XXI (2000)

Ruggieri G., Introduzione (Disciplinare la verità? A proposito del motu proprio Ad tuendam fidem), XXI, 1-6.

Menozzi D., La professione di fede del «motu proprio» in prospettiva storica, XXI, 7-36.

This essay reconstructs the history of one of the key concepts of the Ad tuendam: that all those intending to occupy certain positions within the Church (concerning its government, its teaching, or its pastoral services) should make a public profession of faith with all the solemnity of an oath. After noting its rather inconsistent use in medieval times, the essay focuses on Pius IV who made this a general practice, taking his cue from the decisions of the Council of Trent intended to unify the Catholic world against the threat of Protestantism. The author then looks at the development of the Professio fideifrom a formula of submission against Jansenists to an oath against modernism, where not only does the number of truths that someone’s faith must adhere to increase, but an intimate interior adhesion to the faith is required by the Magisterium.The analysis then closes with a look at the way in which the institution was reformed following the second Vatican Council, first proposed by Paul VI and then taken up by John Paul II. Against this background the author notes a shift in the contents of the Professio fidei but suggests that during the long period of history he has examined its purpose has remained essentially unchanged: that of exposing those who might otherwise introduce dangerous elements of modernity into the Church.

Theobald C., Le développement de la notion des «vérités historiquement et logiquement connexes avec la Révélation» de Vatican I à Vatican II, XXI, 37-70.

This article reconstructs the ≪prehistory≫ of the second paragraph of the Professio fìdei of 1989, concentrating on the period between the two Vatican Councils. It aims to show that the subtle development of the notion of the “connection” and its formal statute are not of great significance – and the little interest shown in it during both Vatican Councils is a confirmation of this. A notion such as this can only be interpreted, understood and evaluated if we take into account those “cases” which have been classed as ≪connections≫ of this sort – initially not very  many (consider the debate in the 17th century on ≪dogmatic facts≫) but many more after the “modernist crisis”. In the years that immediately preceded the Second Vatican Council, the plausibility of a Catholic vision of the world, one which had established the notion of a “connection” during the papacy of Leo XIII, was already giving way to a more culturally heterogeneus vision. At the same time, the idea that what had once been, in a certain epoch and in a particular context, ≪necessarily tied to the depositum fidei≫, need not necessarily be so in a different epoch and cultural context, was one which the Catholic historical and theological conscience was unable to accept.

Hünermann P., Die Herausbildung der Lehre von den definitiv zu haltenden Wahrheiten seit dem zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil, XXI, 71-102.

The article describes in a first part the historical evolution of the doctrine proposed in the ≪motu proprio≫ Ad tuendam fidem. The way leads from the CIC (1983) can. 749 Å1 to the profession of faith and the oath of fidelity (1989), Donum veritatis(1990), Veritatis splendor (1993), Ordinatio sacerdotalis (1994) and the response referring to it (1995), Evangelium vitae(1995) and Ad tuendam fidem (1998). The second part gives a systematic evaluation of the doctrine. This doctrine goes beyond the teaching of Vatican I and II. To prepair an adequate judgement the notion of infallibility and the loci theologici are scrutinized as well as the specific form of ministry the Pope is exercising in the alleged documents. The result: the Pope acts here as a notary. This specific form to witness faith is legitimate with the corresponding conditions. The conditions are not observed in various aspects. Insofar these acts are void and not valid. In an annex the concept of the notary ministry of the Pope is deepend.

Ruggieri G., La politica dottrinale della curia romana nel postconcilio, XXI 103-131.

This study reviews the recent pronouncements of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which reveal the attitude of the Congregation to the function of doctrine within the Church. The Congregation is shown to maintain a concept of doctrine such as that held in more antagonistic epochs, while circumscribing the developments of the Second Vatican Council concerning the nature of doctrine and of Christian truth. Emphasis is still laid, therefore, on the fact that it is the competent authority that ≪determines≫ doctrine, an emphasis which had been laid too heavily in the strongly anti-Protestant past. One of the most obvious consequences of this practice is that the idea of a choral search for the truth within the Church, just as it still was in the classic system of Cano’s ≪Loci theologici≫ is relativised.

Gaudemet J., Regards d’un historien, XXI, 133-144.

The author reflects on moments in Christian history when the problem of faith and discipline was discussed with a view to contributing to further discussion and reflection on the ≪motu proprio≫. He shows that while in the 2nd century AD the line between Orthodoxy and heresy was still quite flexible, in the centuries that followed it became increasingly rigid as the papacy took a more active role in defending Church doctrine which the great councils debates were gradually defining. He describes the variety of controversies over the faith which marked medieval times – especially concerning marriage – and highlights the social and political factors affecting the interpretation of questions both of discipline and doctrine, where obedience to the papacy was at stake and heresy was suspected. The author looks at modern times and shows the difficulties created by the papacy’s doctrinal reading of the decisions of the Council of Trent. From this brief survey the author points to the importance in any understanding of doctrine, of the historical context in which it was produced.

Boyle J.P., Ad tuendam fidem on the regula fidei, XXI, 145-170.

The paper traces the notion of a regula fidei from the time of the Church Fathers, when there were many, especially bishops, who judged the soundness of the doctrine held by members of the Church – succeeding to a function carried out by the apostles. The paper also tracks the development of the office and teaching of the popes, especially in the Western Church. In particular it tracks the rise of the papal office from the death of Pius VI a prisoner in France to the triumphant definition in 1870 of papal primacy and infallibility and on into the 20th century. The A. suggests that in the controversies with many opponents of Catholic doctrine, the Pope became the principal, and sometimes the exclusive, spoke person for the Church – in contrast to earlier practice. He draws on John T. Noonan for examples of developments and changes in Catholic doctrine and practice and suggests the need for greater openness that would permit the Church to maintain the regula fidei for our time.

Melloni A., Definitivus/definitive, XXI, 171-206.

This article looks at the development and meaning of the adjective and adverb definitivus/definitive which have been used in a particularly innovative fashion in the Ad tuendam fidem and other recent acts of the Roman Magisterium. The semantic spectrum of the term in Christian Latin is quite wide and is used in New Testament expressions. The formula of the .definitive sentence. was adopted in canonical law from Roman legal Latin to indicate a judgement against which there was no legal right to appeal. Its application in the Magisterium is quite recent and usually refers to an exegesis of the LG 25, without taking the history of its drawing up into account – a history which this article reconstructs. The author shows that to use definitivus as a conceptual instrument which resolves the question of the degree of assent required by declarations of the papacy which are not given the form of a pronouncement as laid out in the First Vatican Council is a innovation with a flavour recalling to the ≪jus publicum≫.

Komonchak J., Authority and conversion on the limits of authority, XXI, 207-230.

To counterbalance the massive emphasis on the positive objectivity of ecclesiastical authority in recent centuries of Catholic teaching, it is argued that as it actually and effectively functions all authority is co-constituted by the trust of those who acknowledge it. This yelds a notion of authority as trustworthiness and develops, in dependence on Augustine, Aquinas, and Newman, a view of its authentic functioning in the Church that sets out the necessity of conversion in both the subjects and the bearers of authority, thus making the condition for the effective and proper exercise of authority the subjectivity and intersubjectivity of Christian conversion.

Alberigo G., Difendere la fede o «disciplinarla»?, XXI, 231-246.

In the wake of the Donum veritatis instruction of 1990, the Ad tuendam fidem appears to be a step further in the shift of ecclesiastical government away from a disciplinary role towards a more doctrinal role. The decisions of the Holy Office in the 1930s and 40s were an anticipation of this shift, as was the Humani generis when the magisterial authority sought to transcend both its traditional role of distinguishing Orthodoxy from heresy as well as that of denouncing errors and so intervening on questions of acceptable behaviour and opinion. The Council’s recognition of the independent status of teaching with respect to the sacrament and the Church government was an important break with the past which made it imperative to rethink the role of the magisterial service outside of its normal government responsabilities.

Scatena S., Sintesi della discussione, XXI, 247-254.

Giovanni Paolo II, “motu proprio” Ad Tuendam fidem, XXI, 255-258.

Lettieri G., La metamorfosi del De Doctrina Christiana di Agostino, XXI, 263-310.

The essay concludes the author’s research into the hermeneutics of Augustine’s concept of Grace, which began with La crisi del De Doctrina Christiana di Agostino [Crst. 18 (1997) 1-60]. This piece shows the strong relationship between the theological and hermeneutical perspectives of some of his pre-Pelagian writings and those that coincide with the period in which he was completing the De Doctrina Christiana. This work is interpreted as evidence of a radical doctrinal metamorphosis, of a radical but not explicit retractatio of the theological and hermeneutical premises of the first part of the work, which was begun and then interrupted thirty years earlier. Light is shed, therefore, on the indissoluble relationship between the revolutionary hermeneutics of the Spirit (already defined in the Confessiones) and the theology of predestined Grace, revealing the decisive, though to date unsuspected, influence which Ciceronian rhetoric had on this.

Longo U., Agiografia e identità monastica a Farfa tra XI e XII secolo, XXI, 311-342.

At the start of the 11th century the Benedectine Abbey of Farfa in Sabina went through an important period of administrative and financial readjustement. The effort to reform, brought with it a new season of spiritual and cultural activity within the Abbey. The re-establishment of a documentary tradition, which was provoked by the urgent need to create sound allegiances with which to defend the interests of the Abbey, engendered a process of reflections on the history of Farfa, with a particular regard for the reconstruction of the monastery’s origins and the codification of its hagiographic and historical identity. The founding of the monastery and the reconstruction of the historical and hagiographical dossier of the two founders, Lorenzo and Tommaso, is at the center of a process of re-elaboration which invests the hagiographic and historical sphere, but also the ideological and political ones. Gregory of Catina played a fundamental role in this process, and often offered illuminating interpretations to explain the relationship between the hagiographic strategies of Farfa and its ideological and political stance. This study focuses both on Gregory’s works and on a series of liturgical and hagiographical, mostly unpublished, manuscripts from the monastery. Particular attention has paid to the text known as Constructio monasterii farfensis.

Bonechi S., L’impossibile restaurazione: i vescovi filonapoleonici nell’Italia francese tra «servilismo» e primato di Pietro (1801-1814), XXI, 343-382.

The aim of this article is to take look at a group of Italian bishops whose attitude towards the French, and in particular towards the figure of Napoleon, struck their contemporaries, as well as later historiography, as being too servile and opportunist. The group was never so homogeneous as to form a ≪party≫ and in fact its history is a lot more complex. Having confirmed the lack of any marked anti-papal tendency amongst them (if we except the Jansenist Pannilini and the pro-Gallican Becchetti), the article established that what we set them apart was not so much their aim as the means they were prepared to consider to obtain it. The pro-imperial bishops set about reconstructing the alliance between Throne and Altar, even through the sacrifice of traditional but no longer justifiable privileges. An important factor which helps to explain their attitude was the providential role which they attributed to Napoleon, who they saw as being one blessed by God, the destroyer of the ≪diabolic revolution≫ and the restorer of the Altars of the Church of France.

Alberigo G., Fedeltà e creatività nella ricezione del concilio Vaticano II. Criteri ermeneutici, XXI, 383-402.

The hermeneutics of Vatican II poses problems which also affect the process of its reception, a process involving the understanding and explaining of the event and the decisions it produced. It was the intention of the Council when it concluded that it should be followed by a process of active reception rather than a passive application of the historic decisions which had been taken; a reception which should necessarily have involved a plurality of subjects as is to expected from a Communion Ecclesiology such as that which dominated Vatican II. Instead, the impression one forms is that of the rising imposition of a silent ≪nominalism≫. The institutional and doctrinal force of habit formed over the preceding two centuries – quite different from the Great Tradition – has tried to swallow up Vatican II and to ≪normalize≫ Catholicism, returning it to the suffocating situation of before. What is it that, beyond an institutional inertia, beyond the resistance of the Roman hierarchy, beyond preference of large sectors of society for a more traditional and established form of Christianity; what is it that has prevented a full scale process of rejuvenation of the Church from taking place? The reasons for Vatican II’s weak impact is essentially due to the fact that doctrinal and spiritual indications of the Council did not conjugate with a parallel institutional renewal. What has been lacking in the period following the Council is this reciprocal cross-fertilzation between the doctrinal and ecclesiological indications and a modernization of the institutional structure of the Church.

Badot Ph.– De Decker D., Les «Saintes Familles» de la Spätantike: Héliogabale ou les Orientales au pouvoir?, XXI, 403-412.

The article deals with Heliogabalus, the Roman Emperor who, surrounded by astute and intelligent Orientals, came to the throne at 14 years of age in 218 AD and was assassinated four years later. The traditionalists could not forgive him for his dissolute ways – which were no different of those of the ≪good emperors≫ Octavius and Hadrian – his unbounded luxury, and, above all, his manifest desire to subject all religions to the cult of Baal. The conservative elites of Rome could not accept the young Prince’s syncretism, which placed alongside the cult of Cybele and Bacchus, the God of Jews, the God of the Samaritans and Christ. The use of sources which are not designedly hostile to Heliogabalus allows us to both retrieve this figure from oblivion and begin the process of his rehabilitation.

Cova G.D., Considerazioni sulla miscellanea di R. Rendtorff: «Cristiani ed ebrei oggi», XXI, 413-424.

This essay, by one of the most important German Alttestamentler of the latter half of the 20th Century, looks at the relationship between Israel and the Church from within the dialogue between Jews and Christians both in Germany and internationally, and is an important contribution to the progress of that same dialogue and the clarification of the terms in which the problem should be placed. With respect to the thesis of the book, the author reiterates the following points for a better understanding of the history of relations between Israel and the Church: the New Testament sees the Church as being made up of Jews and Gentiles, and on this basis any notion of incompatibility between the Church and Israel is excluded. The ≪substitutionalist≫ position (both in theory and in practice) has dominated the Church since ancient times – though not in the New Testament – and it can only be superceded on this basis. This possibility makes it imperative for the Church to make this its prime ecumenical task.

Buenacasa P.rez C., La persecucion del emperador Juliano a debate: los cristianos en la politica del ultimo emperador pagano (361-363), XXI, 509-530.

Julian’s attitude towards Christians has been often handled from a perspective which, in our opinion, has placed an excessive emphasis in bringing out the great anti-Christian character and has explained it by the absolute intolerance of this emperor towards the believers in Christ. The purpose of these papers is to point up how Julian’s attitude towards Christians must not be qualified as a a persecution or as a ≪revenge provoked by the bitterness≫, but that it is only the natural consequence of the support granted again by this emperor to pagan cults and that compels him to punish those, Christians and non-Christians, that were in opposition against imperial politics.

Faggioli M., Problemi relativi alle nomine episcopali dal concilio di Trento al pontificato di Urbano VIII, XXI, 531-564.

The purpose of this essay is to provide an overview of some of the problems and themes related to the question of the episcopal nominations, from the Council of Trent to the papacy of Urban VIII (1623-1644). The first part sets out to show how, despite the importance of the choice of the episcopacy in the period following the Council of Trent, this theme has not received the in-depth historical research that it warrants, and that work remains to be done on the canonical themes inherent in the application of the Council, as well as on the connexion of the question of the episcopal nominations with the periodization of the history of the Church following the Council of Trent. After a brief look at existing studies on the episcopal nominations at Trent, the choice to end with the papacy of Maffeo Barberini is justified by the conclusion of the application of the Council and by the Thirty Years War which puts an end to the golden age of the nunciatures. The second part of the essay offers a bibliographical survey on the problem of the episcopal nominations, in the early modern era and in different geo-political contexts. The essay concludes with a look at the sources which have allowed us to reconstruct the episcopal nominations, pointing out some misunderstadings and errors which have occurred, and the difficulty involved in gaing access to, choosing and analysing the sources in order to arrive at an overall analytical view of the subject in the modem era.

Conzemius V., Acton: the lay theologian, XXI, 565-586.

John Emerich Acton’s engagement as theologian is generally restricted by scholars in his opposition to the ultramontane current and in his denial of the dogmatic definition of papal infallibility settled by the First Vatican Council. The extension of theologian research to laity following the Second Vatican Council had helped the discovery, for the founder of the Cambridge Modern History, of a more involved dimension of theological commitment, which is now placed side by side to those already well known of journalist, historian, politician and liberal Catholic. Marks of this commitment could be found first of all in his journalistic experience, a profession that he conceives as a mission intended to prepare a better understanding of Catholic Church in England. Acton represents an uncommon event for a laymen involved in theological research: he shows a visceral attachment to the Catholic Church joining it to a critical openess to actual problems. Since the beginning of his engagement, Acton has pleaded for freedom of research and this with the aim to make the Church assume a responsability: in fact, the truth of the Christian Church, as Acton conceives it, is not only a dogmatic one, but far more an ethical one, such as the teaching of Christ epitomizes it.

Scatena S., La questione della libertà religiosa: momenti di un dibattito dalla vigilia del Vaticano II all’inizio degli anni Novanta, XXI, 587-644.

Studies on the question of religious freedom are inevitably connected with political, juridical, theological, canonical and philosophical problems, and with the history of the Christian attitude about toleration/intolerance, especially in the modern era. It is not the intention of this essay to carry out a detailed overview of the considerable body of work which tackles the different meanings of the expression .religious freedom. and the different prospectives from which this notion, and the complex problems attached to it, has been considered. Even though this abundant literature is taken into consideration, this essay seeks to follow the thread of the debate that began with the difficult gestation of the Dignitatis humanae, the moment that is when the individual and collective right to practice one’s religious faith, within the bounds of the law, and the right to be free from any form of religious coercion were recongnized by the Council; a debate with many layers to it and which intersects many important issues in its different political and cuitural contexts – the way in which its Italian application was so focused on the inside of the existing Concordat is a good example of this – as well as playing a part in the general evolution of the Church in the thirty years following Vatican II.

Snijdewind H., Genèse et organisation de la revue internationale de théologie Concilium, XXI, 645-674.

At Vatican II there was such a good atmosphere. Not only the Pope, bishops and journalists were engaged to remould the theological landscape of the Catholic Church, but theologians of different Churches, of the Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopal, Greek and Latin rites, discovered that although they had their own difficult cultural problems, they also had similar questions to ask. The different beliefs were not opposed with ≪but≫, they were approached with ≪and≫. This real Catholic spirit was the basis for a new international theological review, Concilium, the aim of which is to reflect on and underline the consequences of the religious standard of Vatican II. The history of Concilium is a history of hope courage and resistance: hope in the embodiment of Jesus Christ in the coloured pattern of the people of God, formed by peaceful and respectful discussion partners; courage instilled in us by the holiness of the Church as people of God to resolve new ecumenical, ethic and biogenetic problems; and resistance to the nightmare of power with his resumption of the march of instruction and condemnation.

Daniel E.R., Joachim of Fiore: New Editions and Studies, XXI, 675-685.

The A. reviews four recent books about Abbot Joachim, three of which are critical editions of his writings and one of which is a collections of seminal essays. Gian Luca Potest. edited the Dialogi de prescientia Dei, Matthias Kaup the De prophetia ignota, and Kurt-Victor Selge the Apocalypsis liber, the shortest of the three introductions that Joachim wrote to his Expositio in Apocalypsim. Robert Lerner’s articles, here translated into Italian, offer an overall interpretation of Joachim’s thought that stands in sharp contrast to Prof. Reeves’ views. All three editions are significant improvements over previously available versions. Lerner’s views are controversial, but they demand careful attention and must be taken into account by any scholar working on Joachim. All except Kaup’s book are publications of the Centro Internazionale di studi gioachimiti, located in S. Giovanni in Fiore and are part of their plan to publish the abbot’s opera omnia, as well as significant studies on the Abbot.

Alberigo G., Gedda ieri… e anche oggi?, XXI, 686-694.

The publication of the memoirs of Luigi Gedda covering the period 1934-1958 appears to be part of that re-evocation of the elections of 18 April 1948 which gave the conservative establishment victory over a parliamentary majority and a government of which they disapproved. The key theme of the volume is Azione Cattolica and the role that Gedda himself played, as well as the audiences he was accorded by Pius XI and Pius XII. The fall of fascism and the outcome of the 1946 referendum are not mentioned, as if to deny that they were events on which contemporary Italian society was founded. By the same token, those who in various ways opposed Gedda barely deserve a mention. The blatant subjectiveness of these memoirs make them a difficult source for historical study, despite their undoubted interest. The A. therefore feels that more research is needed in order to gain a more complete historical understanding of Gedda, both as a man, and in terms of his role in society, in the Church, in Italian politics and culture, from the end of the last war to the Mani Pulite scandal in the early 1990s.