Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Some decisions just take time

Having mentioned the de auxiliis controversy in connection with the controversy over the supernatural, I was reminded about what eventually happened. From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Clement VIII died 5 March, 1605, and after the brief reign of Leo IX, Paul V ascended the papal throne. In his presence seventeen debates took place. The Dominicans were represented by Diego Alvarez and Tomçs de Lemos; the Jesuits by Gregoria de Valencia, Pedro de Arrubal, Fernando de Bastida and Juan de Salas. Finally, after twenty years of discussion public and private, and eighty-five conferences in the presence of the popes, the question was not solved but an end was put to the disputes. The pope's decree communicated (5 September, 1607) to both Dominicans and Jesuits, allowed each party to defend its own doctrine, enjoined each from censoring or condemning the opposite opinion, and commanded them to await, as loyal sons of the Church, the final decision of the Apostolic See. That decision, however, has not been reached, and both orders, consequently, maintain their respective theories, just as any other theological opinion is held.

The decision was reserved to the Apostolic See (to the offices of the Holy Inquisition, I believe), a decision which we still await. I have this picture in my mind of generations of monsignori slaving away in the deepest basement office of the CDF, charged with producing failed draft after failed draft of a dogmatic solution to the controversy. As each monsignor comes to the end of his life a bright new assignee to the Vatican is introduced into the office with a cheery “here’s your next assignment; you might be here for a while…”

Beats me why the Molinist position wasn’t condemned, but there you go…

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