Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Catholic Plenitude

“When the pope makes an act of doctrinal authority, this is no exterior yoke imposed by a particular man on a religious society in the name of his own intelligence, even though it might be that of a genius. He is defining the faith of the Church. He is in no way subject to her consent; yet the truth he translates into our language and renders precise is the truth by which she lives; the belief whose meaning he confirms is our belief—he analyzes its content, counters its potential weakening, and maintains its vigor. Thus, when we say to the Church, in the words which the Apostle used to Christ, who founded her: ‘To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life’, this is not in virtue of some fatigue of spirit, which seeks to place itself under an authority to escape the effort of thought and the labor of living; rather it is, as Newman put it, in virtue of a sense of coming to rest in the Catholic plenitude.”

-Msgr. Blanchet, at the Institut Catholique inaugural Mass, November 1950.

No comments: