Did Vatican II Foster Religious Indifference? A Debate

September 28, 2023 01:29:38
Did Vatican II Foster Religious Indifference? A Debate
Crisis Point
Did Vatican II Foster Religious Indifference? A Debate

Sep 28 2023 | 01:29:38

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Eric Sammons

Show Notes

Dr. Eduardo Echeverria (Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology) and Mr. Matt Gaspers (Managing Editor, Catholic Family News) debate whether Vatican II itself (and not just the "Spirit" of the council) fostered a sense of religious indifference among Catholics.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Speaker A: Did Vatican II foster religious indifference? That's what we're going to talk about tonight on this live debate. I'm very excited about it. This is our second debate we've ever had on the podcast. The first one was about creation and evolution. This one is going to be about religious indifference. And Vatican Two, I will admit to having a great interest in this topic. I mean, I literally wrote a book about it. I am going to go ahead and hawk my own book. I don't care. [00:00:43] Speaker B: I was on with you to talk about it once. [00:00:45] Speaker A: That's right, exactly. So we've gone through his topic, but I think this is very good. We have two just excellent guests tonight. Dr. Eduardo eteveria he is a professor of philosophy and systematic theology at Sacred Heart Seminary. He is going to be basically answering in the negative, whereas Matt Gaspers from the editor of Catholic Family News is going to be answering in the affirmative. And I want to make sure a few things that are clear to people who are watching this, listening to this, kind of how we're going to do this. It's a debate in which each side is going to be able to present their case initially, and then we're going to ask a series of questions which each person is going to be able to respond. And at the end, we'll give them an opportunity, if they need to, to ask questions of each other in case something comes up in the debate that they want to know. Now, one thing I want to be clear on, a couple of things I want to be clear on with this debate. The first one is both of our participants are practicing Catholics, faithful Catholics, good Catholics, whatever you want to call it. So this is a debate kind of in house, so to speak. We're debating in house. We're not debating between Protestants and Catholics or something like that. This is an in house Catholic debate. [00:01:54] Speaker B: Liberal Catholic. [00:01:56] Speaker A: Yes, exactly. Not even, like we're not going, like, outside of, like, a Father James Martin. This is all between friends, so to speak. But it's an important debate, and what we're really trying to get to we're not talking. The question is asked, did Vatican II foster religious indifference? Note the question is not did the spirit of Vatican II foster religious indifference? We're not saying that just because of religious indifference. After Vatican II. That means Vatican II itself was what did it. That's what we're debating. Actually, that question is, was it Vatican II itself or was it maybe a misuse? A mis. [00:02:34] Speaker B: You remember the informal fallacy, post hook, ergo, prompter hook. That because it came after. What came before was the cause of what came after. [00:02:45] Speaker A: Exactly. [00:02:46] Speaker B: That's a fallacy, of course. [00:02:47] Speaker A: Yes, exactly. So that's what we're going to debate tonight. I'm excited about this. If you're in the live chat, if something comes up that you want to ask, I will look at it. And if we can, we might try to address that as well. But hopefully we can really get into this topic. We're going to start with, like I said, five minutes from each person, and we're just answering the question, did Vatican II itself foster religious indifference? We're going to start with Dr. Eduardo Echeveria, and he's going to, like I said, answer in the affirmative. So go ahead, professor. [00:03:21] Speaker B: Well, I'm going to answer in the negative. [00:03:23] Speaker A: I don't think I'm sorry, did I say positive? Thank you. [00:03:27] Speaker B: Okay. All right. So I think it's always important to attend to the question about how to read Vatican Two documents. So in 1985, of course, john Paul II called an extraordinary synod regarding Vatican Two, regarding its reception. And the synod, among the good things that it did, it came out with a set of six principles for reading Vatican II texts. This is what Weigl calls the master key to reading Vatican II documents. So I just want to briefly say something about these principles. And then since we're talking about Abrahamic religion, the notion of Abrahamic religion, the Abrahamic house, I think it's also, in this context, a good thing to say something about, well, what did Vatican Two actually say about Islam? So then briefly then, these principles postulated by the 1985 Synod for interpreting Vatican Two documents. The first principle was that the theological interpretation of the conciliar doctrine must show attention to all the documents in themselves and in their close interrelationship. In such a way, it went on to say that the integral meaning of the council's affirmations, which often can be complex, might be understood and expressed. And this has to do, of course, with interpreting the meaning of a particular passage within the context of the whole document or interpreting any specific document in the context of the whole body of documents, particularly attending, which was the second point this synod made, attending to the authoritative priority of the constitutions. So you have four constitutions, nine decrees and three declarations. So those four constitutions, the Constitution on Liturgy, on Divine Revelation, on the Church, and on the Pastoral Constitution in the Church in the modern world, I don't have to name the Latin terms, but those are the four. And so they have priority. You can go on to read the Declaration Nostret on the relationship of the Church non Christian religions, but you're not going to get an ecclesiology from Nostrete. You have to read it in the context of the normative constitution, lumingium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The third point that was made that the pastoral import of the documents ought not to be separated from or set in opposition to their doctrinal content. And then the fourth point was that no opposition may be made between the Spirit and the letter of Vatican II. So the literal sense of the text has priority. We can't take the position that somehow, whatever we take, the spirit of the council to be that somehow the literal sense of the text, the text itself is somehow relativized because it didn't bring about a fuller realization of what people think the spirit is. This is what many people did. They relativized the text documents whether the Constitutions or the decrees or the declarations. In the light of the dynamic, what was the council about? And then the fifth principle was that the council must be interpreted in continuity with the great tradition of the Church, including earlier councils. The Church is one and the same throughout all the councils. You remember later on, many years later, benedict said that the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture versus not the hermeneutic of continuity, but the hermeneutic of renewal and reform within the continuity of the one Church. So that includes continuity, but it doesn't exclude renewal and reform. And then lastly, Vatican II should be accepted as illuminating the problems of our own day. It says. So, having said that, just briefly, what did the council actually say about what didn't it say about Islam? Let's start there. We can ask the question whether do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Much ink has been spilt about that. And I think the answer to that is yes and no. Yes and no is the God of Islam and the God of the Gospel the same can only rightly be yes and no. I mean, Muslims are monotheists. They have a theology of creation. I think that's a reflection of what I would call god has not left Himself without witness. We read in the Acts of the Apostles there's a general revelation. General revelation is God's revelation of Himself in and through the works of creation. Romans one tells us that wisdom Twelve tells us that. Romans two tells us that with respect to the moral law. And then also, as I said, in the Acts of the Apostles, it states that God has not left Himself without witness. So we can find in general revelation, it's not a saving revelation. It's not a saving revelation. And we distinguish general revelation from special revelation. Special revelation is historical. It's all about the redeeming acts of God in Christ. Christ is the concentration point of redemptive history. He is the fullness and mediator of all revelation. As Vatican II says, redemptive history. Special revelation is historical. It's verbal. It's a verbal revelation. There's an inextricable connection. Dave Edbom in paragraph two says there's an inextricable unity between the word and deed such that the words without the deeds are going to be empty and the deeds without the words are going to be blind. You're not going to know what those deeds are about. And then also special revelation. Remember, special revelation is a public revelation. We're not talking about private revelation, we're not talking about the Holy Spirit at work in your life. We're talking about historical, public, verbal, public revelation that is salvivic. So the first thing then is. Let's be clear about what Vatican II does not say about Islam. The bishops of the Council do not affirm that special revelation, as I just defined it, is found in Islam, either in the Quran or in Muhammad, as it is in Judaism and Christianity. Judaism is, you have to see Judaism in the context of the Old Testament. That's an entirely separate discussion. Significantly, then, neither this religious text, vatican II doesn't mention the Quran, it doesn't mention Muhammad, and certainly it doesn't mention Muhammad as a prophet. And Muhammad is not recognized by the Council. In Luming 16 A, the paragraph 16 has three paragraphs and 16 A, where Islam is mentioned, it neither mentions the Quran or Muhammad. And we can easily understand why Vatican II's dave Verbum the Dukmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation teaches that special revelation is exclusive to the Old and New Testaments. Further, contrary to the claim of Islam that Muhammad is Allah's final messenger. Contrary to the claim? I'll say that later. I don't even know how the Imam signed the whatever it's called, the Adabi Declaration. I don't even know how he signed that because he thinks that Abraham is a Muslim and he doesn't believe that religious diversity is the will of God. He doesn't believe that. So I don't even know how he could sign that. Further, so contrary to the claim of Islam that Muhammad is Allah's final messenger, the Prophet of Islam, who allegedly came to complete and correct the Old and New Testaments, bringing the revelation of Christ to fulfillment, the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ is himself both the mediator and fullness of revelation. The second point quickly, what then does Vatican II say about Islam as far as correspondences are concerned between the latter and Christianity? In answering this question, we need to be mindful of the point that Jesuit priest and theologian Sameer Khali Sameer makes. Namely, he says that even behind identical or similar expressions, such as the expression that Islam worships the God who is one, one can debate whether that's best translated as the one God or the God who is one. So they're monotheists. They don't think that there is a plurality in the Godhead. In fact, they think that's idolatry. They think Christians are trinitarian that's idolatry. But the point that Father Sameer is making is that even behind identical or similar expressions, there can be totally different meanings that are important to learn in order to deepen one's knowledge of the truth, not for any desire to emphasize the distinctions. Now, I think a more precise way to put the point that Father Sameer is making here is to answer the question whether Muslims and Christians have the same God by distinguishing along with Kenneth Craig, who made a distinction between theological subject and theological predicate. So what is it that is predicated of God? In other words, do they speak of the same theological subject when they predicate of God? Yes, they do. In one sense, as Muslims and Christians are monotheists, we can debate whether they're classical know, I have friends who think that Muslims are classical theists like Frank Beckwith. You all know who Frank Beckwith is. He thinks they're classical theists. There are others who don't agree. [00:14:22] Speaker A: Real quick, let's try to wrap it up. [00:14:25] Speaker B: So in one sense, yeah, we can say they predicate of God, that he is the one God living and subsisting in himself and all that. But the fact is when you probe their understanding of the oneness of God, they mean that God exists in solitude. Well, we don't think God exists. The catechism says God does not exist in solitude. He's a trinitarian. And then just one last thing. John Paul II in several places in fact, in his Crossing the Threshold of Hope, what he said about Islam, I don't know if you remember that this was in 19 was it 84, 94, I'm not sure. But in any case, he was going to be prohibited from entering into a Muslim nation because of what he said about Islam. He said that in Islam you have a reductionist view of God. He says he charged the Quran with a reductionist revelation of God. Whoever knows the Old and New Testament and then reads the Quran clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces divine revelation. He says that passage from Crossing the Threshold of Hope, which is 94 pages, 92, 93, and then a Wednesday audience that he gave where he makes the same point. So I think there are other things that we can get into. I think as far as Islam is concerned, there's no way that we can say that. Somehow I don't think the Abrahamic house or Abrahamic religions or anything of that sort would be affirmed, despite what the Pope says at times that he doesn't deviate 1 mm from Vatican II. I think Matt rightly said that the Pope doesn't actually quote Vatican II when he's talking. There's no quote of Vatican II in this document. [00:16:29] Speaker A: Okay, so let's go ahead and we'll move on then. Matt, I'm going to let you answer the question, but real quick. Before I do, I forgot to mention that this debate was started was predicated. The reason we're having is because Matt wrote an excellent article for one Peter Five, and I just put it in the chat links. Let me make sure I get there. Does the Abraham fulfill Vatican Two? And so that's essentially a lot of the debate is talking about because that's what we're dealing with now the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which says we're going to talk about that later in debate about, God willing, a plurality of. So now, Matt, I'll go ahead and let you now to basically answer what did back into foster religious indifference. So go ahead, Matt. [00:17:13] Speaker C: First, I want to respond to something the professor said regarding do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Yes and no. I would contend that Scripture is very clear that we do not worship the same God. And I'll quote from One John, chapter two, starting on verse 23 whosoever denieth the Son as Muslims do the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also. So to me, it's very clear muslims are worshipping a false God. Whether they realize it or not. They cannot have the Father without the Son. That's my understanding of that text. So, as Eric was explaining, the catalyst for this debate was an article I wrote earlier this year in which I argue that essentially the Abrahamic family house does fulfill Vatican II. And as professor mentioned earlier, so what Francis says in this, it was one of his infamous in flight press conferences where lots of interesting things are typically said. This is what he said when he was flying back home from Rome after signing that document. I openly reaffirmed this from the Catholic point of view. The document does not move 1 mm away from the Second Vatican Council. It is even cited several times. Now, as the professor said, that is mistaken. As I mentioned in my article, vatican II is not explicitly cited or mentioned in the document. Francis says the document was crafted in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. So I suppose you could argue that Francis is violating one of those principles that the professor mentioned earlier. But nonetheless, he is the current Roman pontiff, so we kind of have to take his words into account for this stuff. So, as I explained in my article, while the Document on Human Fraternity, which is what this Abu Dhabi Declaration is formally known as the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, it does not actually cite the Council. It clearly shares common ground with conciliar themes and texts. In particular Nostra tate, which is the declaration on the relation of the Church to non Christian religions and dignitaries. Humane, which is the Declaration on religious Freedom. Now, before I go on, I do acknowledge what the professor said, that the Constitutions obviously take precedence. They have a higher doctrinal value, I guess you could say, if that's the correct way to say it. But I think one thing we have to keep in mind, which has been acknowledged by Cardinal Walter Casper, for example, publicly acknowledged this in the pages of Losavatore Romano. He said in 2013 in many places, the Council fathers had to find compromise formulas in which often the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves, again, the texts themselves, not the spirit. The texts have a huge potential for conflict and open the door to a selective reception in either direction. And I would contend that that is the problem that we're dealing with here. That is why Vatican II does foster religious indifference. Not necessarily because primarily of Lumingentsium, although I do think there are problems with some of the phrases and portions in that document, but because of the lesser texts, especially Nostra Tatte. So maybe why don't we just go straight to the source? If I could read from Nostra Tate paragraph two, because that's really the crux of the matter here, and I won't read the whole thing, but I'll read the relevant parts from ancient times down to the present. There is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history. At times, some indeed have come to the recognition of a supreme Being, or even a father. It's what the professor was talking about. He used the term general revelation. I would simply say that it's a matter of reason that you can, as Vatican One dogmatically defined, that we can come to the knowledge of God with certainty through reason alone, apart from divine revelation. So the text goes on the perception and recognition, this perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense. That term religious sense is a little reminiscent of Modernism, where you have this religious imminentism where it's just kind of something that wells up from inside and neglects objective revelation from God coming from above. So the text goes on to say, religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts in a more developed language. And then it goes through mentioning Hinduism, Buddhism, various other forms of what maybe you could call natural religion or more traditionally, paganism. And then ultimately, the nostrata number two says, the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the one she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. And the paragraph ends, Indeed, she proclaims and ever must proclaim Christ the way, the truth and the life in whom men may find the fullness of religious life in whom God has reconciled all things to himself. So for the average Catholic I'm not talking about for a theologian or a philosopher per se, just for the average Catholic reading that text, what does a person take away from that that there are true and holy things in these other religions? Personally, I don't see how you can argue there are holy things in false religions that worship demons, which is what paganism is. And it also says that they may find the fullness of religious life in Christ. But that implies that there are lesser degrees of religious life that are maybe not as good, but better than nothing. I think that's what the average Catholic takes from that text. [00:24:07] Speaker A: Okay, very good. I think this is a good start I think what I want to do now is I want to move towards the question that is connected to the Abrahamic House, which is the Abu Dhabi declaration. Specifically, I want to ask about the text in Abu Dhabi just for people who are listening. [00:24:24] Speaker B: Don't know what this is, but may I interrupt? Because I'd like to just make some brief comments to what Matt said that I think is yeah, just very briefly, it seems to me that if we even think that, we can find true statements in the philosophy of Aristotle and Plato who were pagans. St. Paul himself, in the Acts of the Apostles, in Acts 17, cites statements that he obviously thinks are true. It's a different question to ask whether they're worshipping the same God or whether they're worshipping God. General revelation, it seems to me, makes clear Romans one, it's all about 18 and following how do we hold people accountable? It's all about accountability there. And St. Paul says people are held accountable because certain things about God, his existence and nature and the light can be known through the things that God has made. And so if you can't know anything about God, if you can't make any true statements about God, those statements can be, in fact, distorted in their grasping of who God is. They can be all kinds of things. But the fact is, general revelation makes possible that you can make true statements about God. That's the first thing, it seems to me. The Bible says that. Certainly the New Testament says that. Paul says that both in Romans and in the Acts of the Apostles. The other thing is, I don't agree with Casper. I think Casper is wrong. I think he's wrong. I don't think that the documents were actually, to me, the idea that somehow the documents were constructed in such a way so as to create confusion in the minds of people. To me, that's just nonsense. Does that mean that the documents are perfect, that they say everything that there is to say about X or Y? No, of course not. You can in fact, I remember even one of the last addresses that Benedict gave. He criticized Nostret. He thought it was a great document, but he said the weakness of the document, he says, is that it's too positive about non Christian religions. And if you know anything about Benedict's work, rotzinger's work, whether it's an introduction to Christianity or in truth intolerance his understanding was that Christianity, its stance towards non Christian religions, he says, was almost and the Old Testament almost as radical, he says, as the Enlightenment critique of religion. But at the same time, when you have a text that's difficult to grasp, you have to interpret it in the light of what's clear. In the light of what's clear. [00:27:43] Speaker C: That's one option. Or you can just get rid of the ambiguous text. I mean, that's another option. [00:27:48] Speaker B: Well, no, because no, because maybe the text is saying something that's actually true, but it's not saying it as clearly as possible. My objection is not that there can be reformulations or supplementations or anything. That's not my objection. My objection is the idea that the text was consciously formulated to confuse people. If that's what Casper means, then I think he's just utterly wrong. [00:28:22] Speaker C: I think what he's acknowledging is that is the historical fact that there was a progressive majority at the Council, a very powerful lobby who was being resisted by a minority of conservative traditional fathers, led by Archbishop Marcel Lefeb, among others. [00:28:41] Speaker B: No, he signed all the documents. Lefeb signed all the documents. If you read Lefeb afterwards, after he signed a document, a declaration on religious liberty and other, that's when he lost his mind. And it seems to me he also had an interpretation of the Council afterwards. This idea of the Council was somehow undermining the normativity of the text. I agree with that. [00:29:05] Speaker C: My point is that this history is documented in a book by Professor Roberto de Mate. The title escapes me at the moment. And also, Ralph Wiltkin, I think the rhine flows into the Tiber. So this is all very well documented. [00:29:20] Speaker B: Well, whether whatever. One last thing, please. One last thing. The notion of religious sense is not a modernist notion. Calvin himself talked about the senses divinitatus. [00:29:34] Speaker C: Calvin is a heretic. [00:29:36] Speaker B: Oh, please. There are also elements of truth and sanctification outside the visible boundaries of the Church. That's what it says in Lumingentsium. That's what it says. [00:29:50] Speaker C: Which is a novelty of the Council. [00:29:52] Speaker B: Yes, which is, I would say, a development. But the only point I'm trying to make here is, let's be clear. Modernism had an experiential expressivist view of dogmas, creeds and so on. So they had an experiential view of revelation. You experienced God, and then subsequent to that experience, you then formulated sentences, propositions, doctrines and so on. If you have an experiential expressivist view, that is the core of modernism, that's the core of what the encyclical against modernism is criticizing. But the idea that the Council talks about religious, that I don't think that's modernistic. As I said, you wouldn't want to call whatever you think about Calvin, you wouldn't call Calvin a modernist. And his book, One of the Institutes, opens with the notion of census divinitalities. And even for that matter, I don't know if you think Monsignor Luigi Giozandi of communal liberation, I don't know if you think he was a modernist, but his trilogy, the first volume of his trilogy is called The Religious Sense and so on. So religious sense, unless you have a modernist view, is one is the experiential expressivist view where religion it's an experientialist view of revelation. It's non propositional, and it becomes propositions when you express them in words, sentences and so on. But that's not Vatican II. That's not Vatican II. Anyway, those were just three things. [00:31:47] Speaker A: It seems to me that okay, so let's get back. I know obviously, whenever there's any debate that includes Vatican II, there gets to be debates about the Council itself. And I think those are interesting. But I also think that what I want to focus on here now, though, next, is specifically that the Abu Dhabi declaration, like I was explaining, for those who don't know what is it's? The Pope and a prominent Muslim iman signed it that basically was a shared document that they're basically saying, we have this in common. We agree on these things. And one of the lines, most controversial line, it essentially said plurality of religions is willed by God. There was some other things listed, and there's a lot of debate on what's meant by that. But essentially it was suggesting that the fact that there are more than one religion is willed by God. And of course, there's debate. [00:32:36] Speaker B: It was asserting that. It wasn't just suggesting yeah, well, yes. [00:32:40] Speaker A: It was saying that. I guess the debate sometimes I've seen is some have said it meant permissively, some have said actively. But I think the question we want to focus here on is specifically, is that basically consistent with Vatican II or is it inconsistent? And why or why not? Why is that one or the other? So, Matt, I'll let you go first this time to talk about how that either follows from Vatican II or how it doesn't. [00:33:06] Speaker C: Right? So as I said earlier, Pope Francis asserts that the document on human fraternity does not move 1 mm away from the Second Vatican Council. And even though the documents of the Council are not cited, as the Pope claims, it does share a lot of common ground, as I demonstrated my article. So I'll call it DHF for short, just so I don't have to keep saying document on human fraternity over and over. DHF declares, for example, quote, the adoption of a culture of dialogue as the path, mutual cooperation as the code of conduct, reciprocal understanding as the method and standard, end quote. While Nostra Tate similarly calls on Catholics to engage in, quote, dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions in order to, quote, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio cultural values found among these men. And the reason why this dialogue and collaboration are possible, according to Nostratate, is that the Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these nonchristian religions, as I read earlier from Nostratate Two. Now, the obvious problem with this claim is that nonchristian religions, even though they preserve certain elements of natural truth, what the professor calls general revelation they still contain errors against divinely revealed truths and often tolerate, if not promote, moral evils, thus leading souls into error and sin. And while Nostratate says that men may find the fullness of religious life in Christ, the text does not actually exhort nonchristians to convert to Christ and His Church in. Order to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, as St. Paul says in one Timothy chapter Two. So as a result, the impression is given that what unites us, for example, our common humanity, certain elements of natural truth, is more important than what divides us, which inevitably fosters an attitude of religious indifference. That is my argument. [00:35:18] Speaker A: Okay, great. Thank you, Matt. Okay, professor, what would you say about this statement from Abu Dhabi and plurality? [00:35:26] Speaker B: I think it's utterly inconsistent with the Second Vatican Council and with subsequent documents. I mean, if you consider the 1990 documents of John Paul II rhythm Tori's Missio on the Mission of the Redeemer, which has also the English title on the Permanent Validity of the Church's Missionary Mandate and also later on, Dominius Jesus. But let's stick for a moment with Missio. The Pope begins by asking the question regarding the permanent validity of the Church's mission mandate. Has that missionary mandate been supplanted, he asks by interreligious dialogue? And of course he says no. Has that mandate been supplanted by the focus of missions, the goal of missions being human development? And he says, absolutely not. And then he asks whether the question of conscience and religious freedom whether that supplants or undermines the permanent missionary mandate of the Church and of course he says no. And that whole document follows the conclusion to Lumengensium 16 woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel the bishops wrote. And that connects to paragraph 17, which develops the whole notion of what it means to proclaim the Gospel. And then, of course, there's the Vatican two document, the Decree Argentis, which has again to do with the Church's missionary mandate and the permanence, the validity of it and so on. And then, of course, we can go to in 2000. See, in my view, there's John Paul II and Benedict. They're trying to steer the Church because it had been steered wrongly by others. They're trying to steer the Church back on. [00:37:33] Speaker C: Could you clarify who you mean? Who was it steered wrongly by, if you don't mind? [00:37:40] Speaker B: You can list. I don't know if you read Ralph Martin's book, will Many be Saved? And he has two chapters. Whatever one thinks of Baltazar, on the whole, he has a chapter on Ronner and Balthazar and he thinks that they fostered a culture of universalism. Vatican II doesn't foster a culture of universalism because religious indifference goes hand in hand with a culture of universalism which a religious relativism the idea that all religions are equally mean. [00:38:15] Speaker C: With respect, we know that Carl Reiner was one of the paratists appointed by John XXII and had a great influence. [00:38:22] Speaker B: On yes, of course, Eric does a. [00:38:24] Speaker C: Good job of covering that in his book. [00:38:27] Speaker B: Of course that's true. But that doesn't mean that everything that comes out ronner lonergan skillbake they all drank the Koolaid around 1970. I don't know what happened, but I think that doesn't mean that there isn't anything I think the Koolaid was flowing. [00:38:47] Speaker C: In the 1950s personally. [00:38:50] Speaker B: Well, you'd have to cite texts you'd have to talk to me about what text have you read about Ronner? Not a matter of association, the fact that he was at Vatican too. So I think personally, Ronner's, his early essays in the 1960s on doctrinal development are brilliant essays. I think what's his name baltizar's book on the Swiss theologian Carl Bart is a brilliant book because he lays out what Catholic theology is, nature and grace and the like. So it's not enough to tell me that these guys were there, so was Congar. And one doesn't have to agree with everything that comes out of the mouth of these theologians to know that they contributed a great deal, a good deal and good stuff. So unless you can cite chapter and verse to me of what Ronner said during the Second Vatican Council or what Balthazar wasn't even at the Second Vatican Council, but yes, of course. No, I'm not going to defend everything that Ronner said. I'm not going to defend everything that Balthazar said. But the fact is, if we get back to the document, I not only have problems with the idea of religious diversity, the fact is you can find pontifical council documents which make very clear that there are competing and conflicting truth claims. And so you have to engage in an interreligious apologetic. Now, that's empty. If you've read my article on the pope's view of truth and other things that I've written, the pope doesn't get into that. In his view, it's all about, yes, he wants you to have a dialogue and you come with the full range of Catholic commitments and so on. But he's not going to talk about competing claims, competing truth claims. [00:41:00] Speaker C: With respect. I think John Paul II falls into some of that himself in redemption. If I could quote from that document, he says in number 56, dialogue does. [00:41:13] Speaker D: Not originate from tactical concerns or self interest, but is an activity with its own guiding principles, requirements and dignity. Through dialogue, the Church seeks to uncover the seeds of the Word, a ray of that truth. [00:41:28] Speaker B: You can go back to the early Church fathers, Justin Martyr, Ignatius, the idea. [00:41:33] Speaker D: That, again, that phrase is really being. [00:41:36] Speaker C: Abused because Justin Martyr was not talking. This is what Justin Martyr says in his first apology. Let me pull that up here regarding he uses the phrase seeds of truth, not seeds of the Word. He says, for Moses is more ancient than all the Greek writers and whatever both philosophers and poets have said concerning the immortality of the soul or punishments after death, or contemplation of things heavenly, or doctrines of the like kind. They have received such suggestions from the prophets as have enabled them to understand and interpret these things, and hence there seem to be seeds of truth among men. It goes on, however, but they are charged with not accurately understanding the truth when they assert contradictories. [00:42:23] Speaker B: Well, so he's not simply saying that there are in Lumengensium 16, it talks about those seeds of the words as being a preparation for the reception of the gospel. It doesn't talk about those seeds as somehow in and of themselves being salvivic. They can only bear fruit in the context of Christ, who is the fullness and mediator of all revelation, and whether. [00:42:51] Speaker D: Yes, I was going to say so back to Redemptory Missio number 56. It says those engaged in this first of all, John Paul II, as Eric says in his book, flatly asserts interreligious dialogue as part of the Church's evangelizing mission, which that's news to the Church as of 19, whatever 65, this document was from 1990. Never in the history of the Church as she understood interreligious dialogue to be part, like, integral to her evangelizing mission. First of all, Matt, real quick, your. [00:43:27] Speaker A: Sound is starting to cut out a little bit. Could you maybe try to see if you can get that working a little bit? [00:43:32] Speaker D: Yeah, sure. [00:43:32] Speaker A: It's just kind of cutting in a little bit. [00:43:35] Speaker B: See if I took your position, which I don't in 31, Pius Xi in Mortalium animus is against ecumenism. Are you against ecumenism? [00:43:53] Speaker D: If I can finish what I was reading real quick. So this is from Redemptories Missio, number 56. Can you hear me okay now? [00:44:03] Speaker A: Yeah, it's just a little bit crackly. [00:44:05] Speaker D: Okay, let me try unplugging my head. [00:44:11] Speaker A: Yeah, why don't you do that? No, can't hear you at all now. [00:44:20] Speaker B: Can't hear you at all now. [00:44:24] Speaker A: No. Try and make sure you go your settings. Maybe this is what we do on live debates, the fun of live debates. [00:44:31] Speaker C: Okay, now I was muted. Can you hear me now? [00:44:33] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:44:34] Speaker A: Sound great. Yeah. [00:44:35] Speaker C: Okay. [00:44:36] Speaker D: All right. [00:44:36] Speaker B: What paragraph are you quoting from? [00:44:39] Speaker C: From number 56, Redemptor East Missio john Paul II says, those engaged in this dialogue must be consistent with their own religious traditions and convictions and be open. [00:44:51] Speaker D: To understanding those of the other party without pretense or closed mindedness, but with truth, humility, and frankness, knowing that dialogue can enrich each side. He also talks about there being mutual advancement on the road of religious inquiry and experience. How can pagan religion be enriching to a Catholic who has the truth? [00:45:20] Speaker B: I'm going to answer that question. But you didn't quote the sentence. There must be no abandonment of principles nor false erenicism. That means a kind of an easy reconciliation, but instead a witness given and received for mutual advancement on the road of religious inquiry and experience, and at the same time for the elimination of prejudice, intolerance, and misunderstanding. [00:45:44] Speaker C: Well, but that applies to the person who holds a false religion. Also that he doesn't. [00:45:48] Speaker B: You're assuming that you can't learn one single thing from a non Christian. [00:45:57] Speaker C: About the deposit of faith. [00:45:59] Speaker B: He's not talking about special revelation here. He's not talking about? [00:46:04] Speaker C: Well, he doesn't specify that, no, but. [00:46:06] Speaker B: I think it's very clear since at the beginning of this document, of this encyclical, it's all about evangelism. If you go back to the beginning and he says, what is the mission of the church? To proclaim Jesus. To proclaim Jesus. [00:46:20] Speaker C: Can you cite one place in this document where he explicitly calls non Christians to convert to Christ in his church? Is that present in the. [00:46:33] Speaker B: We? [00:46:34] Speaker A: Let's put it this way, I already know the answer. [00:46:36] Speaker C: The answer is no. The answer is no. [00:46:39] Speaker B: Well, it can't be. What is the mission of the Redeemer, then? [00:46:44] Speaker C: Well, that's an excellent question. I mean, he leaves it open ended. And as Eric says in right at. [00:46:51] Speaker B: The beginning of the text, right at the beginning of this document, um, in any event, we could get into a discussion of that. But it seems to me do you think that there's anything you honestly, I don't want to insult you, but you remind me of my seminarians, who I remember many years ago when I came to the seminary some 20 years ago, and I was teaching Introduction of Spirituality, and I had them read there are certain requirements. You have to read what's his name, st. Francis of Sales and all that. But I had them read other things. And one of the books I had them read was a book by the late John Webster on holiness. And John Webster was an evangelical Anglican. And I could tell in the class that these guys were grumbling. And I said to them, you have no problem reading pagans like Plato and Aristotle, but you have a problem reading a committed Christian, admittedly, not a Catholic, a committed Christian like John Webster. Are you going to tell me you're going to sit there and tell me that you can't learn anything? There's nothing to learn. There's nothing to learn from having a conversation with a Muslim. Even learning what you got wrong about the Muslim so that you could present the Gospel and Catholic theology more so that it's not a stumbling block to them. [00:48:36] Speaker C: On a human level, certainly there are always things to be learned. [00:48:40] Speaker B: But when we're talking here about the level in which interreligious dialogue look, I think interreligious dialogue in the case of Francis, it seems to me, has in fact, in practice, even if when he repeats and says, oh, no, it's not inconsistent with evangelization. But the fact is, in his case, it seems to me, the practice of interreligious dialogue in his case does in fact, tend to supplant evangelization. And one of the reasons for that, it seems to me, unlike I've written about this as well, unlike Benedict, who said, yes, of course, let's have a conversation, let's try to understand each other, mutual understanding, et cetera, et cetera. But Benedict says that's superficial, at some point you have to say, I'm not a Muslim or a Buddhist. Or a Hindu for such and such think. And of course that gets into because in fact there are these competing and conflicting claims. But I think you can learn how to I personally am not engaged in Muslim Christian dialogue, but if I were, I always tell my students, get some holy water, spray it all over yourself and read the Quran and try to understand Quranic theology and see, what did you get wrong? What did you misunderstand about the Quran, about Islamic theology? If it's whatever the non Christian religion is, it seems to me that here, right at the beginning, in paragraph five, he says, Christ is the one mediator between God and mankind, for there is one God. He's quoting again from one Timothy two five seven. No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit. Christ's one universal mediation, far from being an obstacle on the journey toward God, is the way established by God Himself, a fact of which Christ is fully aware. So it just seems to me you're drawing inferences. [00:50:57] Speaker C: Yes, I'm probably making an observation that he doesn't actually call anyone to convert. [00:51:03] Speaker A: Let me jump in here for a second. I want to direct a question. I think kind of I notice a divergence here. And what I'm noticing is I want Matt to answer this first, and then I want the professor to go after that. So Vatican II makes certain statements, obviously, about the Catholic faith, about other religions. We know that after Vatican II there is a lot of religious indifference happen and that's kind of our debate is acknowledged by so now the question though is what I want to get to is Dr. Etchboria talks a lot about J. P. Two and Benedict. Their direction, particularly Benedict, I think we'd all agree, making it more clear exactly what the Church teaches about other religions and the Catholic relationship to it. Whereas Francis, I think all three of us would jump in and say has been a lot less just. That's my charitable way of putting it. [00:52:03] Speaker B: That's charitable, not less clear. Because anyway yeah, go ahead. [00:52:07] Speaker A: So what I want to ask Matt first is, and then Eduardo can answer after this, is that would you say that Francis is more kind of fulfilling Vatican II and being consistent with Vatican II? Or were J. P. Two and Benedict more so? Or is there a difference? Or you say all three of them kind of were in the same general direction. So if you could answer that question, I hope it was clearly stated kind of what I'm trying to talk about, because I want to see if you think there's actually a distinction between Francis and the other Popes or not in comparison to Vatican Two. [00:52:47] Speaker C: I would say that they're on a spectrum that Francis is the extreme end, but he is also the logical conclusion of what's been going on for the past 60 years in the Church. I would agree wholeheartedly with what Eric writes in his book. [00:53:02] Speaker A: He likes getting points from me on. [00:53:04] Speaker C: This right, not trying to bribe the moderator, but I do agree. So this is page 211. Although the Abu Dhabi Declaration, the Document on Human Fraternity, is a continuation of the emphasis shift, you'll have to read the book if you want to find out what that means. It's also a watershed in that it puts in print an endorsement, whether intentional or not, of religious pluralism. The unprecedented language is the culmination of decades of activities and statements which practically, if not officially, moved Catholics toward religious pluralism. It makes the implicit explicit that is the crux of the matter. After treating other religions as equal to Catholicism for decades, the Church now puts in writing, francis in particular, puts in writing the belief behind that course that the plurality of religions is willed by God. And as I say in my article just to kind of second what Eric said, the Document on Human Fraternity makes explicit that which is implied in Nostra, Tate and dignitati sumane, namely, number one, that all religions are more or less good, and number two, all men have the right to practice and promote whichever religion they prefer. Once these propositions have been embraced and then acted out on the world stage by Popes and other Catholic prelates for decades, since Vatican two example Assisi 1986. It only makes sense to conclude, as DHF does, that the pluralism and diversity of religions are willed by God in his wisdom, and that his wisdom is quote, the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. [00:54:55] Speaker A: So, essentially, the Abu Dhabi Declaration of plurality religions you would say, Matt, that it's essentially a fulfillment of Vatican II and that it is the logical conclusion, I think, is what you said is. [00:55:06] Speaker C: That it's a logical conclusion of certain texts within the council, not the entire council. I'm not condemning the whole council, but certain phrases in the Council that are ambiguous and imply that the Declaration on Human Fraternity is making explicit what is implied in those ambiguous okay, okay. [00:55:27] Speaker A: So, Eduardo, what would you say? [00:55:30] Speaker B: Okay, I would say this. Firstly, when we read the Declaration on Religious Liberty, that has to be understood in the context of we live in a culture in our own country. There is religious diversity in Dominus jesus. In fact, it says, the Church's constant missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism. Not only de facto. Who can deny that de facto, there's religious diversity, but also dejure or in principle. As a consequence, it is held that certain truths have been superseded. For example anyway, my point is this. We live in a culture. There's the disestablishment of religion. The First Amendment disestablishment religion. There's religious diversity. De facto religious diversity in the United. [00:56:31] Speaker C: States but that wasn't the case all over the world. [00:56:34] Speaker B: I didn't interrupt you. Let me finish. All right. So the question of religious diversity as such, we have to distinguish, it seems to me, and the Council presupposes that distinction between an ecclesiastically unified culture there cannot be an ecclesiastically unified culture any longer. That's the old Christendom, the new Christendom is the sanctified laity that is engaged in the as Lumingentium says in paragraph four, paragraph five, that's engaged in the transformation of the culture. So Sanctified Christians engaged in the transformation of the culture in the light of Christ Christian principles, in transforming civil society, family life, education, et cetera, et cetera. Now, in that respect, of course, the Church is still engaged in the culture and transforming the culture because Vatican II does not accept the idea of the marginalization of Christianity. It doesn't accept religious relativism in the sense of you got to distinguish between religious pluralism, religious relativism. Religious relativism is the view that all religions are equally vehicles of salvation, and that in some sense, they're all equally true. So having made that distinction, we're engaged in the culture. There's religious diversity, de facto religious diversity. Error has no rights. Amen error still doesn't have any rights. But it's the people who even the people who hold erroneous beliefs who have rights. We're talking not epistemically, we're not talking intellectually, we're talking from a legal point of view. I go down the street I was saying this to my students yesterday. I go down the street and there used to be a Baptist church. It's no longer there. I wish it was the Baptist church, but no, there's a Buddhist temple. I don't know why they haven't gotten rid of the cross which the Baptist had there. It's a Buddhist temple. Now, the fact that in our society, buddhists are free to hold their views does not mean that the views that they hold are true, nor does it even mean that they're justified in holding those views to be true. So the Declaration on Religious Liberty talks about certain that certain intellectual acts have certain norms, as it were. You just can't believe whatever the hell you want. There's a truth oriented dynamic there. So it seems to me, if we accept a notion of religious liberty and I've argued elsewhere that, yes, you have the 8th, 19th century Popes Gregory XVI, Mirari Voss and Leo and all that, but the fact is, what they rejected, Vatican Two also rejected in the Declaration on Religious Liberty, and that is, they rejected religious relativism. They rejected the idea of the privatization of Christianity. Vatican II rejects privatization of Christianity. They rejected the idea that Christian beliefs or Catholic beliefs have nothing to do with reason, with truth, with reality, all of those things. But they never asked the question. And you have to consider the historical context. They never asked the question, well, what is religious liberty? Is there a genuine sense of religious liberty given the terms of our society. So I would say I affirm religious liberty, but that doesn't mean that I hold that what those people hold to be true is in fact true. Nor do I even think that they're justified in holding those views to be true. So let's say there was a certain optimism there, that there was a forum in which people went on to have discussion because Vatican II you all remember that book by Father Newhouse many years ago, the Naked Public Square religion and Democracy in America. Well, Vatican II is not arguing for a naked public square, but that public square is still a place for debate and so on. Now, that's shrinking because people have escaped from reason and they don't want to get into arguments. It's just people yelling at each other. So I would say no, I don't think never mind Francis, who is it seems to me, as I've written elsewhere in my book on Francis and in the article on truth and all that, Francis is his view. He doesn't take seriously the competing and conflicting claims between religions because he so emphasizes dialogue. I'm not against dialogue. I'm a philosopher. I mean, if I was against dialogue, I wouldn't be reading Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Kant, et cetera, et cetera. Can we learn something from Plato? Kant. Nietzsche. Aristotle. David. Humans. Well, I think we can. Can it deepen my understanding of the Christian faith? [01:02:22] Speaker A: I have a question on that one, because I think that gets to one of the points we're trying to discuss here is you're saying Francis basically dismisses a lot of the competing truth claims because he's overemphasized dialogue. I think we all kind of know that. [01:02:36] Speaker B: That seems to be his just one thing. Not only that he overemphasizes dialogue. I wrote about this in his Fratelli Tutti. He thinks that these different religions and here he's, in my judgment, dare I say it, he's completely wrong because he seems to think that these are just further expressions of the truth. Further expressions of the truth. I see no evidence of that in Vatican II, and I certainly subsequent. [01:03:05] Speaker A: So that's what I was going to ask you. Do you think you would argue then that Francis kind of overemphasis on dialogue, over truth claims is not consistent with Vatican II? [01:03:15] Speaker B: Absolutely not. He's off the track, it seems to me, when he says that evangelization and interreligious dialogue, these are not incompatible. Well, they may not be incompatible, but I don't think they're incompatible. But his idea of evangelization, it seems to me, is not a truth oriented one. It's where he does say, look, I'm not asking you not to come to the dialogue with your full range of Christian commitments and so on. He's not asking you to do that, but he explicitly says in several places, I am asking you to withdraw your claims that the Christian beliefs are uniquely valid and absolutely true. I'm not making that up. He says that I don't see how anybody can say that. And I say at the conclusion of that article that Christ has published, I don't see how he can maintain the integrity of the Catholic faith, of the Christian faith and the evangelism and all that. [01:04:28] Speaker A: Matt, jump in here real quick. Matt, would you say that and I think that's actually a very good insight the professor has about Francis having this emphasis on dialogue and actually to the dismissal of truth claims of different religions. Would you say that that is consistent with Vatican II or a fruit of Vatican II or is it just kind of Francis going off the. [01:04:55] Speaker C: Think? I think ultimately it's a fruit of Vatican II. As I've kind of explained earlier, that the Abu Dhabi declaration and Francis, all of his weird comments are making explicit that which lied implicit in the council in certain phrases. I mean, I agree with, as I quote in my article let me pull this up here. [01:05:18] Speaker D: All right. [01:05:19] Speaker C: So this is Bishop Athanasius Snyder from his book Christus Vincid, which I highly recommend. He says, the root of the current religious indifferentism or the theory of the allegedly divinely willed character of other religions is to be found in some ambiguous phrases of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, especially in its declaration on the Church's relation to non Christian religions. Nostreatate. And he says the other route, which we also mentioned is to be found in the affirmation of dignitati sumane that the choice even of a false religion is a natural right of the human person. However, he says the natural right of the free will of the human person consists only in the choice of what is morally and intellectually good, the choice, namely the choice of virtue and one of the one true religion, not of the so called supreme divinity. And he also talks about in Christus Vinci the 1986 Assisi meeting, which I'd be interested to hear from the professor how he thinks that that meeting is substantially different from the Abrahamic Family House campus. I'll just read this quote, and maybe he can respond to that. [01:06:33] Speaker B: I've actually written about that because John Paul II gives if I could read. [01:06:38] Speaker C: The quote from Bishop Schneider and then you go ahead. All right. So this is what Bishop Snyder says the interreligious meetings held in Assisi by Pope John Paul II greatly contributed to a further growth and spread of religious indifferentism and of the view even within the Church that all religions are ultimately equal. These interreligious meetings, Bishop Schneider says, in Assisi attained their logical consequences in the interreligious document of Abu Dhabi which says that the pluralism and the diversity of religions are willed by God in his wisdom. End quote. [01:07:14] Speaker B: Well, I don't support those meetings. Rotzinger himself did not support the first meeting. If you read Truth intolerance and one of the reasons he didn't support it is because he didn't support interreligious, nevermind. Not dialogue. But he didn't think that there was a legitimacy to interreligious prayer. And of course, they didn't pray together. It was multi religious prayer and all that. But Rottinger says that was all confusion, et. But my answer to, as I said already with respect to the Declaration on Religious Liberty is to make those distinctions between error has no rights. It's the people who hold erroneous beliefs that have rights, and we're talking about legal rights. But at the same time, as I said, that doesn't mean that the beliefs that they hold to be true are in fact true, nor does it mean that their people are even justified in holding those beliefs to be true. So it seems to me we live in a society where there is religious pluralism de facto as not de jour. Yes, of course there are people who argue for de Joure religious liberty, but I don't think Vatican II argues for that. I don't think John Paul II in fact, in John Paul II's account of the Assisi media, he puts religious diversity under the Fall. He doesn't look at it from the Order of Creation. He puts diversity under the Fall. [01:08:54] Speaker C: I have his address, if you'd like me to quote from that. He actually mentions the diversity of religions in his address at that meeting, October 27, 1986. He says the coming together of so many religious leaders to pray is in itself an invitation today to the world to become aware that there exists another dimension of peace, another way of promoting it, which is not the result of negotiations, political compromises, or economic bargainings. It is the result of prayer, which in the diversity of religions, expresses a relationship with a supreme power that surpasses our human capacities alone. [01:09:38] Speaker B: So far as is possible, st. Paul says, live at peace with all men. There's a place for what if this was a session, a seminar, and we were going through all the aspects of this document that the Pope signed with the Imam, we could find elements there that try to unpack the whole notion of what does it mean to live at peace with all men? Now, that, to me, has nothing to do with yes, you can incorporate there the dialogue of religions as long as you put into perspective there the whole notion of competing claims. Admittedly, Francis doesn't do that, and that's a fundamental flaw of his position. But as far as the you know, I wrote about the full meaning of the Assisi meeting and where John Paul II talks there about in a document that he wrote, he says religious diversity then belongs to the Order of the Fall into sin because it reflects the human reception of that offer. Call and grace. Remember what it says at the end of paragraph 13 that God calls all men to salvation by his grace. But that doesn't mean that that call is efficacious. What's the finality. Of that call. No, there's resistance, et cetera. Man is open to resistance and hence the distorting, misinterpreting and rejecting God's revelation in creation and redemption. John Paul says, these differences reveal the limitations, the evolutions and the falls of the human spirit, which is under, I'm quoting him, by the spirit of evil in human history. He adds, These religious differences are such that they are diverse and mutually incompatible, so much so that one can also feel their divisions are insuperable. I don't agree with having those assisi meetings. I agree with Rotzinger that those assisi meetings can even if that wasn't the intent, even if it was simply live at peace with all men, even if it was trying to find some kind of place there for each other in the culture and all that. I don't think that you can find a text from Vatican Two and subsequent documents. I mean, what is the point of Rhythm, Tori's Missio again, or even Dominicos in August of 2000 on the salvific universality of Christ and the Church? I mean, it seems to me when we come across things that seem oh my goodness, why is that happening? We have to interpret it as the Council said, as that 1985 Council, we have to interpret it in the light of the continuity of the Church's teaching. [01:12:55] Speaker C: I was just going to say real quick in regard to Dominus Jesus, my one comment on that document is it needed to be issued for a I mean to clarify because obviously there was lots of confusion at that time about the proper reception of the documents. Why is that? [01:13:13] Speaker B: Well, Dominus Jesus was not about that. Dominus Jesus was about both religious relativism and also ecclesial relativism. [01:13:21] Speaker C: But my point is that after the Council of Trent, you didn't need an equivalent of Dominus Jesus to explain what the Council taught. The Council documents themselves were clear enough. [01:13:33] Speaker B: That's absolutely not true. That's absolutely not true. We can't actually claim that everything that needs to be said about the sacraments or about justification and the like was said by Trent. No more. [01:13:49] Speaker C: I didn't say that. I'm saying that there wasn't a need for the equivalent of a Dominus Jesus after the 60 years after the Council of Trent to clarify. Ambiguities. [01:14:02] Speaker B: Well, how do you know that? [01:14:05] Speaker C: Well, if you know of a text. [01:14:08] Speaker B: No, if that were the case, then the Church remember at that time the conflict was between the Catholic Church and non Catholics and there were plenty of opportunities there where the Church had to clarify its position, the position of Trent against Protestants, against Calvin, against Luther, et cetera, et cetera. So you're looking at this ahistorically, it seems to me in the context you. [01:14:38] Speaker C: Can cite a document that's equivalent to Dominus Jesus 60 years after Trent feel. [01:14:43] Speaker B: I can cite many Catholic authors that wrote to defend Trent against its critics. [01:14:53] Speaker C: Well, yeah, I would acknowledge that, certainly. [01:14:56] Speaker B: But we're not talking about other Catholics. [01:14:59] Speaker C: What I'm saying is that the Council of Trent did not cause the confusion and the turmoil. That's what I'm saying. [01:15:06] Speaker B: Well, you're begging the question again. You're assuming that Trent caused the confusion, and you haven't shown me one iota of evidence that Vatican II caused the confusion. Remember, I said right at the beginning. [01:15:23] Speaker C: I've quoted from Conciliar. [01:15:25] Speaker A: I think the point Matt was making, because I know, because I make it in my book, is that there's the I don't want to get too far afield, because it really has to do with the statement of the Catholic Church, the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church. And there's been a number of official clarifications that, including Dominus Jesus, which is that's the main purpose of that document, actually. And so I think what Matt was trying to argue is, did Trent have or ask really the question, did Trent have any statements within it that the Church itself in the Magisterium had to then later clarify and say, this is what is actually meant? Because I think there was three or four statements made by the Church since Vatican two to clarify what is meant by the subsist. Now, to be honest, we're getting a little short on time. So what I wanted to do is I want to give each of you guys an opportunity to kind of make your closing remarks, so to speak. Your closing arguments. I think Eduardo went first at the beginning, so I want Matt to go first in this one and basically just say why you believe that Vatican II did or did not foster religious indifferentism based upon what we talked about here tonight and just in general. So, Matt, why don't you go ahead and go first? Try to keep it to about five minutes, okay. Or less. [01:16:42] Speaker C: Sure, yeah. I mean, I don't want to rehash a whole bunch of what we've already discussed, but basically, I agree with Bishop Schneider and the text that I read from Christus Vincite that there are ambiguous texts in Vatican II. I'm not saying the whole council is terrible, and there's plenty of good things in the Council documents themselves. Let me see if I can find there was a good quote from him on I don't know. He acknowledges in his book, in the chapter on Vatican II. Okay. So he says, for example, an honest examination shows that in some expressions of the council texts, there is a rupture with the previous constant tradition of the Magisterium. We have to always bear in mind the fact that the chief end of the council was pastoral in character and that the Council did not intend to propose its own definitive teachings, certainly not in every circumstance. One example of discontinuity I don't know any other way to say it would be earlier, professor was talking about dignitarusimani religious liberty, and he did reference the preconcilior popes like Gregory XVI, pope Leo XII. I just want to read what Pope Leo XII said in Libertas to give an example of the apparent I don't know how you can say it any other way contradiction. So this is Leo Xi writing in 1888 in the encyclical Libertas. It's 100 years after the French Revolution. So there are plenty of societies already in Europe that are jettising in the Church and saying that the state needs to be secular. But this is what he had to say very countercultural. Wherefore civil society must acknowledge God as its founder and parent and must obey and reverence his power and authority. Justice, therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids the state to be Godless or to adopt a line of action which would end in Godlessness, namely, to treat the various religions, as they call them, alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the state. He's not saying that that has an expiration date, by the way. That applies as a matter of principle that religion must be professed, which alone is true and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic states, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engravers upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the state must preserve and protect, if they would provide as they should do, with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. So really, all that I want from the Church is the same kind of clarity that Pope Leo Xi gave in that quote. For example, that Christ is king and the social kingship of Christ is still applicable to our day. Vatican II doesn't seem to take that into account. So I just want the faith of all time, the faith of our fathers, and I think that in some places in the council that is lacking. [01:20:21] Speaker D: Okay. [01:20:21] Speaker A: Thank you, Matt. [01:20:22] Speaker B: Okay, well, let me just start with the last point. I don't see how anyone could say that the Lordship of Christ is not affirmed by Vatican II. If you read again Luming and the calling of the laity, the call to Holiness, the Decree on the Calling of the Laity and all that, that's all about the sanctified laity being engaged in the transformation of culture in the light of Christ's kingship. Now, of course, as I said earlier, I want to make another point, but I'll just repeat that there's a distinction between the old Christendom and the new Christendom. And the old Christendom was an ecclesiastically unified culture. The new Christendom is the sanctified laity engaged under the lordship of Christ in the transformation of the culture. It seems to me also that you have to have what I would call a historical hermeneutic. Again, take the example of Mortalium animus of pious of Pius Xi regarding ecumenism. He rejects ecumenism vatican Two affirms ecumenism in unita's red integro John Paul II in 1995 UT ulum sint affirms ecumenism. Is there really a contradiction there? I would say everything that Pius Xi rejected about ecumenism. If you consider the historical context, pius rejects ecclesiological relativism. So does Vatican II. So does John Paul II. That is the idea that there are many churches. Pius also rejects the branch theory of Christianity, where you have the trunk and then you have all these branches and the like. Pius also rejects the idea, and so does Vatican, too. Admittedly, Francis muddies the water here, but Pius also rejected the idea that ecumenism sorry. Vatican II also rejected the idea that ecumenism is about generating ecclesial unity from a diversity of churches. That's just nonsense. That's not what Unita's read in DeGrazio teaches about ecumenism. There's only one Church, the Church that Christ founded, subsists in its own right, alone in the Catholic Church. It's not a multiple subsistence ecclesiology. There's only one Church, but it doesn't follow from that that therefore, outside the visible boundaries of the Church, all you have is an ecclesial wasteland or emptiness. Anybody who thinks that has never read a bloody non Catholic. It just doesn't make any sense to think that. On the other hand, even though it says in Unitas ready to ask you that there are elements of truth sanctification outside the visible boundary of the Church, it doesn't embrace an ecclesiological relativism. So one has to find ratzinger says the Vatican II found a way of reconciling the first principle of Catholic ecclesiology with a commitment to ecumenism. In this context, of course, you also have to distinguish between different theological notes. Yes, you have primary and secondary objects of infallibility, and then you have third level teaching, which is teaching that is non definitive. It may have been taught authoritatively. Ecumenism was not. Here. The only way we can say that the Church contradicted the tradition is in fact, if Unitas read integro. And then subsequent to that, John Paul II and Utunum Sint actually came to embrace an ecclesiological relativism, hence undermining the first principle of Catholic ecclesiology. I don't think that's the case. It seems to me that the Church's position on that has not changed. Yes, there has been a development, an alteration, even an alteration even in the Church's teaching, but there's an underlying continuity that the first principle of Catholic ecclesiology is still affirmed. Receptive ecumenism is what the Church does receptive ecumenism means. John Paul says that you have ecumenical conversations, not merely to be better informed, but because ecumenism is an exchange of gifts at the level of alternative formulations. In paragraph 17 of the Decree in Ecumenism, it says it makes that distinction between propositional truths of faith and alternative formulations of those propositions, and then it says alternative formulations that have to be compatible with the Catholic faith. We're not surprised if one tradition or another has a deeper grasp, a deeper appreciation of some aspect of the revealed mystery, a revealed mystery that we share with Protestant Christians and so on. But the gift is at the level of the formulation not at the level as if somehow they're telling us something we don't know. I have been engaged in ecumenical conversation writing for many, many years and I can tell you that one is not really engaged ecumenically unless you can say, I learned something from you can learn something from even Luther Calvin and other I mean, Reformation is 500 years old. So many other theologians that have written, non Catholic theologians. [01:26:35] Speaker C: But I think both of us would agree that our concern is for the salvation of souls. Ultimately, we want souls. [01:26:40] Speaker B: Yes, I agree. And that's in fact, when Ladario not Ladario, who was the previous after Rotzinger, who was the prefect for the congregation, an American guy. I forget his know, they put out this statement on the statement itself had a section where it talked about the ecumenical implications of the Church's ecclesiology. And of course, it made a threefold distinction between, on the one hand, listening you have to listen to what the other guy's saying so that you can understand. And then, of course, there's another level where you engage in ecumenical apologetics. Let's know Matt Levering's book On Our Lady's Assumption is a perfect example of ecumenical apologetics, but it's also an example of receptive ecumenism. And then thirdly, there's also evangelizing you, of course, want to present if we're talking about the eucharist, of course you don't want to get people hung up on whether they have to accept the metaphysics of Aristotle and Thomas. You want to get at, well, what is the heart of eucharistic presence and eucharistic unity and eucharistic sacrifice. The eucharist is the source and some of the Christian life because it's the deepest point of entry into the mysteries of salvation. It seems to me. Of course, all of that is true. But I've learned I have a book coming out called Roman Catholicism and Neocalvinism Ecumenical and Polemical Engagements. Ecumenical because there's a lot to learn. Polemical because obviously they're wrong on certain things. [01:28:39] Speaker A: Okay, thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate this debate very much. I appreciate both of you being very charitable and gentlemanly with each other as well. Hopefully people learn from it. I would recommend at the Crisis website there's a number of articles by Dr. Echeveria, and so I search on his name you can find. The most recent one was a very good one solemn Magisterium, I believe it was called. [01:29:03] Speaker B: Yes, solemn magisterium. Yeah. Or the one on Francis view of Truth. [01:29:07] Speaker A: Right, exactly. [01:29:07] Speaker B: You would be shocked to learn that Francis says we have to withdraw claims to Absolute Truth. [01:29:12] Speaker A: And also I recommend going to Catholic Family News because you'll get what Matt has been writing and things are going on. Just really, I appreciate that, both of you, for participating. [01:29:26] Speaker B: Thank you. [01:29:27] Speaker A: And God bless both of you. [01:29:28] Speaker B: Thank you, Matt. Thank you. [01:29:29] Speaker C: Thank you. [01:29:31] Speaker A: Until next.

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