Catholic Tradition: Theologically Different Churches

Tradition Reminds Us:  Theological Differences Need Not Rupture the Unity of the Church

Eastern Catholics, while fully Catholic and in communion with Rome, differ in more ways than just liturgy.
They also possess a unique spiritual tradition, as well as a unique theological approach.

Roman Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism also possesses its own traditionalist spiritual and theological approach significantly aligned with Church Councils prior to 1962…as different from Vatican II (1962-65) which was distinctly different from prior councils in its non-absolutist approach to Catholic theology, government, and liturgy.  (See https://www.scribd.com/document/311633660/Exploring-a-VATICAN-II-Catholic-Rite)

A uniquely transformative council from its very outset, Vatican II was often perceived as a threat to traditionalist Catholicism and its future.  In light of this perception, Popes John Paul II  and Benedict XVI gave Opus Dei the canonical status and structure of a papal prelature in support of its existence and propagation throughout the world.  To date, this move has resulted in the resurgence of traditional Catholicism globally.

Consequently, now it is the Post-Vatican II Church which is in danger of disappearing into Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism with its well-funded strategic focus on laity as the servants of a clerical Church.  (See Heidi Schlumpf’s three-part FOCUS series at https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/focus-campus-ministry-has-big-money-conservative-connections

Meanwhile, the post-Vatican II Church falls into the background… as if the Second Vatican Council was about nothing more than spiritual renewal and the laity’s call to holiness.

Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism is now the majority universal expression of Catholicism.  Given this, perhaps we ought to pay more attention to the Catholic tradition of unity in diversity that existed for many centuries between Rome and those Eastern Catholic Churches in union with Rome.  The quote below is from a website introducing the West to Eastern Catholicism:

“Is it true that the Eastern Catholic Churches are allowed to have different theological expressions?
If so what does it involve?

This certainly is true. The Eastern Catholic Churches are not only “allowed” but are actively encouraged to cultivate their own distinctive theological expressions.

Eastern Catholics, while fully Catholic and in communion with the Pope, differ in more ways than just liturgy. We also possess a unique spiritual tradition, as well as a unique theological approach.

While we agree with the Latin Church on fundamental matters of doctrine, we approach doctrine in a very different way – from the Eastern perspective.

While the Western Church has traditionally formulated doctrine in terms of scholastic Latin theology, we rely almost exclusively on the theology of the Eastern Church Fathers. This difference, rather than rupturing the unity of the Church, further expresses the true UNIVERSALITY of Christ’s Church.

This is authoritatively taught by the Second Vatican Council:

“All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in-their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth” (UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO, no. 4).”

                                                                 (Excerpt above from Doctrine | From East to West)

Returning to the first Roman Catholic prelature approved by two popes, Opus Dei has different theological perspectives on Vatican II.  That theological perspective has been updated and rebranded in George Weigel’s book, EVANGELICAL CATHOLICISM.  Opus-genre Evangelical Catholicism, now global majority Catholicism, is very different in perspective from Vatican II Catholicism.

Given the above, wouldn’t a Vatican II “Branch” Church with its much more culturally-open theological perspective be the best resolution to national and global Church polarization?

A Vatican II Prelature would perhaps be the first step to a global Vatican II Church.  A Vatican II Church could be an invaluable asset to the universal Church alongside the global Opus-genre Evangelical Catholic Church and the 25+ other Eastern and other Rite-Churches in union with Rome, no?

Also see:  Can the Church Dialogue Its Differences into Unity?

Literal & Poetic Interpretations of Catholicism, the real split?

For too long, we have not tackled the task of transvaluing* the very important doctrines which have provided structure and meaning to our faith…for so long.
Could our Catholic doctrines have been so guarded and locked down that they gradually diminished in ability to develop their fullness of spirit in each modern age,
culminating in the rejection of Catholicism so evident today?

As more than one theologian has said, we DO need “right” theology.
We also need to transvalue,* not dilute it, according to each new epoch.
The problem, of course, lies in what is the “right theology” and
what is vehicle for the faith which has carried us into the 21st century.
There are and always will be great differences of opinion on this question.

However, too many people today cannot “buy” the essence of Christianity
according to the literal “died for our sins” version
that many still hold so very sacred.
This rejection of theological understanding in the Catholic Church today
is likewise going on in other Christian denominations.

There is a split  between the literal and “poetic” versions of Catholicism
and it is well documented by philosopher/theologian John D.  Caputo in his books,
RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, THE WEAKNESS OF GOD,
and THE INSISTENCE OF GOD.

Could there be at least two different valid interpretations of our Catholic faith
…not just “continuity and rupture”?
Vatican II pointed us in the poetic direction while retaining the literal hermeneutic.
Might we have need for both literal and poetic interpretations
of theology, governance and liturgy in the Church today?
…even if that means “allowing” (if not “fostering”) the development of a new rite
in our Church which has managed to “allow” 22 other rites in union with the Roman Rite of the Jerusalem Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the earliest Christians?

Sisters Lea and Consilia welcome your feedback…even a “like” if you are so inclined.
Thanks!

***

*transvalue here meaning:  “To represent or evaluate something according to a new principle, causing it to be revalued” differently…with the “new principle” being the work of the Holy Spirit in Vatican II and the world.

See Position Paper:  Resolving Polarization of Vatican II and Roman Catholic Visions
https://www.scribd.com/doc/311664852/Resolving-Polarization-of-Vatican-II-and-Roman-Catholic-Visions

No Vatican II Rite!  What Loss to World and Church
https://wordpress.com/post/ritebeyondrome.com/1469

IS This Pontificate Stuck in the Mud?

Text below is response to this NCR link:
The pontificate might be stuck in the mud | National Catholic Reporter

Is this pontificate stuck in the mud as the above NCR article suggests…
OR is it our unrealistic expectations of this pontificate that are stuck in the mud?

Almost one millennium ago, Roman Catholicism rejected synodality in favor of monarchical papacy and centralized government in opposition to Eastern Church synodality…resulting in the East-West Great Schism of 1054.

Vatican II re-introduced synodality to the Roman Church/Rite through the influence of Patriarch Maximos of the Melkite Eastern Church/Rite in union with Rome.
Yet, because of an official note Pope Paul VI attached to Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, papal monarchy was once again preserved in its former glory dating as far back as 5th century Christianity.

In response to the official papal note attached to Lumen Gentium, AMERICA Magazine article on Synodality said, “While the advance of collegiality among bishops is regarded as one of the great ambitions of the Second Vatican Council, it was an idea still born.”   7/1/2013

WHY?  Because papal monarchy and centralized government are embedded in Roman Church/Rite theology and tradition. 

As long as God is held in faith as the Divine Monarch, so long will Roman Catholicism model its divinely appointed government on monarchy over synodality.
Likewise, so long will the most significant breakthroughs of Vatican II be still born.

When are we Vatican II Catholics going to stop expecting Roman Rite Catholicism to surrender its theological understanding of itself? 

Synodality and collegiality are NOT compatible with Roman Rite theology, governance or liturgy.

WHAT CHOICES ARE LEFT FOR VATICAN II CATHOLICS? 

Must Vatican II Catholicism remain still born for another millennium or longer?
Do we just wait and watch from heaven?  God will take care of everything for us?

Could we at least look at the possibility of a Vatican II Catholic Rite in union with Rome?  Might that be something the Holy Spirit is calling forth during this papacy?

Click here for PDF visual slide presentation “Exploring the Possibilities of a Vatican II Rite”.  Link, Share, or download this and/or Position Paper on “Saving Both Vatican II and Traditional Catholic Visions

“Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit?”

“In his homily Thursday Pope Francis stressed the need to be open to the novelty of the Holy Spirit, by discerning new movements and directions without being immediately closed off from them.”

Source: Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis advises :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

One of those surprises might be that the Holy Spirit is calling Vatican II Catholics to raise up a new Rite in union with the Pope and alongside the 23 other Catholic Rites including the Roman Rite.

As part of a larger family from its beginning, the Roman Rite/Church has blessed Catholicism with its many gifts, flaws and demands. In all this, it has always operated out of a monarchical God/authority theology with its rewards/punishments system of order.  Vatican II altered that vision of God and Catholicism.

  Vatican II will always be unacceptable at heart to the strictest understanding of Roman Rite Catholicism, except for those document statements which back-up traditionalism.  Roman Rite Catholicism is merely protecting and defending both the theology it considers to be God’s Will and the Church’s role and identity as it sees it.

Therefore, in appreciation for the Roman Rite and all it has done to bring Catholicism forward to us, we Vatican II Catholics have basically two options for remaining within the larger Catholic family in union with the pope…other than staying with the Roman Rite or joining one of the 22 Eastern Catholic Rites in union with Rome:

(1) Fight exceedingly well-organized, well-connected and well-supported entities like Opus  D e i which are not going to allow their Rite/Church to meld into a Vatican II mold no matter how patiently we hope and pray otherwise, no matter how hard Good Pope Francis tries to bring them around to the Spirit of Vatican II and other “innovations”.

(2) The other option for Vatican II Catholics is to take this “now quiet but still strong” rejection of Vatican II on the part of Roman traditionalism as the work of the Spirit…calling us forth to stand as strongly in our understanding of Catholicism as they do in theirs.

Then, maybe we hear the Holy Spirit trying to tell us something we don’t want to hear, even telling Pope Francis something he doesn’t want to hear…that we need both a Roman Catholic AND a Vatican II Rite within the fold of the Universal Church.

Seeing (2) as a viable option, we might at some point just want to discuss the possibilities in small groups, then in non-canonical parish or diocesan councils.  You think?

Whatever you do, don’t get overwhelmed with thinking that all this would demand duplicating Roman Rite Church structure.  It would not.