Pope Francis quoted the conciliar theologian Henri de Lubac on Sunday, whom he also quoted in his last address as a cardinal before his papal election.
Bergoglio cites Jesuit Henri de Lubac
(Rome) "Two days after the election of Francis, with the illusion of being wrong, we expressed the thought that now the time could begin to put into practice what a certain author of the Nouvelle Théologie, Henri de Lubac, said in one of his writings,” as Secretum meum mihi recalls.
A few days later, "cold sweat ran down our backs," the blogger continued, when Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, published Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's final speech before his election as pope, in which he quoted de Lubac had, and thus "confirmed the fear".
Looking back is obvious, since on Sunday, August 14th, Francis again quoted the conciliar theologian of the Nouvelle Théologie, who still makes a "cold sweat" run down their backs of many people. Before praying the Angelusin St. Peter's Square, the Pope meditated on the Gospel of the 20th Sunday of the Church Year (Year C) of the Novus Ordo, which Francis said is "the only expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite," as stated in his Motu proprio Traditionis custodes and confirmed in his Apostolic Exhortation Desiderio desideravi. The Pope said:
“'Indeed', says one theologian, 'faith in God reassures us, but not in the way we wish: that is, not to give us a crippling illusion or a blissful satisfaction, but to empower action'.”
Francis did not say which theologians were involved. His name and a source are only found in the official reproduction of the speech on the Holy See's website: "De Lubac, About the Ways of God, Milan 2008, p. 184". The Spanish translation names the book but not its author.
Henri de Lubac was one of the key figures who prepared the ground for the Second Vatican Council and set the premises under which it met and unfolded. Under the influence of the post-conciliar period, de Lubac then changed course and founded the magazine Communio in 1972 together with Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Ratzinger, which was intended to represent a counterweight to the magazine Concilium , which fueled the "conciliar spirit".
For the overall assessment, it is important that the journals mentioned did not oppose modernists and traditionalists, but rather radical and moderate supporters of the Second Vatican Council, comparable to the Girondists and Jacobins at the time of the French Revolution.
De Lubac now lamented the feverish agitation with which the Council's interpretation was usurped. De Lubac belonged to that conciliar faction, as did the then theologian Joseph Ratzinger, who were appalled by the radicalism with which a section which they had hitherto seen as partisans of the same cause was proceeding. The more moderate ones like de Lubac and Ratzinger had helped these radicals to open Pandora's box.
This reversal was also the reason why de Lubac was elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1983. However, even these representatives of the moderate faction could not really part with the fundamental necessity of the Council and also the correctness of the path it had taken. This was shown in a way that was as significant as it was tragic in Benedict XVI's last speech as pope, which he held shortly before his abdication to the Roman clergy. The lack of ultimate consequence seems to be a major reason why Benedict XVI. has failed in his efforts to correct course, indeed had to fail, as some observers believe.
It seems doubtful that Francis is citing Henri de Lubac for what John Paul II created him a cardinal for. The papal favor seems to have more in mind that de Lubac, who prepared the ground for the ecclesiastical '68 with the Nouvelle Théologie, which started a few years before the Paris student protests in May 1968.