Leonardo Grazzi: Arianism, a temptation ancient and present




[…] in this work, the young theologian Leonardo Grazzi narrates the events related to the Arian heresy, the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Nicaea and the role that should be recognized in the theological dispute prior to St. Athanasius, proceeding with the necessary critical insight and a safe discernment of the Catholic faith, no confusion between theology and the Magisterium, between personal charisma and charisma that ensures the institutional Church through its indefectibility infallibility in docendo.

Author Antonio Livi
Antonio Love


Cover - Leonardo Grazzi - Arianism
The book of Leonardo Grazzi, published in the theological series Faith seeking understanding Editions Bonanno

The so-called auxiliary disciplines of theology — the logic, metaphysics, the philological, the ermeneutica, psychology, sociology, historiography, archeology -, like any other auxiliary science of theology, historiography practiced by theologians or used by them - I refer to the study of church history, History of the Ecumenical Councils, history of dogma, liturgical history, etc. - is a truly scientific knowledge only if it respects the epistemological status of theology, understood precisely, ie as “science of revelation” (1). If this epistemological homogeneity is not guaranteed by the scientific expertise of the researcher, the so-called “Auxiliary sciences” are no longer effective tools in the service of theology: are tools - unfortunately, effective - in the service of systems of thought - philosophies or ideologies - essentially anti-theological, in the sense that undermine the very foundations of true theology.

Since the basic argument, the very matter of the 'investigation, is the Incarnate Word and His Church - In the felicitous expression of the Swiss cardinal Charles Journet (2), author of the monumental treatise on L'Église du Verbe incarné -, it requires, to be taken for what it really is, the belief in divine revelation, which allows us to know the mysteries of the supernatural, starting with the mystery par excellence, which is precisely the Incarnate Word, which is present in history by his church - the Gospel, the sacraments, the power of the keys "-. all intelligence must never take place elements of disintegration of the consistency of the same material.

An example is the historical research over the past fifty years has occupied hundreds of scholars to reconstruct the “History of Vatican II”. When this research was conducted with foreign policy theology - eg, bringing back all the meaning and value of the conciliar documents outcome of internal conflicts to the episcopate and the Roman Curia, or emphasizing the role of theologians who participated in the work of the Council as experts - it produced, not an increase in the possibility of scientific understanding of the dogma, but a loss of faith in the fundamental criterion of divine revelation (3). Indeed, The basic criterion is that the dogma of theology expresses infallibly revealed truth - is the only guarantee given to the faithful to know with absolute certainty what God actually said to the men for their salvation -, whatever its technical language or other forms of expression that the magisterium of the Church has wanted to use, and above all, whatever the genesis of its formulation, that is, the actions of the various components of the ecclesiastical organization occurred in processing texts, before and during the course of an ecumenical council, or before the promulgation of the dogma “ex cathedra”.

If the investigation historiography considers it essential - Non-accidental, as it really should be considered - the role of these components Church - bishops and theologians -, then the result is the loss of the very meaning of the dogma, that for the “true theology” is a formulation of the infallible truth revealed, not for his human qualities - scientific or rhetoric - but only and always for the charism of infallibility: the only reason why the doctrine is “rule of faith”.

Most scholars who deal with the auxiliary sciences of theology, beginning with the biblical scholars, ignore this criterion and end up proposing to “science of revelation”, like material that should be used to the scientific dogma, a material that expresses just what the dogma has nothing to do, that is, the hypothesis - human - about the intervention of agents - human - in the preparation of the biblical texts; see for example the nonsensical argument proposed by any biblical scholars in a recent issue of the journal of the Passionists, The wisdom of the Cross, under the title "Scientific exegesis and theological exegesis for a theo-logy from the Cross" (December 2012). The thesis that I have defined “foolish” are obvious in the title I have given: it is assumed that “one” new theology is that “being”, using - according to Heidegger's habit - a dash “Theo-logy”, while theology “traditional” remain out of the mystery victim because of his claim to be “Scientific”…

Leonardo Grazzi
self Opera: Leonardo Grazzi

Well otherwise true theology uses the data historiography related to the development of the dogma homogeneous distinguishing properly, historical events, the result of the pastoral and disciplinary of the hierarchy - who as the supreme and final expression of the "dogmatic formulas" - the dialectic of theological opinion that the above, accompany and follow this result: whereas, indeed, in dogmatic formulas true theology sees that element supernatural which is what only matters - the "given" of faith, that is what the Church proposes to the faithful as de fide divina et Catholica as a truth revealed by God -, in the dialectic of theological opinion the true theology sees only the fallible and always hypothetical cooperation of human knowledge - fides quaerens intellectum -, even chiefly by the best intention of service to the truth revealed, in fact, sometimes just guaranteed the personal holiness that the Church can infallibly recognize later - post mortem - with the canonization of the theologian. And this is also a matter of historiography that true theology must know how to properly use, interpreting it as a historical confirmation of a meta-dogmatic principle, that is the function of the Theologian Church, whose views, if they are perfectly compatible with what has already been defined in dogmatic formulas, can be used to prepare new and more explicit formulation of the dogma.

This way of using the data historiography is evident in the works of the great theologians of the contemporary, such as the classic treatise by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange su Common Sense, philosophy of being and dogmatic formulas, of 1909, recently drawn the attention of scholars in a new Italian translation updated and accompanied by historical and doctrinal notes (4).

Of these criteria is certainly persuaded the young theologian Leonardo Grazzi, Florentine by birth naturalized in Poggibonsi, author of the essay presented here historiographical. The narrative of the events related to the Arian heresy, the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Nicaea and the role that should be recognized in the theological dispute prior to St. Athanasius, is conducted by 'author with the necessary critical insight and a safe discernment of the Catholic faith, no confusion between theology and the Magisterium, between personal charisma and charisma that ensures the institutional Church through its indefectibility infallibility in docendo.



(1) You see, with regard to this understanding of theology, my treatise on True and False Theology. How to distinguish the authentic "science of faith" from an equivocal "religious philosophy", Leonardo da Vinci's publishing house, Rome 2012.
(2) Geneva 26 January 1891, Freiburg 15 April 1975. He was professor of dogmatic theology in the diocesan seminary of Freiburg (1924); founder and editor of the journal Nova et Vetera (1926). He is the author of many publications including: The Church of the Incarnate Word (3 fully., 1941) e The primacy of St. Stone (1953). He participated in the preparatory work of the Second Vatican Council and was elevated to the rank of Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1965.
(3) Historical studies on the conduct of the Vatican conducted in Italian by Giuseppe Alberigo's and other members of the "Bologna school" have in fact resulted in the development and dissemination of media apparent scientific justification (in this case, historiographical) in support of the illegitimate and unfounded interpretation of the conciliar which Benedict XVI has given the name of "false hermeneutic of rupture '; see History of Vatican II, by Alberto Melloni, 5 fully., The Mill, Bologna 1999. Against this mystification of authentic theological research wrote important essays, among others, theologians Brunero Gherardini, Agostino Marchetto and Serafino Lanzetta; intervened on the side of historiography are Roberto De Mattei (see The Second Vatican Council. An untold story, Lindau Editions, Turin 2010) and more recently Stephen Fontana (The Council returned to the Church. Ten Questions about Vatican II, The Fountain of Siloam, Turin 2013).
(4) CFR Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Common sense, the philosophy of being and dogmatic formulas, Trad.. en. doctrinal and historical commentary by Antonio and Mario Livi Padovano, Leonardo da Vinci's publishing house, Rome 2013.





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