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The Faith Once for All Delivered

People have noted that the Fundamental Text of the German Synodal Way threatens outright schism in the Church over issues such as homosexuality, women priests, marriage, and much more. But it also distorts various theological questions. And it’s well worth taking a careful look at that as well. It’s a long and complex document, so here I’ll limit myself to the chief marks of its idea of Revelation, which are personal, historical, and dialogical.

The Text identifies the locus of revelation as a personal encounter between God and man “in which God’s living Word – Jesus Christ – is heard and appropriated, interpreted and transmitted.” This divine-human encounter is dialogical, creating an historical-personal space, according to the Text, with man continuing to respond in faith to the revelatory experience of Jesus Christ.

The encounter is revelatory – we’re told – and man’s response appropriates, interprets, and communicates his revelatory experience. The experience is revelatory, and not the content of faith, doctrines, creeds, confessions of faith, catechisms, and the like. All these are theological expressions arising from revelatory experience, later reflections drawn from men’s experience.

The Text draws distinctions among “witnessing instances of faith,” namely, Scripture and tradition, on the one hand, and the contemporary context on the other: “human reason, philosophy and history, conscience, science, social and cultural developments, insights of ecumenical dialog, and other cultures and religions.”

Scripture and tradition have primary authority, in this scheme, with the contemporary context having secondary authority by virtue of contributing to our understanding of the revelatory experience that has been appropriated, interpreted, and communicated in the theological expressions of the “canonical testimony of the apostolic faith, material and criteriological foundation of the Church’s faith.”

Read more at The Catholic Thing

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