The Last Battle of Lagrange

The Last Battle of Lagrange 2018-03-07


Fr. Albert, O.P.

On October 11, 1962, Pope John XXIII pronounced in his discourse inaugurating the Second Vatican Council these words so heavy with consequences:

Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure [of the doctrine of the faith], as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but earnestly and fearlessly to dedicate ourselves to the work our age demands of us....The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has been repeatedly taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a Council was not needed. But from renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church... the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a leap forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a

formation of consciences....
The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and

the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into consideration-with patience if need be-while weighing everything in the forms and statements of a teaching activity that is predominantly pastoral in character)1

When he relates this text, Fr. Giuseppe Alberigo, in his History of the Council perceives its importance, for he comments:

This was an important methodological guideline, since it situated the work of the Council Fathers at the heart of the Christian message, while at the same time urging them to present this message to the world in an updated way.2.........(cont'd)
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