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«CURRENT THEOLOGY MARIOLOGY O U R LADY'S COOPERATION I N T H E REDEMPTION. Progress in the theses dealing with Mary's coredemptive functions ...»

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Questions and doubts concerning two points especially arose in the Chinese missions in the early years of the 17th century. First, could certain Chinese words be permitted 430 THEOLOGICAL STUDIES for designating the One God, and secondly, and more importantly, did certain ceremonies in honor of Confucius and of revered ancestors so partake of a religious nature as to make it imperative to forbid them to Chinese converts? Jesuit missionaries were of the opinion that the names could be used without errors in the faith in the One God, and that the ceremonies could be permitted on the ground that they were of a civil and not of a religious nature such as would make them the occasion of idolatrous worship. Franciscan and Dominican missionaries held that in both practices there was a grave danger of wrong and superstitious faith in the converts. Now certain historians have fallen into the error of declaring that these differences on the missions were the mere reflection of quarrels between the Orders in Europe; in reality too much was at stake, and a truer historical perspective has recognized that the priests on the missions were concerned for the true faith, its proper and allowable evangelization. The controversy was not concerned with some superficial matter but with one which involved theology, cannon law, missionary procedure, and to some extent diplomatic usage.

In 1643 Father Morales, O.P., submitted the matter to the Holy See, which, after examination, declared in 1645 that such usage was infected with superstition. Thereupon the Jesuits presented their opinion, and to the detailed document the Holy See answered in 1651 with a declaration that there was no superstition in the usages. Secondary important questions now arose: Which of the replies of the Holy See was obligatory? Were the same points submitted? How accurately? The eventual answer to these questions came in 1704, and was published only in 1709; it proscribed the use of the Chinese words as names for God and it forbade the permission to converts to continue with ceremonies having to do with the honoring of Confucius, the Emperor, and ancestors. Clement XI reaffirmed this position of the Holy See in 1715.

A complication arose in 1720 when the Apostolic Visitor of the Chinese Missions, Cardinal Mezzabarba, issued certain Permissiones. These were understood to mitigate the prohibitions of the decrees, and they were issued under secrecy. The Bishop of Pekin published them in two pastoral letters, and brought upon himself the severe censure of Clement XII in 1735. Because of this new flare-up of the question the whole affair of the Chinese rites was again submitted to study at Rome. Under Benedict XIV in 1742 the last Pontifical document (the Constitution Ex quo) was issued in which the use of the names and ceremonies was forbidden, and an oath of obedience imposed on the missionaries. The legislation of 1742 has been the controlling factor in the conduct of mission instruction until the issue of the recent decrees.

The reason for new legislation is to be found in the change of circumstances which is due to the evolution of culture and thought in the East. In 1914 the Chinese government declared that the ceremonies in honor of Confucius were purely civil in their nature.

This declaration reflected the opinion and attitude of the people. Thus in 1935 in the East, and in 1936 in Rome, the new attitude was taken into account in the regulations for the instruction of converts; the fundamental principle was admitted that now the ceremonies were considered as merely civil in their nature.

It is to be noted that the present legislation of Propaganda does not touch in any way the disputes of the past; the legislation is not a disavowal of the principles which led to the former decrees; in fact, the whole matter of the dispute of the past is not touched upon, nor is it to be introduced. As the Osservatore Romano noted (Dec. 16-17, 1939), "The Instruction passes no judgment on the past controversy, and is far from a disavowal of what was enacted." There is a recognition that the times and thoughts have changed, and that acts which were differently judged in the past are now considered not to be intrinsically evil in themselves, but indifferent, and hence allowable in certain circumstances. Finally, there was now no need of an oath concerning obedience to the old legislation.

CURRENT THEOLOGY

PATRISTIC PREACHING. With extensive quotations from the Fathers, the Reverend Edward L. Hestòn has concluded his series of five articles on "The Dogmatic Preaching of the Fathers," in the March Ecclesiastical Review. The richness of the patristic treatment of doctrine is pointed out and illustrated; doctrine is developed and made clear, and the practical effects of doctrine on conduct are pointed out. In fact, it is noteworthy that the exhortations to Christian conduct are based on doctrinal foundations, for in this matter the Fathers followed the ex'ample of St. Paul who used the sublimest of Christian mysteries for the instruction of the faithful in matters of morals. It is not within the scope of the author to point out that though the Fathers use many concrete examples for the benefit of their hearers, they do not indulge in the use of the profane story, and never in the "funny" story.

EXEMPLA IN MEDIEVAL PREACHING. It seems that the "story" began to be popular in preaching during the middle ages. Interesting material on the point has been published in Dorris A. Flesner's article, "The Use of Exempla in Medieval Preaching." [Lutheran Church Quarterly, 14 (April 1941) 2, 148-163]. The exempla include examples in general, and especially, ilustrative stories. The author remarks that after the foundations of SS. Francis and Dominic, the level of preaching was higher; on this topic we may recall the early pages of Father Mandonnet's Samt Dominique (Paris, 1937, Vol. I, part 1), where it is explained how the two orders combined the monastic spirit with the apostolate of the word among the people. Professor Flesner credits Anno of Cologne with introducing exempla into preaching. This was in the 12th century; following this time books begin to appear—corpora, promptuaria, catenae etc. The early works have stories of Our Lady, of saints, of miracles; by the 14th century in Bromyard's Summa Praedicantium more than a thousand exempla have been collected—"culled from every imaginable source, profane and sacred, and belonging to every class of fiction from fables to jests." Occasionally mere witticisms and sometimes even indecent narratives are included in the later works, though in general they are edifying.





MANUSCRIPTS OF ST. THOMAS. Theologians should not miss the interesting and informative article of Father Robert E. Brennan, O.P., on "The Autograph of the Angelic Doctor."

[Homiletic and Pastoral Review, 41 (April 1941) 7, 681-686] Aquinas had a poor hand, and it is important to know how to decipher it for he corrected, improved, and occasionally revised the sheets from his copyists. He had his stenographical short-cuts—* / qd ipossle e ee nece e η ee means et quod impossible est esse necesse est non esse. He used old paper, for any paper was precious in his day, and he was a careful religious.

But he had good ink, thanks be to God, and it has not faded greatly in view of the fact that the writings are seven centuries old now. He tucked in occasional ejaculations, such as Ave Maria when he tried out a newly-cut quill. He was a rapid composer and dosed enough occasionally to make worse mistakes than poor spelling—in one place he wrote down and crossed out Deus est summum malum.

SCOTUS ON DOGMATIC THEOLOGY AS A SCIENCE. There is a mounting bibliography concerning the question whether or not theology is a science, and these articles, mono­ graphs, and books cover the point in itself and also in the opinion of the scholastic theologians. A rather substantial list of recent works is to be found in the article of Father Antonius M. Vellico, O.F.M.—an article which is to be added to the growing list since it deals with Scotus* view on the point—"De charactere scientifico theologiae apud Doctorem Subtilem." (Antonianum, 16 (Jan. 1941) 1, 3-30) The writer cites Aristotle's views from the Analytica Posteriora (Bk. I, ch. 2), and the definition of a science which the scholastics drew from the passage: Scientia est cognitio certa et evident per causas.

432 THEOLOGICAL STUDIES Gathering evidence from t h e writings of Scotus, Father Vellico notes t h e four conditions demanded of a discipline, if it is t o be called a science in the Aristotelian sense: 1) certain knowledge; 2) the necessity of the object (Scotus: Apud Aristotelem de contingentibus mm est scienth); 3) evidence; 4 ) conclusions through syllogistic reasoning. Because of the lack of one or another of the conditions Scotus does not consider theology a science in itself or in God. In those who are m via it is not a science according to t h e definition above, especially because of t h e lack of evidence, for it proceeds from articles which are accepted on faith; however, in another sense it is a science inasmuch as it has certain knowledge; in itself it is a habitus tending by its nature t o t r u t h.

SUAREZ* METAPHYSICS. Suarezians and anti-Suarezians will find interesting, the latter, provocative, material, in the article of Father H u n t e r Guthrie, S.J., " T h e Metaphysics of Frances Suarez." [Thought, 16 (June 1941), 6 1, 296-311] Suarez "cast about for a central theme which would define his position as a Christian thinker and serve as a fundamental basis for his metaphysics." H e chose the notion of creaturehood, utterly unknown to the Greeks, formulated eventually by t h e scholastics as consisting in finitude essentially: " T h e creature was thought to be a composition of an infinite principle (which was existence or act) and a principle of limitation (which was essence or potency). Moreover, these t w o principles were commonly thought to be really distinct." This theory influenced thought in three ways, in emphasizing necessity rather than creation ( t h e independence of existence was corrected by the Christians in their theodicy) ; it led t o the analysis of the fact of creaturehood, not of its right; in the Greek view the being of creatures was thought independent and absolute in its own right; finally, it had influence on physical and mathematical thought. T h e real distinction of the two principles can be traced back "through Avicenna to Plato and his doctrine of separated ideas."

Suarez' contribution t o metaphysics consists in his insistence on dependence as the essence of creatureship. This dependence denoted in its formal concept "a double relation of man t o his Maker: first, the relation of created essence (which is totally ab alio) t o the Creator's essence (which is totally a se); second, a relation of created existence t o a creative Cause." In this scheme there is " n o longer any necessity for the Avicennian doctrine of a real distinction between essence and existence." N o t holding to this, Suarez could hold that the first object which is known t o t h e intellect is the actual physical essence of t h e material object. "This," Father Guthrie says, "is the material object of the scientist; and since, according to Suarez, it is the proper object of the human intellect, it follows—contrary t o the commonly held opinion among Scholastics—that man is capable of constructing an inductive metaphysics. By this bridge and this alone will science and philosophy join forces."

R I T E O F RELIGIOUS PROFESSION I N T H E SOCIETY O F JESUS. An interesting historical article on the origin and meaning of the Professio super Hostiam, t h e rite used for t h e profession of the last vows in the Society of Jesus, is found in t h e Archivum Historicum Societatis Jesu [9 (July-Dec. 1940) 2, 172-188] by A. Zeiger, S.J, under the title, "Professio super Hostiam. Ursprung und Sinngehalt der Professform in der Gesellschaft Jesu." T h e various ways in which religious vows were pronounced may be grouped into three classes, Professio super altare, in manus, and super Hostiam.

The profession upon the altar is the oldest form. It was in usage among t h e Benedictines.

The candidate stood or knelt at t h e altar, the Abbot and community in choir attended as witnesses, the candidate read the vows, laid them on t h e altar, and signed them there.

The ceremony occurred at t h e offertory, and a relic of the paterna potestas of Roman Law is seen in the fact that the family offered their son t o the Order at this moment.

The profession into the hands of another became customary after the 12th century, and especially among the knightly orders. T h e ceremony took place in a chapel, where the

CURRENT THEOLOGY

superior occupied a throne; the candidate knelt, folded both his hands within those of the superior and pronounced his vows in the presence of the community.

The profession upon the Host has been customary in the Society of Jesus since its beginnings four centuries ago. The Father General or his delegate says the Mass; after the Communion of the celebrant the candidate kneels at the top step of the pradella, and after the Domine, non sum dignus, reads his vows, and places the copy of them in the left hand of the celebrant who is facing the candidate with the raised Host. The celebrant then places the copy of the vows on the altar and turns to communicate the candidate.

The witnesses of the vows are any members of the community who are present and also extern witnesses who are present. For validity it is required only that the vows be publicly pronounced before the properly appointed person before witnesses.

Father Zeiger notes several differences in this ritual from that of the older orders. The ceremony takes place generally in a public church, and not in a community chapel; it occurs between the Communion of the celebrant and that of the candidate; it follows a ceremonial form not occurring in the other modes of profession; above all the ceremony is so fixed that on the day of last vows candidates who are priests do not celebrate Mass;

they communicate at the Mass of the General or of his delegate. There are no words peculiar to the ceremony, and hence one must look to history to see if the reason for its insertion at the Communion is symbolic of an exchange of gifts between God and man (the candidate offers himself; his requital is the Holy Eucharist), or if the stability and constancy of the candidate are symbolized in the recitation of the vows immediately before the raised Host.



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