Saturday, 4 April 2009

Battling hermeneutics

Fr Zuhlsdorf has a very good fisk today on the "clarification" issued by the Archdiocese of Manila after the Reprimand issued by Cardinal Castrillon.

The clarification has several themes that are common to those who would undermine the teaching of Pope Benedict, especially the attempt to water down the Holy Father's idea of the "hermeneutic of continuity." Some commentators want to pick holes in this expression, saying that in his December 2005 address to the Roman Curia, the Holy Father did not speak of the "hermeneutic of continuity" but only of the "hermeneutic of reform."

In fact, in that 2005 address, the Holy Father several times referred to the "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" so that the idea of a "hermeneutic of continuity" was an obvious implication. And in fact, Pope Benedict himself used just this phrase in his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Carititis

The "hermeneutic of continuity" is very much part of Pope Benedict's project for renewing the Church's understanding of Vatican II. It is an uncomfortable idea for those brought up to believe that Vatican II changed everything and that there was really no life in the Church before 1962.
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