Vatican Cardinal Opposes Christ’s Doctrine Against Christ’s Person

Vatican Cardinal Opposes Christ’s Doctrine Against Christ’s Person

Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the liberal Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has claimed talking to Vatican Radio that the formation of priests, “does not consist in presenting a doctrine: it is presenting the person of Jesus.”

The New Testament never says that Christ introduced his disciples “in his person”, but often states that he or his disciples proclaimed his doctrine.

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One comment on “Vatican Cardinal Opposes Christ’s Doctrine Against Christ’s Person

  1. Not coincidentally, Pope Francis’ address to the Missions today focuses on the person of Christ and opposes “lofty ethical teaching.” The gleeful papal sycophant, ex-priest Thomas Williams, thinks the talk is hunky dory. Given that it comes from Francis, is it wrong to think the message is not promoting evangelization as traditionally understood?

    Pope Francis Calls Missionaries to Announce Jesus Christ, Not Spread ‘Ideology’

    The pontiff also endeavored to distinguish the message of Jesus from what he called “religious ideology.”

    The Church’s mission, Francis declared, “is not to spread a religious ideology, much less to propose a lofty ethical teaching,” a task undertaken by plenty of other “movements throughout the world.” Through the mission of the Church, “Jesus Christ himself continues to evangelize and act” and is present through the evangelizing action of the Church, he said.

    Citing his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, Francis said that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea,” but rather of an encounter with “a Person,” which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.

    The Church’s mission also reminds Christians that earth is not their true homeland, but that they are “exiles journeying towards our final home,” which is the Kingdom of Heaven, he said.

    The Pope recalled that since mission is at the heart of the gospel, it is a task shared by all, and is not limited just to a few people.
    [more at the link, original address here.]


    The address draws on Benedict’s personalism. That his ideas on this are not really Catholic is discussed by Jim Larson in The Heart of Betrayal (see also his article 5 and article 12 at ) .

    Ratzinger: ““As a result of this struggle [between faith and reason], a new philosophical category – the concept of “person” – was fashioned, a concept that has become for us the fundamental concept of the analogy between God and man, the very center of philosophical thought….”

    Secondly, we must recognize that the very core of this “fuzziness” has come to rest upon what Cardinal Ratzinger calls “a new philosophical category – the concept of ‘person’”, which, according to the Cardinal, is “the very center of philosophical thought.” We must first note that there is nothing new in the philosophical concept of “person.” In Thomistic philosophy “person” is defined simply as “an individual substance of a rational nature” (the definition of Boethius accepted by St. Thomas). There are, of course, two basic kinds of persons: those who are self-subsistent but created and dependent (angels and men), and those Who are Infinite, Eternal, and absolutely Independent from creation (The Three Persons of the Trinity). The key point here, however, is that according to St. Thomas and proper Catholic theology the One Divine Nature of God (His Supreme Being) must be seen as being the ”very center of theological thought”, and that the Persons of the Godhead must be seen as subsisting in this One Divine Being and Nature. Regarding the Son, for instance, St. Thomas says, “The Word proceeding therefore proceeds as subsisting in the same nature; and so is properly called begotten, and Son.” (ST,I,2,2). The elevation of “person” to the status of being “the very center of all philosophical thought” necessarily therefore tends to contradict the “subsistence” of all Divine Personhood in the Being of God. It therefore undermines the Unity of the One Divine Nature, and consequently the ontological roots of all creation in the One Being of God.

    The heart of the betrayal of St. Thomas and Scholastic Philosophy is therefore rooted in an act of intellectual retreat before the hubris of modern analytical science. Having retreated from the Thomistic doctrine concerning the substantial nature and being of created things (the philosophical concept of hylemorphism), the modern theologian now logically retreats from the absolute Nature of the Being of God. In making God fundamentally relational, he must also retreat from the Infallible Magisterium, since it is the single most vivid witness to God’s unchangeable Being on this earth. If God is relational, then so also must be truth. It is not accidental, therefore, that for Scott Hahn and Cardinal Ratzinger scripture has now become theology’s singular authority, that “Scripture alone is theology”, and that in the opinion of Cardinal Ratzinger the Church perhaps for the first time now recognizes that there are “magisterial decisions which cannot be the final word on a given matter.” To make sola scriptura the only real basis for our knowledge of God (theology), while at the same time undermining the inerrancy of the Magisterium is to relegate our Faith to subjectivism. It is, in other words, a variant of Protestantism.

    It is no wonder, therefore, that this entire philosophical movement is called “Personalism.” It is not a malicious thing, at least on the surface. It appears to emphasize the Person of Jesus, the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Person of the Father, and the personal manner of each individual’s sanctification as being created in the image of God. This is all true, and we certainly need this emphasis. But personhood, if it is not seen as being fully subject to Being and the objective Nature of God, becomes the vehicle for the substitution of man’s becoming for God’s Being. Underneath all of this promotion of “person” as being the fundamental category of philosophy is a terrible and cowardly betrayal of the very Being of God and man. It is nothing less than a wholesale retreat from Who God Is as taught by Catholic metaphysics and theology. And, tragically, what is not realized is that without the basis of God’s Supreme Being found in Thomistic metaphysics, this “Personalism” is being ravaged because it is a philosophical home built on sand. How many documents and millions of words we have had from our Church during the past four decades concerning the dignity of the human person and the family. Yet how ravaged the family has become, and how “undignified” is the “new philosophical category of person” in the face of hundreds of millions of abortions. I believe it was T.S. Elliot who said that the world will perish neither by water nor fire, but with a whimper. It may be possible, however, that in its spiritual life it will first perish with the hugs of millions of persons in some sort of relationship conceived as personal love.

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