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Further, how can 'an unchanging truth' maintain itself if the two notions united by the verb to be, are essentially variable or changeable? These are, for example, rejecting the traditional dogmatic formulations that emerged throughout church history as a result of scholastic theology, re-interpreting Catholic dogma in a way that was inconsistent with tradition, falling into the error of dogmatic relativism and criticizing biblical texts in a way that deviated from the principles of biblical hermeneutics outlined by his predecessors principally Leo XIII.

Pius XII warned that the movement approached the error of modernism, a heresy vehemently condemned by Pius X in These include:. Theologians from this school of thought had a significant influence on the reforms brought about in the Catholic Church by the Second Vatican Council — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Private works. Magisterial works. South Bend, Ind. Augustine's Press. Boersma, Hans Oxford: Oxford University Press. Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald Catholic Family News Reprint Series Niagara Falls, New York. Retrieved 30 December Grumett, David In McFarland, Ian A. The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Flynn, Gabriel; Murray, Paul D.

Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. Translated by Aversa, Alan. Alan Aversa. Greenstock, David L. The Thomist. Heers, Peter Kerr, Fergus Christians find lasting hope by finding their loving God, and this has real consequences for everyday life:. We have raised the question: can our encounter with the God who in Christ has shown us his face and opened his heart be for us too not just "informative" but "performative"—that is to say, can it change our lives, so that we know we are redeemed through the hope that it expresses?

Before attempting to answer the question, let us return once more to the early Church. It is not difficult to realize that the experience of the African slave-girl Bakhita was also the experience of many in the period of nascent Christianity who were beaten and condemned to slavery. Christianity did not bring a message of social revolution like that of the ill-fated Spartacus , whose struggle led to so much bloodshed. Jesus was not Spartacus, he was not engaged in a fight for political liberation like Barabbas or Bar-Kochba.

Jesus, who himself died on the Cross, brought something totally different: an encounter with the Lord of all lords, an encounter with the living God and thus an encounter with a hope stronger than the sufferings of slavery, a hope which therefore transformed life and the world from within. Benedict refers to St. Paul , who wrote from prison "Paul is sending the slave back to the master from whom he had fled, not ordering but asking: 'I appeal to you for my child I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart Heb —16; Phil To Benedict, this does not mean for one moment that they lived only for the future: present society is recognized by Christians as an exile; they belong to a new society which is the goal of their common pilgrimage and which is anticipated in the course of that pilgrimage.

Theology of Pope Benedict XVI

It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. Benedict believes that not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering are we healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.

In a special letter on the Eucharist and the Church, Benedict describes the Eucharist, causal principle of the Church. Through the sacrament of the Eucharist Jesus draws the faithful into his "hour; " he shows us the bond that he willed to establish between himself and us, between his own person and the Church.

He opines that the Church was founded by Christ in the sacrifice of the Cross. At the same time, he describes the Church as his Bride and his body. This concept, the Church as the mystical body of Christ, goes back to St. A contemplative gaze "upon him whom they have pierced" Jn leads us to reflect on the causal connection between Christ's sacrifice, the Eucharist and the Church.

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The Church "draws her life from the Eucharist" Since the Eucharist makes present Christ's redeeming sacrifice, we must start by acknowledging that "there is a causal influence of the Eucharist at the Church's very origins. Hence, in the striking interplay between the Eucharist which builds up the Church, and the Church herself which "makes" the Eucharist, the [15] primary causality is expressed in the first formula: the Church is able to celebrate and adore the mystery of Christ present in the Eucharist precisely because Christ first gave himself to her in the sacrifice of the Cross.

The Church's ability to "make" the Eucharist is completely rooted in Christ's self-gift to her. What does this mean? According to Benedict, the Eucharist which is union with Christ has a profound impact on our social relations. Because "union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union with all those who have become, or who will become, his own.

The relationship between the Eucharistic mystery and social commitment must be made explicit. The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion between brothers and sisters who allow themselves to be reconciled in Christ, who made of Jews and pagans one people, tearing down the wall of hostility which divided them cf. Eph Only this constant impulse towards reconciliation enables us to partake worthily of the Body and Blood of Christ cf. Mt — In an address to the faculty at the University of Regensburg , Germany, [17] Benedict discussed the preconditions for an effective dialogue with Islam and other cultures.

This requires a review of theology and science. Hence the human sciences , such as history , psychology , sociology and philosophy , attempt to conform themselves to this canon of science". This limited view of scientific method excludes the question of God , making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question.

For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity , and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge , and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding. The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality , and can only suffer great harm thereby.

Benedict acknowledges "unreservedly" the many positive aspects of modern science, and considers the quest for truth as essential to the Christian spirit, but he favours a broadening our narrow concept of reason and its application to include philosophical and theological experiences, not only as an aim in itself but so we may enter as a culture the dialogue with the other religions and cultures from a broader perspective :. Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid.

Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions.


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A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. Ratzinger became known as a theologian through his position at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , which he headed until his election to the Papacy. It has been frequently overlooked that he opened up his congregation to theological and historical research , by providing greater access to the Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In absence of a large body of papal teachings of Benedict XVI, the Ratzinger theology is often cited.

While there are likely to be many similarities between the teachings of Benedict and Ratzinger, the theology of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has been somewhat unusual because of his "watchdog" office, which required him to address a larger variety of issues. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was much on his own, since he had only a small staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI new edition

Young Ratzinger was something of a "rebel", [ according to whom? It would be important for him to distinguish between Ratzinger the theologian, with his justified and maybe at times problematical positions, and Ratzinger the Prefect of the Congregation of Faith. Every Roman prelate has a right to his own theological views. But he should not use his Office to force them on others.

This difference is important but of course also very difficult to carry out in practice. Karl Rahner raises these issues. Does the Prefect defend "only" the official Magisterium , Church teachings within the framework of Canon Law? If so, he is clearly speaking for the Church and not on his own. Does he in so-called gray areas of theology, questiones disputatae , where the Magisterium has not ruled, impose his theological view on others?

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Ratzinger's own theological view began with an open rebellion against powerful established Thomist theology. It all began with the "drama of my dissertation", as he called it, [23] a seemingly unimportant postdoctoral degree on Bonaventure , which he was almost denied because of serious reservations of some conservative professors with his interpretation of divine revelation.

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Ratzinger held that God reveals and revealed himself in history and throughout history and not just once to the authors of the Bible. Ratzinger contradicted traditional Catholic theology, which led to a bitter fight. Ratzinger passed after hours of heated debate, just barely. But he had established himself as an independent thinker. His theology on revelation was discussed during Second Vatican Council.

In Rome he continued the view that revelation, meaning God communicates with us, is always more than can be expressed in purely human words. God has a living message to us. I refer to what might be called Christian positivism. By thus seeming to bridge the gulf between eternal and temporal, between visible and invisible, by making us meet God as man, the eternal as the temporal, as one of us, it knows itself as revelation. In his theology of covenant , Benedict provides a unified interpretation of Scripture centered on the person and work of Jesus, with implications ranging from the Eucharist to the proper understanding of ecumenism.

In this covenantal theology, the Abrahamic covenant, as fulfilled by the new covenant, is seen as fundamental and enduring, whereas the Mosaic covenant is intervening Rom.

The covenantal promises given to Abraham guarantee the continuity of salvation history, from the patriarchs to Jesus and the Church, which is open to Jews and Gentiles alike. The Last Supper served to seal the new covenant, and the Eucharist is an ongoing reenactment of this covenant renewal. Following the Letter to the Hebrews, Benedict describes Jesus death, along with the Eucharist, in which the blood of Jesus is offered to the Father, as the perfect realization of the Day of Atonement cf.

To comprehend God's ongoing revelation is why the Church is important at all ages.

As such, like all his predecessors, he does not view the search for moral truth as a dialectic and incremental process, arguing that essential matters of faith and morals are universally true and therefore must be determined at the universal level: "the universal church The ongoing revelation of God is also the reason why Pope Benedict XVI puts so much emphasis on sacred liturgy , and why he abhorred often tasteless experiments with it.

To him the crisis of the Church is a crisis of the liturgy, in which clergy and community too often backslap and celebrate each other and themselves, almost as if God did not exist. There is more and more a tendency today, to resolve the Christian religion completely into brotherly love, fellowship, and not to admit any direct love of God or adoration of God It is not difficult to see, Brotherly love that aimed at self-sufficiency would become for this very reason the extreme egoism of self-assertion. Not surprisingly at one of the first masses of his pontificate he urged Catholics to show a greater devotion to the " Eucharistic Jesus.

None of the Council Fathers saw an end of the Middle Ages or a revolution. It was viewed as a continuation of the reforms initiated by Pius X and systematically but gently continued by Pius XII.

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This Ratzinger quote on the liturgical reform of the council is symbolic for his interpretation of Vatican II. He has spoken only positively about the Vatican II council, but differentiated between the council and a spirit of the council, which has nothing in common with its texts and resolutions. As noted above, he believes that essential elements of the Council, such as the spirit of liturgy still need to materialize and has shown no evidence that he intends to reverse or limit the decisions of that council.