11-September-2012 -- Catholic World News Brief |

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Vatican prefect strongly criticizes 'hermeneutic of discontinuity'

Calling for an attentive reading of the texts of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy said that Catholics must reject the "hermeneutic of discontinuity" in interpreting them.

"The Holy Father has recently defined as 'unacceptable' the hermeneutic of discontinuity," said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, referring to a May 24 papal address.

He added:

The continuity of the one Body of the Church, prior to being a hermeneutic criterion, that is a manner by which to interpret texts, is a theological reality, which is deeply rooted in the selfsame act of faith which prompts us to profess "I believe in One Church." For such a reason, some sort of dichotomy between pre- and post-Vatican II is unthinkable, and certainly one must refute both the positions of those who see in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council a "new beginning" of the Church as well as those who discern the "true Church" only prior to this historical Council. No one can arbitrarily decide whether and when the "true Church" started. Sprung forth from the side of Christ, and fortified by the effusion of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Church is One and Only, until the consummation of history, and within the communion by means of which will come to be actualized in eternity.

"Certainly a desacralized liturgy, or that reduced to a 'human representation,' in which the Christological and theological dimensions vanish until they are displaced, is not what the letter and spirit of Sacrosanctum Concilium intended," Cardinal Piacenza added, referring to the Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. "This does not justify, nonetheless, the position of those who in their own turn have also wed themselves to the hermeneutic of discontinuity, denying Conciliar reform, considering them as betrayals of a longed-for 'true Church.'"



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