Summer 1965

Page 46

Theology

157

present in the separated communities of Christians as it is with those poin!Jl of doctdne where separation is still factual. The Church has long since shed its apologetic cloak. Not only has reformation theology, as it has been called, ended finally and fully with Vatican II, but every encouragement is given theologians (and Christians generally) to search out all valid avenues of approach to eventual Christian unity. In this connection adjustments in the "manual approach" to Catholic theology become all too evident. Such adjustments, however, are not limited to the realm of scholarship, though this is essentiaL Christians, according to Christ's prayer, must first be united in a community of love and prayer. It was in this spirit that Pope Paul addressed the non-Catholic observers at the Council: "No more than you, gentlemen, dear brothers in Jesus Christ, have we said: we do not expect miraculous and immediate solutions. The fruits that we hope for must mature over a long period of time, through study and prayer. The apparent or improvised reconciliations which dissimulate the difficulties instead of solving them, would only hold back our forward march."

4. PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY A protest of increasing volume is being raised that much of the scholastic methodology has proved inadequate to the requirements of our age. It appears that Pope John may have have had this in mind in a conciliar address: "This council is not to discuss one or other of the fundamental doctrines of the Church . . . but [to provide] the whole world with a step toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciences in conformity with authentic doctrine . . . which is to be expounded and studied through the methods of research, and through the literary forms of modern thought." There is no question here of the validity of the systematic or speculative method in theology, but simply of what principles shall regulate this method. The very fact that God has revealed himself to us, ultimately through the risen Christ in his Church, in human words, in symbols and images, gives man not ouly the possibility but the evident challenge to reflect on the divine