"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

July 23, 2017

Vatican II: Continuity and Discontinuity

In December 2005, Pope Benedict XVI devoted part of his Christmas talk to the Roman Curia to the interpretation, or hermeneutics, of the Second Vatican Council. His remarks, and especially his counter-posing of a “hermeneutics of rupture or discontinuity” to a “hermeneutics of reform,” were widely seen as a criticism of the so-called Bologna School and the five-volume History of Vatican II prepared by a team led by Giuseppe Alberigo. As a member of that international team, a contributor to two of the volumes, and editor of the English-language edition of the work, I took a special interest in the Pope’s remarks. Close analysis of the talk and in particular of his use of the Council’s teaching on religious freedom to illustrate the “hermeneutics of reform” convinced me that the Pope’s principal interest was not in rejecting the mythical Scuola bolognese, but in making an appeal to the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for whom the Council’s text on religious freedom represented an unacceptable departure from the Church’s teaching on the matter. Here is the article in which I made this case:

JAK on Benedict XVI on VC2

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