W. H. Marshner
In today’s world especially since the advent of Modernism, it is insufficient to simply define the authority of the pope and leave the faithful to follow his teachings. It is unfortunately fashionable to deny that Church teachings are to be taken literally, fashionable in other words, to retain the precise wording of dogmatic formulations while interpreting them in purely symbolic or metaphorical terms. Therefore, a further defense is necessary, a defense which is at times technical, but nonetheless indispensable: it is the defense that Church teachings mean what they say. And in order to appreciate the ways in which dogma is under attack today—some of them quite subtle—and to meet those attacks, we must begin by taking special pains to be fully clear about exactly what dogma is.
W. H. Marshner
In the March Triumph, this column argued that “Integrism” in its full, European sense did not and could not exist in America. But it was also argued that there is a narrower sense of the word, a purely ecclesiastical sense, in which there is an American Integrism, perceptibly taking form since Vatican II. Herewith, an attempt to examine this native movement more carefully.
W. H. Marshner
If a French clergyman starts talking to you about integrism, you had best discover a pressing engagement elsewhere or at least take two aspirins, because in France the subject is vast and about as tractable as the rights and wrongs of the Dreyfus case. In America, on the other hand (and thank God), the word “integrism” is still but little used, for we seem to be able to smite our theological foemen without the aid of that particular slur. Yet there are cases where even tainted words have a use; and I contend, therefore, that a few moments spent on establishing a clear and just American semantics for “integrism” will not be time wasted. Continue reading “Contra Gentiles: Integrism In America I”
THE WANDERER (Section Two)
November 2, 1972
In September of 1971, a “joint assembly” of priests and Bishops met in Madrid to adopt guidelines on pastoral action. When they were finished, a week later, they had approved a gigantic document, divided into seven parts (ponencias — an untranslatable word which means both “theses” and “chapters”). Each part consisted of a long body of texts followed by 50 or so “propositions” or conclusions, each of which had been voted on separately. The finished document was held to be a milestone in Spanish Church history, and its approval by the full hierarchy of the national conference was thought to be a rubber stamp affair. Continue reading “The Wright Intervention”
National Congress On The Word Of God: A Two-Edged Sword
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
September 21, 1972
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Rome was informed that a national effort would be made in Washington this September to produce a renewal in preaching, Cardinal Villot dispatched a letter to Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle expressing the Holy Father’s delight at the idea and his blessing upon the enterprise. One sentence in that letter sums up the advice Rome wanted to give to the American sponsors and participants: “In short, preaching must proceed,” Villot said, “from deep conviction, serious learning, and loving compassion.”
The Scripture Game
W. H. MARSHNER
No Christian can object to increasing the knowledge or the influence of Sacred Scripture. Yet the wide diversity of benefits that are expected to flow from the current “progress” in biblical studies suggests anything but unanimity as to how the subject ought to be approached. Continue reading “The Scripture Game”