Structure of the Church East and West
Two-Lung Traditions vs. One-Lung Deviations
William H. Marshner, S.T.D.
Orientale Lumen Conference
Washington DC 2004
San Diego 2005
I begin with this question: what is the right starting point for theological reflection on the structure of the Church? One might think, “Well, the New Testament, of course” But this answer is not enough. As Fr. Raymond Collins pointed out to us, last night, the New Testament evidence is “less than clear.” Fr. Collins indicated three New Testament pictures, as you may recall: the charismatic, the Christian rabbinic, and the household overseer. It is important to add, however, that the New Testament text itself does not tell us whether these are three structures or are three different ways of describing one structure. Continue reading “Structure Of The Church East And West”
Rahner’s Basic Stencil
W. H. Marshner
0.0 The following text is a hypothesis as to how the late Karl Rahner, S.J., applied in his theology a certain fixed pattern in construing the mysteries of the Faith. I call this pattern his stencil. Under my hypothesis, certain conceptual moves distinctive of his theology were made so as to put him in a position to apply the stencil. By its repeated applications he was able to impose upon the mysteries both a far-reaching isomorphism and a transcendental meaning. The first and basic application was as follows.
Continue reading “Rahner’s Basic Stencil”
THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION IN MODERN ECCLESIOLOGY: PROLEGOMENA
WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
Front Royal, Virginia
What does the Immaculate Conception have to do with the mystery of the Church? How can it help us to evaluate some recent directions in ecclesiology?
These initial questions can be taken in two senses. (1) How does the definition of the Immaculate Conception illuminate the Church’s charism of truth? How does the papal deed of 1854 help us to evaluate certain recent theories of dogma, tradition and magisterium? (2) How does the grace itself of the Immaculate Conception clarify the “new being” to which all men are called in the Church of Christ? How does the Marian privilege serve as a criterion for an adequate ecclesiology?
Continue reading “The Dogma Of The Immaculate Conception In Modern Ecclesiology: Prolegomena”
CRITERIA FOR DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE MARIAN DOGMAS: AN ESSAY IN METATHEOLOGY
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
MARIAN STUDIES, Vol. 28 (1977)
University of Dallas
Irving, Texas 75061
As a critique of recent proposals by E. J. Yarnold, S.J., and R. E. Brown, S.S., to re-think the “meaning” of certain Marian dogmas, a method is proposed for establishing the sense and reference (hence verifiability conditions, falsifiability conditions, axiomatic connexions, and metalinguistic “properties”) of these and other dogmas. It is shown that such a method forms an integral part of a general criteriology for doctrinal development. At the outset, then, the possibility and necessity of such a criteriology is defended against certain “theological theories” of doctrinal development, especially that of K. Rahner, S.J. Finally, the relevance of Henri Bouillard’s problematic of “reconceptualization” to the here proposed method and general criteriology is evaluated. Several philosophical and theological issues closely related to the main thesis are handled in footnoted discussions.
Continue reading “Criteria For Doctrinal Development In The Marian Dogmas: An Essay In Metatheology”
Membership in the Church: Fundamental Questions
by WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
FAITH AND REASON
Vol. 2, No. 3
A pressing question before the Church today is precisely “Who is a member?” The importance of this matter, which seems on the surface to be rather obvious, stems from two scandalous but simple facts. First, the division of Christianity into competing sects has created the difficulty of defining the relationship of these sects to the true Church. Second, modern Catholics who deny even the most basic of Church teachings often confuse the issue by refusing to admit that they have left the Church. It is in this context, then, that F&R publishes the following rigorous, careful and technical treatment of Church membership by William H. Marshner. The argument demands and deserves careful reading and rereading with full attention to the notes. It is true that the casual reader will find certain traditional attitudes toward Church membership reinforced by the author’s conclusions. But the painstaking student of this article will find much more, for presented here are basic distinctions which go far toward ending the confusion about who is a member in good standing of the Catholic Church and who, in fact, is not.
Continue reading “Membership In The Church: Fundamental Questions”
A Formula To End All Formulas
W. H. MARSHNER
September 4, 1975
A San Francisco novelty company has succeeded where yours truly and (I hate to say it, but) all the other Wanderer writers have consistently failed. This company has been able to put the entire problem of dogmatic relativism into 27 simple words. Here they are:
Continue reading “A Formula to End All Formulas”
The Vatican’s Declaration On Procured Abortion… A Charter For Political Action
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
June 19, 1975
Editor’s Note: With a few notable exceptions, Catholics in this Country have given little attention to the Vatican’s Declaration on Procured Abortion, issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last November. In the following commentary on this landmark document, Mr. Marshner demonstrates that the Declaration is more than a moral exhortation against abortion; it is a call for Catholics and all men of goodwill to take the offensive against all those who seek to institutionalize — in the name of the common good—this most heinous of crimes.
Continue reading “The Vatican’s Declaration On Procured Abortion”
Addenda to “Metaphysical Personhood and the IUD”
W. H. Marshner
October 3, 1974
Fr. Joseph Donceel’s account of ontogeny might be read as presenting an organism which, without changing genetically, undergoes a series of holistic alterations which can best be described as “emergent shifts,” Such shifts are said to occur (by evolutionary theorists) when life, for example, “emerges” in matter previously non-living, or when sensation “emerges” in living matter previously non-sentient, or when consciousness “emerges” in animals previously non-conscious. Teilhard, indeed, seems to extend this series indefinitely, lumping such phenomena as thought, value, history, community, and even the contemporary Zeitgeist into the general category of emergent qualities. Continue reading “Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD””
December 21, 1972
MY VIEWS WERE CARICATURED …
Editor, THE WANDERER:
I hope your readers will not be misled by the caricature of my views given by John J. Mulloy in your November 16th issue. In my published writings I have repeatedly said that history is not all progress, that change is not automatically for the better, and that criteria are necessary to evaluate proposed changes. I have likewise said that “to evaluate new and appropriate expressions (of the Faith), suited to the mentality of the times, is primarily the responsibility of the Church’s Magisterium. But the theologian has the function of exploring new possibilities and of seeking in this way to be of service to the Church” Continue reading “The Forum”