Friday, July 28, 2006

A Deformation of the Mystery of Christ

Sandro Magister gives us some excerpts of a new document put forth by the bishops of Spain that tries to analyze the state of the faith in their country, and what ails the church there. Apparently, this document was drafted with the input of the CDF, and is being presented as a model for other episcopal conferences.

What ails the church? The answer, in one word: secularization. Particularly in four areas
– the interpretation of Scripture,
– Jesus Christ as the only savior of all men,
– the Church as the Body of Christ,
– moral life.
I read through the excerpts (all from the "this is what's wrong" section, so, in a sense, reading a bit like a modern Syllabus of Errors) on Magister's site. Wow. Quite comprehensive and pulling no punches. It's pure "Against a Dictatorship of Relativism" here ... I'll have more when I've read the original Spanish text (I'm particularly interested in what "cure" they suggest)... but for now, a few things that struck me:

a) the critique of the over-reliance on the historical-critical method in the interpretation of Scripture

b) a very Dominus Iesus like critique of inter-religious relativism

c) a direct confrontation of the idea that the Church and the Gospel are necessarily opposed, or the idea that the Gospel means purely liberation from oppressive structures, and the labeling of the hierarchy as one of these oppressive structures

d) a critique of an attitude, particularly in consecrated life that equates "being prophetic" with criticism of Magisterial teaching.

Just one other thought: Magister hopes that in Spain this instruction "could be the basis for the Church's return to doctrinal order." Important as that is (extremely!) I think there's a very important aspect of ecclesial witness, particularly the witness of priests and bishops, that, I would suspect, would also have an important role to play in any thing that would hope to inspire a "re-evangelization" in the secularized Church.

Here's a link to the Spanish text: Teología y secularización en España. [Hmm. In the pdf form it's 26 pages long. I think I'll print it out at a cafe and read it offline. It's late here ... ]

No comments: