Spring 1969

Page 67



as a new theology. But because theology is a human science it ¡ can develop new insights, new understandings, new philosophical bases. And if its progress is under the aegis of Vatican II, these new insights, understandings and structures can be salutary and beneficial for the people of God. True, professedly the Council did not concern itself with doctrinal issues as such, nor rlid it issue any dogmatic pronouncements. But the tenor of its teachings in the pastoral vein betrays an uneasiness about an ecclesiological error that has long been rampant. Hopefully it laid to rest forever the conception of the Church as an institution that is primarily and formally eschatological, transhistorical, immutable, omniscient, impeccable, invested with absolute and supreme authority, a surrogate for the divine, an idol in the fullest sense. Happily it excoriated an even more subtle and pernicious error, that the ideal Church would be one frozen forever in the Tridentine paradigm. Yes, to refuse to 1¡espond to the teaching of Vatican II would not be heresy; but woulrl it lean to the brink of ecclesiological suicide?