Fr. Fessio – Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith Document

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Ave Maria!

This second to last part of our series by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., on recent Vatican documents covers the document issued July 9th, two days after the Motu Proprio, by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith entitled "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Document on the Church" i.e. Lumen Gentium

This document was issued by the Congregation to clarify some points of confusion since the close of the Second Vatican Council.

Questions addressed in this talk are:

  • Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic Doctrine on the Church?"

  • What is the meaning of the word 'subsists' in the statement the "Church ... subsists in the Catholic Church" LG 8

  • Why the word subsist was used instead of 'is'.

  • Why does the council use the word 'churches' for the separated Eastern Orthodox?

  • Why does the Council not use the word Church for the Protestant communities?


In answer to the first question Fr. Fessio quotes Pope Paul VI, who after the Council says, "What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down the centuries, we also teach."

AMEN!

Ave Maria!

Author apostolate

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  • apostolate says:

    It is interesting that there is so much confusion over what the Council meant by ‘subsists’. In Lumen Gentium, the document where the word was used, the very first paragraph says in regard to everything that is to follow, “This it intends to do following faithfully the teaching of previous councils.” So this whole idea that somehow the word subsits means that Vatican II has changed the meaning of what the Church consists is neglecting what is said in this first paragraph, talking about bad scholorship. It could not be more clear that everything that the fathers of this council wrote in this document should be interpreted as being consistent with previous councils not opposed to it. In a sense B16’s hermeneutics of continuity is in the very first paragagh of the document in question! How could so much confusion remain for so long?!!