ.
     "Nonetheless, to have the right to ask of them this effort, we Catholics have to make one of our own, which undoubtedly is no less considerable and urgent than that we require of them.
     "We must, in the first place, understand them and, before hastening to say ‘no’ to what is erroneous, however extensive, be prompt to say ‘yes’, frankly and unreservedly, to all truths, even and especially if they are ones to which we habitually pay little attention. Afterward, no doubt, but only afterward, comes the corresponding duty to help our brethren to sort out for themselves the great truths they have rediscovered from the errors involved with them. This second task, certainly, is no less essential to a real ‘ecumenism’ than the first; but to enter on it without regard for the first, without working at the first, would be to toil in vain.
     "This being so, it is equally essential for us to give a clear, positive witness to the truth that we chance, or rather have the undeserved grace, to possess. But this witness must be given to the whole truth and not merely to certain aspects of it to which we habitually restrict ourselves out of habit, facility, or mere indolence. Since there is but one Christian truth, Catholic truth in the real sense of the word, that is, a truth complete and whole, it is by making this effort of total fidelity to our own patrimony, and making it fully, that we shall be best prepared to make the required effort of opening our minds to the truths rightly cherished by our separated brethren.
     "But we must be fully aware that all that has been said will be of no effect unless accompanied by an effort, constantly renewed, to bring our own practice, our daily life, into harmony with the doctrine we profess."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 89-91.

Burden of proof

"just as the Church of apostolic times seems never to have had the least difficulty in admitting the apostolic witness, the Church of succeeding ages, by a natural transition, without any sign of check, has never had the slightest difficulty in admitting the continuity of the episcopal with the apostolic witness. . . .
     ". . . If there is any assertion that requires proof, proof that seems not easy to furnish, it is not that made by the Catholic Church.  On the contrary, it is the assertion, made at so late a  date, so void of precedent, that with the death of the last apostle the truth of the Divine Word within the Church ceased to be entrusted to a responsible body of men, invested for that purpose with the very authority of their master, ceased therefore to be the truth of a living Word kept in men's hearts, and became the wholly exterior truth of the unchanging letter of a book."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 56-57.
     "wholly exterior" is of course a straw man.

Unacknowledged magisteria

"from the moment men on principle reject and persist in rejecting the authority of the traditional Church as contrary to that of the Word of God, the recognition they do in fact give to the authority of the interpretation of Scripture made by one or the other great religious personality, and of one or the other organization that strives to uphold that interpretation, are perforce no more than grudging and shamefaced."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 46, italics mine.

Bouyer on biblical humanism

"The actual notion of reformation in itself holds nothing heretical. . . . But, if we are to understand by the term ['pre-Reformation'] that the movement of biblical humanism, precisely because it was biblical, prepared the way for schism and heresy, then it is completely mistaken.  We see proof of this in that Erasmus never agreed to associate himself with the Protestant movement once it had taken on these two characteristics, that Saint Thomas More was one of the first and most clear-sighted opponents of the Anglican schism and, above all, that the numerous Spanish bishops who had studied at Alcalá, under the inspiration of Ximenez de Cisneros, constituted at the Council of Trent the group of theologians most perceptive in their constructive opposition to the new heresies.  There is another example, even more typical, that of Cardinal Cajetan, the earliest and most determined opponent of Luther when the latter had adopted doctrinal positions that placed him under the Church's censure.  This, however, did not prevent Cajetan holding, more and more explicitly, that the only effective means of reforming the Church, while at the same time rooting out Protestant errors, was to redevelop, on solid foundations, the biblical movement from which the Reformation, now grown schismatic and heretical, had originated."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 25-26.  Cf. the contrast Bouyer draws between Caraffa (later Pope Paul IV) and Pole on pp. 27-28.

"ignoratio scripturarum, ignoratio Christi est."

     St. Jerome, Comm. Is., Prolog.  CCSL 73, p. 1; PL 24, col. 17.
     By the scriptures, St. Jerome meant those of the Old Testament, or, in this case, Isaiah:
And so, both to you [(Eustochium)], and through you to him [(Pammachius)], I am paying what I owe, complying with the commands of Christ, who says, 'Search the Scriptures' [John 5:39] and 'Seek and you will find' [Matt. 7:7] lest I should hear with the Jews, 'You are in error knowing neither the Scriptures nor the power of God' [Matt. 22:29].  For if, according to the Apostle Paul, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God [cf. 1 Cor 1:24], and the one who does not know the Scriptures does not know the power of God and  his wisdom, [then] ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. 
     St. Jerome:  Commentary on Isaiah, including St. Jerome's translation of Origen's Homilies 1-9 on Isaiah, trans. Thomas P. Scheck, Ancient Christian writers 68 (New York & Mahwah, NJ:  The Newman Press, 2015), 67.
     According to CCSL 73, the 12th-century Codex Parisinus Bibl. S. Genoueuae 7 reads "ignoratio christi est ignoratio scripturarum."

"both in mystery and in morals"

Graciously raise up, O Lord,
those you renew with this Sacrament,
that we may come to possess your redemption
both in mystery and in the manner of our life.
Through Christ our Lord.

Quos tuis, Domine, reficis sacramentis,
continuis attolle benignus auxiliis,
ut [tuae] redemptionis effectum
et mysteriis capiamus et moribus.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

     Prayer after Communion, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Missale Romanum.  A variant on nos. 161 and 218 of the early 8th-century Gelasian sacramentary (Corpus orationum no. 2938 (vol. 4, pp. 268-269); Bruylants no. 958 (vol. 2, p. 275)).

[Those] whom, by your sacraments, O Lord, you are re-fashioning,
by [an] uninterrupted [series of] aids gracious[ly] raise up,
that the effect of redemption
we may come into the [full and secure] possession of,
          via both [these] mysteries and the way we live
          [(in mysteries and in morals)].

In the Gelasian sacramentary, no. 161 read as follows:

Hos, quos reficis, domine, sacramentis, attolle benignus auxiliis, ut tuae redemptionis effectum et mysteriis capiamus et moribus.

The perfect ("you have re-fashioned/renewed") was introduced into no. 2225 of the late 10th-century Sacramentarium Fuldense:

quos refecisti domine sacramentis. . . .

But the current reading ("by/with your sacraments") is present in no. 1911 of the sacramentary-pontifical of Bishop Wolfgang of Regensburg, written in 993 or 994:

quos tuis domine reficis sacramentis. . . .

See Corpus orationum no. 2938 for additional variants.

Fr. Z:

Kindly raise up, O Lord, with unending helps,
those whom you renew by your sacraments,
so that we may grasp the effect of redemption
both in the sacramental mysteries and in conduct of our lives.

"Translation" of 1973:

help us with your kindness.
Make us strong through the eucharist.
May we put into action
the saving mystery we celebrate.