HISTORY OF "DEI VERBUM"
The discussion extended over all four sessions.
1. At first session, they were deadlocked on the matter of one or two
sources of revelation. John XXIII therefore created a special joint
commission representing both tendencies, to draw up a new text, which was
given out in May 1963.
On August 9, 1963 Bishop Schröffer of Eichstätt, Germany, a liberal on the
Theological commission told the bishops who were coming to the conference
at Fulda that the revised form was "the result of a laborious struggle",
and was just a compromise. He said that no more concessions could be
achieved. He sent along a letter from Rahner, backed by Grillmeier,
Semmelroth and Ratzinger saying that it was "a peaceful compromise which
avoids many causes of division, but which therefore avoids mentioning many
things concerning which additional doctrine would be welcome. So the
Fulda conference asked that the new schema should be discussed at the
Council not at the start of the second session but later. So it was not
listed for discussion at all.
But at the end of the second session the European Alliance managed to get
four new members on the Theological Commission.
The text had, "successfully skirted the difficult problem of defining
whether the whole of revelation was or was not contained in Sacred
Scripture" (W, p. 177).
P. 177: Bishop Compagnone of Anagni said they must not deviate from the
doctrine of Trent and Vatican I, which said tradition was more extensive
than Scripture. "Although the majority did not consider it opportune to
introduce this teaching in the text, care should be taken to avoid giving
the impression that the Council was turning its back on earlier
Council of Trent in DS 1501: "This general Council of Trent. . . seeing
that this truth and discipline are contained in written books and
unwritten traditions, which were received from the mouth of Christ Himself
by the Apostles, or from the Apostles themselves under the dictation of
the Holy Spirit [and] have come down to us handed down as it were, [This
Council] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, it [this Council]
accepts and venerates with equal devotion and reverence all the books of
both the Old and the New Testament, since God is the author of each, and
the tradition pertaining to both faith and morals, as orally given by
Christ or dictated by the Holy Spirit, and kept in continuous succession
in the Catholic Church."
P. 179: "'Pope Paul on September 14, sent the following quotation from St.
Augustine: 'There are many things which the entire Church holds, and they
are therefore correctly believed to have been taught by the Apostles, even
though they are not to be found in written form. ' For some reason, the
question was never brought up at any of the meetings of the Commission on
October 1, 4, and 6. A long and heated discussion took place on the
proposal of the 111 Council Fathers, and the decision was finally reached
on October 6 to retain the text unchanged."
P. 179: "The point at issue in Article 19, on the historicity of the
Gospels, was the phrase 'true and sincere things about Jesus' An amendment
prepared by the International Group was submitted by 158 Council Fathers
to reword the phrase to read 'true and sincere history' or 'true
historical narrative.'". . . But again the Theological Commission decided
not to change the text.
P. 180: A solution to the problem of Article 9 was submitted to Pope Paul
by Archbishop - now Cardinal - Florit, of Florence. . . . He suggested
that Pope Paul reconvene the commission and ask it to reconsider carefully
the necessity or the opportuneness, of stating explicitly in the schema
that not every Catholic doctrine could be proved from sacred Scripture
alone. The thorny problem of whether tradition contained more revealed
truths than Scripture was an altogether different question and would not
be touched on. . . . He proposed, therefore, the addition of these words
to Article 9: 'Consequently, not every Catholic doctrine can be proved
from Sacred Scripture alone.'"
P. 180: Complaints were also submitted to Pope Paul concerning Article 19,
and it was known that he himself felt the phrase 'true ad sincere things'
to be unconvincing and unsatisfactory. . . . .
P. 181: In a letter dated October 18 to Cardinal Ottaviani. . . the
Secretary of State enclosed further observations of Pope Paul on the three
disputed articles and informed the Cardinal of the Pope's decision to
reconvene the commission. . . . This letter had been dictated by the Pope
himself on October 17.
P. 182: After some discussion and balloting the Commission decided
to add to Article 9 the words: 'Consequently it is not from Sacred
Scripture alone that the Church draws its certainty about everything which
has been revealed.'
P. 182: "With regard to article 19, Cardinal Cicognani advised the
Commission that Pope Paul regarded the words 'true and sincere" as
insufficient. . . . It was then suggested that the historicity of the
Gospels should be asserted without equivocation earlier in the same
paragraph; this would preclude any ambiguity concerning the words 'true
and sincere', which could then be retained. This solution, which achieved
the purpose intended by the Pope and also contained the substance of his
proposal was voted upon and adopted. . . to read as follows: 'Holy Mother
Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold,
that the four Gospels. . . . whose historical character the Church
unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ. . . really
did and taught for their eternal salvation."
On Nov. 28 the Constitution was accepted 2344 to 6. The Pope at once