Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Jenkins Speech

The two large notions that Fr. Jenkins deployed were the Catholic University and Dialogue. He failed to clarify either and thus leaves the students and the country in a state of confusion and scandal.


1) At the center of a university that denominates itself “Catholic” is the figure of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Since there is only Person in Christ and two natures (divine and human), the figure of Jesus Christ as God is Absolute. As  John Paul II remarked in “Fides et ratio:” “In the Incarnation of the Son of God we see forged the enduring and definitive synthesis which the human mind of itself could not even have imagined: the Eternal enters time, the Whole lies hidden in the part, God takes on a human face. The truth communicated in Christ’s revelation is therefore no longer confined to a particular place or culture, but is offered to every man and woman who could welcome it as the word which is the absolutely valid source of meaning for human life.”[1]



Then, Jesus Christ is the meaning of man. “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. For Adam, the first man, was a type of him who was to come. Christ the Lord, Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling. It is no wonder, then, that all the truths mentioned so far should find ion him their source and their most perfect embodiment.”[2] 

2) The Engagement of Dialogue: Benedict XVI as prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith wrote: “Equality which is a presupposition of inter-religious dialogue, refers to the equal personal dignity of the parties in dialogue, not to doctrine content, nor even less to the position of Jesus Christ – who is God himself made man – in relation to the founders of the other religions.”[3]

             There can be no dialogue without the absolute present twice. A) The absolute is the personhood of the protagonists interchanging views. Without respect for the absoluteness of the person in his/her power to self-determine in freedom, there can be no dialogue.


   B) The doctrinal content must be presumed to have a relation that is true-to-being as absolute.

 Abortion is the radical obliteration of the Absolute in both dimension of 1), and 2).


 What is more, “Faith” is not simply a conceptual presence in the person. Faith is an ontological act of the person whereby he/she makes the total gift of self to the Revealing Person of the God-man, Jesus Christ. As Ratzinger clarifies in his autobiography, Scripture is not revelation (but the result of it), and faith is the self-giving act of the believer whereby he/she becomes another Christ and the “veil” is removed (See Ratzinger's "Milestones..." Ignatius [1997] 108-109). Faith yields the ontological absolute to the human mind, and thus "completes the human person as relation.

One knows Christ by experiencing Him from within oneself: intellegere - “ab intus legere.” This transforms the entire perspective of education in all fields. That is why such a university would call itself "catholic."





[1] John Paul II, “Fides et ratio” #12.

[2] Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes  #22.

[3] “Dominus Iesus” SCDF August 6, 2000, #22.

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