Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fellay and Müller: Doctrinal Preamble Versus Dispute on Grace 2.0

Bishop Bernard Fellay and Cardinal Gerhard Muller
Edit: I think the important thing here is that no Preamble was offered for signature.  We'll try to post the link as soon as it appears.
(Berlin) On 23 September, a meeting between the head of the CDF and the Fraternity of St. Pius X was held in Rome, including in the first place Gerhard Müller as Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith and Bishop Bernard Fellay as Superior General of the SSPX. For this reason Clement Victor Oldendorf published  the article "Doctrinal Preamble versus Grace Dispute 2.0" at
There  was some censoring of the document arbitrarily undertaken and subsequently  it was "too spicy" and this was supposedly justified by "too few formulations true to pope and Rome."  The author then wished  the deletion of the essay, which had been  dismissed as "speculation".
On September 27 after this call took the contribution offline.. has now published, with the consent of the author, the full post in an unabridged version.

Doctrinal Preamble Versus Grace Dispute 2.0

by Clement Victor Oldendorf
Since the beginning of September   information on September 21, 2014  has been circulating that there will be a meeting between the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, and the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay. The forecasts were rather skeptical and hesitant, with what appeared to be by no means irrational pessimism even from the time when he was Bishop of Regensburg in the face of Mueller's relevant statements. So it was expected, for example, Müller would require Fellay, but without ifs and buts, to accept the last submitted version of the so-called Doctrinal Preamble. Something Fellay had previously excluded, after he was confronted in 2012 with a complete surprise in its text version.

Message of Vatican Radio

For a few hours now a message has appeared on the website of Vatican Radio,   that the encounter did not take place on Sunday, but  took place today and lasted two hours: Add link to the message of Vatican Radio!
This text no longer mentions the Doctrinal Preamble. An insistence on the adoption of its final version would probably also proven to be an impasse and conceived as a deliberate provocation on the part of Rome if the contacts collapsed. 

Incomplete Theological Thinking Then and Now

If you read today's news from Radio Vatican, it suggests rather a more open modus vivendi to recognize the parallels to be the "solution" in the so-called disputes on grace  of the 16th and early 17th century. At that time,   theologians of the Jesuit and the Dominican orders were disputing over questions of the doctrine of grace, namely about the right relationship between divine grace and human participation in the process of justification, and they accused each other of being heretics. In 1607, Pope Paul V ruled that everyone should provisionally retain his theological position and collect arguments to refute the other side, but that it was forbidden to denounce each other. The Apostolic See will, as it was then be called to decide the question of content   "soon". To date, no Pope has decided this question. Actually, this is a fine example that Pope Francis has repeatedly called for "unfinished, theological thinking" in the church already has a long established tradition.

Grace dispute 2.0 Appeared in 2009 as a Thought Experiment

If it were, now here come to a recurrence of such, as it were open solution, it is tempting to recall   interesting and little-known details from the year 2009. At that time, after Benedict XVI. had just withdrawn the Decree of Excommunication on the original four auxiliary bishops of the SSPX in January,  Fellay continued ordinations in the summer at Zaitzkofen, on the territory of the Diocese of Regensburg, which increased media interest.
Many were present at the ceremony, journalists of various newspapers, from radio and television and almost besieged the  celebrations with cameras and microphones. Subsequently, the reporters were invited to a press conference.This allowed each of the media representatives asked a question of the bishop. Almost all the questions were just about the unspeakable Holocaust remarks of his confrere [Bishop] Richard Williamson. However, one journalist present for the Wiener Zeitung set a question that was completely out of this frame. 
Namely, he broached   the historical dispute on grace just outlined here and asked Fellay, if there were not possibly an analogous result could be in the best solution for the doctrinal disputations about Vatican II between Rome and the Society. After an initial surprise, he wasn't being asked about  gas chambers or Williamson, the Superior General of this idea described then these corresponding things as very clever and interesting and confirmed that such a solution could actually be possible.
Introduction: Giuseppe Nardi
image: SSPX / Wikicommons
Trans: Tancred


LeonG said...

Return home Bishop Fellay, you are wasting precious time.

Tancred said...

You're right, maybe the spiritual works of mercy are pointless.

Anonymous said...

You can not debate something that has already been decided. These are not issues that are open for discussion, yet once again, as implied here. Previous Popes have spoken ex cathedra about them. The current situation in the Church is absolutely nothing like anything that has occurred in the past. The hierarchy would like to ignore the established doctrine because people just won't listen to it. So if the majority won't do what they're told, we'll just tell them something they like better.
That's the current situation.

Tancred said...

People debate Te Faith all the time.

People who say there's no point in disputing want to put their own moral and mental shackles on everyone else, including their betters.

That's pride.

Anonymous said...

People do not debate established doctrine. No they do not.
And I personally did not establish Catholic Doctrine. I just subscribe to it.
So in that case, you are correct to call it my own.

People who want to believe that there is no absolute truth would like morality to be decided by the majority.

That's not Catholic.

Tancred said...

If there is a challenge to established doctrine, it's well worth discussing with an aim to persuasion

The Society was never formed to stand on its own.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Fellay revealed during an interview that the SSPX released today (October 3) that during his recent visit to Rome, that the Holy See continued to insist that the SSPX sign the Doctrinal Preamble.


LeonG said...

Seriously Tancred, if I believed it was worth it and the objective evidence thus far suggested it, I would be favourable. However, looking at the parlous state of affairs and the current antipathy of this papacy, you have to conclude that spiritual energy should be better dispensed.

LeonG said...

This is hardly a revelation as such. if he signs it will shatter The Society. This papacy will give no ground on the issue - Bishop Fellay would do better to understand why The Society lost so many priests as a consequence of his miscalculations the last time & then act correspondingly.