Sunday, November 08, 2015

Collegiality and The Church

 To get started on this topic using Ivereigh, the index is very helpful. What is at stake is the knowledge of Christ Himself, and therefore salvation. Ratzinger's position: There is no salvation outside of Christ and therefore none outside the Church of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ  subsists in the historical Catholic Church. "Subsist" is a verb used to designate existence by persons. Therefore, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church; yet there are elements of salvation outside the historical Catholic Church (notably sacraments, scripture). If Christ Himself as ontological Person subsists in the Catholic Church, it cannot be reducible to a "federation of churches.

   The notion of "communio" kicks in here. God is revealed to be a communio of Three. The meaning of "Communio" is the ontological union of the parts in that the "Father" is not the Fatjher and then engenders the Son. He is the action of engender the Son. Therefore there  can be no Father without the Son. They are "one" but as irreducibly different Persons. Their relation is not "accidental."

    The Church is "one": "That they be one as you Father are in me, and I in You; that they be one was we are one" (Jn. 17 23). That is, the Church in "one" as God is "one." Yet, St. Paul says, "there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman;there is neither male nor female, for you are all one heis (one) in Christ Jesus' (Gal 3, 28); "For, as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body as they are, form one body, so also is it with Christ" 1Cor. 12, 12). Paul did not say, "so also is it with the Church." When he says Church, he means Christ.
   So it seems that the Church as Christ is more than the communio of Churches. " It [theChurch] is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church" (see this in attached article by Ratzinger. I also attach a piece of Cardinal Dulles comparing two (Ratzinger and Kasper]. This has much to do with the finale of this Synod.
   It is clearly not either or but where is Christ? Fr. Bob

I attach documents referred to by Ivereigh that can promote insight here:

1-      UNIVERSAL CHURCH AND PARTICULAR CHURCHES (From “Some Aspects of the Church Consider ed as Communio”- Joseph Ratzinger (1992)

7. The Church of Christ, which we profess in the Creed to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, is the universal Church, that is, the worldwide community of the disciples of the Lord(31), which is present and active amid the particular characteristics and the diversity of persons, groups, times and places. Among these manifold particular expressions of the saving presence of the one Church of Christ, there are to be found, from the times of the Apostles on, those entities which are in themselves Churches(32), because, although they are particular, the universal Church becomes present in them with all its essential elements(33). They are therefore constituted "after the model of the universal Church"(34), and each of them is "a portion of the People of God entrusted to a bishop to be guided by him with the assistance of his clergy"(35).

8. The universal Church is therefore the Body of the Churches(36). Hence it is possible to apply the concept of communion in analogous fashion to the union existing among particular Churches, and to see the universal Church as a Communion of Churches. Sometimes, however, the idea of a "communion of particular Churches" is presented in such a way as to weaken the concept of the unity of the Church at the visible and institutional level. Thus it is asserted that every particular Church is a subject complete in itself, and that the universal Church is the result of a reciprocal recognition on the part of the particular Churches. This ecclesiological unilateralism, which impoverishes not only the concept of the universal Church but also that of the particular Church, betrays an insufficient understanding of the concept of communion. As history shows, when a particular Church has sought to become self-sufficient, and has weakened its real communion with the universal Church and with its living and visible centre, its internal unity suffers too, and it finds itself in danger of losing its own freedom in the face of the various forces of slavery and exploitation(37).

9. In order to grasp the true meaning of the analogical application of the term communion to the particular Churches taken as a whole, one must bear in mind above all that the particular Churches, insofar as they are "part of the one Church of Christ"(38), have a special relationship of "mutual interiority"(39) with the whole, that is, with the universal Church, because in every particular Church "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active"(40). For this reason, "the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches"(41). It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church.

Indeed, according to the Fathers, ontologically, the Church-mystery, the Church that is one and unique, precedes creation(42), and gives birth to the particular Churches as her daughters. She expresses herself in them; she is the mother and not the product of the particular Churches. Furthermore, the Church is manifested, temporally, on the day of Pentecost in the community of the one hundred and twenty gathered around Mary and the twelve Apostles, the representatives of the one unique Church and the founders-to-be of the local Churches, who have a mission directed to the world: from the first the Church speaks all languages(43).

From the Church, which in its origins and its first manifestation is universal, have arisen the different local Churches, as particular expressions of the one unique Church of Jesus Christ. Arising within and out of the universal Church, they have their ecclesiality in it and from it. Hence the formula of the Second Vatican Council: The Church in and formed out of the Churches (Ecclesia in et ex Ecclesiis)(44), is inseparable from this other formula: The Churches in and formed out of the Church (Ecclesia in et ex Ecclesiis)(45). Clearly the relationship between the universal Church and the particular Churches is a mystery, and cannot be compared to that which exists between the whole and the parts in a purely human group or society.

10. Every member of the faithful, through faith and Baptism, is inserted into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. He or she does not belong to the universal Church in a mediate way, through belonging to a particular Church, but in an immediate way, even though entry into and life within the universal Church are necessarily brought about in a particular Church. From the point of view of the Church understood as communion, this means therefore that the universal communion of the faithful and the communion of the Churches are not consequences of one another, but constitute the same reality seen from different viewpoints.

Moreover, one's belonging to a particular Church never conflicts with the reality that in the Church no-one is a stranger(46): each member of the faithful, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, is in his or her Church, in the Church of Christ, regardless of whether or not he or she belongs, according to canon law, to the diocese, parish or other particular community where the celebration takes place. In this sense, without impinging on the necessary regulations regarding juridical dependence(47), whoever belongs to one particular Church belongs to all the Churches; since belonging to the Communion, like belonging to the Church, is never simply particular, but by its very nature is always universal(48).

II -

Essay Addresses Question of Universal and Particular Churches

Which comes first: the universal Church or the diocesan Church?
That question lies at the heart of a running debate between the German cardinals Joseph Ratzinger and Walter Kasper. Kasper sharpened the debate with a recent article in the Jesuit magazine America, a piece he penned when he was still bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart and before receiving his red hat.
In simplified terms, Cardinal Kasper argues that the diocesan, or particular, Church takes precedence over the universal Church, whereas Cardinal Ratzinger holds that the universal Church is prior to the local Church both historically and ontologically. The debate isn't purely academic, however, since it touches on episcopal authority and how bishops should be enforcing norms handed down by Rome.
It's a debate that another cardinal, Avery Dulles, steps into, in an essay in the upcoming issue of Inside the Vatican magazine.
"Kasper's grievance against the papacy and the Roman curia," writes Cardinal Dulles, "comes from his practical experience as a pastor. As bishop he found that many of the directives coming from Rome were resented and ignored by the priests and people of his diocese. If the priority of the particular church were respected, he believes, the diocesan bishop could adapt general regulations to the situation of his own flock."
Cardinal Dulles recounts the Ratzinger-Kasper debate and cites a document put out by the congregation headed by Cardinal Ratzinger.
He writes: "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its 1992 letter 'Communionis notio' maintained that the universal Church 'is not the result of a communion of the churches, but in its essential mystery it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular church' (no. 9). Expanding on this sentence, Ratzinger insists that the universal Church is not simply the result of the expansion of an initially local community. For him it is the 'Jerusalem above,' which Paul describes as 'our mother' (Gal 4:26)."
"Kasper, for his part, does not deny the pre-existence of the Church," writes Cardinal Dulles. "[...] But pre-existence, he holds, belongs not only to the universal Church but also to the concrete historical churches, which are likewise grounded in God's eternal mystery. He does not show that the new Jerusalem described in the New Testament and in the patristic sources consists of multiple churches."
In this debate, Cardinal Dulles sides with Ratzinger's argument.
Dulles writes: "The ontological priority of the Church universal appears to me to be almost self-evident, since the very concept of a particular church presupposes a universal Church to which it belongs, whereas the concept of the universal Church does not imply that it is made up of distinct particular churches.
"Historically, too, the priority of the universal Church is evident because Christ unquestionably formed the community of the disciples and prepared the apostles for their mission while they were still gathered together. Particular churches emerged only after the Church became dispersed, so that it became necessary to establish local congregations with their own hierarchical leaders."
Continuing his critique, Cardinal Dulles states: "Kasper maintains that Ratzinger proceeds by Plato's method, starting from universal concepts rather than, as Kasper prefers, taking the universal concept as a mere abstraction from concrete reality, which is particular. I suspect that Ratzinger has a certain affinity for Christian Platonism, but in the present debate he takes his arguments from Scripture and tradition rather than from Platonic philosophy. He makes it clear that the universal Church animated by the Holy Spirit exists here on earth, within history. In an unsigned article published a year after Communionis notio, commonly attributed to Ratzinger, the author insists that there can be nothing more concrete than the gathering of the 120 at Jerusalem."
At another point, Dulles focuses on key phrases in the Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution on the Church, "Lumen Gentium."
"Kasper states correctly," he writes, "that according to Vatican II the bishop receives his office of government (munus regendi) directly from Christ through the sacrament of ordination (Lumen gentium 21), but he fails to note that the bishop cannot govern a particular diocese unless he is duly appointed by canonical mission and remains in hierarchical communion with the college of bishops and its head, the bishop of Rome (Lumen gentium 24). The bishop's powers of teaching and government 'can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman pontiff' (Lumen gentium 22)."
Referring to Cardinal Kasper's pastoral concerns, the Dulles article mentions the rules regarding admission to the Eucharist of non-Catholic Christians and of divorced and remarried Catholics. Dulles sees local solutions to such questions as problematic.
"Good arguments can be made both for and against allowing Holy Communion to be given in certain problematic cases," Cardinal Dulles writes. "But in the context of Kasper's article the essential question is whether the solutions should be worked out by particular churches on their own authority. Is the situation in the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart so peculiar that it should be allowed to go its own way on these two questions?
"From reading Kasper's text I do not see why the problems in Rottenburg or Stuttgart differ significantly from those in Munich, Johannesburg, or New York. Whatever policy is permitted in Rottenburg-Stuttgart does not concern that diocese alone; it will inevitably have repercussions all over the world."
Cardinal Dulles concludes with a strong defense of the Petrine office and writes: "Kasper, who is by no means an extremist, would certainly agree that the Catholic Church must be on guard against degenerating into a loose federation of local or national churches. She has learned much from the experience of Gallicanism and analogous movements in past centuries. In this age of globalization and multiple inculturation, it is more imperative than ever to have a vigorous office that safeguards the unity of all the particular churches in the essentials of faith, morality, and worship." ZE01052820

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