Skip to comments.[Catholic Caucus] From Martini To Bergoglio. Toward a Vatican Council III
Posted on 11/12/2018 6:24:48 AM PST by ebb tide
The synod of last October was supposed to be about young people. And instead in concluding it, Pope Francis said that its first fruit was synodality.
In fact, the most surprising paragraphs of the final document - and also the most contested, with dozens of votes against - were precisely the ones on the synodal form of the Church.
Surprising because synodality was practically never talked about, neither in the preparatory phase of the synod, nor in the assembly, nor in the working groups. Only to see it appear in the final document, in the writing of which LOsservatore Romano has revealed that the pope also took part.
An obvious manipulation, Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher called it, giving voice to the protest of not a few synod fathers over this contradictory way of imposing an idea of collegial government with an act of sovereignty from on high.
But then came La Civiltà Cattolica, the official voice of Casa Santa Marta, to confirm that it has to be this way, entitling its editorial of commentary on the synod: The young have reawakened the synodality of the Church.
And so ones thoughts go back inexorably to that 1999 synod at which Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a Jesuit like Jorge Mario Bergoglio, sketched out the dream of a Church in a perennial synodal state, listed a series of disciplinary and doctrinal knots that had to be addressed collegially, and concluded that for such questions not even a synod could be sufficient, but that there was a need for a more universal and authoritative collegial instrument, in essence a new ecumenical council, ready to repeat that experience of communion, of collegiality which was Vatican II.
Among the questions listed by Martini is none other than the ones that today are at the center of Franciss pontificate:
- the position of woman in the Church,
- the participation of the laity in some ministerial responsibilities,
- the discipline of marriage,
- penitential practice,
- ecumenical relations with the sister Churches,
- the relationship between civil laws and moral laws.
And like Martini, Francis too keeps hammering away at the style with which the Church should address such questions. A permanent synodal style, or a way of being and working together, young and old, in listening and in discernment, in order to arrive at pastoral choices that respond to reality.
So much for the ordinary life of the Church, on all levels.
But then synodality is also invoked as a form of hierarchical governance of the universal Church, the expression of which are the synods properly so called - not for nothing referred to as of bishops - and the ecumenical councils.
Today the idea of a new ecumenical council is fostered by few. What is more vigorous, with the encouragement of Francis, is the discussion on how to bring about the evolution not only of the synods, both local and universal, as consultative and deliberative, but also of the episcopal conferences, decentralizing and multiplying their powers and even endowing them with some genuine doctrinal authority (Evangelii Gaudium 32).
But it is not out of the question that the hypothesis of a new council could also see a growing number of supporters soon. So why not gear up and study again what the councils were in the history of the Church, and what they can continue to be in the future?
Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, an authoritative Church historian and president of the pontifical committee for historical sciences from 1998 to 2009, gave a conference on this very subject last October 12 in Rome, reproduced in its entirety on this other page of Settimo Cielo:
> Che cosa significa storia dei concili e a qual fine la si studia
Here below are two extracts from it.
The first concerns the superiority of the council over the pope as affirmed by the decree of Constance Haec Sancta of 1415, and reasserted today by not a few theologians.
The second concerns the eventuality of a future new council and its implementation, with almost twice as many bishops as Vatican II.
Enjoy the read!
CONSTANCE, OR THE SUPERIORITY OF THE COUNCIL OVER THE POPE
Right from the start the decree of Constance Haec Sancta of 1415 was the object of heated debate between those who upheld the superiority of the council over the pope and their opponents.
Recently it was the jubilee of the council of Constance in 1964 that reignited the discussion.
The problem thought to be particularly pressing was how to reconcile the decree of Constance Haec Sancta - which not only Hans Küng, Paul de Vooght and others, at the time following Karl August Fink, celebrated as the magna carta of conciliarism, or putting the council before the pope - with the 1870 dogma on the jurisdictional primacy and doctrinal infallibility of the pope.
In this case did not one council, one dogma, perhaps contradict another in an important question of faith?
At the time, therefore, not a few erudite theological pens, including that of a preeminent dogmatist of Freiburg, swung into action in making, with noteworthy expenditure of acumen, attempts at harmonization, of a sometimes almost acrobatic audacity.
And yet just a bit of history would have been enough to recognize the groundlessness of the problem: the council that in April of 1415 had formulated the decree Haec Sancta - the stumbling block - was in fact anything but a universal council; it was instead an assembly of supporters of John XXIII. The gathering of Constance became a universal council only when it was joined by the supporters of the other two schismatic popes in July of 1415 and in the autumn of 1417.
What was decided in 1415 in Constance was devoid of both canonical and magisterial authority. And in fact, when the newly elected pope Martin V approved the decrees decided in the years 1415-1417, he deliberately left out Haec Sancta.
HOW TO CONVENE A FUTURE COUNCIL, WITH AN IMMENSE NUMBER OF BISHOPS
In recent decades there has been repeated talk about a council Vatican III. According to some, this should correct the mistaken developments launched by Vatican II, while according to others it should complete the reforms requested at the time.
So should there - and therefore can there - be another universal ecumenical council in the future?
The answer to this question essentially depends on how one would imagine such a gigantic council, because that is what it would be.
If a council were to be convened today, the bishops who would have a place and a voice in it would number - according to the situation in 2016 - 5,237. During Vatican II the participating bishops were around 3,044. Just a glance at these numbers is enough to understand that a council of a classical cast would fail for this reason alone. But even supposing that it were possible to resolve the immense logistical and financial difficulties, there are a few simple logical considerations of a sociological and socio-psychological nature that make such a gigantic enterprise look unachievable. Such a high number of participants in a council, who for the most part do not know each other, would be an easily maneuverable mass in the hands of a determined group aware of its own power. The consequences are all too easy to imagine.
The question is therefore how, in what forms and structures, the successors of the apostles can exercise in a collegial manner their ministry as teachers and pastors of the universal Church in the aforementioned circumstances, in a way that would correspond to both the theological and practical-pastoral requirements.
In the search for any historical examples, one looks above all to the council of Vienne of 1311-1312, at which 20 cardinals and 122 bishops participated. The peculiarity lies in how one arrives at these numbers. Two guest lists have been preserved, one papal and one royal. Those who had not been invited could go, but were not obligated to do so. In this way the council was able to keep within contained dimensions, even if the criteria for the selection of the guests - putting the two lists side by side - was not without difficulties. To prevent problems of this kind, the selection of persons to be invited had to be subjected to objective, institutional criteria.
Today and tomorrow, however, a gradual synodal process could make the objections baseless. One could take as an example Martin V, who in the preparatory phase of the council of Pavia-Siena had given the guideline - which in any case was followed by few - to prepare for the universal council with provincial synods. In an analogous way, Vatican I had also been preceded by a series of provincial synods - cf. the Collectio Lacensis - which in one form or another prepared the decrees of 1870. Thus, in the various parts of the world, or in the different geographical areas, particular councils could be held to discuss, in the phase of preparation of the universal council, the themes expected to be dealt with at it. The results of these particular councils could be presented, discussed, and addressed in a definitive way, perhaps already in the form of draft decrees, during the council.
The participants at the council would be selected by the particular councils that preceded it, and sent to the universal council with a mandate to represent their particular Churches. Thus it could rightly be called universalem Ecclesiam repraesentans and act as such.
This model would make it possible not only to prepare an ecumenical council well in advance, but also to conduct it with a limited duration and number of participants. So why not look back to the first universal council, that of Nicaea in 325, which went down in history as the council of 318 fathers (318 like the trusted servants of Abraham in Genesis 14:14)? The Credo that they formulated is the same Credo that is still proclaimed today by millions of Catholics all over the world on Sundays and feast days. And thus this first general council of just 318 bishops is still a point of crystallization at which truth and error part ways.
(The requirement to precede universal synods and councils with synodal moments in the various local Churches is also emphasized in the extensive document on Synodality in the life and mission of the Church published on March 2, 2018 by the international theological commission).
(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)
At the end of the book "Anti-Apostle 1025" the manuscript of one of the the architects of Vatican II, having acknowledged that the purpose of Vatican II was to sow discord in the Church, said that his highest objective was to convene Vatican III to finish the job.
Remember that the current makeup of the Curia and many key Bishops owe their positions of power to Pope Francis.
I would like go back to the days when Councils only addressed specific heresies, please.
The pope is a fraud.
God Save the Church!
They can address the heresies pushed under “the spirit of Vatican II” without another council - just stop allowing freaks to “interpret” Vatican II as they see fit.
A third Vatican council will be the trigger that blows the Church apart by finishing the modernization started in the 1960s.
The Church failed, in the years prior to Vatican II, to purge heretics and sodomites from among the clergy. A council led by revolutionary heretics and sodomites is guaranteed to be a disaster. The situation of heretics and sodomites among the clergy is far worse today.
The Pope John XXIII of the 1400s is considered an anti-pope. Angelo Roncalli made that crystal clear in 1958 when he chose to call himself Pope John XXIII.
Oh goody. Another false council.
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