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 Post subject: Karl Rahner
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:08 pm 
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Karl Rahner has said some intresting things about the CC.

What is the general opinon of his theology?


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 Post subject: Re: Karl Rahner
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:12 pm 
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CommonMan wrote:
Karl Rahner has said some intresting things about the CC.

What is the general opinon of his theology?


Oh... That was theology?

Heh... jk... It all depends on the translation you get... And what parts you read... I personally cannot for the life of me figure out how some of his Eucharistic theology can be orthodox... But, other parts of his stuff is interesting...

It is a lot of speculative theology that really doesn't seem to give any consideration for how it would fit in Sacred Tradition... It doesn't mean that it can't fit with it, I just don't think an attempt was made in some areas to do it... That can make it dangerous...

FJ

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:58 pm 
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I'm leery of Rahner.

He changed his mind on so many things during the 60's that I question his committment to anything.

Further, I think the liberties he takes with Dogma, specifically monogenesis and original sin, makes a mockery of any common-sense interpretation of said dogmas.

In fact, I'm quite worried that some institutions, like the Pontifical Josephinum, teach him as orthodox without exception or question.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:39 am 
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For my own personal, private two cents: Rahner had some valid insights and some invalid and unworkable ones. The impression I get is that he is worth looking at and considering, but not to be relied upon without careful analysis and comparison first.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:11 am 
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I have only read some outlines and opinions of his work. His list of "supporters" is impressive.

On March 4 & 5 of 2004 in Rome a high profile conference held at the Lateran University proclaimed his legacy. Participants included Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (under Cardinal Ratzinger), Bishop Rino Fisichella, rector of the Lateran, Jesuit Fr. John Michael McDermott of the Josephinum in Ohio (as Jimbo lamanted) and Jesuit Fr. Luis Ladaria of the Gregorian University.

The conference came to the concllusion that Rahner was an orthodox Catholic. John Allen, (National Catholic Reporter) said “for all those who fear the influence of right-wing extremists on Catholic officialdom, it might be some comfort that the VIP speakers at the Lateran came to praise Rahner rather than to bury him.”

Archbishop Amato said, “Notwithstanding some ambiguous formulae, Rahner was an orthodox Catholic theologian.” Father McDermott said that Rahner was “Catholic down to his toes”.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:41 am 
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One of Rahner's contributions was to root his theology on a 20th century philospophical figure: Martin Heidigger. In doing so he attempted to be open to the spirit of the times and to address modern questions. On the other hand, Rahner does not have the status of, for example, St. Bonaventure or St. Thomas Aquinas, and Rahner's work is sometimes dense to the point of impenetrable. He was less concerned with the clear exposition of doctrine than he was with the philosphical-theological "unpacking" of what it means to be human in the context of the 20th century. Unfortunately, some schools of theology seem to insist that their students adopt a Rahnerian perspective, and seem to hire only Rahnerians, at least in systematic theology, christology, eschatology and sotieriology. I rather liked the point of view at Catholic University where the then head of the theology department just insisted "choose a major classic figure from the Chruch's theological history and read everything he wrote." It made for interesting discussions, when one person was more Bonaventurian, another Thomistic, another Augustinian, another claiming to actually understand Rahner, or von Balthazar.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:53 am 
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Thanks, that was very helpful. I doubt I'll be attempting to read him but a particular Lutheran theologian I admire mentioned him in an article. This piqued my interest.

From what I can discern from various google searches, Rahner has reason to believe that certain CC teachings are not set in concrete.

Rahner quotes below (I believe they are authentic)

"When the Vatican declaration against the ordination of women (even in the future) came out a few years back, I published an article saying that it failed to convince me. (Of course, it was not an infallible definition). Rome is digging in its heels, it seems to me, against the development that one ought to admit calmly might not be a bad thing."

"The obligation of the Church to provide sufficient clergy is of divine right and takes precedence over the ecclesiastically desirable law of celibacy. If, in practice, you cannot obtain a sufficient number of priests in a given cultural setting without relinquishing celibacy, then the Church must suspend the law of celibacy, at least there."

"Anonymous Christianity means that a person lives in the grace of God and attains salvation outside of explicitly constituted Christianity… Let us say, a Buddhist monk… who, because he follows his conscience, attains salvation and lives in the grace of God; of him I must say that he is an anonymous Christian; if not, I would have to presuppose that there is a genuine path to salvation that really attains that goal, but that simply has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. But I cannot do that. And so, if I hold if everyone depends upon Jesus Christ for salvation, and if at the same time I hold that many live in the world who have not expressly recognized Jesus Christ, then there remains in my opinion nothing else but to take up this postulate of an anonymous Christianity."

Also this tidbit.

He had major input in the document Lumen Gentium. It was his influence that led to the Church writing that the Church of Christ “subsists” in the Catholic Church. Thus implying that the Church of Christ is larger than the Catholic Church and includes other “Christian” denominations.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:23 am 
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Given a choice between agreeing with Rahner and agreeing with the Holy See, I'll take the Holy See, thank you very much.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:43 am 
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Agreed, Obi.

My problem with how Rahner is used (and, in fact, how most modern theologians are used) is this - I have some printed class notes from the PJ, and in the notes, when a dogmatic concept is brought up (monogenesis, for example), instead of any time being spent explaining why the dogma exists, why it was promulgated, why it is important, how to defend it, or how to teach it - instead, as soon a dogmatic concept is brought up, if Rahner happened to oppose it, immediately Rahner's criticism is broght out in detail.

It's pretty obvious that those instructors at least trust Rahner more than the magisterium. And, that's rampant in the Church. It's rather impossible to discuss dogma with the seminarians in my diocese, because as soon as you bring up a dogmatic concept, they have no interest in discussing the concept itself, but rather immediately begin to spew dissent from the concept which they learned in class.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:11 pm 
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I am only familiar with Rahner's work "The Trinity," so my post will only refer to that work. I found it to be an amazing work, that offered a true alternative to neo-scholastic theology on the subject and which attempted to bring the expression of Roman Catholic trinitarian theology closer to the exposition of the Eastern Church Fathers. However, I didn't think he went far enough on some points, namely he still posits a divine essence as the source of the Trinitarian persons, instead of seeing the Father's hypostasis as the source of the divinity as the Eastern fathers did. Still, it was a challenging but highly rewarding book!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:47 pm 
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Quote:
Further, I think the liberties he takes with Dogma, specifically monogenesis and original sin, makes a mockery of any common-sense interpretation of said dogmas.

In fact, I'm quite worried that some institutions, like the Pontifical Josephinum, teach him as orthodox without exception or question.


I've heard this same criticism from somebody else -- especially the part about the Josephinum and monogenism. For the life of me I can't imagine how any Catholic could reconcile polygenism with Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the doctrine of Original Sin. The new Catechism plainly affirms monogenism, even quoting St. Paul's words at the Areopagus that God has made "of one blood" all the peoples of the world -- only that Hebraism -- "of one blood" -- is rendered "from a single ancestor." Can't get any clearer an affirmation of monogenism than that. "Mono-gene." "Single ancestor."

Now, I've not read any Rahner, so I didn't know that he was one of those who tried to come up with a way to fit polygenism together with Original Sin, but from what I've heard and read about Rahner, it doesn't surprise me. What's particularly galling is when folks take Pius XII's Humani generis, which states that it's not at all apparent how polygenism can be reconciled with Original Sin -- which is really another way of saying that polygenism CAN'T be reconciled with Original Sin -- and interpreting it as a double-dog-dare-ya challenge to see just how much logical hamburger you can make if you mash a pile of ratiocination through a mental meatgrinder. "The Pope didn't say polygenism is false! He just didn't say no one can figure out how it could be true! So if I can find a way to make it true, or make it seem true, then I'll have found a loophole in Humani generis!"

Quote:
When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty [of discussion -- i.e., Catholics do not have liberty to argue in favor of polygenism]. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:34 pm 
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Yes, yes...exactly. That's what I wanted to say. You just said it better.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:55 pm 
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At your service. :)

Of course this:

"He just didn't say no one can figure out how it could be true!"

Should be this:

"He just said no one can figure out how it could be true!"

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:08 pm 
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Noted. ::):


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:44 pm 
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CommonMan wrote:
Rahner quotes below (I believe they are authentic)

"When the Vatican declaration against the ordination of women (even in the future) came out a few years back, I published an article saying that it failed to convince me. (Of course, it was not an infallible definition). Rome is digging in its heels, it seems to me, against the development that one ought to admit calmly might not be a bad thing."

"The obligation of the Church to provide sufficient clergy is of divine right and takes precedence over the ecclesiastically desirable law of celibacy. If, in practice, you cannot obtain a sufficient number of priests in a given cultural setting without relinquishing celibacy, then the Church must suspend the law of celibacy, at least there."

"Anonymous Christianity means that a person lives in the grace of God and attains salvation outside of explicitly constituted Christianity… Let us say, a Buddhist monk… who, because he follows his conscience, attains salvation and lives in the grace of God; of him I must say that he is an anonymous Christian; if not, I would have to presuppose that there is a genuine path to salvation that really attains that goal, but that simply has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. But I cannot do that. And so, if I hold if everyone depends upon Jesus Christ for salvation, and if at the same time I hold that many live in the world who have not expressly recognized Jesus Christ, then there remains in my opinion nothing else but to take up this postulate of an anonymous Christianity."



I am not sure whether these quotations are truly Rahner's, in part because they do not seem obscure and pendantic enough. But the first quote, particularly, seems to be referring to JPII's mid-1990s document. If so, then the quote is not from Rahner, who died in 1984.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:50 pm 
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I found the article online. Here's the intro:

Quote:
What would Karl Rahner think about Catholic theology today? Well, we can’t ask him directly, but from the many interviews he gave in the last years of his life and some remarks taken from his writings we can come to a good idea.


So, it's bogus.


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 Post subject: Re: Karl Rahner
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:14 pm 
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Karl Rahner's language was pretty dense, and supposedly not just in English translation!

His brother Hugo, also a priest, supposedly quipped that he was going to translate Karl's German writings into German.


Edward Pothier


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:52 am 
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His brother Hugo, also a priest, supposedly quipped that he was going to translate Karl's German writings into German.


That's quite funny. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:55 am 
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matteo d'basio wrote:
But the first quote, particularly, seems to be referring to JPII's mid-1990s document.

The comment could be referring to the 1976 CDF document Inter Insigniores.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:02 am 
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Neo, see Jimbo's comment at the top of this page.

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