This morning I popped into the Daniel Mannix Library to look up an article in the January 2006 edition of the English Dominican journal “New Blackfriars” for my friend, the Lutheran pastor of Geelong, Dr. Adam Cooper. His Durham University thesis (“The Body in St. Maximus the Confessor: Holy Flesh, Wholly Deified”) had received a favourable mention in the first article in this edition.
In this article, Fr Navone cobbles together a bunch of great stuff, including
- The Hartfort Appeal (1975, “Appeal for Theological Affirmation”) – an early statement of reaction against the new liberalism by the likes of Avery Dulles and Fr R. J. Neuhaus, but with a number of other interesting American Evangelical names attached.
- Several articles and books on the battle between Catholics and Evangelicals in Latin America (including “The Battle for Latin America’s Soul” by Richard Ostling (1991), David Stoll’s “Is Latin America Turning Protestant?” and David Martin’s “Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America”)
- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Declaration “Dominus Iesus” (2000)
- Avery Dulles’ “Principles of Catholic Theology” (Pro Ecclesia, 7/1, 1999—the whole document is not available online, but is summarised on this link by Fr Navone himself)
- And finally an “endnote” from Evangelical writer Timothy Wallace on the distinction between “A God-centred theology” and “A man-centred theology”.
A strange assortment indeed. What is the thrust of Fr Navone’s commentary? That Catholicity implies both fullness and purity, while the mission of the Church must be carried out with a simultaneous commitment to Love and Truth (I think B16 would concur).
Specifically he says:
- “The liberal-conservative rift that undermines the Church’s unity and mission can, at least in part, be explained by a failure to integrate the apostolic and the Catholic aspects of our ecclesial identity and the objective and subjective aspects of the human person.”
- “A new apologetics in a new evangelisation will, following Christ’s example, combine truth with charity. Apologists need both clear minds and open hearts.”
- “Catholic Christianity adheres to the fullness of the given, cleaves to God’s Yes in Christ, and rejects all that stands in opposition to him. Catholicity therefore implies both fullness and purity. Any version of Christianity that is not Catholic is to that extent deficient.”
So, hands up if there are any Catholic theologians out there!