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Head of the "Vehicle" in The Burning Bush on the facade of Temple B'nail Israel, Charleston, W. Va.; Milton Hom, Sculptor. ·

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CHICAGO

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STUDIES

EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor George J. Dyer Associate Editor

Business¡ Manager

John F. Dedek

Richard J. Wojcik

Production Manager

Exe<JUtive Assistant

Edmund J. Siedlecki

Marjorie M.

~ukas

Editorial Advisors¡ Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. Gerard T. Broccolo Agnes Cunningham, sscm James P. Doyle John F. Fahey John R. Gorman Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. Willard F. Jabusch George J. Kane Edward H. Konerman, S.J.

Thomas B. McDonough Mary Peter McGinty, C.S.J. George K. Malone Stephen J. Mangan Charles R. Meyer Jos'll'h J. O'Brien Robert A. Reicher Richard F. Schroeder Edward J. Stokes, S.J. Thomas F. Sullivan

CHICAGO STUDIES i~ edited by the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago for the continuing education of the .clergy. The editors welcome articles and letters likely to be of interest to our readers. All communications regarding articles and editorial policy should be addressed to the editors. Subscriptions should be sent to CHICAGO STUDIES, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Subscription rates: $5.00 a year, $9.00 for two years, $16.00 for four years; Foreign subscribers: add 50c per year. CHICAGO STUDIES is published three times a year with ecclesiastical permission and copyright, 1972, by Civitas Dei Foundation, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Third Class postage paid at St. Meinrad, .Ind. Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or editorial board. Indexed in The Catholic Periodical Index and New Testament Abstracts. Microfilms of current and backfi!e volumes of CHICAGO STUDIES are now available from University Microfilms, Inc., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by self addressed stamped envelope.


VOLUME 11

SPRING, 1972

NUMBER 1

~on Ienis Articles Cha1·les R. Meyer

THE OTHER WORLD

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REMAKING MAN

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John F. Dedek

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Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.

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Joseph Sittler

LAWS OF THE CHURCH

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John O'Callaghan, S.J.

MARIOLOGY POST-VATICAN II

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Ernest Lussier, S.S.S.

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Tirnothy E. O'Connell

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT: A REVIEW ARTICLE THEOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS OF LUTHERAN-CATHOLIC DIALOGUE CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE AND

THE SEARCH FOR CHRISTIAN MORAL NORMS THE PRIESTHOOD AS A RELIGIOUS EVENT

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Michael J. Buckley, S.J.


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The Other World Today's youth are searching for religious experience . They want to feel the presence of God.

The use of drugs by the young people of our ·time is undoubtedly having many deleterious effects upon society. But one by-product of it may eventually prove helpful to the theologian. The psychedelic trip has been instrumental in focussing the attention of researchers on the nature of human conscious'.~:\ ness. One of the first observations that can be made about consciousness is that it is radically limited, but indefinitely expansible. Indeed consciousness itself like the world it represents has a definite dimensionality. Its dimensions are created by the sense percepts involved in it, and perception in turn is highly nuanced by the·nature and function of the sense-organs from which it springs and the brain to which these organs are linked by electro-chemical reactive networks. One can become reflexively aware not only of a limen or terminator of sensation, but of consciousness as well. That is, one can by the use of scientific instrumentation and logical argument come to the realiza3


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tion of the existence of reality or facets of reality that lie beyond what he is immediately conscious of, and thus of a kind of line of demarcation or limitation beyond which his direct consciousness is quenched. But the strange thing that modern psychological research has placed in evidence is that under certain conditions he may be able to experience that reality of which he is not immediately conscious. The phenomena of posthypnotic suggestion and ESP are but just two cases in point. Contrary to popular belief, consciousness and experience are not exactly coterminous but only cotangential. But it is possible both for an individual personally and a society at large to cultivate at least an indirect awareness of facets of reality that are not_ actually perceptible to others whose consciousness is locked in on different dimensions of the same reality. The resulting divergent nature of the quality of awareness itself has been described by Reich and others as Consciousness I, II, and III. If the fabulous highly intelligent creature from outer space were one day to land on earth and stay for only a short time, he might well report back to his people that our planet is a dark wasteland bereft of organic life. If his "eyes" were not responsive at all to the visible spectt¡um, but only to the high frequency, super-energized photons that lie beyond the ultra-violet range, it is clear to see that the dimensionality of his consciousness would be totally diverse from ours. He would not live in the macrocosm where objects can be distinguished from one an'other by their color and shape, but in a microcosm where molecular structure predominates. Conversely, it is possible that astronauts from eai-th landing on some distant planet in outer space would not immediately become aware of the teeming life that exists there. Man existed on this earth for millions of years without 'being aware of the bacterial life that swarms in every nook and cranny of our planet!

Today's youth are searcl'ling for an experience of the divine. They want to feel the presence of the God who is totally other, who lives beyond the tried logic of religiosity: the _God of Jesus and the gospels. They expect their gurus to know all about such an experience: how to seek it; how to interpret it; how to con¡elate it with what Jesus proclaimed in the gospel;


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how to square it away with what their science classes tell them about the universe in which they live.

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Those who have had a peak religious experience see numinosity as one of its outstanding characteristics. That is, such experiences have an aura of other-worldly, eschatological reality about them. They are freighted with other-worldly values.

'. ACCULTURATION OF ESCHATOLOGY

Today we hear little about heaven or hell: "the world that largely occupied the attention of Jesus. But is the blame for this dearth to be placed upon ministers, or primarily upon theologians who have failed to offer any construct of the eschaton consonant with today's consciousness? There is no doubt that in the past both ministers and theologians were deeply concerned with giving people some idea of the other world which religion promised. If life after death was the goal of those who followed Jesus and gave up their life in this world, people naturally wanted to know more about that eschatological existence. They wanted to know if it would be worth the price they had to pay for it. The symbol of the great banquet prepared by the king may have only a messianic and not an overly eschatological tone as it is rendered by Luke (14 :15-24), but the parallel pericope in Matthew (22 :1-14) according to the opinion of some scholars makes reference to the future life. The phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth" ( v. 13) has for Matthew definite eschatological overtones. Further evidences of the understanding by the early Christian community of these texts as references to a celestial banquet are given by catacumbal art. If it can be presumed that everybody likes a party, and if

among oriental peoples it was considered a special breach of etiquette to decline an invitation to a feast given by a prominent person, the parable might well imply an indictment against the servants of the king. The failure of the prophets and ministers of the Lord to show forth what he had promised to those who serve him faithfully and loyally as something truly pleasant and delightful prompted Jesus to emphasize this aspect of

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his mission. But even his doctrine was at first rejected, and he was put to death because of it, because it seemed so different from what the prophets had foretold. Only eventually, after Jesus' resurrection, could the idea he proposed about man's future life, about eternal feasting or punishment, be accepted. Up until very recently theology has been very parsimonious in its speculations on the life of the other world. The old models ¡ and images were considered .saCrosanct, and consequently they failed to be integrated with rapidly developing scientific views of the universe. The first Russian cosmonaut undoubtedly thought he was, as a good atheist, shaking the faith of many when he announced that he found no evidence of God in the space above the earth. And because theology failed to do its job, ministers were¡ unable properly to do theirs. They could not tell people where God's heaven was, nor just what it might be like. They had to let the faithful continue to think that it was located someplace up above the earth. Anthropology gives evidence of a deep acculturation of concepts about the particulars of the life after death promised by most of the world's religions. Among the most affluent peoples it is seen essentially as a translation of earthly life to a different locale. Among the extremely poor it entails a total and perfect reversal of earthly experience. Many peoples, particularly in the east, hope to survive by means of a kind of metempsychosis ; they believe that they will continue to live on earth but in a different form, in other human bodies, or those of animals. Still others hope to achieve a state of altered existence, living in some analogous sense as shades or ghosts. In pantheistic beliefs death means reabsorption into more formally divine modalities of existence. Still other peoples believe in survival only of the community; individuals will pass away and become part of some cosmic consciousness. Almost every religion writes its own ticket to the future life, a ticket that meets the needs and propensities of the culture it serves. For some the only requirement is a proper burial, like mummification, or a bodily sign, like pierced nose or ear lobes. Others demand some kind of ritualistic initiation. A special kind of knowledge or gnosis or the observance of certain


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taboos or ethical norms are important for still others. A few religions demand all of these norms or certain combinations of them. But the people find out definitely from their priests and shamans just what they must do, and what they have to hope for if they observe the proper requirements. CURRENT THEOLOCHCAL SPECULATION

In our time Karl Rahner has made some attempt to address himself to one of the difficulties posed by the Christian concept of the other world. Thomistic theologians maintain that the human soul to the extent that it differs from a pure spirit like an angel must always retain some essential relationship to matter. In the scholastic view body and soul make up the complete substance of man. The soul existing without the body is not really a complete substance. Nor can the soul by itself be really considered a person, but only a supposite! To' con: tinue to be what it is after death, then, the soul must remain in a transcendental relationship to some material reality. Rahner is of the opinion that this relationship has to be real: that is, that there has to be some definite material substance toward which the soul is essentially orientated. He would not think that this matter is just the dead body, for it ceases to be an unum pe'r se without its proper form; nor even the individual molecules that make it up, because they have their own forms. Rather it seems that the soul, now freed from its relationship to this definite segment of matter, is able to assume fuller and more extensive kind of orientation. Because it is still a soul, and not a pure spirit, it cannot exist in some kind of totally "acosmic" state. What it achieves through death is really a "pancosmic" relationship, that is, it is now transcendentally orientated toward the whole universe of matter. This does not mean, of course, that in some way the whole universe becomes the soul's own body, nor that the soul becomes universally present wherever there is some matter. The relationship of the soul to universal matter is described in more existentialistic terms as a basic openness to the whole universe. As form, the soul's influence was restricted directly to its body. But after death this restriction is removed. It can move and exercise its influence, not as a form to be sure, but as a cause, on matter wherever it is to be found. This action in the uni-

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verse defines and preserves the soul's essential orientation toward matter. Some of the Fathet¡s of the Church, notably among them St. Gregory the Great and St. Jerome, at times advance the idea that in eschatological times heaven and earth will not completely pass away, will not be totally destroyed. They will rather pass over into a new form of existence. There will not be a different heaven and a different earth; the present ones will be transformed into a dwelling place for the elect when they receive their bodies again at the general resun¡ection. Theological speculations like those of Rahner (and Boros who seents to have an idea very much like hi¡s) and some of the Fathers may open the way to a consideration of the other world as not so distinct or different from this one. And if such a consideration is possible, certain scientific facts may exercise an influence upon the theological development of a model of the other world for the people of our time. SCIENCE, THE NEW MATRIX OF THEOLOGY

Karl Marx once said that man is his action upon the world. Indeed if we consider the physical makeup of the human body we find it to be a seething mass of electro-chemical forces in action and reaction, never at any one given time exactly the same as it was before or is to be after. There is no scientific instrument at present sensitive enough to measure at some distance from the body the electric field or electromagnetic waves set up by this acticm. Yet they do exist, though their energy output is extremely small. The output of the human brain for a whole hour is just about enough to light up a small light bulb. But small as it is, there is no reason to believe that this electromagnetic energy does not follow the physical laws of propagation. The potential of that energy will vary in inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the radiating source. When one has an infinitesmally small amount to begin with, one would have hardly anything left as a distance from earth, say equal to that of the moon. But the point is, that, irretrievable as it might be with the known possibilities of instrumentation, it is never absolutely lost. As the distance increases the potential difference to ground approaches


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zero. But, theoretically speaking, it never reaches zero. Given the proper detector, it might even be discovered billions of light years later at the outer reaches of the currently known universe. If I could travel at a speed many times greater than that of light and station myself in space at the proper distance from earth with a highly efficient and extremely sensitive photomultiplier device, it would theoretically be possible for me to get a view of earth as it was in the past, for instance, in 1775. And if I could pan in without distortion on a particular segment of the total maelstrom of radiation, I might possibly get.a picture of George Washington in action. It sounds like science-fiction, and indeed, writers and television script-men have capitalized on this notion, but it is not without foundation in scientific fact. In the light of these data, Rahner's view may not be as farfetched as it might seem to the practical man of today. It may well be a theological vision that can be co-ordinated in some way with the scientific knowledge of the present. RELATIVITY OF THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM

More important for our discussion of the other world in relation to religious experience in this one, however, is the current scientific view of the space-time continuum in which man is enveloped: Tridimensional space and time are the four parameters in which human earthly experience is unfolded and along which it is measured to the extent that it can be. Yet these parameters are, as is well known both from philosophy and science, logical constructs corresponding not fully, but only in some basic way to the relational realities they represent. The basis of that correspondence is in the subjective percepts of duration, of binocular visual fields, and tactile contact with the energy vectors of matter. As was stated the as yet hypothetical creature from outer space with radically different sense-organs and a differently functioning brain might well be supposed to be able to perceive entirely different dimensions of reality. There is some suggestion of the variability of dimensional perception in the popular movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. At the end of the picture one of the travellers on the spaceship


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Discovery I, having grown rather old, finds himself suddenly in an apartment with sixteenth century furnishings. Its ceiling and floor are translucent. He looks in a milTor and beholds there a body even more advanced in age seated in splendor at a small dining table. A glass falls and shatters, and the subject sees himself on his death bed looking at the monolith that throughout the picture has betokened a numinous presence beckoning to transcendence of' former states of consciousness. Every time it appears consciousness is expanded to encounter a new dimension of reality. On the astronaut's head is a translucent orb shaped like a space-helmet. It expands, and he finds himself in it like a child tucked away in a celestial womb. THE DIMENSIONALITY OF TIME

The relative nature of the measuring sticks of time is well illustrated by the physical phenomenon known as the Doppler effect. If I am sitting in my car at a railroad crossing waiting for a train to go by, its whistle sounds more shrill to me as the train approaches and more low-pitched as it recedes. But a person on the train perceives it to have the same pitch all the time. As the train approaches the crossing more sound waves strike my ear per unit time than strike the ear of a person on the train, since the speed of the train has to be added to the equation when it takes into account my position. Just the opposite occurs when the train moves away from me. Its speed has to be subtracted in the equation I would use to get the number of waves striking my fixed spot per unit of time. This phenomenon applies to all kinds of radiation, including light (which is our measuring stick for time) as Einstein will realized. The shift toward red in the spectrograph of stars photographed in their position far from the earth indicates their motion to be away from the earth (or earth's away from them) ; were they moving toward us the shift would occur in the violet end of the visible spectrum. From this evidence the scientific theory of the expanding universe originates. It also follows that on a spaceship moving at speeds approaching that of light away from the earth time would pass more slowly relative to earth. Thus while the astronauts spend one year according to their calculations aboard ship, earth calendars might advance five. Of course, in coming back the


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process would be reversed, so that when they landed their time would jibe exactly with earth's. Relative to an entirely different time system, say, that of Mars, ahead of the spaceship as it moves away from earth, time would speed up. Thus on the same spaceship time would be slowing down and speeding up at the same time, but relative to tw.o different systems. SPACE AND DIMENSIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Nor are spatial dimensions any less relative, though it may be harder to see. Length, width and depth are all mental constructs based on perception. No natural reality exactly corresponds to them. I perceive now the edge of my desk as a straight line. I know that no such thing as a line exists, but the edge of the desk is very real to me and seems to represent one dimension of the total structure. An adventure into the microcosm would soon change my mind. If I could see the molecules and atoms arranged along what I perceived to be the edge of my desk, I would be in a new world of dimension. The edge really would be indefinable. Brownian movements send desk material (if I could identify it) into air material and vice versa. The adjacent wall too is involved in the transfer. No wonder Einstein could say that, given enough time, I might be able to perceive the desk pass through the wall and into the next room! Einstein rather simply illustrates both the relational and interlocking nature of our perceptual universe of space-time. It constitutes a unit system in which all dimensions are both relative to one another and connected with one another. Suppose, he says, we take our instruments for measuring space and time onto a platform which we believe to be suspended motionless in space. We will never be able to prove, of course, tl!at our platform is really motionless, even if we can sight other objects in space, because even though we do not seem to move relative to them, the whole system may actually be moving. We do tend, however, to designate the place where we are as motionless in such a situation, and ascribe any movement we perceive to other bodies. Suppose tl!ere is another platform identical in shape with ours moving by us at a speed of about 5 x 10' feet per second. Granted that we could get a glimpse of that platform as it sped by, and that we knew we had painted


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a circle on it, what would we see? Not a circle at all, but an ellipse! And we would note that its short diameter would lie in the direction of the motion. The amount of its shortening from the full diameter of the circle we had painted would vary in direct proportion to the speed of the platform, so that, if the second platform accelerated to the speed of light and we could still observe it, what we had perceived as a circle we would now see as a straight line perpendicular to the direction of motion. A dimension would have been lost! An observer on the moving platform would, of course, still see the circle as a circle. But he too and any measuring instrument he had with him on the moving platform would lose a spatial dimension relative to the supposedly fixed platform. If we slowed the moving platform to produce an ellipse relative to the stationary one, and placed in the short diameter a yardstick which we used to measure the exact diameter of the circle we drew, it, of course, would still indicate one yard, for its dimension would also be reduced along the line of travel. At slower speeds, to be sure, this shortening would be imperceptible. DIMENSIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE OTHER WORLD

This is not scientific fiction, but the stuff out of which the scientifically recognized theory of relativity grew. And it is based upon unassailable geometric and mathematical reasoning. In the tridimensional, ordinary, visible world of Euclid, the world of the layman in mathematics and physics, there is no accounting for this phenomenal chimera. But in our time the terminator of consciousness has been pushed back, our consciousness has been expanded, to envision the reality of this quadri-dimensional understanding of the universe. In today's world, the quadri-dimensional world of atomic and astrophysics, the Euclidian chimera becomes a fact. The geometry of Euclid supposes a world of three dimensions. The geometry of Riemann is open to a world of n-dimensions. In this very real world of ours there are possibilities of an indefinite number of dimensional systems, each one self-contained, but able to relate the same reality in different and even contrary ways, system to system. Because of the quality of our consciousness now, we live in a quadri-dimensional world, a world of time, length, width and


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depth (tlwd), for short, the world of time. The other world to which we believe the departed go, and in which God dwells in a vastly different way from the way he appears in this one, has only one known dimension: eternity (e) but may well have others also that will turn up in some future theological investigation (xyz). We may conceive the two worlds then as two diverse dimensional systems ( tlwd-exyz) of the same vast material reality we call the universe. There is no contradiction at all if, relative to the diverse systems of time and eternity, radically different things happen, from our perspective, "at the same time." Thus while we are placing the body of a deceased person in the grave in the dimensional system by which our consciou.sness is now bounded, the tlwd system, relative to the totally different system of our belief, the exyz system, that' body is risen and taking part in celestial activity. The terminator of consciousness of that peri;on is moved to allow the perception of this entirely new dimensional system. The reality that we call the universe may indeed fold in upon itself and well up outside of itself to form the foundation of any number of dimensional systems. The only symbols that we have to represent these possible systems are mathematical, because all our words are the product of our customary percepts of dimension. How can we speak except in terms of length, width and depth? But the mathematicians and physi-¡ cists assure us not only that in their language there is absolutely no contradiction or absurdity in such an hypothesis, but that certain physical data, like the deviation of photons in gravitational fields, could be better explained by such a theory. If a scientific hypothesis like this can find its way into our theology as a model for the other world that is more intelligible to modern man, then God may not be as far off as one might suspect. Peak religious experience might involve only a repositioning of the terminator of consciousness to provide a fleeting glimpse of the other system. It would be a moment of kairos, when one becomes conscious in some nebulous way of eternity touching time. And if such moments could be better cultivated and appreciated, the quality of Christian consciousness itself might well be altered and expanded to allow a better view of this other dimensional system.


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LINK WITH THE PAST

In the middle ages in highly Christian cultures superstitious belief placed certain spaces and certain times outside of the ambit of this world. Churches could become places of refuge for criminals of all kinds, even murderers. Architectural design, light streaming through strained-glass windows as well as the mystic rites and symbols its walls enclosed created the impression among the people that the space a church occupied was truly sacral, a little bit of heaven on earth, not a part of this world at all. The hymns they sang in those days reflected the same notion : Alto ex Olympi vertice Summi Parentis Filius Ceu monte desectus lapis Terras in imas decidens, Domus supernae et infunae Utrumque iunxit angulum. Indeed many of the faithful felt that the time they spent at Mass or in other liturgical worship would not be ¡counted by God in the span of their earthly life. They could actually live longer by spending as much time as possible at sacred rites. Such ideas adumbrate in a primitive and undeveloped way the compenetration of worlds which today's consciousness can well embrace and purge of superstitious elements. Experience at times of the other world lying across the terminator of consciousness is a very potent factor in leading men even in today's sophisticated society to wonder and perhaps to affirm with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that something significant is afoot in the universe. That significant thing can well be seen as a love that is unlimited and surpasses man's wildest imaginings. It is pushing, impelling, guiding and directing the scattered elements of the universe to seek one another, so that not only this world, but also the next may come into being.


John F. Dedek MORAL SURVEY V

Remaking Man The life sciences have made possible the re-doing of the race. How does a moral theowgian view genetic engineering?

In Come. Let us Play God Leroy Augenstein wisely observed, "The abortion dilemma is only the cun-ently visible small fraction of the very large iceberg dealing with the control of the quality of human life." Quickly emerging from the underside of this iceberg is the problem of genetic manipulation and the re-creation of man. It is by now widely know that the lifesciences, especially the recent discoveries in molecular biology, have made possible the re-doing of the human race. Until 1944 the life sciences provided only qualitative descriptions. They were not one of the exact sciences like physics or chemistry, using precise measurements which could lay the basis for confident predictions and mechanical manipulations. The breakthrough in the life sciences, comparable to the breakthroughs in physics by Galileo and Newton and in chemistry by Lavoisier, came in 1944 when Oswald T. Avery and his two associates at the Rockerfeller Institute discovered the properties 15


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of a strange substance called d.;,:ll<;yribonucleic acid (DNA). Experiments of James D. Watson a:rici Francis Crick in 1953 c·o~firmed that DNA is the "secret of life." Hidden in the spiral-staircase structure of this, the master molecule of life, are locked the mysteries of.heredity, growth, aging, disease, and perhaps even memory and -intelligence. The recent discoveries of molecular biology have given man enormous power over human life. He has the scientific knowledge enabling him to radically manipulate and refashion the human species. All that is necessary is the development of certain technological skills. Some of the necessary techniques are ·already available. The others will be developed in time. In the past technology has been able to harness and make general use of scientific breakthroughs within about sixty years. For instance, within sixty years Oersted's accidental discovery of the connection between electricity and magnetism in 1820 . was channeled by technology into electrical generators and motors, the telegraph, the incandescent light and the electrification' of the world. ·The "Edison effect" first discovered by Thomas Edison in 1883 gave birth to the science of electronics and v{ithin sixty years was put to use in the production of ·radios, television and gigantic computers. In 1896 Becquerel's observation of certain properties of uranium made it possible within fifty years for scientists to smash atoms and atoms to smash cities. In 1926 Goddard sent the first rocket powered with liquid fuel and liquid oxygen 184 feet in the air at a speed of 60 miles an hour; within thirty-five years technological advances enabled us to put men into orbit around the earth and within fifty years to land men on the moon. The possibilities laid open by the cracking of the genetic code and by other recent discoveries in the life sciences already have been widely publicized in the media. Artificial insemination of human beings has been going on since 1884. It is estimated that about 150,000 people in the United States have been conceived through artificial insemination and that 10,000 people are born each year through such conception. Frozen sperm will enable men to generate sons and daughters long after their own death. Artificial inovulation also will soon be feasible in humans. An ovum taken directly from the ovaries will be fertilized in a


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test tube and the zygote will be· rei~ planted in the uterus. Or the·zygote can be implanted in the uterus of another woman who will carry it through the gestation . period and bring the child to birth . (One fanciful accqunt pictures a woman strolling through a special kind of market selecting frozen embryos guaranteed free from all genetic defects and described on ·the labels as to sex, eye color, probable IQ, and so on ..The embryo selected can be brought home, thawed out, and implanted by· a physician.) After·the perfection of an artificial placenta another option will be ectogenesis, gestation in an artificial womb. Asexual reproduction also is on the horizon and most likely will be practicable in human beings before the end of the present century. It already has been successfully achieved in lower animals. One method is ,by nuclear transplantation or cloning. The nucleus of the unfertilized ovum will be destroyed by ultraviolet raditation and then replaced by the nucleus of a cell taken from the body of some man or woman. The ovum then will have a full set of chromosomes and so will begin to' divide as if it had been fertilized and eventually will develop into· the · identical twin of the person who supplies the nucleus for the. transplant. In this way exact copies or replicas of any human being will be able to be made. No sexual activity will be involved, and there will be no admixture of the chromosomal material or genetic information of a second person in the newly xeroxed human being. This process of producing clones of genetically identical individuals already has been successful with tadpoles and frogs. The technical problems involved in doing the same with men should be solved before the end of this century. The possibilities are intriguing. Carbon .copies could be made of certain men and women like Linus Pauling, Werner von Braun, Simon and Garfunkle, Joe Namuth, Golda Meir, AnnMargaret, Raquel Welch, Dan Berrigan, Johnny Carson, or yourself. Also by a ·process of "clonal farming" people could provide for themselves genetically identical spare organs or parts in case an organ transplant ever became necessary. Also expected is the creation of animal-human chimeras. This will be accomplished by introducing certain non-human genetic material into developing human embryos or. human


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genetic material into developing sub-human embryos. Thus a new species of parahumans will be created to be used in servile jobs. Also possible will be the mixture of animals aud plants and the production of cyborgs, combinations of man and machine. Genetic surgery (micro- or nano-surgery) also may be practiced before the end of this century. Genetic defects will be able to be corrected by the removal of mutant genes or the introduction of normal genes which are either transplanted from other organisms or synthesized chemically. Also man as he now exists will be reengineered : he will be genetically programmed, for instance, so as to grow au extra thumb for more efficient hands, develop protruding eyes for better peripheral vision, develop a larger brain, or acquire the power to regenerate organs like the lungs or heart. Once technology has caught up with science man can take hold of his own evolution and reengineer himself in whatever direction he thinks best. It is easy to see that scientific progress is not all that hangs in the balance here. Some rather basic human values are at stake. Francis Crick has remarked that "there is going to be no agreement between Christians and any humanists who lack their particular prejudice about the sanctity of the individual, and who simply want to try it scientifically." Another American scientist auononiously revealed that "if I can carry a baby all the way through to birth in vitro, I certainly plan to do italtho, obviously I'm not going to succeed on the first attempt or even the twentieth." Discussing the moral concerns of the Church Francois Houtart argued that "the problem of tomorrow is the control of genetics." And Richard McCormick commented, "If genetics is the problem of tomorrow, it is already the problem of today if we are to wrest from technology the dictation of policy in this vitally important sphere."

The Church does not need au other Galileo case. Neither does she need to rush in to baptize whatever is scientifically aud technologically possible. That something is technologically possible does not mean that it is therefore desirable or that mau ought to do it. Man has uncovered secrets which will allow him to produce human beings in test tubes, control human evolution, and alter the species. Entering on this course will be


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the most fateful in his history. What is more, profound human and religious values are involved, for instance marriage and the family, parenthood, human life; and freedom. These values are certain to be challenged by the new embroyologists. But the decision cannot go to science and technology by default. Man must decide, and so the Christian is forced to reexamine his traditional values in the light of the Gospel as well as in the light of the new possibilities now laid open for mankind. Gustafson has stated the issue for Christians: "Are there limits to man's tampering with human life which have a ... direct relationship to religious beliefs."

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ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

According to Helmut Thielicke, "the borderline situations which compell us to seek the ways and wherefores" are the "truly propitious places for acquiring knowledge." AID is such a borderline. Its consideration will sort out at the start one of the fundamental ethical issues inherent in the eugenic proposals of the revolutionary biologists . .

Eugenic proposals for the improvement of the human race are not new. The possibilities of eugenic sterilization and donor insemination have been with us for a long time. But because these techniques have clashed with certain traditional values, they have never been seriously considered by most men. \Vhat forces us to consider them more seriously now is the predicted genetic future of the human race. There is a divergence of scientific opinion about man's genetic future. But it is generally acknowledged that there is a problem, and most scientists view the outcome pessimistically. Many believe that unless man takes hold of his genetic future the inevitable prognosis is for the extinction of the human species. Paul Ramsey reports the predictions of the late Nobel Prize winner, Hetman J. Miiller. According to MUller and his school of geneticists, if the human race is to survive we must control the quality as well as the quantity of our human population. Euphenics (the science and art of improving or correcting the defects and illnesses of people without affecting their genes) makes its advances at the expence of eugenics. The more progress man makes in correcting defects in the phenotype, the

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greater burden of bad genes the race must bear. For by correcting or preventing the expression of detrimental genes euphenics permits the survival of the biologically unfit, and so the biologically unfit continue to procreate more like themselves. Therefore what is good for the individual and the generation now alive is bad for the human race. For instance, genetic defects like myopia, diabetes, mental ¡retardation, etc. continue to spread and increase in the human race as long as medical science keeps people with these defects alive until they are able to procreate more of the same. What is more, in addition ti> the load of genetic defects received from previous generations, twenty percent of the present generation suffer new deleterious mutations. Therefore just to keep the race at the present level, twenty percent of us will have to become genetically extinct. Because of the continuing advances of euphenics and the continuing deleterious genetic mutations the genetic load carl'ied by the human race will finally crush it. According to Miiller, within a few million years human beings will be a lot of "hopeless utterly diverse genetic monstrosities." All of society's efforts will be consumed in simple ministering to infirmities. Everyone will be an invalid and will have to exhaust his energies in simply staying alive. This hospital civilization will finally break down (especially since the doctors will be subject to the same genetic deterioration), and man will not be saved from his own biological corruption. And so the human race will end, not with a bang but a whimper. Ramsey focuses the ethical question from the point of view of a Christian. First, he points out that when a Christian hears Muller's gloomy prediction that a time will come when there will be¡ no more like us to come after us, he will have to reply that he knew this all along. The Chl'istian Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation and Mark 13 and parallel passages tell us the same news in other rhetoric. That we are made out of genes and unto genes we shall return is consonant with the Christian belief that God means to kill us all in the end. This does not imply that the Christian will do nothing or be fatalisticly unconcern.ed about genetic detel'ioration and the

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extinction of the human race .. But it does mean, Ramsey says, that as he goes about the urgent business of preventing this calamity he knows that he is not obliged by any absolute command of God to succeed in his endeavor. He is not bound to succeed in preventing the extinction of the race through genetic deterioration any more than he is bound to prevent planets from colliding with the earth or the cooling of the sun, especially since success is not promised to him by either Scripture or sound reason. In other words, the Christian knows that he is not bound to succeed at any cost. He knows that he cannot deduce his obligations from some absolutely imperative end but also must have an ethic of means. In discharging his obligation to future generations he also is obliged not to dehumanize the present generation of men. Thielicke's remark that an "act of compassion to one generation can be an act of oppression to the next" cuts both ways. To avoid the genetic cul-de-sac into which the human race is heading Miiller proposes that we begin a system of breeding human beings toward a desired genotype. Attempts at negative eugenics, breeding out bad genes, offer little hope of gain for the human race, since the bad genes will be preserved as recessives in great numbers in heterozygotes like man. What is needed now, Miiller says, is the establishment of deep frozen sperm banks together with detailed records of the life and health of the phenotype donor. Donors should be selected from among the outstanding men of our time, and a campaign of education and propaganda should be launched so that in twenty years most women will freely choose to be inseminated by the sperm of one of these intellectual, emotional or moral geniuses. Quickly passing over the scientific and socio-psychological objections that might be raised against this plan, Ramsey moves straight to a moral problem which rises in Christian ethics. The Christian understanding of human sexuality is based not on natural law in the sense that it is derived from a reflection on biological function. Rather it is based on the Christian story of creation which is found, not in the book of Genesis, but in the Prologue of St. John's gospel and Ephesians 5. Here


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we leam that God created evetything out of his love: God's love is creative. Human love is made in the image of God's love; hence human love is procreative. God's love is normative for human love. Therefore we may not separate in principle our love and our procreation. That is to say, we may not separate the spheres of personal love and procreation. This does not mean that each individual act of Jove must be procreative: it does not mean that contraception is immoral. But it does mean that fornication and AID are immoral-fomication because it separates the spheres of personal Jove from the sphere of responsible procreation, and AID because it separates the sphere of procreation from the sphere of personal Jove. To separate the two is "a refusal of the image of God's creation in our own." What is at stake, therefore, in Ramsey's view is the Christian meaning of Jove and parenthood. This, of course, can be questioned. For is not conception through AID merely a kind of pre-adoption? And is not an adopted child also the fruit of Jove? Michael Hamilton puts it this way: "Parenthood in its deepest sense is not a biological but a human functionof a man and wife accepting responsibility for caring for and rearing a child .... I believe that the demand of Jove in relation to parenthood is fulfilled in ensuring that all children born into this world, by whatever means, be reared in a family." Commenting on Hamilton's contribution McCormick observed that limiting the notion of love and parenthood to caring for and rearing a child is a "radical attack on several basic humano-Christian values (the meaning of human sexuality, the meaning of marriage and parenthood)." For in the Christian perspective the parental love that nurtures is an extension or continuation of the sexual love that generates: parents do not love their children simply because they are there and in need of Jove; they love them because they are the fruit of their love for one another. Besides, McCormick argues, Hamilton's distinction between a merely biological function and a human function reflects a dualistic anthropology. Men Jove and care not only with their minds but with their bodies, with their sexuality. The biological function of sexual intercourse is not separable from but is the human function of loving.


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At the present stage of the debate I think it is fair to say that the arguments of Ramsey and McCormick are persuasive. But they do not close the question beyond doubt. They provide a satisfactory rationale for our traditional understanding of sexuality, marriage and parenthood. This understanding reflects human values which 1¡un rather deep and have been with us a long time. It would be next to impossible, or at least extremely difficult, to ever change them. But I do not think that the arguments have the decisive cogency that Ramsey seems to attribute to them. A more modest and sensible conclusion was reached by Charles Curran when he wrote: "J do believe that at the present time in our circumstances sexuality has its proper expression, value and meaning in the marital realm within which the procreative and love union aspects of sexuality are joined together. However, one can envision a possibility in which greater values might be at stake and call for some type of altering the way in which Christian marriage now tries to preserve these important values. For example, if the dire predictions of Muller were universally accepted and mankind did face a genetic apocalypse in the near future, then the entire situation might be changed. It seems that even the Scriptures witness many cases in which the understanding of marriage had to be changed because of the conditions of the times (e.g. polygamy) .... I agree with Ramsey's understanding of things as they are at present, but his argumentation and his prospect in the future do not seem to give enough place to historicity." A

NOTE ON THE MAGISTERIUM

On March 24, 1897 the question was put to the Holy Office: Can artificial fecundation of a woman be used 7 The answer: It is not permitted. This reply was approved and confirmed by the Holy Father. One of the issues scarcely hiding he1¡e was masturbation. Masturbation, judged intrinsically evil, was the obvious means of procuring semen. If semen could be collected in some licit way would artificial insemination be permitted at least when the woman's husband was the donor (AIH) 7 A good number reputable Catholic moralists thought so. They argued that

of


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semen could be procured licitly by aspiration from the epididymus or testicles, by aspiration from the vagina after normal intercourse, or by using a perforated condom during intercourse. If semen was gathered in one of these licit ways, they reasoned, at least AIR would be moral. The theologians had opened the doorway leading at least to some form of artificial insemination. That door was promptly closed by Pope Pius XII. Addressing the Fourth International Convention of Catholic Physicians on September 29, 1949 he said that artificial insemination is to be "absolutely rejected." He said that "artificial insemination outside marriage is to be condemned purely and simply as immoral" and that "artificial insemination within marriage, with the use of an active element from a third person, is equally immoral and as such to be rejected summarily." He added in explanation that the marriage contract does not confer upon couples any right to use artificial insemination, since "the contract has as its object not a child but the natural acts apt and destined for the generation of new life." Theologians generally read this explanation as excluding AIR. If there was any doubt the pope clarified his position two years later in his address to the Congress of the Italian Catholic Union of Midwives on November 26, 1951, when he said: "To reduce the cohabitation of married persons and the conjugal act to a mere organic function for the transmission of the germ of life would be to convert the domestic hearth, sanctuary of the family, into nothing more than a biological laboratory. Hence in our address of September 29, 1949, to the international congress of Catholic doctors, we formally excluded artificial insemination from marriage. The conjugal act in its natural structure is a personal action, a simultaneous mutual self-giving which, in the words of Holy Scripture, effects the union 'in one flesh.' This is much more than the mere union of two germs, which can be brought about also artificially, that is, without the natural action of the spouses. The conjugal act, as it is planned and willed by nature, implies a personal co-operation, the right to which the partners have mutually conferred on each other in contracting marriage."

Theologians picked up the pope's central argument. In God's


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design human love is procreative. Man must not put asunder what God has joined together. As it is wrong to separate procreation from the act of sexual love in contraception, it is equally wrong to separate the act of sexual love from procreation in artificial insemination (AID and AI H). The difference between the pope's argument and Ramsey's js that the pope thought that the procreative and unitive aspects of human sexuality 'may not be separated even in an individual act, whereas Ramsey only objects to their separation in principle, i.e. the separation of the sphere of love and procreation. Ramsey therefore concludes to the immorality of only AID, not AIH. Obviously, one who admits exceptions to papal teaching on contraception ought logically to admit exceptions to papal teaching on AIH, for these teachings are of a piece. Richard McCormick accepts the pope's teaching on AIH as generally true. If procreation ordinarily were to be achieved among men through AIH, then we "would have taken a long step toward biologizing and mechanizing marriage." Human love is meant to be procreative, and the child is meant to be the fruit of this love. Therefore it is certainly wrong to routinely use AIH in place of natural intercourse if it is not required. But if a couple is having sexual relations but are sterile, it is not at all clear that the use of AIH would necessarily turn marriage into a biological laboratory. McCormick therefore suggests that the papal statements may be closer to law than teaching and it is "possible to admit the licitness of the exceptional instance." r Also, I think that it is safe to say that today a good number of Catholic moralists would find no objection to a childless couple using AIH even when the semen is obtained by masturbation. Commenting on Roger Van Allen's defense of this procedure, Robert Springer said, "Recent moral analysis is disinclined to view the external action by which the semen is obtained as constituting the moral entity of the act." That is to say, masturbation which is necessary for the artificial insemination of one's¡ wife cannot be morally evaluated simply as a physicial or biological act. Rather it receives its moral significance and specification from the purposes and circumstance of the agent.


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CHICAGO STUDIES SOME TENTATIVE CASUISTRY

With this as background it may be useful now to engage in some casuistry. What I propose to do is to sort out a few concrete issues, offer a tentative judgment, and indicate the reasons for the judgment. That the opinions at this stage of the discussion are tentative should come as no surprise. As Harmon Smith has pointed out, in this area an unwillingness to be definitive is not the same as an inability to be decisive. It only reflects an awareness of one's own limited understanding of all that may be involved in some very complex issues which are facing us now for the first time in human history. Generally speaking, reproduction of human beings by any method other than normal sexual intercourse would seem to be opposed to the human and Christian meaning of man's sexuality and parenthood. As Ramsey points out, man is the body of his soul as well as the soul of his body, and it is through his bodily sexuality that he realizes his human power to love and create other being like himself. To separate in principle the realm of human love from the realm of human procreation is to refuse the image of God's creative love in human procreative loving. Therefore attempts to breed a new or super race of men through a system of frozen spetm banks and AID would strike very deeply at the humanum in man. However, if the predictions of MUller were proven I would think that another conclusion might be reached. Pursuant to SchUller's preference-principle, one ought to prefer the radical redefinition of the human race to its total extinction. I would agree with Charles Curran that "parenthood and family bonds are more than antiquated traditions. For the Christian, the bond between procreation and love union is more than a mere arbitrary arrangement even if one can en vision certain historical situations in which it might be sacrificed for greater values." As for the use of AIR, I would think that it too generally should be excluded unless it is the only way an otherwise sterile couple can achieve procreation. If in particular cases it is required for procreation, masturbation would seem to be a morally acceptable technique of obtaining sperm from the husband, since the moral meaning of the physical act is de-


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rived from the circumstances and purpose toward which it is directed. Artificial inovulation runs into the same problem as artificial insemination. To create new beings like ourselves in laborary test tubes rather than in the midst of our love for one another would constitute a radical shift away from the humano-Christian understanding of man's life-giving love. Nevertheless I would not want to absolutely rule out every instance. It seems that artificial inovulation might be tolerable or even morally the better option in certain circumstances, for instance if the only way a woman can conceive a child is through the fertilization of one of her ova by her husband's sperm in a test tube and the implantation of the fertilized ovum in her uterus for gestation. Commenting on the work of Dr. Landrum B. Shettles of Columbia University, Dr. John Rock of Harvard predicted, "The time may be rapidly approaching when the poor woman whose tubes have been excised, yet who still wants a baby, will rejoice that Dr. Shettles will be able to extract an ovum from her ovary ... then fertilize the egg in vitro ... and finally put it back in the uterus. Thus will he impregnate the woman in spite of the fact that she has no tubes." Perhaps in this extraordinary case test tube fertilization would not undermine or clash with the Christian understanding of man's life-giving love but rather could be interpreted as an effort to measure up fully to that understanding in the only way possible. In the context of such special circumstances the technical procedure of fertilization would be the only way to allow the couple's genuine sharing of human sexual love to come to its normal fruition in a child. I think that the same judgment could be made even if it were necessary to implant the conceptus in the uterus of another woman or to put it in an artificial womb in order to bring it through the gestation period of maturity. A practical problem would have to be carefully weighed: would the implantation of the conceptus in the womb of another woman who would bring the child to birth create disproportionate emotional problems for either the real or the host mother? A practical decision would depend largely on the temperament and emotional make-up of both women involved.


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There is another ethical question that must be raised about some of the experiments that are presently going on in laboratories like Dr. Shettles'. When Dr. Shettles attended the International Fertility Conference in Italy in, 1954 he heard Pope Pius XII condemn those who "take the Lord's work into their own hands." And on May 19, 1956 at the Second World Congress on Fertility and Sterility Pope Pius said, "On the subject of experiments in artificial human fecundation in vitro, let it suffice for us to observe that they must be rejected as immoral and absolutely illicit." The basic departure from the Christian understanding of human love and parenthood is not the only ethical problem in these experiments. There is also the question of abortion. These experiments generate human life which at the present stage of technology will not survive. Both Pope pius XII and the Tribunal at Nurenburg set down the same common sense rules for human experimentation; 1) the voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential; neither science nor society has the power to experiment on human beings without the free consent of the individual; 2) no experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to bE;o lieve that death or disabling injury will occur. Here the question is complicated by the fact that it is not certain whether the conceptus is animated during the early stages of development. It may or may not be an ensouled human being with full human rights. Hence experiments in vitro at the present time run the risk of killing an animated human subject. The question therefore is : are there sufficient reasons to allow one to run this risk? Certainly the thrill of a successful scientific experiment does not provide adequate justification. Nor is it clear to me how the scientific benefits obtained from such experiments are sufficiently important to humanity to warrant this grave risk. If one wants to fertilize an ovum in a test tube in order to help a wife without fallopian tubes to have a child, I would think that such attempts should be made only when the necessary techniques are sufficiently perfected so as to offer reasonable hope of bringing the conceptus to viability. I do not know if it is possible to develop the technical skills to this point


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without a series of negative or abortive experiments. Certainly it would be considerably more difficult and time consuming to ¡ proceed in this way, but taking shortcuts is not always the most human or Christian way. American scientists could have landed men on the moon much earlier and easier if they had not taken every p~ecaution against the loss of human life. We have every right to expect the new biologists to show the same respect for human life. Nuclear transplantation or cloning also represents a radical assault on the meaning of conjugal intercourse as a life-giving act of love-making and a love-making act of life-giving. It would represent a fundamental shift from the human meaning of parenthood in which the one flesh of the child comes from the one flesh unity of man and wife together. Besides, switching to clonal reproduction would in all likelihood be a fatal step backwards for the human species. J osua Lederberg says that "clonality as a way of life in the plant world is well understood as an evolutionary col-de-sac." For if cloning replaced sexual reproduction so that the population were distributed not among unique individuals but among millions of clones, man's varia-¡ bility and adaptability would probably be lost and the human race would lose the very qualities that best insure survival. On the other hand, selective cloning of certain individuals for specialized functions or copying the genotype of certain superior individuals hardly seem to provide the necessary benefits to justify creating new beings like ourselves apart from¡ our human life-giving Jove. Genetic surgery presents no moral problems in itself. Rather it provides the greatest hope for the future of man. All that is necessary is that the norms commonly observed in all surgery be followed here. Specifically, the risk of harm must be proportioned to the hope of benefit for the individual. (Notice that the risk must be proportionate to the hope of benefit for the individual, not the benefit of science. Human monstrosities should not be created for the advancement of medical knowledge.) Reengineering man presents no inherent moral problems that I can see. In fact, Karl Rahner argues that "man is essentially a freedom event." He is created unfinished by God.


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In his freedom he determines what he will be irrevocably for all eternity. And on this earth he should take hold of himself in his freedom and may, if he chooses, modify himself in the innermost depths of his biological, genetic, psychological and historical existence. Rahner's analysis is quite correct in theory, and that is why I say that reengineering man presents no inherent moral problems. But practically speaking man needs not only science, technology and the will to alter the species. He also needs the wisdom necessary to do it to the benefit and not the destruction of the species. I do not see evidence of this sort of wisdom in man at this moment in history. Charles Curran once remarked that "if we are going to do something like this to the species, someone is going to have to decide and plan what sort of men we ought to become, and if the genetic planners are anything like those who have been planning our domestic and foreign policies, God help us." Finally, on the question of chimeras and cyborgs, I simply do not know what to say, mainly because I do not understand what these creatures are. If they are superior animals and machines, created by the introduction of human genetic material into developing sub-human embryos, perhaps we should make them. But if they are inferior or sub-human men, created by the intdouction of non-human genetic material into developing human embryos, it would be wicked to make them. A final caution: in thinking about questions such as these we must be on guard against naivete and a one-sided optimism. There is another book than Teilhard's which tells us that there is a principle of evil abroad. H. Richard Niebuhr has wisely cautioned our generation against a liberalism that is naievely optimistic, that would have us believe that "a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." In our enthusiasm and hope for the future it would be unwise to forget that man has been, is and always will be sinful man. Of course he must play God. There is no other way. But he is not God, and given the role without surveilance and control he can become a devil.


Daniel J. Harrington, S .J.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Review Article

Contemporary scholarship provides both warning and encouragement to Catholic Pentecostals.

Perhaps the brightest sign of life in the American Catholic Church today is the rise of groups which gather together for prayer and describe themselves as "Pentecostals." The enthusiasm and profound faith shown by members of these groups have caused the movement to spread rapidly and to bring new spirit to elements in the church which are still tottering from the religious crisis of recent years. Indeed, so new is the movement among Catholics that it has scarcely had time to develop its own theology and to locate itself within the Christian tradition. In his valuable introduction The Pentecostal Movement in the Catholic Church (Notre Dame, Ind.: Ave Maria Press, 1971) Edward D. O'Connor has observed that "the right of any group to call itself Pentecostal must be measured by its faithfulness to the scriptural doctrine on the Holy Spirit and 31


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to his actual inspiration (pp. 31-32) ." In my opinion one great challenge now facing Catholic Pentecostals involves their willingness to explore the New Testament in an honest and open effort to find biblical roots. More particularly, I see the question facing Pentecostals as this: Will they accept or reject the classic Pentecostal doctrine of a second baptism in the Spirit as distinct from, and subsequent to, their initial Christian baptism? Fortunately, two good books have recently appeared which should help Catholic Pentecostals in answering this question.. Frederick Dale Bruner describes his work A Theology of the Holy Spirit. The Pentecostal Experience and the New Testament Witness (Grand Rapids. Mich.: Eerdmans, 1970) as an <'ssay in systematic theology, but he relies very heavily on New Testament exegesis. More directly exegetical is James D. G. Dunn's Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Studies in Biblical Theology, 2nd series 15, Naperville, Ill.: Allenson, 1970), a detailed examination of the New Testament evidence for the Pentecostal teaching of second baptism. Both are revisions of doctoral dissertations. Bruner, now of Union Seminary in the Philippines, completed his thesis at Hamburg while Dunn, now at Nottingham, wrote his at Clare College, Cambridge. For Catholics and other traditional Christians now becoming heavily involved in various forms of Pentecostalism these two studies provide a valuable warning that what can parade as biblical fundamentalism is often in the last analysis very foreign to the Bible. Furthermore, (and this is far more important) they provide encouragement for Christians to explore the mystery of the Spirit and serve to emphasize the profound implications of baptism for our entire Christian life. THE PENTECOSTAL THESIS

The distinctive teaching of the "classic" Pentecostal movement involves the experience, evidence and power of what Pentecostals call the "baptism in the Holy Spirit." Bruner describes the center of Pentecostal theology in this way: It is the experience of the Holy Spirit, especially in the postconversion filling of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced initially by speaking in other tongues, through fulfilling the conditions of


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absolute obedience and faith (p. 57). This baptism in the Holy Spirit is a powerful and individual spiritual experience râ&#x20AC;˘atterned after the reception of the Holy Spirit described in Acts 2. Any historical sketch of Pentecostalism would have to include mention of John Wesley, American revivalism and the "holiness movement." Both classic Pentecostalism and its neo-Pentecostal offshoots claim that the power for spiritual life in the individual and in the church is to be found in baptisms in the Spirit with its charismatic manifestations. While the Spirit has baptized every believer into Christ, Pentecostals maintain that Christ has not yet baptized every believer into the Spirit; so there is need for a second baptism riistinct from, and subsequent to, the first. The doctrine is usually based exegetically on the baptism of Jesus (Mk. 1 :9-11 and parallels), P~ntecost (Acts 2), the second baptism at Samaria (Acts 8 :4-25), Paul's conversion (Acts 9 :1-19), Cornelius' conversion (Acts 10-11), ¡and the baptism of the Ephesian disciples (Acts 19 :1-7). Pentecostals feel that this baptism in the Spirit is necessary because it adds to initial or converting faith the indwelling of the Spirit and, hence, power for service along with the gifts of the Spirit. For Pentecostals the initial evidence that one has been baptized in the Spirit is speaking in tongues as the disciples did in Acts 2 :4. Pentecost thus becomes a pattern for all Christiana at all times. Just as the members of Cornelius' household (Acts 10 :45-46) and the disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19 :6) shared this experience, so can Christians of our own day. Other gifts which are valued highly among Pentecostals are healing, prophecy and the interpretation of tongues. In describing various manifestations of these gifts Bruner observes that the Pentecostal assembly is 1 Cor. 12-14 come alive. At the very outset of his work, Dunn also states the distinctive theological stance underlying classic Pentecostalism: Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a second Pentecostal experience distinct from, and subsequent to, conversion-initiation. This second baptism gives power for witness. Speaking in tongues is the necessary and inevitable evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit, and so it is only fitting that the spiritual gifts listed


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in I Cor. 12 :8-10 be manifested when Pentecostal Christians meet for worship. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS BY JOHN

Bruner sees the contrast drawn in Mk. 1:8 between John's baptism and the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit as an indication that through the power of Christ's name baptism could no longer merely be baptism in water. Indeed, in John's baptism of Jesus at the Jordan (Mk. 1 :9-11) the connection between baptism and the coming of the Spirit is made particularly vivid by the word "immediately." Baptism in water and the descent of the Spirit are one. Spiritual baptism has been formed and inaugurated in the person of its elect dispenser--Jesus Christ. For Bruner, the baptism of Jesus corresponds with the church's baptism since it is in water, is accompanied immediately with the Spirit, and means Sonship. Dunn's analysi" here is quite different. He prefers to. begin from Q (the source used by Mt. and Lk.) : "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mt. 3 :11 and Lk. 3 :16) ." While John's baptism in water prepares for the eschatological baptism, the coming baptism is not necessarily envisioned as a form of water-baptism; "baptism" is merely a metaphor to heighten the contrast with John's baptism. Even though Mark omits mention of "fire" and all talk of judgment, he is still careful not to conflate Spirit-baptism with water-baptism. Where Pentecostals see the baptism of Jesus (Mt. 3:13-17; Mk. 1:9-11; Lk. 3:21-22; Jn. 1 :29-34) in the Jordan 3.'! proving the need for an additional blessing to equip one with power for his mission, sacramentalists tend to view the event as the fusion of water-baptism and the promised Spirit-baptism. Against the Pentecostals Dunn argues that the experience of Jesus is a unique moment in salvation-history in which the decisive change in the ages from old to new is effected by the descent of the Spirit. At the same time, he admits that Jesus' anointing with the Spirit did also equip him for his Messianic ministry of healing and teaching. Against the sacramentalists he states that the baptism of John is distinct from, and only preliminary to, the descent of the Spirit. In the final analysis


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the bestowal of the Spirit is .entirely the action of the Father and cannot be equated with baptism in water. ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Since Acts looms so large in the Pentecostal thesis, Bruner leads us through this book in an effort to find answers to these questions: "Does Pentecostalism rightly or wrongly understand Luke, accurately or mistakenly interpret him, properly or improperly apply him?" ( p. 153). In the first few verses of Acts the Holy Spirit is seen as Jesus' way of working in his church (1 :1-2), and the church is said to receive the Spirit ft¡eely and inclusively as a promise ( 1 :4-5). At Pentecost the Spirit is clearly a free gift from God filling each one of the disciples (2 :3-4) ; the means by which others are to receive this gift are Christian preaching (2 :14-36) and baptism (2 :37-39). Accm'ding to Luke, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ includes both the forgiveness of sin and the reception of the Spirit (2 :38) : in other words, baptism is visible evidence for the forgiveness of sins and the coordinate gift of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a free gift, and neither prayer (4 :31) nor obedience (5 :32) can be seen as conditions which compel this gift. Dunn's treatment of Pentecost stresses that what the experience of the Jordan was for Jesus, Pentecost was for the disciples. Pentecost is the new beginning, the inauguration of the new age, the age of the Spirit. Jesus, having exhausted the fire kindled upon him (Lk. 12 :49-50), now baptizes with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 :5). Since the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost begins the age of the church and since the event of Pentecost is thus a unique step in the Lukan scheme of salvation-history, it cannot serve to found the Pentecostal belief in a secondary baptism empowering for mission: "The fact is that the phrase 'baptism in the Spirit' is never directly associated with the promise of power, but it always associated with entry into the messianic age or the Body of Christ (p. 54)." In Acts 8 we come upon the curious story of the Samaritans who have believed and been baptized but do not receive the Holy Spirit until some time later. Bruner theorizes that God withheld the gift of the Spirit until the leading apostles Peter


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and John could see with their own eyes that the gift of the Spirit was free and for all-not merely for Jews. At any rate, what Luke wants to emphasize by the incident is that the coming of the Spil¡it completes baptism and belongs properly to it. Therefore, the story presupposes the union of initiatory baptism and the Spirit rather than their separation. Bruner also notes that there is no mention of the Samaritans' speaking in tongues upon receiving the Spirit, and he sees Simon's desire for spiritual power offensive to Peter precisely because it suggests that God's gift can be obtained by human means. Dunn also feels that Luke intends to show that the Samaritans' first response was defective. To the Samaritans Philip's message may have meant the appearance of their own expected Messiah and his kingdom, and their conversion could have had more of the emotional herd-instinct about it than Christian commitment. The fact that Simon the magician could accept the form of baptism while remaining so dense toward its meaning underscores this point. The second baptism is merely a means to rectify a mistake. Since the Samaritans had not received the. Spirit, their baptism and faith could not have been genuine. The fact that Paul was baptized in the Spirit three days after his experience on the road to Damascus (Acts 9,22,26) does not impress Dunn as a valid argument for the Pentecostal thesis. Rather, several factors indicate that Paul's three-day experience was a unity, a crisis-experience extending over three days from the Damascus road to his baptism. First, according to Acts 22:16 Paul still had to take the major step toward commitment and forgiveness even after his experience on the road. Secondly, Paul does not distinguish between the commissioning on the Damascus road (Acts 26 :12-18) and that which he received through Ananias (Acts 9:15; 22 :12-16). Finally, his three-day blindness probably is meant to recall Jesus' three days in the tomb and to symbolize his transition from spiritual blindness to enlightenment. On this matter, Bruner notes that in Acts 9:17-19 baptism and the reception of the Spirit are so synonymous as to be identical and so it is not even necessary to mention the Spirit in 22:16. In the Cornelius episode (Acts 10-11) the gift of the Holy


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Spirit is clearly conversion rather than any subsequent experience. As at Pentecost, the gift of tongues is totally unsought, unexpected and undemanded. In fact, so close are the parallels in Acts 10 :44-48 and 11 :13-18 with Acts 2 that Bruner is led to see the event as a kind of Gentile Pentecost. Peter in Acts 10 :47 feels obliged to baptize Cornelius and his household in water because the gift of the Holy Spirit without baptism was as unthinkable to the church as baptism without the gift of the Holy Spirit. Dunn notes that, however well disposed Cornelius was before, what made him a Christian and brought him into the salvation of the new age was belief in Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this incident baptism in the Spirit is God's act of acceptance (of forgiveness, cleansing and salvation) , and not something separate from and beyond that which made Corneli us a Christian. In Paul's questions to the Ephesian disciples ("Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "Into what then were you baptized?" Acts 19 :2-3) Bruner feels there are almost classic statements of how the Holy. Spirit comes and of the union in the apostolic consciousness of faith, baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because they have been baptized into John's baptism only, Paul must begin with what is fundamental for Christian lif~believing in Jesus and consequent Christian baptism. Dunn argues that the unusual description of the Ephesian disciples ("some disciples" without the article) deliberately indicates their lack of formal relation to the church at Ephesus. Furthermore, since the absence of the Spirit meant that one had not yet begun Christian life, Paul 'is asking whether or not the Ephesian disciples are really Christians. When he finds they are not, he remedies the situation in a ceremony consisting of baptism, the laying on of hands and the reception of the Spirit. Throughout Acts, Bruner maintains, the fundamental gift of the Spirit comes but once in Christ and does not need any filling out or improvement. In neither Acts 2,8,10 nor 19-the standard texts for a second baptism-is there any evidence of the Spirit's first and partial entry followed by his second and personal reception. All these texts teach one entry of the Spirit. Therefore, Bruner can conclude that classic Pentecost-


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alisrn wrongly understands Luke, mistakenly interprets him and improperly applies him. Dunn summarizes his discussion of Acts by observing that the one thing which makes a man a Christian is the gift of the Spirit and that this gift comes in conversion. Dunn also distinguishes the Spirit from water-baptism: faith reaches out to God in and through waterbaptism while God reaches out to man and meets that faith in and through his Spirit. OTHER EVIDENCE

A large part of Bruner's work is devoted to a systematic survey of the "way of the Holy Spirit according to the New Testament" and its consequences for Pentecostal doctrine. Here the focus is mainly on Paul's teaching with some attention also paid to John. While the end-product is a systematic understanding, the method by which this is gained is thoroughly exegetical. Pentecostalism, according to Bruner, makes the mastery of sin a condition for receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit and thereby pervelis the Pauline perspective of grace as the condition for mastering sin. The "Spirit of life" comes in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3 :14), and not as a second experience independent of, or in addition to, Jesus Christ. The Pentecostal distinction between Christians and Spirit-filled Christians contradicts Paul's clear teaching in Col. that baptized Christians have already found spiritual fulfillment in Christ and that there is no need for a second transformation to live, serve, work and witness as a Christian. By requiring speaking in tongues as the initial evidence and ultimate condition of God's full gift, classic Pentecostalism deserves all the warnings which Paul lays upon the circumcision party in Gal. 5 :2-12. For Paul the believer receives everything God has to give through Christ in faith. To require a supplement to faith or a condition for fulness before God is to repeat the oldest of Christian heresies and to deny the power of Christ. Since the zeal of the ancient Corinthians was deflecting them from (or beyond) Christocentricity and since there are echoes of this tendency in contemporary Pentecostalism, Bruner feels it necessary to devote an entire chapter to 1 Cor. 12-14 and 2 Cor. 10-13. Paul understands the work of the Spirit to be


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the honoring of Jesus Christ and the work of the spiritually gifted to be the service of the Body of Christ ( 1 Cor. 12). While Paul does not deny that speaking in tongues is a charism, he would like to see it subordinated to the larger concerns of the church (1 Cor. 14 :1-19) and so finds prophecy or witness to be preferable (1 Cor. 14 :20-25). In 2 Cor. 10-13 the most prominent features of "Corinthianism"-pride of power, "fuller" gospel, unusual interest in visions and higher experiences, and the quest for oral evidence--seem to Bruner to correspond to what is most characteristic of 20th century Pentecostalism. To the Corinthians Paul can only answer that their "superapostles" (2 Cor. 11 :5) are really "sham-apostles" (2 Cor. 11 :13). Unlike these false apostles Paul boasts in his sufferings and weakness because God's power "is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12 :9). In his treatment of the other New Testament writings Dunn begins by examining in chronological order those Pauline passages which deal with conversion-initiation. In the earliest letters ( 1 and 2 'fhes., Gal.) the correlatives Spirit and faith are the dominant themes. Becoming a Christian is essentially a matter of receiving the Spirit, and the Spirit is received by the exercise of faith which the Christian message stirs up (Gal. 3 :2). The rite of water-baptism merely complements the more important dimension of faith. Nowhere is there any talk or the subsequent coming of the Holy Spirit. In 1 and 2 Cor. the Spirit is the essence of the new covenant in its application to man. So dominant is this theme that in every baptismal context the gift of the Spirit is pre-eminent to the point that little, if anything, is said about the accompanying rite. In Rom. Paul relates baptism explicitly to the Christian's burial with Christ (6 :4). Dunn maintains that there is a clear distinction between the metaphor of "being baptized" and the rite of baptism (6:3-4). Baptism is basically commitment to the Risen Lord (6 :4; 10 :9-17), and Christ is experienced through the Spirit (8 :9-11). The distinction between the cleansing action of the Spirit and the rite of baptism is maintained throughout Dunn's investigation of the later Pauline "and post-Pauline materials. Finally, the "washing of regeneration" and the "renewal in the Holy Spirit" in Ti. 3 :5 are seen


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as virtually synonymous and not at all expressive of two distinct experiences. In J n. the Paraclete passages envision a later bestowal of the Spirit following Jesus' final return to the Father after his various appearances to the disciples. But in Jn. 20:22 the disciples are said to receive the Spirit from the Risen Lord. Therefore, John may well have considered that baptism in the Spirit was a second and distinct work of the Spirit in the experiences of the first disciples. While admitting that two outpourings of the Spirit may be implied, Dunn maintains that the .chronological sequence of events in the lives of the apostles is unique and unrepeatable. Since their experiences were determined by utterly unique events (the coming of the Word, his being lifted up on the cross, the sending of the "other Paraclete") , they cannot serve as the pattern for the regular experience of conversion and Christian growth after Pentecost. In Jn. 3:5 ("unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God") water and baptism are neither contrasted nor equated, but rather they are coot:dinated: both are means of effecting birth "from above." Dunn feels that John may be arguing here against the disciples of the Baptist who still were over-valuing John's baptism or even against Christians who over-valued the sacramental rite. In 1 Jn. both the anointing mentioned in 2 :20 and 27 and seed of 3 :9 refer to the Spirit using the proclamation and teaching of the Gospel.: there are no grounds for saying that John is thinking of an activity of the Spirit at baptism. On the other hand, the water and blood of 5 :6 and 8 designate the key events (baptism and death?) in the incarnate ministry of Jesus and do not refer to the sacraments. Reb. 6:4-5 describes the conversion experience ("tasting") in both its inward and outward aspects: the gift and the Spirit are experienced in the heart while the word and the powers are heard and seen. The same dynamic underlies Reb. 10 :22: the heart "sprinkled clean from an evil conscience" is the inward, hidden aspect of man; ¡the body "washed with pure water" is the outward, visible aspect. Dunn feels that 1 Pet. 3 :21 which characterizes baptism as a water-rite cleansing the body and as an expression of man's repentance and/or


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faith to God is the nearest approach to a definition of baptism that the New Testament affords. For Dunn, baptism is the means by which man comes to God; God comes to man through the word of preaching, and the meeting takes place by the sanctifying power of the Spirit (1 Pet. 1 :23). EVALUATIONS

As an essay in systematic theology based solidly on scripture Bruner's work is very successful. Among the particularly valuable features in the volume are the analyses of representative Pentecostal documents, the effort to place the movement within a historical setting, and the thirty-four pages of bibliographical information. Furthermore, his use of the New Testament is constructive and well-based on the best in modern biblical scholarship. Clarity and sharp logic mark Dunn's monograph. The scope of his work is more limited than Bruner's and so it may not be as helpful in introducing the reader to the Pentecostal use of scripture. On the other hand, Dunn seems far more at home in biblical exegesis. Usually his analysis is fresher and more perceptive than Bruner's somewhat conventional interpretation. A description of points at which the two authors differ in interpreting Mk. and Acts may bring out this last judgment more decisively. Bruner see Jesus' baptism in water and the Spirit as the prototype of Christian baptism and tends to emphasize the "typical" character of Pentecost. Dunn sees¡ no relation at all between John's baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and Christian baptism. What is significant is the descent of the Holy Spirit, and this is wholly distinct from the rite in the Jordan. Furthermore, Dunn sees Pentecost as initiating a totally new epoch in the history of salvation. Therefore, the primary meaning of Pentecost is found in its unique, once for all character; its significance as a model for religious experience can only be secondary. In trying to explain why the baptism of the Samaritans in Acts 8 is defective, Bruner chooses to see it as a lesson for the leading apostles that God's gift is meant for all people while Dunn claims that the initial commitment was merely emotional and needed deepening. Both seem to be guessing here. While Bruner appears willing to admit that


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the Ephesian disciples of Acts 19 were somehow Christians, Dunn maintains they could not have been before receiving the Holy Spirit. Both authors have devoted a great deal of space and effort to Acts because it is from Acts that Pentecostals draw most of their biblical ammunition and because the role of the Spirit is so central in Acts. Both have shown how important receiving the Spirit and the subsequent charismatic evidences are in Luke's theology. These emphases raise serious questions for New Testament scholars and theologians: How do the people in Acts know they have received the Holy Spirit if not through charismatic manifestation? Why did Luke, writing comparatively late in the lst century, feel the need to emphasize speaking in tongues as a charismatic gift long after Paul had deliberately de-emphasized this gift? How valid is it to classify Luke as a representative of Early Catholicism in the light of his doctrine of the Spirit? When the two authors come to Paul and the other New Testament writings, their aims and methods diverge sharply. Bruner as a syst0matic theologian studies Paul and John together in the hope of deducing a biblical doctrine of the Spirit while Dunn retains the strictly exegetical format. It is to Bruner's credit that he does let the individual texts speak for themselves and that he is careful to use good secondary sources. Dunn does not limit himself to Paul and John and so puts much more information at the disposal of anyone who would try to develop his own systematic doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. If one were to summarize the basic themes of the two presentations, one could say that Bruner is especially concerned with the free or "gift" character of the Spirit in the New Testament while Dunn wants to emphasize that the essence of New Testament Christianity was an experience of receiving the Spirit. The only general criticism of Bruner's work which we have to offer at this point involves his excessive stress on the free or unmerited nature of the gift of the Spirit. This is repeated so often that one begins to suspect that Bruner may be more Evangelical than biblical here. We tend to agree


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with Dunn's excellent summary of the New Testament teaching on baptism: "Faith demands baptism as its expression; Baptism demands faith for its validity. The gift of the Spirit presupposes faith as its condition; Faith is shown to be genuine only by the gift of the Spirit" (p. 228). This last statement leads us into our major criticism of Dunn's study. His insistence on rigidly distinguishing the reception of the Spirit from the external rite of baptism tends to confuse even the attel).tive reader. Throughout the book one keeps asking Dunn whether he sees any real need to undergo the rite of waterbaptism at all. At some points, one suspects Dunn would reply that only the Spirit is essential (not as unorthodox a doctrine as it might first sound; recall the "baptism of desire" and the "baptism of blood") while at other points he is satisfied to call water-baptism a complement to faith. At times, this insistence even ma1¡s his exegesis. Perhaps my own sacramentalism is showing here, but I found his determination to describe so many allusions to water-baptism as "metaphors" (as if this somehow lessens their importance) very strained and artificial. Surely the reception of the Spirit is the essence of baptism, but Paul's frequent allusions to the water-rite indicates his high esteem for it. Furthermore, I do not feel that Bultmann's excision of "water and" in Jn. 3 :5 is "wholly unwarranted." Rather I would agree with Bultmann that this phrase and 6 :51b-58 have been added to the Gospel by the Ecclesiastical Redactor (or some such figure). The phrase is not at all developed in the passage and serves only to confuse the discourse. Dunn seems to have been led by his fixed determination that Paul and John must be distinguishing . between rite and Spirit as rigidly as he himself sometimes does. The matter really only comes clear at the end ( p. 227) where Dunn explicitly rejects any separation between faith and baptism. Dunn's (and to a lesser extent, Bruner's) use of the terms "Pentecostal" and "Sacramentalist" as deviations from the correct via media make strike some as caricatures. Many who have been "baptized in the Spirit" are willing to view their experience as the unique and decisive event in their lives and are not especially interested in distinguishing it from conver-


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sion-initiation or in taking upon themselves the burden of Pentecostal theology. On the other hand, I cannot imagine any modern sacramental theologian who would not see rite as the external witness to an internal experience much as Dunn does and who would not also emphasize very strongly the importance of the recipient's attitude. Really, Dunn seems to be arguing against strictly ex opere operato magical thoughtpatterns when he defines himself over against sacramentalism. As we said at the outset, these thorough studies by Bruner and Dunn provide both warning and encouragement to Catholic Pentecostals. The classic Pentecostal doctrine of baptism in the Spirit as distinct from, and subsequent to, conversion-initiation is simply not in accord with the New Testament evidence. This is clear. Yet both books prove the central importance of experiencing the Holy Spirit in New Testament thought and urge us to probe this phenomenon in our own lives. If Catholic Pentecostals will avoid the traps of classic Pentecostal theology and turn their attention to more fruitful areas of investigation, we can expect truly wonderful spiritual and theological growth:


Joseph Sittler

Theological Developments of the Lutheran- Catholic Dialogue The !Jutheran-Catholia dialogues ha1Je so far produced surprising agreement about baptism, justification and the Eucharistic ministry.

About nine years ago, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Committee of the Lutheran World Federation agreed that the time was ready, after 454 years, to begin a discussion between the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran communities. This discussion, while new in the United States, was not by any means new on the world stage. Ever since the days of World War I, particularly in the Rhineland in Germany and Austria, and particularly underthe leadership in Germany of that remarkable couple on the faculty of Tugingen, Karl Adam from the Roman Catholic faculty and Professor Karl Heim of the Lutheran faculty, there have been persistent, steady, profound and cordial discussions 45


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between the Evangelical and the Roman Catholic communities. These conversations have gone on for forty-five years in Euroj)e. The official invitation to open such conversations between the Lutherans and Roman Catholics in this country was something utterly new in North America. I have been a member of that discussion group since its beginning. As I want to make clear in some detnillater on, the course of discussion, the agenda of items that have been brought under discussion, and the l'esults of the discussion are still relatively unknown. This is not the fault of the discussing committee. Both the Roman Catholics on the Commission and the Lutherans have persistently appealed to their superiors to make known the results of the discussion. Most Roman Catholic and Lutheran officials have almost embarrassedly put them in the bottom drawers of their desks. It is simply not known to the Roman Catholic laity or to the Lutherans that we reached virtual agreement on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper four years ago and said it loud and clear. We wrote in an official document what our findings were, and neither the Roman Catholics nor the Lutherans have given much currency to the fact that this statement was actually made. I will refer to this later on. I want now to do two things. I first want to present some data about what items were brought under discussion and what the course of the discussion has been. I will then extrapolate from these details concrete issues and impressions as to what this discussion means qua discussion. I would like to share more than just the things we hitve agreed upon or disagreed upon and what some of those things mean here. COMMON GROUND

I begin by stating what we started with, what we had together in common as a discussion group nine years ago when we began. If someone had suggested 400 years ago, in 1571, that after 400 years the Lutherans and the Catholics would be able to affirm together what we have actually said, he would have been considered mad. When in 1571 the Formula of Concord was published it was the doctrinal Council of Trent, as it were, of the Lutheran group on the Continent. At the time, the disassociation of the two communions was almost complete.


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When Roman Catholics and Lutherans came together to agree on an agenda of what items ought to be discussed, we became aware that we brought to that discussion a remarkable consensus about what issues were central. One, a common vision of the Church as Catholic. By that I mean that Lutheranism has never had a sectarian self-consciousness. When in 1528 the Augsburg Confession of the Lutheran protestors was issued, it understood itself as being a Catholic statement. It was not a statement celebrating a division; it was intended to be a Catholic statement appealing for the correction of errors and abuses. Therefore, this Catholic character of the Lutheran understanding, while ecclesiologically not recognized by Rome for over 400 years, has really never been diminished. Lutherans understand themselves as having a Catholic sense of the church in three ways. First of all in a sense of. time. When a Lutheran talks of the Church, he really means the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church of which as Luther once said, "Only God knows who are its members." He means the Church Catholic in time. Two, he means the Church Catholic in the sense of comprehensive, not basing its understanding of the church or its formulation of what the Christian faith is on any idiosyncratic protesting point or any single supposition, but rather presupposes a temporal as well as a special understanding of the comprehensiveness of the Church. And three, we had a common understanding of the Catholicity of the Church in the comprehensiveness of the scope of the Church's reality, not only as a religious cult curved inward upon itself, but a community of the people of God to whom no human concern is foreign. This Catholicity of our common understanding of the Church was a "glue" that immediately bound us together. The second component in that commonality I call a common respect for scripture and tradition. That means, if one has an understanding of the historical character of the phenomenon of the Christian family, that of necessity and logically he honor scripture and tradition. In both of our traditions, although with different accents, we found this honoring to be a common fact. The third component was a common and fruitful history of


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scholarly biblical study. I need not jump up and down on this point. I need only mention, for instance, that every Catholic biblical scholar knows the debt (if he be in Old Testament studies) he owes the work of Eichrodt, Jacob, Von Rad. If he be a New Testament man he knows the debt he owes to Weiss, Schweitzer, Jeremias, Debe!ius, Bultmann, Kii.semann, all of them evangelical, if not Lutheran scholars. And on the Lutheran side, we are aware of the enormous debt we owe to the centuries of Roman Catholic biblical scholarship--a scholarship which, since the promulgation of Divino Affiante Sp1:ritu. has made the resulta of Catholic scholarship a kind of family possession. Now that the day is gone when evangelical and Roman Catholic scholarship operated in separate institutions, under separate sponsorship and curved their results back into their own cults, we are all aware of the situation that a New Testament colleague put into a sentence, "We¡ take in one another's washing with no concern for the label on the laundry." If a man is studying redaction criticism, the work of Raymond Brown, the Roman Catholic, or Norman Perrin, the Baptist, discloses the common methodologies they operate with, the documents they work with, the results they come up with. So, the third component is a common and fruitful history of biblical scholarship. LITURGY, EUCHARIST AND GRACE

Fourth, a common liturgical tradition. By liturgical tradition I mean something as concrete as the Mass and the Lutheran Order of Common Worship. Luther prefaced his Deutsche Messa (and interestingly, the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church was mediated to the English Reformation through close connection of Melanchthon and Cramner) as a reformation of the Mass so familiar to him. The whole tradition from the Catholic Mass into the early formation of Lutheran and Anglican liturgy is a very direct, almost a familial one. So that we enjoy in this as in many other aspects of public worship a common tradition. This common tradition means more than the fact that we still have, honor, and use the liturgical year from Advent through the cycle of the year, operate every Sunday and on


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special days with the ancient pericopes and the lectionary, and have to a large degree the vestments and some of the ceremonies of the old Church. That may be dismissed as the sheer momentum or, in the case of ceremony, largely cosmetical effectation. By liturgical tradition, I mean more profoundly a tradition in worship which celebrates the Christian faith sui generis as something to be loved for itself, as something which constitutes a world out of which comes, to be sure, the world of Church as social fact, life as ethical concern. But the religious reality sui generis is remembered, recalled and celebrated in a liturgical worship in a way which Lutherans, Anglicans and Roman Catholics have in common-and that is a powerful bond between them. Your Von HUgel is, for instance, our Rudolph Otto, whose great book on the meaning of religion and the meaning of worship is celebrated in both communions. The fifth element is an exalted Eucharistic theology. When Lutherans and Catholics came together to talk, we very often found the propositional point at issue mutually illustrated by some sentence from a Eucharistic prayer or from something in the practice of the Eucharist. The legitimacy of the illustration as being amplificatory of the proposition did not have to be further defended or explained. We understand one another immediately. And finally, a common history of grave, steady, sometimes boring but valuable theological investigation. The Lutherans and the Catholics have produced more theological work at the fundamental level than all the rest of Christendom put together in the past 400 years. We have in common a grave regard for the theological enterprise as a central and fundamental enterprise of the Christian family. APPREHENSIONS AND INSECURITIES

These are the things we brought to the discussion. Now what were the common disturbances, apprehensions, insecurities we faced as the discussion began? I'm not going to make a very long list of these but mention only three, but they are very large in importance. One, we were in common aware of the profundity and the


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scope of the cultural changes within which all our people and our separate churches were caught. We were forced together to acknowledge that all theological propositions of an older time had to be brought under scrutiny in order to ask for their appositeness, equivalency, relevance, or even intelligibility in terms of the cultural situation in which we stood. Therefore there was no necessity for us to do more than acknowledge to one another the profound theological embarrassment in which we stood in common. We were aware together that the old Corpus Christianum of Western culture, all the theological and practical assumptions which for hundreds of years had thus been permitted and demanded, were irretrievably gone. The notion of the West as a Christian culture, permeated, interpenetrated, intinctured by a common uncalculated, unembarrassed, immediate acknowledgment of the force of the Christian tradition-this has either gone silently out of mind or was being destroyed. A third acknowledgment, which was kind of given as we began our discussions, is the new understanding of the Reformation of the 16th century. Rather than develop this point in detail, let us simply recall that by the 1960's Roman Catholic and Lutheran scholars could and did dump overboard virtually everything that had been written before 1920 about the Reformation. The work of Grisar on the Roman Catholic side, for an instance, and the work of Zahn on the Protestant side have undergone such radical revision in view of better historiographical methods, new documents, new ways of research that old caricatures had been exploded, old misunderstandings had been laid aside, and new common approaches had been. opened up. REFORMATION RESEARCH

The first phase of Reformation research, which began already in the 17th century, was a kind of learned apologia for fixed positions. The Roman Catholic community produced a tremendous literature in which the Reformation of the 16th century was chat"acterized chiefly as an heretical movement springing from the concupiscence of an Augustinian monk, combined with a pathological psyche and a rampant ambition.


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And the Lutheran rejoinder to that was equally unhistorical, equally eloquent, and equally nonsensical. A second phase of historiographical investigation of the Reformation began when secular historians affirmed that the ¡ Reformation of the 16th century, while dramatically and openly about "religious" issues, was really the result of political and economic forces. And, if we understood the political and economic development of Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, it would become clear that under doctrinal banners a class struggle was going on, a new economic, political, and social world was being born. Of course, there's a good deal to that. Under the struggle about justification by grace through faith, the princes and burghers were already doing a lot of under-the-table business! The new phase in Reformation history learnedly complicated the historical phenomenon called the Reformation. It was seen as not simply a 1¡eligious movement. In fact, that second phase went so far as to declare that it really wasn't a religious movement at all, that it was a completely economic and political thing! But the third phase of Reformation research which really grew up after 1880, when both from the Roman Catholic and the non-Roman Catholic side the records, the documents were freshly recovered and the great Weimar Edition of Luther's works began to appear and fresh studies appeared under the leadership of scholars like Karl Holl, Wilhelm Pauck in this country, Gordon Rupp in England, Von Campenhausen and Boehmer in Germany, the Scandinavians, and the great Catholic theologian, Lortz. The new men are McSorley and Balthazar. The judgment of the second phase, that muted the theological issues, has been completely obliterated in every one of these scholars' minds. A characteristic modern assessment is this, from Gordon Rupp: "The fundamental, central and persistent meaning of the Reformation of the 16th century was a tumult in the very soul of the Church to recover the freedom of God in his grace." I think this is a magnificent statement. McSorley and Lortz would agree. When, therefore, in 1965 Roman Catholics and Lutherans


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came together a lot of historical homework had been done for all of us. We were already liberated from previous caricatures, hostilities and suspicions. We were sophisticated enough about historical work to know that old recriminations made slight sense. Now these studies, and the consequent upsettings of the popular assumptions of our communities in an earlier day, put us on a common ground, in virtue of a freshly recognized tradition behind us, a common stance within Reformation research among us, and a common peril in front of us. To put this peril, which is also a promise, as clearly as I can, let me tell you a story from my classroom. I have the duty in my school to give one course a year on ecumenical theology on as broad a scale as I can manage. I announced I was going to give a lecture on the emergence and the development of COCU, the Consultation of Church Union-Methodist, Presbyterian, Churches of Christ, Congregational, Episcopal. The students emitted a big yawn. Who cares! The fact that the Northern and the Southern Presbyterians are talking again was not an interesting fact. The students didn't know they'd ever quit talking or why! Or that the Methodists and the Episcopalians are talking again in Great Britain. They said they were fools ever to have stopped! As one student put it, "If God is really the problem, whether he is or is not, any report you make upon plans for union of churches to serve the non-existent God is of no interest to us!" THE JOINT REPORTS

There have been several little volumes issued jointly by the Roman Catholic Bishops' Commission and by the American Committee of the Lutheran World Federation. And in these little grey volumes all the papers, the discussions, the conclusions are laid out and I will not refer to them extensively but simply tell you that they exist. The first thing we talked about was the role of the ecumenical creeds in the constitution of the Church. Within one year we had come to a common understanding of these, what their status is, what influence they have, and what role they ought to play in the formulation of a Catholic Christianity. The second thing we took up was the meaning of Baptism in Roman


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Catholic and Lutheran understanding. Within another year we were able to issue a statement of complete general agreement on that point. The statement was written out of excellent New Testament studies by Raymond Brown, then of the Roman Catholic theological faculty of St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, and Kristen Stendal, a Lutheran, and Dean of Harvard Divinity School. The next item, which we thought would take a long time, was the item of justification. After two years, following papers written by James McCue, a Roman Catholic scholar on the faculty of the University of Iowa, and by Arthur Karl Piepkorn of the Lutheran faculty at St. Louis, in which the history of the issue as it emerged from the 16th century struggle, was placed in context and clarified, we came to the conclusion that the Council of Trent's outright condemnation of the Lutheran Confessions and subsequent understanding of the Tridentine situation enabled us to say that what the Lutherans meant by their articles on justification is really not at odds with the role that justification by grace through faith means in Roman Catholic theology: that man stands before God justified in virtue of the unmerited grace of God whereby he is declared acceptable to God through grace. That is, of course, what St. Augustine said some time ago and what the Roman Church has fundamentally declared through the centuries despite certain abberrations the doctrine underwent in practice; and the Reformers were simply recalling the Church to that doctrine. The next item we took up was the embattled item of the priesthood of all believers. Professor Quanbeck, one of our members wrote: "Sixteenth century Roman Catholic theologians understood this doctrine when they heard it promulgated by Luther and others as denial of the ministerial priesthood and as a rejection of the sacramental system. And hearing it that way, of course, they rejected it. With respect to some Protestant positions that were extant in the 16th century, they were quite righi. It did involve, on the part of some sectarian groups, a rejection both of ministerial priesthood and of the sacramental system, but the Lutheran Confessions never so reject. With¡respect to the Lutheran teaching, however, that the priesthood of, the faithful is participation in the priesthood of Christ.

Iâ&#x20AC;˘


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All affirm that the priesthood is basic to the life and mission and¡ reality of the Church and therefore, the teaching is no longer a point for suspicion as, in fact, it was expunged as a point for suspicion in articles 10 and 11 of Lumen Gentium in Vatican II." So the Lutheran-Catholic discussions didn't have to do anything except to point to Lumen Gentium and remember that the Roman Church has now spoken of the priesthood of believers in such a way as to make Catholic a fundamental point of the 16th century Reformers. MASS AS SACRIFICE

The next point we brought up was the understanding of the Roman Catholic Mass as sacrifice. This was indeed the most volatile point in our discussion, not because the profoundest, deepest, most biblically based Roman Catholic theology is wrong or has ever been wrong on this point, but because the Mass as sacrifice has often in popular understanding and popular devotion been open to acute misunderstanding, and these misunderstandings have governed the popular mind. St. Bernard, St. Anselm, St. Augustine, for instance, never taught about sin and grace what the monk Tetzel was preaching in Wittenberg in 1517 !-but the people who heard Tetzel didn't read Augustine or Anselm or Bernard. They heard the perversion; and they didn't hear the truth. So it is with the teaching about the Mass as sacrifice. Luther called the Roman teaching about the Mass as a sacrifice a damnable blasphemy. Why? We spent three years on this matter and came up with this: the fundamental meaning of the word sacrifice is derailed from its intention as long as it is only inquired about in relationship to atonement theory. When one asks after the root meaning of the word sacrifice in the Bible the notion of recompense, compensation, atonement is not the controlling one. What does control is the understanding of sacrifice as an act of thanksgiving and acknowledgment. And when this understanding of the Mass as sacrifice is put in the middle of the sacrifice of the Mass, the understanding of the term undergoes both a correction and a deepening. Our Commission could agree that the Mass may be legiti-

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mately talked of as a sacrifice. On the other hand, we did add to our statement (as the documents of Vatican II also warn the church) that when the Mass is called a sacrifice, one must be careful, by preaching and teaching and catechesis, to make clear what the proper understanding is. The next point we took up was the doctrine of transubstantiation. For any of you who received theological training over twenty years ago, it is difficult to suppose that Lutherans and Catholics could ever achieve a common understanding. But we have come to such an understanding and I want to give to you in a moment two paragraphs that are completely explicit. The problem, as we confronted it was this: Lutherans for a long time have understood the Catholic insistence upon transubstantiation not only as an assertion, in a rather violent conceptualized form, of the presence of Christ in the sacrament, but also a closed specification of the mode of that presence. And the Roman Catholic Church claimed for the dogmatic statement of the mode of the presence de fide status. On the Lutheran side we had maintained that, at best, the doctrine was an unnecessary attempt to explain the eneffable and, at worst, a futile exercise in theological physics and chemistry. Therefore, we could come to understand that what the Catholic aimed to protect by the doctrine we too can affirm-but insisting, at the same time that there are other ways of stating and doctrinally bearing witness to the presence of Christ in the sacrament which avoid the ever more questionable conceptualization of the doctrine of transubstantiation. Catholics tended to see the rejection of the doctrine as a denial of the presence and therefore, a reduction of the sacrament to a memorial, and Lutherans tended to see the insistence upon the doctrine as theological speculation that was more confusing than illuminating. Both parties agreed to a statement that I shall give when I get to the end of the next point. DOCTRINE OF MINISTRY

The last point I want to make is about the doctrine of the ministry. We haven't finished our discussion on the doctrine of the ministry. The discussion, however, is a broad one and includes the following: the office of the ministry ; the ministry


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of and in Christ's Church as an office, or a路 function, or both; does the character of the office exist separate from, isolate from, .or persist beyond the cessation of the exercise of the function?; can the function of ministry in Christ's Church be actualized without the validation of ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament as the Lutheran formula have it? All of these are very difficult questions. And we are well along the way, if not to solution, to a great deal of clarification on the several issues. I want to record two statements from these lengthy documents. The first is from the Lutherans on the doctrine of Church ministry. "We joyfully witness that in theological dialogue with our Roman Catholic partners, we have again seen clearly a fidelity to the proclamation of the Gospel and the adminish路ation of the sacraments which confitms our historic conviction that the Roman Catholic Church is an authentic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ." Observe the word con/inns! The choice of the word recalls an historic fact: Rome excommunicated the Lutherans; the Lutherans never excommunicated the Romans! Therefore we again confirm our historical conviction that the Roman Catholic Church is indeed an authentic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, "we recommend to those who have appointed us that through appropriate channels the participating Lutheran Churches be urged to declare formally the judgment that the ordained ministers of the Roman Catholic Church are engaged in a valid ministry of the Gospel announcing the Gospel of Christ and administering the sacraments of faith as their chief responsibilities and that the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are truly present in their celebrations of the sacrament of the altar." Now, the Roman Catholic statement. "As Roman Catholic theologians, we acknowledge in the spirit of Vatican II 路that路 the Lutheran communities with which we have been in dialogue are truly Christian Churches possessing the elements of holiness and truth that mark them as organs of grace and salvation. Furthermore, in our study we have found serious defects in the arguments customarily used against the validity of the Eucharistic ministry of the Lutheran Churches. In fact, we see


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no persuasive reason to deny the possibility of the Roman Catholic Church recognizing the validity of this ministry. Accordingly, we ask the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church whether the ecumenical urgency flowing from Christ's will for unity may not dictate that the Roman Catholic Church recognize the validity of the. Lutheran ministry and correspondingly the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic celebrations in Lutheran Churches." THE CENTRAL ISSUE AHEAD

The development in the dialogue that excites me is a development that I have not talked about. It is almost as if the Roman Catholic-Lutheran discussion had said that what really stands before us to discuss is something we have not yet talked of, and that before we can get to the important discussion we have to do some historical work to clear the field of the past to get to the business which, out ahead of us, is more impot-tant and mot路e m路gent than anything behind us. We must now ask together how the people of God in the world can be a family of God in a world which has no reigning conceptuality whereby such a reality路 can even be proposed! This is really the theological up-tight point. And all theological work which is not prolegomenon to that problem will require a quite fresh _methodology in theology, a quite fresh way of interpreting the past and of dealing with our separate traditions. These traditions and their expressive language must now be drawn forward into quite new ways of talking about every biblical and theological word. So that, development must not become simply house cleaning of our past, mutual-misunderstandings. The developments that excite me most are those which I shall not live to participate in-a new understanding and.a new-language路 whereby to specify and propose the nature of the Christian faith, the word of the Christian gospel, the reality of the Christian family in the world. Let me illustrate what I mean by speaking about where my own work has taken me. For ten years, I have been working with a single loci, a single word in the great Christian vocabulary. But it is a very large word. I've been trying to ask, and for myself answer the question, What does the term "the grace


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of god" mean to a modem, 20th century mind for whom all effective force does not depend upon¡ the arbitrariness of grace or will or disposition of a dubious God, but is available within this world? How can the word, "the grace of God," mean anything to a generation that, regardless of how it talks, does not really depend upon grace? We all talk Augustinian and we all act Arian. If we set out to do a certain job, we have to have knowledge, skill, time, resoUl'ce and pull these all together. If we succeed, we do not ascribe our success to the grace of God. If we fail, we say that our theory may be wrong or our resources not adequate. We don't blame the grace of God. That is, the whole formation, the empiricizing of the mentality of modem man has simply meant that the operational vocabularly of the great Christian tradition has got to be relocated within the matrix of that empirical, phenomenological matrix. And this is a vast theological operation. Karl Rahner's great little book on Nature and Grace is one big step in that direction. What I'm trying to do is relocate the occasions of grace within secular experience; to find the occasions, the intersections, the places whose interior moment of surprise, joy, illumination can be specified within ordinary experience in such a way as to permit the old vocabulary again to point to the transcendental in the experiential, the beyond in the among. The sheer givenness of the infinite variety of the human community, the sheer surprise quality about the givenness of the cosmos, the surprise that there is the primal human fact, of which Paul Tillich used to say, "We wonder why is there something rather than nothing." To find an ontology of being which does not depend upon a priori postulations of transcendentality, but rather that its demensions shall be broadened and cracked open experientially. This is the kind of theological job that confronts us, and a part of my post-graduate education for the doing of it has been the delightful and brain-wearying years I have spent in the Roman Catholic-Lutheran dialogue.


John O'CallagluLn, S.J.

Christian Conscience and Laws of the Church

Sunday mass, b1¡evi4ry, Good Friday fast: what understanding of Church Law avoids "legalism" and laxism?

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The problem of this paper can be posed many ways; one example is given by a pastor who complains, "My assistant doesn't hesitate to skip his breviary on busy days. He claims it isn't a serious sin; he claims it is no sin at all. Now we were taught that skipping even a relatively small part of the divine office without a very serious reason, much more serious than this assistant had, is a mortal sin. What kind of new-fangled morality is my assistant running on? And what is happening to the consciences of our Catholics, even our Catholic priests?" Another example is the mother of a junior at a Jesuit high school. "What are the Jesuits coming to?" she asks. My son's religion teacher-they call it 'theology,' but I know it is religion-tells him that it is not a mortal sin to skip Mass on Sunday. Isn't there anything sacred anymore?" A seminarian says, "I need a priest to say Mass for a retreat group and the 59


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only one I can find free at the moment is Father X. I really would like to use some special Scripture readings instead of the regular Lenten Mass readings and I would like to use a special Canon of Creation. I'm afraid even to ask Father X because he is a hopeless legalist." Every one of these examples could be multiplied. People in the Church today are puzzled by, upset at, very concerned about new attitudes towards traditional Catholic practices, practices with which they have been brought up and which they suddenly see going by the board. Catholics who were brought up in a day when obligations were accepted without question find younger Catholie&-whether they are associate pastors, high school age boys, or seminarians--questioning not only the practices and their obligatory character, but the mentality of the people who accept them! So there are accusations of legalism on the one hand and laxism on the other, hypocrisy on the one hand and of anarchy on the other. The situation can very easily become that of an armed camp.¡ One way to avoid pitched battle is, of course, to try to understand one another. The question is: Can we find any understanding of the newer attitude toward Catholic practices which can help bridge this gap? I think we can. It is possible to say something which will go towards providing a theological framework underneath the kind of practice--or non-practice--which we see, as a matter of fact, coming very much to the fore in the Church. We might spend time explaining the older approach too, because there is very much to be said for that, but at least tfle over-thirty generation does not need a whole lot of defense of the older approach. This paper will concentrate on the newer one, in an attempt to put some kind of intelligible and theological substructure underneath a practice. The question is, then, how is it possible for a Catholic theology teacher to say that missing Mass on Sunday without a grave reason need not be a mortal sin? What is a Catholic's obligation with regard to Church laws? Not everyone who has rebelled against "legalism" and adopted a new approach can explain why he has done so. This is part of the problem. I do think there is an explanation. While not denying that there are abuses, I suggest that perhaps the reaction against a new prac-


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tice is disproportionate to what is really going on. And perhaps the reason is that people don't understand the issues adequately. The people who have a certain feeling, an instinct, that they are doing the right thing cannot, even as they do it, explain the whole thing themselves. I think it is important to try to explain, and I think it is explicable. Moreover, such an explanation can help Catholics of all stages and ages who somehow feel that their prior attitude toward the law was not the right one, that their prior approach was too binding, somewhat crippling. An explanation can help them not only to say this intellectually and rationally, but also say it with their emotions, and free them from the guilt and gnawing suspicions people can have even when they are doing things which they feel somehow at right. CHURCH LAW AND GOD'S LAW

First of all we need a crucial distinction: that between Church laws and God's laws. Not opposition, note, but distinction. More technically, the distinction should be between positive law and moral law. l suggest that when Christ leveled against the Pharisees accusations of legalism, of "giving tithes ¡ of mint, and dill, and cummin and forgetting the weighter demands of the law," what he was saying to them was, "You are obeying law indiscriminately; you are obeying the letter of positive law and missing the spirit of the moral law!" The distinction between positive law and moral law is at the heart of these reflections. What is moral law? The moral law is what it means for man to be man. The moral law is the law of our being, or better, of our becoming. It is the very structure of ourselves which is the framework and guideline of our aspirations. It is how we have to act if we are to be truly human persons. Consequently, it is not something arbitrary. When we talk of this as law we are talking only analogously, if, as is generally the case, the model we start with is human law. Human law is man-made; it is codified or at least codifiable. You can write it down in propositions, and you can put it in books and exhaust it finally. Moral law is not like that, because it is the law written in our hearts. You can't put it all down in proposi-


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tions. You can't get an adequate picture, in nice codes, of the moral law, no matter how many books you use. Moral law is what it means for us to be and to become ourselves. In itself the moral law is absolute, because we are not free not to be human. We are not morally free to act like animals. We are not morally free to destroy ourselves or to thwart our own self-development. We must develop ourselves according to God's plan for us-not understanding that as some sort of blue-print or as a treasure hunt, but understanding it as a developing process of the human being in the light of faith and grace toward that personal self-fulfillment in the beatific vision which is our destiny. In itself the moral law is not subject to exceptions, because precisely what it means is: whatever man is to do to be himself, to be called by God arul to respond. But in its fotmulations the moral law is subject to change. For example, we have qualified and understood in increasingly adequate ways the moral law against killing. We understand that there is killing and there is murder. We have been able to talk quite satisfactorily, up until very recent times at least, about capital punishment as a form of killing which is legitimate, and "just war" as involving a form of killing which is also legitimate. Even though we are beginning to question those categories, to wonder if they are a little too facile, the point is still valid: in general we feel able to deal with the formulation of the moral law. We see that these formulations are somehow culturally conditioned. We see that they are subject to new and growing understanding. For example, the old business of usury. Centuries ago in the Church it was regarded as against the moral law to lend money at interest. Today we do not regard it so. Perhaps in the socio-economic situation of the centuries when usury was regarded as immoral, it was immoral. Perhaps, given the situation at the time, usUL"Y really did harm to people. But it is more likely that people had an inadequate understanding of money as a commodity like any other commodity, one which could be used and bartered and could even grow and accumulate. In any event, usury gives us an example of a f01mulation of the moral law which has at least changed, and perhaps has yielded to a better understanding.


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Another example is in the area of modesty. At the end of the nineteenth century, for a woman to appear in a dress which allowed more than a glimpse of her ankle was regarded as immodest. Today we live in the age of the mini-skirt. What has happened? Have we abrogated all laws of modesty? Has the moral law changed which says that a person should not expose his or her body in such a way as to be a source of lustful temptation to another? No, what has changed is the culture, the context in which we live'. The normal person isn't upset by exposed ankles-or even knees! And yet he still recognizes limits of modesty. Thus, the formulations and the applications of the basic moral law safeguarding purity against lust change very much with culture. We recognize that and we can deal with it. But precisely because the moral law itself is intrinsically connected with man's final end, with his becoming the person he is meant to become, it is absolutely binding on us. Formulations, concrete applications may change; the substance does not. We must be moral creatures, because we must be true to our human beings. POSITIVE LAW

Positive law, on the other hand, is something quite different. It is the "arbitrary" specification of the moral law. "Arbitrary" not in the sense of "whimsical," as if determined by a flip of a coin but in the root sense: it could be specified otherwise. The proof of this is that it has in many instances been specified otherwise. For example, the whole positive law of the Church on fasting before receiving Holy Communion has been changed three times in recent memory: fasting from midnight of the night before, from three hours before, from one hour before. It could be changed tomorrow to no fast at all. The Communion fast is, then, an arbitrary specification of the moral law which demands of us, as peOple who live in a sacramental Church, reverence for Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist. We are to revere Christ, and because we are human beings we are to show that reverence in some external way. One external way of showing reverence is by fasting. _It is not an unreasonable way, though we may question whether, as a matter of fact,


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for our day and age, our cultural condition, it is a particularly meaningful way. For tribal initiation in Africa we are told a person may fast for two or three days in isolation in a hut in the jungle. In our country, nobody fasts before he is initiated into the Rotary Club. Fasting is not a cultural expression for us, and the law of fast before Communion may eventually be suppressed for us. Which is to say that there is an arbitrariness to that specification of the moral law which we call the positive law of Communion-fast. Another example is the Sunday Mass obligation. The moral law involved is that we as creatures must worship our Creator. Not because of some extrinsic fiat of God but simply because this is what it means to be a rational creature: we in some way need for our own wholeness a relation of adoration to the all-powerful Being who made us. Sunday Mass is a specification, reasonable but arbitrary, of the moral Jaw. Obviously there is also the whole community dimension, the whole sacramental dimension, but with due consideration of all these, it is still true that Sunday Mass could be Friday Mass in honor of the Passion of Our Lord. It could be Saturday to continue the Jewish Sabbath; it could be every other Sunday; it could be every fourth Sunday; it could be Sunday and Friday. It would still serve as an intelligent and reasonable and adequate way of embodying in externals that inward need we have, that moral obligation we have, of worshipping God. The law of Sunday Mass is a man-made law, as it stands. At least we are fairly sure that Our Lord did not say to his followers, "Now you are to abrogate the Jewish Sabbath and you are to come together for this particular kind of worship service every Sunday." We know, moreover, that this particular kind of worship service, at least in many of its externals, did not exist in the very early Church. Positive law is "arbitrary." MORE OR LESS ARBITRARY

But positive law is more or less arbitrary; it is of varying necessity as a specification of the moral law. There are some specifications of moral law which are closer to the moral iaw itself, and others which are further away. There are some things which seem to be more or less the only reasonable way to


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embody our moral obligation, and there are others which are plainly just one of many ways. To the extent that any specification is the only, or very close to the only, way of embodying moral obligations, it partakes of the necessity, the absoluteness of the moral law. To the extent that it is further and further away from being the only way, it does not partake of the necessity of the moral law. The law enjoining confession before Communion of one in the state of serious sin may be a good ¡ example of a very close connection between positive and moral law; fasting is an example of a loose connection between the two. On the other hand, it is true that some concretization, some particularization, of the moral law is necessary as long as we are bodily spirits. We are coming to understand this better as we come to appreciate the Incarnation and the sacramental principle more fully. "We are our bodies," as modern philosophers like to say. So we must not spurn the external embodiment of moral obligation which is positive law; we have to see it in perspective. Because positive law is not in itself intrinsically connected with our final end, that is, because it is not itself the moral law but only one way of specifying it, it is only conditionally binding. What we are obliged to absolutely is the end, and positive law by definition is only a means to the end. It is only one concretization of the value which the moral law is trying to get at. The obligation to obey positive law is conditioned precisely on whether or not a given positive law actually leads to the end or value which the moral law embodies. If the law in itself cannot lead to the moral value involved, then it is a bad law, and so an invalid law, or no law at all. For example, if a civil engineer were to go down to the farthest atoll of the Fiji Islands and draw up a whole system of traffic controlsred lights, green lights and all the laws that went with ithe would have something nice on paper, which would perhaps be fine for downtown Minneapolis. But on this particular atoll on the Fiji Islands his laws would be invalid because there are no cars on that atoll! You can have all the traffic lights you want at the crossing of jungle paths, but the idea of having these pedestians stop on red and go on green is patently ridiculous. Such traffic laws would be, of their nature, invalid in this context.


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Obviously the moral value embodied in traffic laws is safeguarding one's own life and the lives of others: the fifth commandment. To the extent that green and red lights lead to that value they are good and just and right specifications of a moral obligation. To the extent that they cannot, they are invalid. There is another situation in which the obligation to obey a poSitive law is affected: when an ordinary valid law does not, in a particular situation, lead to the value it is meant to embody. For example, construct this situation: there is a stop light at a flat crossing of two big highways where a driver can see two miles in each direction. It is three o'clock in the morning. There is an ambulance with an emergency case speeding down one of these highways toward a red light. The driver can see that there is not another car on the road. He goes right through that red light. Is he in so doing attacking the moral value involved? Of course he is not, because in this particular case obeying the Jaw would not lead to the value of saving human life; it would work against it. He very rightly made the judgment to get at, not the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law-the end, the value embodied. We should not level any accusation of laxity on people who so treat law in a particular situation. They are, rather, seeing the value of the law and assessing it correctly. The essential element of a positive law is precisely its spirit, its end, its value, not its letter. LAW'S CULTURAL CONTEXT

Very often we have to look into the background of a law, especially the cultural context from which it came, to see what the end or the value of the law is-or perhaps was. Some of our laws in the Church today, especially surrounding the sacraments, stem from an age long gone by. It is very well known that the medieval understanding of the Mass in terms of its "fruits" was rather amazing. Theologians had a very well worked out system, beautifully calculated, of various categories of effects or fruits, of the Holy Sacrifice. In this system for example, it made a lot of difference how many people you had at a Mass, because that was how many ways one category of fruits was divided. Hence the guide in a European cathedral who very proudly points out a pillar altar where someone was


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stabbed to death. Asked why, he says, "Well, he came and tried to get in on the family's Mass and of course it was one more way for the fruits to be divided, so he had to go!" Whether or not that story is true, it could be true, because of the understanding people had. We know too that it was very common for a feudal lord to pluck a peasant out of the fields, teach him enough Latin by rote so that he could get through the Mass, and put him in a chapel to say Mass continually for the noble family. It was against this kind of abuse that the Church put in the law that limited the number of Masses priest could celebrate every day. This law has been qualified today, of course. But most Catholics, priest and lay, still feel limited to Mass once a day or, fo1¡ the laity, communion once a day. Actually, this should almost never be the case. For example, if a sister has received Communion in the morning at community Mass, and in the evening goes to a meeting and finds out that a part of the meeting will be the liturgy, what is she to do? May she receive Communion at that liturgy? She has to weigh the values involved: on the one hand the Church law which says that, to counter abuses, we are not to multiply Communions, and on the other, the value of participating with this group, this community, in receiving the Body of Christ in the Eucharist. It seems to me that there is just no comparison between those two values, and that she certainly should receive Communion with this group. Something of the same is true for fasting before Communion, which still bothers a certain number of people. Someone forgets, has not fasted, gets to Mass and realizes that it is within an hour. What should he do? I do not think that there is any question as to what he¡ should do: he should receive communion reverently thus safeguarding the deeper moral obligation that the faSting law is trying to get at and not contemning the laws of the Church at all; simply saying, "in this situation, there is no question as to the balance of values." SUBSTANTIAL OBSERVANCE

To back up this kind of thinking, theology today talks about "the principle of substantial observance." This actually was first articulated in connection with Pope Paul VI's


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Paenitemini, in 1966. Paenitemini abrogated the old canons on fast and abstinence and instituted the new guidelines in this area. Together with it, Osservatore Romano published as a semi-official commentary an article which explicitated the notion of "substantial observance." It pointed out that one or other breach of this law which externalizes in some way that interior obligation of penance that binds all of us sinners does not seem, to the ordinary appreciation of intelligent people, to be undercutting the whole spirit of the law. It does not seem, in other words, to be nuilifying the value at stake here, which is the value of a spirit of repentance. Therefore, the article suggested, the faithful should be told that what they are to do is to observe this law in its substance, without feeling that an individual lapse is gravely sinful. If one ate meat on one Friday in Lent, for example, there would be no reason for the Church to cry, "you have destroyed the spirit of the moral obligation of penance externalized in this particular law!" From this notion of substantial observance put out in connection with Paenitemini some moralists have drawn a further conclusion: the same principle of substantial observance must apply to every positive law in the Church which enjoins a practice. So the practice of Sunday Mass, the practice of the breviary, the practice of any kind of external discipline, must be subject to the understanding that one does not nullify the whole spirit of a law if one does not obey it on one or other occasion. It is this understanding, I think, that underlies someone's saying, "It's not a mortal sin to miss ¡sunday Mass;" or, "It's not a mortal sin not to read the breviary." It probably is not. If sometimes this is said with a certain defensiveness, it may be because people feel that this is right, and may even feel certain that it is right, but they don't always understand why it is right, so they adopt a kind of cavalier tone about it which covers over their own uncertainty. The point is that there are theological bases which can give moral certainty about it. We don't have to be cavalier; we can be correct. TWO JURIDICAL CULTURES

One final point:

we American Catholics are exposed to


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two "Juridical Cultures." In modern Western civilization there are two basic approaches to law which hold sway. The one is the Common Law tradition, which is English and therefore American. The other is the Code Law tradition, which is continental European and especially Latin. Code law deals in general principles. It makes general statements about ways of acting, which general statements need a good bit of interpretation, qualification and adaptation to any single incident. When a code of laws is published, everybody who wants to act according to those laws is going to have to bring them down to his own concrete circumstances and in so doing he may get fairly far from their general statement. That is one juridical tradition. Common law, on the other hand, deals not in general principles but in cases, which are already one step removed from general principles. That is, in the common law tradition principles are already applied to types of situations. We know that in our courts the notion of precedent is very important. A judge has to take account of precedents set in earlier, similar cases; at least in many cases, he is bound by such precedents. Thus, in a common law tradition a judge is starting with something much more specific, much more detailed than the judge in a code law tradition. This is in itself no problem; both systems seem to work well enough. The justice meted out in Italy seems to be just as adequate as the justice meted out in the United States, though it involves a different juridical system. The problem comes when a law made in one system is accepted and interpreted in another system! If a law is made as a general principle it is made to be interpreted very broadly and adapted to particular situations. If it is accepted as if it is already adapted and specified, it is misunderstood. It is taken as something it is not. I think this happens. In our country we sometimes accept laws made in Rome--therefore, under a code system-as if they were made under a case system. And so we obey them more rigidly than the Romans! I remember once, during my studies in Rome, standing at the bulletin board absolutely amazed at the juxtaposition of two notices. One, from the post-conciliar liturgical commission


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said, "From now on there will be no oratio intperata imposed for Masses indefinitely." Right underneath it was a post card Jrom the Vicariate of Rome stating, "From now until further notice an oratio imperata p1¡o papa will be added to every Mass." The Americans reading the two notices were very angry. They were pointing at first the one and then the other and tearing their hair. The Italians at the bulletin board had no problem with this at all. They saw the liturgical commission's directive as liturgically sound: a very good principle. But they saw that, at the very see of Peter, there was ample reason for an exception to it. Their insight was, I submit, correct. Without passing any judgment on the prudence or liturgical sense of the Vicariate of Rome in this instance, I suggest that it was acting logically, in light of its understanding of law. As an American, I tended to think at the time that it was acting in direct contradiction to the law. I and my fellow expatriates, not understanding the distinction in juridical cultures, were baffied by what some of our European brethren were quite able to deal with. THE AMERICAN DILEMMA

I think that happens often in our country. Unfortunately, neither ordinary Catholics nor many of the authorities in the Church in our country give much evidence that they understand this distinction. So we Americans very often find ourselves obeying what we think is the law that came out of Rome when actually it may not be what the Italians would tell us in our situation to do at all. And then we complain, "Rome makes the laws; we keep them!" The consequences of this misunderstanding in terms of eventual bitterness and disunity are obvious and regrettable. Of course there is always the danger of rationalization in something like this. Once one says that we don't have to have absolute observance of the letter of every law at all times, there are always going to be people who take the bit in their mouths and run with it, rationalizing their failure to attain the law's value by calling on "substantial observance" or "sound interpretation." But if somebody is always looking for a loophole, if the only thing he wants is just a chance to get away with


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something more, then I really question how much of value there was in his previous observance of the law. It seems probable that it was mere material observance done with some kind of mistaken idea of obligation not very morally valuable at all. I do not want to deny that the law has a real place as an external grace, as a shoring up of our weak wills. But I think that pushed too far that makes us slaves to the law-and slaves to the wrong law: not moral law, but positive law. As a matter of fact, we have many Catholic people who are not equipped to deal very intelligently with positive law. They tend to be either slavishly obedient to positive law or recklessly careless of it, probably because of a rebellion against slavish obedience. But our Catholic people are growing up. They are not standing still for what they see as mindless literalism. I think their instincts are basically right. We do not want to "protect" Catholics from understanding the true nature of positive law. This may result in quantitatively less "observance," but sheer external conformity and material observance is really not worth very much. Sheer repetition of an action can build a muscle, but the will is not a muscle. We do have to be careful that we don't go around shouting this from the housetops to people who simply are .not ready for it. We probably would not tell a group of seventh graders with abandon that, " you don't have to fast on Good Friday if you don't want to," or, "it's not a mortal sin if you miss Mass on Sunday." The tone of that and the context of it smacks of imprudence. But the other extreme of hiding from Catholics these perspectives on law can be very destructive too. We can understand positive law cotTectly, and act on that understanding without being antinomian, without seeming to opt for anarchy. What we should opt for is interiorization of law's values, and the kind of motivation which enables us to come closer to the Psalmist's attitude when he protests, "Lord, I wve what Thou Commandest."


Ernest Lussier, S.S.S. SCRIPTURE SURVEY Ill

Mariology Post- Vatican II Is Mariology a dead issue among contemporary theologians? The author, a New Testament scholar, reviews some of the most important dimensions of this question . .

It is being said that Mariology is a casualty of Post-Vatican II' renewal. The truth, to put it briefly, seems to be that there is now a refusal to multiply devotional practices and that the need is felt to unify piety and the spiritual life. Some experts claim the existence of a crisis which apparently is hardly felt on the popular level. Marian shrines are still popular and tons of candles are still being burned. There are, however, some manifestations of second thoughts among educated Christians, the clergy, seminarians, religious: the month of Mary practices have all but disappeared; public recitation of the rosary has now little appeal to the younger people; .most religious have replaced the little office of the Blessed Virgin by the breviary proper. And the problem is not only with the external elements of the devotion. Some are wondering whether Marian devotion is not secondary or even accessory in Christianism, if not actually superfluous and to a certsin extent artificial. 73


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· There are certain practices of Marian devotion that border on superstition, for example, a presentation of the devotion as an infallible means of ·salvation. There is also along this line the ·question of burning candles, a practice which some priests are opposing perhaps without taking into consideration the true sociological character of all religions, and the need for symbolic practices, as popular psychological outlets. There is a difficulty experienced by many serious minded people in the fact that a close relation seems to exist between Marian devotion and private revelations, visions, and apparitions. The miraculous character of such stories easily attract uncomplicated minds, simple people, while others will tend to be more reticent and discreet. If the case of Lourdes is easily accepted, perhaps because of the exceptional personality of Bernadette, other apparitions create problems (for example, Fatima in view of the repo1t of Otto Karrer) or are actually unbelievable, if not rejected by proper authority (e.g., Garabandal). Then tl1ere is also the problem of what is legitimate remuneration and not exploitation in the practice of devotions. Sentimentalism is another reproach often directed against devotion to the Blessed Virgin ; Marian devotion would be without much foundation on good sense or solid dogmatic thinking. This criticism is false in relation to most recent Marian literature which is solidly doctrinal. It is true, however, of much of the writings of the nineteenth century. For example, Faber's "The Foot of the Cross or the Sorrows of Mary" is unbearable today in spite of its literary excellence. Some would even criticize the great orators like St. Bernard (e.g., On the Name of Mary) as being saccharine. This may be excessive; yet orators are perhaps well warned in avoiding certain themes, excessively anthropomorphic; for example, the supposed interventions of Mary in relation to divine justice. Closely related to the accusation of sentimentalism is that of infantilism. This often takes the form of an excessively sentimental and not sufficiently dogmatic presentation of Mary's divine maternity. Faber's reference to his "heavenly mamma" is a case in point. Critics sarcastically quote psychoanalytical themes of return to infancy or uterine life in their rejection of this approach. Without paying too much attention to the


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"complex of meaning" featured by Charles Beaudoin, it is still quite embarrassing to read of the mystical nursing supposedly enjoyed by St. Bernard or Blessed Henry Suso. It would be. imprudent to despise mystical phenoJllena especially when they reveal a profoundly human need. It is quite legitimate that a certain desire and need for maternal affection should find its satisfaction in Marian piety, and this could be something of great psychological value; but that is no reason to degenerate ¡in puerility. The ttue solution here is probably to present Mary's maternity in its full theological dimension, and leave it at that. The question is more delicate when one encounters in some of the faithful a more or less conscious tendency to consider Marian devotion as some kind of idolatry. In theory everyone agrees on the exact value of the Marian cultus. Yet some feel that Marian devotion may have some relation with a phenomenon found in the history of religion, namely, the need of having a female god along with the male. Monotheistic Christianity would find some compensation in Marian devotion. Some of the older writers, like Petrach, felt no scruple in calling Mary a goddess. On the other hand, the purification of religion surely does not require the elimination of ¡all devotion to Mary, not even to favor ecumenism. There is no doubt that in our dialogue with Protestants, the Marian question is a sore spot. There is grave doubt, however, about the efficacy or legitimacy of such a radical solution. as the discarding of Mariology. MORE SUBTLE DIFFICULTIES

There is a more subtle difficultly that ruins Marian doctrine at its base. Mariology is based on Mary's necessary role in the Incarnation and Redemption from which her privileges are derived. Now some theologians today situate the question differently. For them the Incarnation must be an absolute integration of the divine into the human. They conclude that the birth of Christ, to be truly and fully human must be like all other births. And so Mary's privileges are not only unnecessary but useless and embarrassing since they seem to isolate Christ from the rest of mankind. Marian doctrine is thus questioned, especially the virginal maternity, for example by Louis Evely in his recent The Gospels Without Myth (p. 77-84).


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Others will assert, not as a possibility but as in all probability the actual fact, that the hypostatic union could well have ocCUlTed in the process of an ordinary, natural birth. The idea of virginal maternity would be a mythological accretion. These are unwarranted interpretations of the Gospel texts. It will be the task of the theologian to show that Christ has assumed our humanity in the fullest possible way even though his mother was immaculate in her conception and full of grace, as is clearly revealed. A final difficulty is found today in the cunent stress on women's liberation. The way in which Mary's role is conceived would be redolent of a conception of woman and of her role in society which is unacceptable to our modern mentality. There is no question that our Lady belonged to a patriarchal, oriental type of society in which the role of woman is essentially subordinated. In most of the ancient texts insistence is placed on the' submission, the self-effacement which characterized Mary's life. She is presented as a model of the strictly domestic virtues, and little is said about her personal initiative and responsibilty. Today women look at their role in life in a different light and demand to be considered and treated not as inferiors but as equals. It seems clear that our theology has been elaborated by a mentality whlch is strictly and essentially masculine. Some women are annoyed to see glorified in Mary certain values within which they refuse to be limited, especially since they find there little which conesponds to their ideals. A judicious presentation of Mary's role will not deny the historical milieu in which she lived, but will also stress the fact that she was free and responsible in her special vocation, and that the modern woman has surely much to learn from Mary's example, especially her great love for God and for men, and her life of prayer and union with our Lord. In this background there is clearly much interest in knowing what is the biblical revelation relative to Mary, especially in the infancy narratives (Mt. l-2; Lk. 1-2) which bring up the question of Christ's virginal birth. The Calvary scene (Jn. 19 :25-26) also deserves attention and the glory scene of Ap. 12. CHRIST'S VIRGINAL BIRTH

The incident involving feminist Ti-Grace Atkinson and


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Patricia Buckley Bozell in Washington, D.C., last March is proof enough of the actuality and interest of the question of Christ's virginal birth. This interest already existed in the early Church as is clear from the prominence it receives both in Matthew's gospel and in Luke's. Representing two very different traditions these narratives agree on one fact, Christ's virginal birth, and as shall be shown, notwithstanding the mystery involved, both authors surely mean to present a historical happening; in fact, the narratives would be quite meaningless if this their central feature were not the expression of a mysterious yet historical fact. Neither Mark nor John touch upon the period of infancy in the life of Jesus. John ( Ch. 1) has an early Christian hYmn proclaiming Jesus' pre-existence as well as his Incarnation. Matthew's account is cast in the form of a catechetical statement, whereas Luke's narrative combines the hymnic, doctrinal, and meditative style. Both infancy narratives give the gospel message in miniature fo1m. The 1\fatthean tradition prompted no doubt by its catechetical intent covers more completely the basic areas of the Christian message: the messianic promises realized through Israel. (in the genealogy) ; the conversion of the Gentiles typified by the Magi; the Exodus motif evident in the flight to Egypt sequence; and the saving victory over sin and death, in the story of the Holy Innocents. Some of these came to the fore also in Luke's narrative: in the allusion to Nathan's famous messianic prophecy, and in the contradiction and sword motif, along with the idea of full consecration to God's service. Both Matthew and Luke are not primarily concerned with the actual details of Jes.us' infancy but with a gospel of redemption, yet both feature and even focus on one detail, Christ's virginal birth. Joseph is the central and active figure in Matthew's narrative and the Matthean tradition is greatly affected by the use of Old Testament texts: the infancy stories include five of the Matthean reflection-citations. Theological imagination and symbolism also play a large part in the composition of these narratives. For example, the theme of the Magi story is not only the royal messiahship of Jesus, but also the worship he receives from the Gentiles. In contrast to Luke who places


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Jewish poor shepherds at the scene of the Nativity as the first to worship Jesus, Matthew puts Gentiles first; and the Jews, even when informed of the birth, remain indifferent. This is a theme repeated several times throughout Matthew's gospel. The incidents narrated in Matthew Chapter 2 (Magi, flight into Egypt, Holy Innocents) possibly represent essentially a theological narrative supported by the use of Old Testament texts, expressing symbolically the opposition of secular power to Jesus' royal messiahship, an opposition which ultimately climaxed in the Passion. In Luke, Mary is the center of the na1-rative and, like the case of Joseph in Matthew, no one but she (Lk. 2:19, 52) could have been the basic source of the personal material presented. There are perhaps indications of J ohannine influence in the Lucan tradition, especially in the abundant use of numerical symbolism which reminds us of both John's gospel and the Apocalypse. Thus seventy weeks (Dn. 9 :24) knit together the events of Lk. 1-2. INFANCY NARRATIVES

The infancy narratives did not apparently form part of the original preaching of the Church, which as is clear from Mark's gospel, began with an account of the ministry of the Baptist. They are in content and style unlike anything else in the gospel and apparently appeared last. A critical reader may then well wonder whether they are to be taken in the same sense as the narratives of the public life. First of all it must be clearly stated that neither Matthew .nor Luke makes any attempt to conceal the doctrinal purpose of his writing. Matthew shows Joseph welcoming Jesus in the name of Israel, the Gentiles coming to adore him while the leaders of Israel reject him. Luke is a tissue of carelly balanced parallels between Jesus and the Baptist, leading into the preaching of the good news which he relates starting with chapter three. Both Evangelists use Scripture extensively to show how Jesus has fulfilled ancient prophecy: Joseph is typical of the ancient patriarch; Mary is the daughter of Sion ; Jesus, the new Israel, the new Moses. These facts have led some authors to speak loosely of the


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infancy gospels as midrash, understanding a didactic or homiletic exposition consisting chiefly in imaginative developments of the material at hand. This, however, is a descripton of an haggadical midrash. The midrash is a generic name for a type, a manner of scriptural explanation, and the midrash can also be halakist which is a much stricter explanation of the text. Using the term correctly, Professor Sandmel recently described the New Testament as a midrash (a didactic explanation) of the Old. And there is no reason why a Jewish-style theological presentation of the Infancy of Jesus could not be called a midrash, provided the word is not given the pejorative sense which it does not necessarily carry, and which would exclude all hlstorical value from the content. When we compare the infancy narratives with the stories of our Lord's public life, two points of comparison deserve special attention: the presence of the prodigious (miraculous) and the use of Scripture. Now, with the exception of Jesus' temptations in Matthew and Luke, and the episode of Gethsemane in Luke, angels are never mentioned in the public life of Jesus, nor does God ever reveal himself in dreams. Even the miracles recorded take place in the ordinary everyday world. In the infancy narratives, on the contrary, everything is marvellous rather than miraculous, everything happens beyond the course of the visible and obset'Vable universe. Zachary, Joseph and Mary, the Magi and the shepherds all communicate with heaven through angelic messengers. The setting of the story is Palestine, but the invisible world constantly intervenes in a most extraordinary manner. And how is one to picture or imagine a biblical angel? In Scripture the angel of Yahweh is usually a literary euphemism, and anthropomorphic way of referring to God himself. The use of Scripture is another characteristic of the infancy stories. In the account of the public life, the Old Testament is often quoted showing that prophecy has been fulfilled; in our texts the quotes are multiplied to the extent of being the core of the presentation which follows certain literary forms found in the Old Testament, for example in the annunciation stories to Abraham and Sarah (for the birth of Isaac) and to the mother of Samuel. Yet one must beware of extreme (mini or maxi) conclusions. One cannot conclude on the ground of


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the literary form that no real event underlies the Matthean and Lucan stories, just as one is not justified in thinking that the literary form had no influence on the way the material is presented. THE MAGI

Stripped of its biblical quotations the story of the Magi (Mt. Ch. 2) seems to have been modeled on a well-known haggadical mid rash about Moses on which Josephus dwells at length in his Jewish Antiquities. It is not possible here to quote the full text but the following are the main parallels. The birth and future mission of his son is revealed to Amram, the father of Moses in a dream (in some accounts Pharaoh has the dream) ; Jesus' mission also is manifested to Joseph in a dream, and Herod is informed by the Magi. Herod's reaction is similar to Pharaoh's: he seei; the child as a dangerous rival and seeks advice. (Pharaoh consulted his astrologers, Herod seeks out the high priests and the learned teachers) . Both kings decide to eliminate any possible fulfillment of the prediction by slaugh- ¡ tering innocent children, but in both cases the real child escapes because of a divine warning. The closeness of the parallel is evident and becomes unmistakable when one compares Ex. 4: 19-20 with Mt. 2 :19-21 which seems to be the Matthean clue to the whole passage. The l\'!atthean text is well known and will echo in one's ear as the former is read: "The Lord said to Moses in Mid ian: Go, return to Egypt, for all those who sought your life are dead. Then Moses took his wife and his children, put them on an ass and returned to Egypt" (Ex. 4 :19-20). There can be no reasonable doubt that the Jewish story about Moses had considerable influence on Matthew's chapter two. In fact, if one were to remove the many biblical quotations from the Matthean text, the skeleton of the Mosaic story would be practically all that is left. It has been concluded from these facts that the Matthean

story of the Magi is a pure fabrication; yet the historical character of the episode cannot be solved by the study of the literary form of the narrative. This opens the question but does not solve it, and there are reasons to suspect that some real incident may be at the start of this theological presentation


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(cf. Ami du Clerge, 1961, p. 760-2). Some might fear the pastoral consequences of denying that the Magi were real people; yet the historical character of the event is not a dogmatic fact like the Incarnation, or Christ's redemptive death on Calvary, or his glorious resurrection. It is completely possible that Matthew was simply trying to teach in a popular style the doctrinal truth that the message of Jesus is for all nations, and in any case, that is surely the essential message of the passage. VALUE OF INFANCY NARRATIVES

It should then be clear that the literary forms used in the infancy narratives are very unlikely what is found in our Lord's public life. What is their historical value? Literary criticism shows that they come from Jewish-Christian sources. Moreover, it seems clear from the widely different versions of the events given by Matthew and Luke, that they made use of different independent traditions. This is all the more significant since the two Evangelists agree on the essential details of Jesus' infancy: a virgin named Mary, the fiancee of a man named Joseph, .conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, a child who was called Jesus the promised Savior of Israel. After they were married Mary gave birth to her son in Bethlehem, but they finally settled down at Nazareth. Now, even in this material ¡an is not equally important, yet one fact stands out and is surely of capital importance in the evangelists' mind, namely, the virginal conception of Jesus. Where did this idea come from? We shall show how different were the pagan and Hellenistic ideas on this subject. Palestinian Judaism never entertained the idea of a virginal conception for the Messiah. The idea was hardly suggested by Is. 7 :14 which Matthew has blown out of context in his rereading and reflection-citation. And the early Church would have found it difficult to deduce it from its own belief in the Resurrection or in the divinity of Christ; the apocryphal gospels show the direction taken by popular belief, not a horizontal climb but a vertical wallowing in human stupidities (Jerome called these gospels "deliramenta apocryphorum"). The only possible source left seems to be Mary herself, as the texts sug-


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gest and as the nature of the event demands. What can be said of other specific details in the infancy :narratives? What was the nature of the apparitions to Zachary, to Mary? In what form did Gabriel appear? These questions evidently are quite secondary even if they often preoccupy our simple-minded Christian people. Once again it might be useful to recall the general principle that in scriptural interpretation one should pay more attention to the theological, spiritual message than to the manner it is conveyed. Here it is very likely that the Evangelists have presented genuine spiritual experiences in a traditional, conventional, consecrated style (angels and dreams). Mary was called by God to play an important role in God's plan of salvation. This is the essential factor; the manner in which God's will was made known is secondary. A fortiori the angelic announcement to the shepherds is to be understood in the same manner as the other two annunciations. And the canticle of the angels, like the _other canticles of the Lucan narrative, is meant to bring out the spiritual significance of the episode. The Evangelists lead us into the realm of metahistory. They know that they are dealing with real facts and want us to accept them as such, but this is salvation history, a hlstory that has faith as its background and in which¡ events are the inbreaking of spiritual purpose and power into the daily life of men. This way of writing history does not allow any easy answer to the noTinal historical question: what does it really mean? The answer to this question belongs to the realm of theology, and the contact with human history (metahistory) is difficult to specify in the actual biblical records. Whether we like it or not, we must be content to live with a measure of uncertainty as to where fact ends and interpretation begins. An attitude of complete historical skepticism concerning the biblical infancy narratives is then unjustifiable; the difference between Matthew-Luke and the apocryphal gospels is proof enough of the restraint that was exercised in the composition of the biblical stories. Yet the nature of the material does not allow an uncritical acceptance of everything that is said as equally meaningful. The narratives are theological presentations and expansions which are of primary importance


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as witnessing to the person, character, and mission of Jesus according to early tradition based on the first Christians' faith and worship. MARY'S PERPETUAL VIRGINITY

Mary's perpetual virginity which has been a constant tradition in the Church (witness among others all the credal formulas, from the very beginning) deserves special attention. The fact of the virginity of Mary in the conception of Jesus, who was born by the power of the Holy Spirit, is as has been shown the essential message of the infancy nan-atives and is affirmed by two independent literary traditions. Had Mary chosen this virginity? Her marriage to Joseph would seem to demand a negative answer. Yet to the angel who announced her maternity. Mary objected: "How can this come about since I do not know man?" (Lk. 1 :34). The importance of this crucial verse is obvious. If Mary had intended in her marriage normal, conjugal relations, the announcement could present no problem to her and her question would be meaningless. Her answer indicates that she is a virgin and apparently expresses her intention to remain so, an implicit purpose of perpetual virginity. In Palestine at that time virginity was not unknown (witness Jesus, John, Paul, and the Qumran Essenes). On the other hand, a young girl who wanted to remain a virgin could hardly refuse to enter a marriage imposed by her family. A word might be said here about William E. Phipps' recent (1970) book, Was Jesus Married? The Distortion of Sexuality in the Christian Tmdition. The major thrust of the book as well as its main subject matter are clearly expressed in its subtitle. The problem raised, put at its worst, could be stated as the almost neurotic preoccupation of Christianity with sexual morality; it is a real problem but is not given an acceptable solution. The affirmative answer given to the title question (Paul also would have been man-ied) is argued inconclusively from ancient and contemporary Judaism. Jesus' wife (Mary Magdalen is considered as a likely candidate) died during those years prior to his public ministry. Jesus and his brothers did not have children wlio became prominent in the Church since there is no historical record of them. The author's presentation would at times be amusing if it were not so obviously


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intended seriously. Thus Augustine, Pius XII, Karl Rahner, and Paul VI among others ( !) are described as "pallid ascetics". Jerome was a "sex-starved ... obsessive girl watcher", and Aquinas a "corpulent imbiber of wine" who had a "personal aversion to women." The main objection to Phipps' presentation is his Jack of scholarship (most evident in his biblical interpretation) notwithstanding an impressive veneer of erudition. A more important book, perhaps the best on the subject, deals on the meaning Mary attached to her maternal virginity: "La Virginite de Marie" by J. H. Nicolas, O.P. (Collectanea Friburgensia no. 34, 1962). To put it briefly and biblically, the angel greeted Mary as "well-beloved" (Lk. 1 :28). Her virginity thus appears as a consecration, a gift of exclusive love to the Lord. In pagan mythologies certain individuals are described as sons of gods in different ways. First in the Homeric style: the gods have intercourse with humans and beget heroes or giants, intermediaries between the gods and men. Evidently there is no question here of virginity. There are also more delicate legends where the children are imagined as being born without sexual intercourse. The conception is imagined as caused by the breezes, by the aroma of flowers, a shower of rose buds, by a simple kiss or by some other poetic or romantic cause; for example, Perseus is conceived by Danae after Zeus sends down from heaven a delicate rain of gold dust. Historical personages are also sometimes called sons of god or divine, for example, Plato, Alexander, Augustus, Aquinas, but such titles are descriptive not of character but of achievement, if they are not mere adulation or unwarranted assumption of divinity. There is, consequently, some possibility of contemporary parallels to the idea of Jesus' virginal conception. The old apologetics is also wrong in claiming that the virginity of Jesus and Mary is so outstanding that even the opponents of Christianity have never dared to attack it. There are actually blasphemous Jewish stories of the supposed illegitimate birth of Christ, which have crept into the later editions of the Talmud: Mary would have committed adultery with a Roman legionary Pandera (a travesty of parthenos) or would have been deceived by a comely youth whom she took for an angel.


M'-RY

85 A COMPLEX ISSUE

Time magazine recently (Nov. 22, 1968) stated, "Any number of Biblical scholars concede, at least privately, that the virginity of Mary is a symbolic rather than a biological truth." Actually, the question of Mary's virginity cannot be stated that simply without distinction, and in any case symbol and reality in this matter to be meaningful cannot but be identified. In fact, one must distinguish three stages which do not have the same certitude or importance: virginity in the conception of Jesus which seems clearly revealed; virginity in the actual birth of Jesus, in parturition, and virginity for the rest of Mary's life. Mary's perpetual virginity is the constant teaching of the Church Fathers and ecclesiastical writers and can consequently be considered as sure doctrine. An article in the NCR (Sept. 18, 1968), authored by Rosemary Reuther brings up again unbelievably the old chestnut of the brothers and sisters of Jesus as an apodictical argument against Mary's perpetual virginity. She rejects the accepted understanding of the reference to more or less close relatives, on the pretext that the gospels were written in Greek and not in a Semitic language, and that in Greek the words mean simply brother and sister. But this is biblical Greek as used by people familiar with the biblical mentality. Neither do the genealogies prove, as she claims, a physical Davidic descent for Jesus, but a juridical and legal descent. Mary's virginity in the actual birth of Christ is the weakest point in the doctrne. Some see it insinuated in Luke 2:7, but that would demand an unbearable glossing of the text. Some recent writers (Mitterer, Galot) claim that Mary's parturition could have been normal, without any detriment to her virginity: a virgin is a woman who has never received man. Others (Michel, Feuillet, Jones) point out that Christian tradition is quite firm on the subject and should not be lightly abandoned. It might be opportune to insist on the secondary character of this question and in fact of the whole question of virginity. The only excellence of virginity or celibacy over the state of marriage is supernatural not natural. The virgin birth is a historical fact because it really happened as part of the Christ event, but it is also and essentially ¡a mystery that


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can receive no satisfactory human explanation. The action of the Holy Spirit in Mary's conception of Jesus is a mystery of grace that has not been revealed in all its actual details. AN

EDUCATED GUESS

Should one dare to present an educated existential guess at the specific details of our Lord's birth and infancy? Mary's consent is presumed by God as the Holy Spirit overshadows her in the conception of Jesus, the Son of God. Faced with a fait accompli Mary is ultimately confronted by Joseph who decides to dismiss her. After some clarification with Joseph (she knows she has done nothing amiss) Joseph accepts the fact and lives by it. Mary and Joseph realize that there is something extraordinary in Jesus's birth but understood only gradually his Messiahship and divinity. It is also possible that Mary's consent was explicitly asked, but even then she would not have known much more from the beginning. Her knowledge of Christ's mission and vocation was more implicit than explicit, more real than notional, that is, expressed in abstract notions, more intuitive than reasoned. She plumbed ever deeper into the realization that nowhere as in her son Jesus was God so dynamically and personally at work saving the world. Yet it is hard to suppose that Mary was not given from the start, no matter how vaguely and implicitly the essential meaning of her role in the mystery of Christ. Paul and John expressed the divinity of Christ by means of the Old Testament word-spirit-wisdom prefigurations: Paul used the creation-'rec1¡eation theme and John revelation-illumination. Matthew and Luke in their infancy narratives could hardly be given only a mythological (in the theological sense of approximative, defective language) way of expressing their faith in the divinity of Christ. This minimal interpretation of Matthew and Luke refuses arbitrarily to find any historical tradition behind their narratives, whereas the narratives have along with their theological presentation a basic credibility, as part of the story of Jesus, whch is their obvious claim. The providential purpose of the virginal birth is clearly to underline the divine Sonship of Jesus, yet it is an object of faith and not faith's creation.


MARY

87 THE GOSPELS WITHOUT MYTH

Recently Louis Evely in the popular book, The Gospels Without Myth (1971), rejects along with other gospel miracles Mary's virginal maternity (p. 77 -97). The scholarly reaction to his book has been categorically negative: "utter nonsense" (G. Baum, Catholic World, June 1971); the book "shows no depth of historical and critical understanding" (J. L. McKenzie, Commonweal, June 11, 1971, p. 310). The gospels could not possibly be written without myth, which is not necessarily a tissue of unbelievable fabrications but rather the recognition of the divine mystery as so profound and overwhelming as to be beyond human words; hence the impressionistic, approximative, deficient language used in its expression. The gospel narratives must be demythologized, but true demythologizing is interpretative not destructive. For Evely "The belief in Mary's physical virginity is based on the need to translate the mystery of the Incarnation into terms intelligible to unsophisticated people" (p. 81). His basic assumption is that because Jesus need not have been virginally conceived, in fact he was not so conceived. Granting the premise, the conclusion does not necessarily follow. The real point at issue is whether the Apostolic Church believed in the virginal birth as revealed truth. And the appeal to unsophistication seems ¡misconceived. The first believers were thus faced with a new mystery in which to believe, as opposed to something they understood very well. Contrary to Evely's assertions (p. 81-83) the virginal birth does not set man against God; nor does it render suspect the totality of the Incarnation. It is not a denigration of motherhood, nor does it suppose that sex is unworthy of God, though it is perhaps a providential protest against its rampant abuse. It is not a blind spot, nor is it a divine short-circuiting of St. Joseph. Incidentally, along this line of thought some recent Woman's Lib people have claimed that the virgin birth supposes that God has "used" Mary more than she would have been had she participated in a sexual conception. That along with some blasphemous name calling for God relative to the virginal birth was the occasion for the Ti-Grace Atkinson versus Patricia Bozell, Washington incident March 10, 1971


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(c/. Triumph, April 1971, p. 21-22). The idea of being used by God is apparently a misconception of the nature of actual grace. An opposite exaggeration has been to consider the virginal birth as an essential teaching of the Catholic Church. JOHN

19:25-27

AND APOCALYPSE

12

Finally, a few words should be said about Jn. 19:25-27 and Ap. 12. Little need be said after R. Brown's masterly presentation in the Anchor Bible (1970 Vol. II p. 922-27). More is meant in the gospel text than the gesture of a dutiful son. In becoming the mother of the Beloved Disciple (the Christian) Mary is symbolically evocative of Lady Zion, the new Eve, giving birth to a new people in the messianic age. The theological idea of spiritual motherhood goes somewhat beyond this original intention of the Evangelist and is the fruit of later theologizing. In Ap. 12 the woman mother of the Messiah (5) is the people of God of the Old Testament who after ¡giving Christ to the world becomes the Christian people (17). This idea is what seems to be applied to Mary in Jn. 19:24-27, which perhaps thus shows the Gospel as a later state in the Johannine tradition. In conclusion it should be stressed that we have constantly seen Mary's role as relative to Christ in the history of salvation. We must still make clear that it is also completely relative to the Holy Spirit. It is thus that the virgin will be given her place, not diminished but integrated, situated in the truth of her essential personal vocation. Mary's relation to the Holy Spirit should establish the proper balance in Marian devotion. Briefly, she is the special place and sign of the Holy Spirit's indwelling, his living image, his icon. That is how she is the mother of the Church and our mother. Mary's vocation puts her in relation to the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Mother of the Son made man, daughter of the Father like all Christians but to the highest perfection, being such a wonderful image of the Spirit of holiness.


Timothy E. O'Connell

The Search for Christian Moral Norms Priests do not feel they can give sure and final answers to all moral questions. They are, however, searching for solid 1>rinciples on which to base the advice they give their parishioners.

Every man lives by norms, by standards of what he will or will not do. Some men build their norms on the pleasure principle, some on utilitarianism. But the Christian, the man who professes to believe in and to follow Christ, must look deeper for the norms of his life. Where, precisely, does the Christian find his norms for behavior? It use to be simple to answer that question. He found them clearly spelled out in catechisms and religious books. He received them from the detailed instructions of the confessor and the preacher of his parish. He absorbed them from his parents and his community, all of whom shared the same basic view. Yes, it used to be simple to answer that question; but no more. 89


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The changes which have come to Roman Catholicism in recent years have caused difficulty in many areas, but perhaps in no area so much as in moral theology. And this state of affairs has particularly left the parish priest in a quandary. He does not wish to play the oracle any longer, giving sure and final answers to all possible questions. But he does not wish to be a silent non-participant in ethical discussion either. Hence priests are more and more looking for new principles on which to hang their own Christian lives and the advice that they give their parishioners. This article, consequently, is a survey of current Catholic thinking on the topic of moral norms. And while the work of several outstanding moral theologians is integrated into the survey, the brilliant insights of Joseph Fuchs, S.J., of the Gregorian University are its primary source. THREE KINDS OF NORMS

In order to thin·k clearly about the whole question of moral norms, it is essential to realize that there are several different kinds of norms to be distinguished. In the language of Fuchs these are t·ranscendental, ta-1ttological, and conct·ete norms. First, there are transcendental norms. These are the norms which articulate an attitude, an approach to life, a style of life more than they articulate the specific actions which should comprise that life. "Love thy neighbor" is a transcendental norm. So are "Do good and avoid evil" and "Give to each his due." The Golden Rule is a transcendental norm as are all the dicta which Christ included under the title of his "new comandment." And so are those profound, first principles of the natural law which, according to scholastic moral theology, were known by all men through the operation of synderesis. In all cases the common characteristic of transcendental norms is that they do not declare a particular action to be either good or bad, but rather point out the moral perspective from which all of life must be viewed. Second, there are tantological norms. Here we are considering norms which, at first blush, appear to give us quite clear directions for behavior. For example: "Do not murder," "Do


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not steal," "Do not lie." But upon further reflection we discover that these norms do not specify our behavior at all. For they do not tell us precisely which killings are murder, which takings of money are stealing, which evasions of the truth are lying. No, in the last analysis these norms are tautologies. They simple tell us that bad behavior is, indeed, bad. They provide emphasis on the moral importance of our actions, but they do not really help us to determine the moral quality of those actions. Third, there are concrete norms. This type of norm spells out a specific "piece" of human behavior and declares that it is morally either right or wrong, always. For example, the prohibitions of contraception, suicide, abortion, pre-marital intercourse, and adultery are concrete norms. In earlier centuries the sanctions against usury and organ transplants likewise fell into this category. And while, interestingly enough, most of the widely known concrete norms deal with the human body or with sex (perhaps because the limits of such actions are more easily specified), every priest will also recall the norms so carefully developed in the treatises on justice and the morality of the sacraments. So all of the moral norms on which men base their lives fall into one of these categories: transcendental, tautological, and concrete. But we are seeking Christian norms. So the next step in our search must be to see if any elements in these three kinds of norms are specifically, characteristically Christian. IS THERE A CHRISTIAN ETHIC?

With regard to transcendental norms it is debatable whether there are any specifically Christian elements. On the¡ one hand it is clear that Christ proclaimed certain attitudes as utterly indespensible for the Christian. We are called, absolutely, to love our neighbor as ourself. On the other hand, it is at least defensible that they are the common possession of all men and can be attained within any good philosophical system. So in terms of this first type of moral norm we must answer our question by saying: maybe yes, maybe no. We can skip over the second type of norm since it would be


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rather silly to contend that there are specifically Christian Tautologies. But what of concrete norms? Are any of these specifically, uniquely Christian? We can help to find our answer by posing another question first: where might such norms be found? In Scripture? According to Fuchs, Charles Curran, Bruno Schuller and others, we do not find in Scripture any new, revealed concrete norms which might be considered specifically Christian. There is plenty of talk about ethical behavior, of course. Christ often challenged his followers to live according to high ideals, and he was not above being quite concrete about the content of those ideals. And the same might be said for the writings of Paul and the other authors of epistles. But if we consider the various concrete norms which they enuntiate, we find that these are simply human norms, already known in the community, to which the individuals are lending their support. They are not announcing that some action which is usually good and moral for men will henceforth be bad and immoral for Christians. They are reminding the Christians that these actions are, and always are, bad. And if other men. care to ignore the humanly perceptible evilness of these actions, then that is their problem. So Scripture gives us, in the end, no new norms. Well then, where else might we find distinctively Christian elements? The only other possible locale would be Church tradition and documents. Are such norms to be found there? Once again, the answer is : No! First of all, even though the Church reserves to herself the right to pronounce infallibly on faith and morals, she has never exercised that right. There is no recorded instance in the whole history of the Church of an infallible moral pronouncement by either council or pope. And second of all, the many pronouncements of lesser authority which the Church has made through the centuries have, like the scriptural statements discussed above, focussed on current deviations from general moral standards. They have called the Christian community, and by implication all men, back to the ideals of behavior which are their common heritage and to which they have become unfaithful. The Church has never proposed any concrete norm heretofore unknown to men, but


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rather has supported the best human intuitions about what is right and wrong. Thus our conclusion is that there is, in fact, no specifically, uniquely, distinctively Christian ethic. There is no "hunk" of human behavior which is right for men in general but is wrong for Christians; there is no action which is demanded of Christians but is not, in fact, demanded of all men as well. And consequently, while it is the conviction of our faith that the presence of the Holy Spirit does give the Church an important role in the solution of human ethical issues, this does not mean that the Church has access to supernaturally revealed concrete imperatives. These do not exist. On the contrary, with the help of that Holy Spirit the Church joins all men in the interminable, painful search for solutions to the ethical dilemmas of life. Like the rest of men the Church may err in the course of this search. But the presence of the Spirit, along with the sense of perspective which she gets from the transcendental norms clearly portrayed in the life and words of Christ, give the Church special reason for perseverance and optimism in the effort. The important point, however, is this: the Church, like all men, is searching for the humanly good thing, no more and no less. All Christian persons, ourselves and our parishioners, are called to be good human persons, no more and no less. And the norms which we use and we seek are human concrete nonns, no more and no less. ARE THERE ABSOLUTE CONCRETE NORMS?

Once we know that what we are seeking is human norms for behavior, the next obvious question considers the force that these norms may have. Can such norms be absolute? Given 'the fact that an action is good or bad, can Christians depend on the fact that it is always so? Does this human search for concrete norms give us, in the end, standards on which we can infallibly build our lives? That is the question. In order to find our answer, we must first consider the mystery of human activity itself. In discussing human behavior we generally imply that all actions are either good or bad and that the Christian's obligation is to do the good and avoid the

-----


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bad. But is that the case? Actually, if we reflect deeply on our activity, it becomes clear that all of it is both good and bad. At ¡ the very least any human action is bad insofar as it prevents the persons from performing some other good act. For example, donating to one charity makes it impossible to donate to another equally worthy cause. Going to a movie precludes the possibility of seeing a fine television show. Visiting the sick prevents the the priest from visiting the school. Secondly, all human activity has both good and bad effects. A hard day's work yields both completed projects and physical exhaustion. Surgery produces both considerable pain and eventual health. And thirdly, any given good action can nonetheless bring about innumerable unpredicted and unintended evil effects which will result in misery for all concerned. Traffic fatalities stand as permanent memorial to this sad tl'Uth. The point is that all of life involves the weighing of goods and evils not only among actions but within actions as well. As much as we might like to do good and avoid evil, we cannot. Evil is never totally avoided; it is never totally excluded from our action. Consequently, the process by which men organize their lives is a process, in fact if not consciously, of considering the goods and bads which are involved with specific actions and then of acting in such a way as to maximize the good and minimize the evil. (This is what Schuller calls the "preference principle in moral theology.") It follows, then, that to ask if there are any absolute concrete norms in moral theology is actually to ask if there is any action so humanly bad that no good could outweigh it. And to ask this question is really to ask about the existence of natural law. For only some action that goes against the very meaning of man could be that evil. Only such an action could be always that evil. And only such an action could be known in advance to be that evil. So our question can now be reformulated this way: can we know the nature of man with sufficient clarity and specification as to yield absolute concrete moral norms? NATURAL LAW

The nature of man is an evasive concept. For, in itself it does not exist. Rather it stands beneath and within the reality


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of man as we know him. Just as the superstructure of a building provides the support which allows the building to exist while being invisibly absorbed within the totality of the building, so human nature stands as the core of man's existence while being often indistinguishable from the "accidents" of humanity. Hu. man nature, in the terminology of Fuchs, is a "residue concept." It is that which remains when all the nonessential elements of humanity, all the behavior patterns and habits and qualities which men have but need not have, are stripped away. The problem, however, is that at this point we become involved in a vicious circle. For on the one hand we wish to evaluate whether a particular attribute of man pertains to his nature by seeing if it is essential to his humanity. And on the other hand we have always defined man as that being which possesses a certain list of attributes. We end up evaluating our definition or defining our evaluation. Hence, the fact of the matter is that there is no way to know in advance the precise parameters of the nature of man. Only post factum can we gain any perception of that nature, and even here the knowledge is quite imperfect. As man evolves through history, as his patterns of behavior and styles of life change, it often becomes obvious that something which men considered as pertaining to the essence of humanity did not. For example, technological progress has often proved that, contrary to the warnings of objectors, specific ways of living are not part of man's nature. "If it were man's nature to fly, he would have been born with wings," they said. But men flew anyway, and demonstrated that being earthbound is not, alas, part of human nature. It is important that this point be clearly understood; contemporary Catholic moralists are not saying that man's nature changes. At least at the deepest levels of his existence man is what he is. But that deepest level, enclosed as it is in all sorts of habit structures and inherited styles of life, is not directly perceptible to man. It can be seen only by indirection, by subtraction as it were. And this subtraction can only take place a posteriori, after some element has, in fact, been removed without the subsequent destruction of man himself.


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The conclusion of all this is that, in theory, there can be no such thing as a truly absolute concrete norm. The existence of such a norm would require that we could prove a particular action to be always and everywhere antagonistic to the nature of man. And such a proof would require that we could precisely delimit that nature of man. We would have to be able to say: "That action is radically humanly evil. It is diabolically opposed to everything that humanity stands for. And it always will be. And consequently, never, neither now nor at any conceivable future time, could any man find himself in a situation in which this act could be tolerated¡ for the sake of some greater good. Indeed, this act is so perverse to humanity that there is no conceivable good which would outweigh it. And of all this we can be. absolutely sure." We cannot be that sure. And as a result, from a theoretical and logical point of view absolute concrete moral norms are a human impossibility. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS

In many ways all of the above is a "hard saying." There is in every man's heart a sincere and proper yearning for security and certitude. And this framework does not satisfy that yearning to any great extent. But as Fuchs is fond of saying: "We should not seek more certainty that God has given us, than he wants us to have. And as much as we might wish it otherwise, we do not have the certainity of absolute concrete norms." Well then, how does the Christian live? Does this theoretical schema mean that every man is on his own, that each man is free to construct his own norms based on his reason-and perhaps on his whims? No! Does it mean that man is to liberate himself from his burden of excessive autonomy by turning to "wise men," be they of Church or of State, and by simply accepting their specific judgments about his situation? No! Neither situationism nor legalism will offer us a solution. The Christian cannot fulfill the absolute transcerulental imperative which grounds his ¡vocation either by simply "feeling" each situation as it comes along or by simply obeying laws because they are laws. Instead, the Christian must seek a middle ground which, for want of a better term, I shall call objective prudentialism. First of all, the many reflections which have comprised this


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article make it perfectly clear that good and evil are objective concepts. Good human actions do, irrespective of intention, contribute to the growth and enrichment of man. And bad actions do, irrespective of intention, harm man. Consequently, if I perform an action sincerely believing it is good when it is not, I have hurt someone: perhaps myself, perhaps other persons, perhaps the conduct of society as a whole. My sincerity may mean that I have not sinned, for I have not consciously turned against God and my Christian vocation. I have not done moral evil. But I have done human evil, and there is no taking that back. Therefore the Christian is expected to be objective. He is expected to seek with sincerity and perseverance the truly, objectively best action for himself. He is expected to maximize the objectively good and minimize the objectively bad to the very best of his ability. THE CHRISTIAN AND THE CHURCH

Second of all, there is surely no intelligent man who feels that within himself he holds all of the necessaty skills and perceptions for making these judgments. Indeed, as a Christian seeking to be a moral man, I need all the help I can get. And since I am called by God to contribute to the objective enrichment of humanity, it is part of my moral obligation to get all the help I can. Consequently, the Christian turns, not hesitatingly, not begrudgingly, but gratefully, to the Church, to society, to his peers and acquaintances, to reasonable and perceptive men wherever they may be, and seeks from them a deeper and fuller understanding of the human value.s in his situation. For that, after all, is the only prudent thing to do. The Christian does not expect from these people a dictum so sure and final as to obviate his own reflections of conscience. But he does expect some objectivity in the moment when he is! most subjectively focussed, some strength when he is most weak, some clarity when he is most confused. He expects that the better side of his own intuitions will be reinforced at that moment when they are most shaken by passion or pride or ignorance. The Christian also does not expect that all the advice he receives will be of equal value. At times he will hear those out-


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side of himself as being quite unsure of themselves : "To the best of our judgment, though there are a lot of factors here, that action's evil aspects do not seem outweighed by its good ones." At other times he will hear such strength and unanimity as to give him a norm which is, if not theoretically absolute, yet practically so : "While we must stay open to the theoretical possibility that some good could outweigh this evil, we have never seen one which, in our judgment, did so. So if you think your case does include such a good, why not look again. You may well be kidding yourself." This extreme, for example, represents the current position of all Catholic moralists on elective abortion. Some theologians may discuss the extreme cases in which a truly therapeutic abortion is medically indicated, but none are supporting elective ab01tion. In effect they are all saying that "we know of no good which could outweigh the frightful evil which is involved in an abortion of convenience." As Christians, consequently, we are expected to be both objective and prudent. We are expected to do the objective good as best we can. And we are expected to prudently seek whatever help we can find in order to do that. We are expected to live with a humility which acknowledges that mistakes will be made, as they have been made in the past. And we are expected to live with a faith which affirms that this is the best man can do--and is what God has called him to do. CONCLUSION

This article summarizes the very complex thought that currently occupies the attention of moral theologians around the world. Indeed, I trust it does not do them an injustice. But it also points out the tremendous responsibility which belongs to today's priest. As was mentioned at the beginning, the priest cannot any longer be an oracle of all truth. But he must make a contribution to the very real and painful ethical reflections of his people. He must urge them to a growing concem for the objective good of mankind. And he must challenge them to use true prudence in making their moral decisions. Moreover, the priest must contribute wherever possible to the content of that prudent reflection. While he dare not speak in areas in which he is ig-


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norant, the priest must bring to bear whatever competencies he has in order to provide data and insight for his people. And most of all, because he occupies a position of particular objective disinterest in many areas of ethical dispute, the priest must everywhere contribute that sense of perspective and firmness which is so badly needed. The priest is not called to be the commander of a rear-guard action in society, to be the last bastion of old customs which are dying before our eyes. But he is called to speak out strongly to those men and women who, because of their deep personal involvement in business, neighborhood, sexuality, race, nationalism, or whatever, stand on the brink of losing their own surest instincts and richest values. That is the priest's calling. Indeed, that is his particular privilege.


Michael J. Buckley, S.J.

The Priesthood as a Religious Event What will it mean to be a priest in thirty years? Now that priesthood has become socially unpredictable, it is re-emerging as a religious event. Life is always lived within a context, a surrounding which provides both strengths and struggles for vital organisms and for conscious life. The context does not determine what a man is going to be, but it does furnish him with the elements, the oppositions and the problems with which he must deal if he is to live. The context is not the matrix of life; it is its problematic. And if a man chooses to be isolated from his context, he becomes increasingly irrelevant and the decision itself is a form of death. This death-pull constitutes a temptation peculiarly clerical, peculiarly pressing on the priesthood. Priesthood, culturally and historically, tends to isolation. Removed in its own language, its own sacred studies, its own cultic offices the priesthood can form the most reactionary caste in a civilization. It need not be so. The thirteenth century saw some synthesis between life and priesthood; the Church moved very much in the vanguard of scientific and civic development. As one looks back to this period, he must study the Church and the dimensions of the gospels because they are here, incarnate in the century. 101


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The opposite obtained in the nineteenth century-an alienation between priesthood and worker. As one looks back to this period, he finds the priest vis-a.-vis the worker as an alien, contrary influence. And yet, most profoundly, the temporal reality and critical embodiment of the gospel lies greatly with the sensitivity and union between priesthood and context.

CHURCH IN ¡cRISIS

What is that within which we live, our problematic, especially the problematic of the choice to become a priest? I suggest -the Church in crisis, a profound crisis whose implications and elements .are as yet unnumbered. By "crisis," I don't mean revolution or evolution. If this were revolution, we would experience the determined, nihilistic destruction of institutions; this does exist, but it does not obviously predominate. Nor is it clearly progress toward a better society, a more authentic Church-an evolution, which would evince development and increase within living institutions. It is not evident that this is principally what we are about. Crisis always precedes both revolution and evolution. But unlike either, crisis is not a judgment about the future, a determination where process is going. Crisis is a judgment about the past, the past seen as inadequate and experienced as dying. The Church moves into crisis when its past forms are found so seriously wanting that they are no longer self-justifying, that they must change radically, whether that change be either the destruction of revolution or the development of evolution. The future can go either way, and it moves the path of its determinants, one of which is human decision. Etymologically, crisis is krisis, judgment; the Church stands under judgment. Perhaps this judgment is both embodied and expressed in a kind of questioning, a critical posture of doubt or wonder. Almost everything in the Church confronts question-neither affirmation nor denial, but question, antecedent to either affirmation or denial. New inquiry has been brought to bear upon formulations considered simply part of the common faith, the common orthodoxy of the Catholic; the resurrection of Christ, the person


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of the Spirit, the reality of creation, and the nature of the priesthooq. All of these are being submitted to variant reinterpretations or to developmental analyses; sometimes, to the ordinary language analysts, "interpretation" and "development" can seem indistinguishable from denial. Coming down in pieces around our heads are centuries of confusion of theological opinion with the content of faith. So often a papal allocutio was treated as infallible, as if inquiry were settled securely and the future task of theory were simply to search out its implications. With creed and opinion so mingled, conversely declarations belonging to the very essence of the faith can be¡ irresponsibly handled as if constituting casual opinions or historical accidents. The consensus which led to this identity is corrupting and the last stage of their union seems to lie in death. Further, the condition of question within dogmatic speculation parallels an increased stance of alienation within practical life. Never in the American Church has such strain obtained between bishop and priest, such suspicion between laity and clergy, or such a conditioned aversion from the Holy See. \Vhereas before a mutual ministry was conupted by unrealistic expectations and respect, now so much is hindered by antecedent hostilities and profound discouragement. Compounding the crisis within the Church is the judgment that is laid upon it from without. The Church is found wealthy, powerful, middle-class-and so despised as compromised, reactionary, and inauthentic. This is not just disbelief in which the agnostic intellect looks at the Church and doesn't believe, as Mick in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: "I don't believe in God any more than I do in Santa Claus." It is not just that. For the first time in over a thousand years, the world stands in moral judgment upon the Church, upon the quality of her commitment to her own message or upon the ethical health of this message to a changed world, finding the Church an area of intrigue, ambition, and weakness. So Nietzsche prophetically wrote of this disgust: "It is no longer our reason, but our taste that decides against Christianity." What is taking place in the lives of so many people dynamically given to human values and the alleviation of pain is a secu-


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Jar humanism: man takes the possession of and sole ¡responsibility for human life as the object or the project of men. The human task is the work of men, not God. We are alone with our work, if not with our world. And to look to God, as Christianity would have it, is to cop out. All of these strands enter the judgment under. which we stand, the context within which men move toward the priesthood and their combined result is that there is no meaning of our priesthood, no value of our religious life, no¡ subsequent apostolate to which we consecrate our lives which does not lie under serious question: to live today is to live under question. EXPERIENCE OF QUESTION

What does it mean: "to question"? What is this experience. of living with a question. Question is that which both initiates and forestalls. Question initiates inquiry or investigation or discussion or knowledge; it forestalls practice, or commitment or resolution or love. To question is to begin the process of knowledge, but to question is to bracket the unknown answer as something loved. The effect of question upon any number of priests has been to unsettle what was previous commitment. Many feel terrible problems in personal identity-whether it lie with the meaning of the Mass and the practice of the confessional, the usage of schools and the efficacy of their word. One has the sense of the bottom dropping out, the disintegration of meanings, of expectations, and of achievements. What is actually collapsing is the priesthood as a career. Because of the centuries' theological consensus, because of the artificial unities of the past, the priesthood increasingly allowed itself to become a career. (I don't mean this as a dirty word.) It became a profession alongside other professions: doctors, lawyers and priests. Like these it had certain obvious social functions and definite role expectations. It possessed criteria of adequacy and responsibility, certain measures of success or failure--one knew what was expected of a priest. A man becoming a priest could predict what a priest would be doing in thirty years, decide whether these functions spoke to him, and determine for or against this as his future. It was fairly obvious. If one asked those outside the Church about the priest, the knowledgeable could


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detail his functions and evaluate his achievement. Now so much of this has changed: few can place beyond question what the future will embody by way of functions and expectations. No one can plot a role whose elements are doubtlesS and whose structure is so clear that it can serve for secure definition. What will it mean to be a priest in thirty years? Who can answer this question beyond doubt? And the failure of this determination issues in the social disvaluation of the priesthood as socially unpredictable, in the lessening of applicants to what is so precariously uncertain in its future, and in the rising departure of those whose insecurity finds metaphors in the Titanic. And for those who continue, the crisis becomes the problem of their priesthood. PsEUDo-soLUTIONS

I think that there are three pseudo-solutions to this crisis, each of which has its adlierents. The first is to ignore it. A man will decide upon certain questions he will not admit into his life. He closes windows, doesn't read, doesn't get involved, scorns those who would bring the question home. He can engineer enough activity ,into his life so that this kind of question never gets through. But this solution is simply fea1¡ and the unarticulated preference for death. The second pseudo-solution is to adopt a posture antecedent to the consideration of any question: one is "conservative" or "liberal" irrespective of subject-matter. This personality-set allows for a forced resolution of any question; one can predict the reaction while even prescinding from intrinsic content. One is ritually conservative because all change is dangerous, unsettling, and betrayal; one is neurotically liberal because the past is hindrance, institutions are enslaving, and any good must be other than what is possessed. Both live in fear: a teiTor of what is to come. The conservative is afraid that what he has loved will be destroyed; the liberal is afraid to commit himself to any existing value, apprehensive that his value may well be denied. Both author a neo-orthodoxy which is just as hostile, as atTogant, and demanding of credal affiliations as anything in the past. With either, argumentation becomes much more a question of credal location than of serious argumentation, its purpose being to discover what another


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holds and locate him. Neither is open to serious discourse because security has been identified with a particular posture and to question this posture is to destroy this identity. And lastly-there is the pseudo-solution of discouragement and panic. Overwhelmed by the new diversity and the unresolved conflicts, one gives up and turns to another profession whose lines are more stable; or to another person whose love is more reassuring, more fulfilling. Fidelity cannot be asked or demanded when the context of commitment has so changed and its future is unresolved. And so, the problem which any priest, and religious must face is whether there is a way of living with questions--radical questions which reach into the depth of his own meaning-and yet remaining fearless about his choice of the priesthood and of the religious life. In other words, can a man be totally given over to this life and yet calmly open to the pervasive ambiguities of its future? SALVATION HISTORY

I think so, and I would like to sketch a path by meditation on three major figures within the history of salvation: Abraham, Jesus, and Peter. When Abraham irrevocably leaves Haran-"your country, your family, and your family's house" -he moves to a land which he has never seen by a journey which he has never made. He sets out, not because he can predict the outlines of the role he is to fulfill, but simply because of his religious experience, the religious experience of God speaking to him. There is no program he can detail; no insight into history with which he can support his decision; no imaginative model through which he can obtain a psychological identity. Religious experience has become evocation; it is God who directs. And the future is God's. It is only God who will in time show him the land; only God who will have him father a nation; only God who will make his life into a blessing for all men. What is determinant of his choice is not a vision of the next twenty years, but a quality¡ of religious experience, a present influence of God. The movement of Abraham-a movement paradigmatic of all faith-is into vagueness, into the utterly undefined, into ambiguity, not into some pre-determined, future plan, made because of the simultaneous influence of God, the mysterious


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One who directs his life and who calls to him in promise. Each future determination, each next step, comes only out of a discernment of the influence of God. The primordial reality of the religious is that of a man who leaves what is nailed-down and obvious and who walks into the desert, without secular ability to justify his decisions or to guarantee his future. And this, simply and solely under the influence of God upon his life, because God points to this movement and offers it His promise. JESUS' INTERIOR LIFE

And this radical behavior runs through the major figures in the history of salvation until reaching its apogee in Jesus. ln the fifth chapter of John, which is Jesus' discussion of his own interior life, the decisions and actions of the Son are said to issue only from his experience of the Father. "Amen, amen I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing." As with Abraham, religious choice is predicated not upon role expectations but upon the present experience of God. But there is more here, for Jesus promises a continuity of this experience for those who will listen to the words of the Son and commit their lives to the Father. And who can hear him? Even the deaddead hopes, dead churches, dead feelings, dead plans, dead expectations, dead men. Life passes from the Father through the Son even into the dead; it passes as one is open to the influence of God. It is often wondered why Jesus went to the mountain to pray, why this figures in almost every third chapter of Luke. After these lengthy sessions of prayer, he returned to make decisions critically important to his life. It is not as if providence were simply a plan already determined and left to men to embody or execute, irrespective of the choices they made. Rather, as Aquinas emphasizes, men are not only provisi, but providentes; they enter creatively into the formulation of providence. The direction of God upon one who listens to Him will be responsive, determined according to the choices of men and the shape they are giving to their histories. Abraham continually needed the experience of God directing and responding; Christ Himself discerned the movement of the Father, the will


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of God in His life, as history itself evolved; so he could move quietly into his next step, conscious that this is what he sees the Father doing. The process of salvation is contingent not upon the determination of a single program for the future, but rather upon the present conscious union of the man with· God. Finally, there is the experience of Peter and Cornelius •in the tenth chapter of Acts. Out of Peter's experience of God the whole direction of the Church changes, because he ·is told that he must talk to a man named Cornelius. Peter leaves for a mission whose implications in the salvation of the Gentiles he does not realize until it is accomplished. Fot· a man who follows God, who listens to God throughout his serious experience, the future is unknown and mysterious--not unlike God himself. And he moves into this mystery without prematurely forcing clarity because his experience of God directs this movement. In light of this meditation, the collapse of the careerpriesthood is not outside the grace of God. The priesthood is being called to a return to its radical, religious nature. What we are witnessing within our crisis is a restoration of the priesthood as a religious event. The priesthood is losing its secularized role, its predictable future whose initiatives and definitions are man's; no one can comfortably imagine the priest of thirty years hence and choose to be this. The future is unknown, highly ambiguous, and it cannot define the present decision. One can choose the priesthood or the religious life only through the religious experience he has now. And this choice comes as a response to the expression and to the experience of God: expression, because the initiative and future definition are God's not man's; and what is left for man is affirmation and choice: "Lord, I will follow you-wherever you lead." This is to experience God not as a transcendent •·eality in which the world achieves meaning-as a philosopher might; no1· even as a value, as an artist might; but as evocation, as call. Somehow or other, there is the experience of being drawn, of being taken into God, of loving God very deeply and finding that this love focuses in this way. The evocative experience indicates what is, suggests what might freely be, and demands actions and response. Because what is and what might be


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changes so radically, the experience is not once and for all but increasingly and quietly merges with the rhythm of man's life. This is what it means for the priest to be a man of prayer. It is, in some sense, a listening to, an opening up, a presence before--so that God can guide his life. It must be continual, one of the life-factors within the human ecosystem, because providence is continuous in its development and in its processes. This experience of the directing God was for Ignatius the finding of God in all things and the discernment of the Spirit. It constitutes the third point of the contemplatio ad amorem, as the exercitant moves from all things possessing God who is within them dynamically working out the salvation of men. Only after tl1is vision Ignatius turned the retreatant to consider what God must be in himself. Prayer and discernment were the determined, conscious union with the God dynamically operative within the world and within history. As the present is his, so also is the future. What this future will be, no one of us knows. Our lives are becoming increasingly advent-realities: while Israel waited for a thousand years for the coming of the Messiah, what they expected was not what they got. And so also us. The expectations of the religious man are very much like a Zen saying: our expectation is that there is no expectation, and our plan is that there is no plan, and the greatest things that we do are the fuings that are done to us. A man â&#x20AC;˘can live within this tension, move within question, within denial and ambiguity, within even the infidelity of those whom he reveres--only if the priesthood now is a response to the divine initiative as embodied in his religious experience, in his conscious union with God in prayer. One can live at peace with the questions, without trying to force an answer. He can live at peace because the rock and source of his priesthood does not lie with its definition, but with the presence of the God who leads him. The priesthood, conceived in this manner, is fuat in which a man is called to be a man "of God." So often in the Acts of the Apostles, the word of God is preached only after an experience of the Spirit; more, it is preached as a hermeneutic, as an interpretation of this prior experience. Men experience the Spirit, whether through a cure,


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or talking in tongues, or prophecies, and they ask the question: "What does this mean?" Only then does an apostle explain this experience through Jesus Christ. The Word of God comes as explanation of a present experience. Most radically, what the priest is called upon to communicate is this experience, this Spirit, that which is possessive of his own life. So the priest is not simply one who is "for God," God as an object of choice and direction; nor is he simply one who is "from God," God as originator of inspiration and institutions. The first of these alone leads to fanaticism, crusades or the "management of God ;" the second, to historical and legal justification. Most profoundly, the priest must be a man "of God,'' a man whose own presence carries about some sort of sense of God, some sort of coincidence of his spirit with the Spirit of God. When we speak of one as being "of the people," or "of common sense,'' we speak of a qualitative modification of his whole person, something that characterizes everything he does, something that is around him and permeates his judgment, his values, and his speech. So also, with being "of God." Such a man speaks of God, carries about his reality, simply by what he is, by what he is identified with. The contemporary priesthood, the priesthood as a radically religious experience, is moving us to be "of God." The mystery of our own future increasingly identifies with the mystery of God; it is from him that we receive definition and hope. And in this, there is a merger of significance: for us to be, he must be. ¡The ruins around us are but the dark side of grace: the collapse of the career-priesthood, the permeating questions of our times, the inabilities to define and to justify. In this new poverty, we can once more find God, and at a more profound level perhaps than if distracted by support, and security, and by conceptual agreements. At peace and open to any question and to any evidence we find that God has become God: "For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from his; he alone is my rock and my salvation; my fortress. I shall not be shaken" (Ps. 62 :5). As the choice of the priest comes out of this experience of God, so he moves into the lives of other men. For what he communicates is not a promised program of the future, but rather the experience and presence of God.


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AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE Michael J. Buckley, S.J., is Rector of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkely. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. John F. Dedek is a professor of moral theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois and associate editor of Chicago Studies. This article is a chapter from his book Human Life, published by Sheed & Ward, N.Y., 1972. Daniel J. Han-ington, S.J.; a visiting professor of New Testament at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Jllinois, has his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Ernest Lussier, S.S.S., is a professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Charles R. Meyer is a professor of systematic theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. This article is a chapter from his book The Touch of God: A Theological Analylris of Religious Experience Published by Alba Hous, Staten Island, N.Y., 1972. John O'Callaghan, S.J., is a professor of moral theology at Bellarmine School of Theology, Chicago, Illinois. Timothy E. O'Connell is a lecturer in the School of Theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois and a Ph.D. candidate at Fordham University. Joseph Sittler, Ph.D., is a professor of Systematic theology of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. 111


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A Theological Analysis of Religious Experience. THE problem of identifying God's presence in an experience may necessitate the construction of an entirely new theological methodology radically different from the traditional . one which proceeded largely by way of rational analysis. Realizing this, Father Meyer analyzes, from the theological point of view, the experience of God's presence in man's daily life and surveys the criteria and norms by which that experience can be identified as being of divine origin. · This analysis includes the fundamental yet often forgotten role of the Holy Spirit in religious experience, thereby exploring the basis of the current Pentecostal movement. Religious Experience . in Theology Today, Peak Experience and Daily Religious Experience are other topics explored. Charles R. Meyer, author of A CONTEMPORA}tY THEOLOGY OF GRACE, is a professor of systematic theology at St. Mary of the" lake Seminary; Mundelein, Illinois. write for free calnloa:

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Profile for Chicago Studies

Spring 1972  

Volume 11:1

Spring 1972  

Volume 11:1

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