VITTORIO MESSORI DEFEND AGAINST FAKE DOGMAS LEONARDO BOFF
I rise on the issue of Messori not to approve or disapprove of what he wrote, but to defend it from criticism dutifully violent and misguided religious who appears as a theologian and journalist accused of bad faith or ignorance in theology. It is Leonardo Boff. His criticism is Messori, as it were, the sum of all the nonsense that the ideologues of "liberation theology" they wrote, before and after the condemnation by the Holy See, on the message of the Gospel and on the action of the Church in the world.
The considerations that Vittorio Messori published on Corriere della Sera on the pontificate of Pope Bergoglio last year 24 December [see which] have aroused, as was to be expected, many different reactions. Many have shared them, others criticized them harshly. I don't go into the merits of those evaluations, which, however, I consider legitimate. This is a serious journalist, of a well-documented historian and above all of a Catholic of sincere and enlightened faith. I have known him personally for many years, I have read all of his books, starting with the first and most famous, those Hypothesis about Jesus that gave too much space to a fideistic interpretation of Pascal but still had a remarkable apologetic efficacy. In recent times I have always read with interest and also with pleasure your column on helm. There were Catholic journalists like that! Sin, I always told myself, that he was not allowed to continue writing about To come ... It would have been good for the "Catholic newspaper" (and for me too, that from that newspaper I was literally pilloried).
But, I repeat, I do not enter into the merits of his considerations on the pontificate of Pope Bergoglio, because I am of the opinion that journalists should limit themselves to information for the affairs of the Church, which is their job and their specific mission, without influencing Catholic public opinion with their personal opinions, inevitably partial, in the sense that they are able to describe only a part of the ecclesial reality and express on it only the point of view of a part of the people of God.
As I have already written on the Compass, I prefer that ecclesial current events be treated with authentically theological competence and from an exclusively pastoral point of view. Myself, worried as a priest about the doctrinal disorientation I perceive among the faithful, I have spoken several times on the "Bergoglio question" inviting Catholics to disregard what is the daily bread of the "Vaticanists" (phrases and gestures that suggest "openings" or "closings", appointments and dismissals of senior prelates), instead, he is intelligently interested in what is properly the Magisterium of the Church. There, in the documents of the magisterium of the Church (which is at certain fundamental points immutable and perennial, in others it historically proceeds with the appropriate "reforms in continuity") Catholics, today as always, they find the sure guide of their conscience, the sure orientation to profess and live the faith in their daily existence.
But now I speak on the Messori affair, not to approve or disapprove of what he wrote, but to defend it (it is only right) from the violent and insane criticism of a religious who presents himself as a theologian and accuses the journalist of bad faith or ignorance in theological matters. It is Leonardo Boff. His criticism of Messori (click here) represents, as it were, the sum of all the nonsense that the ideologues of "liberation theology" they wrote, before and after the condemnation by the Holy See, on the message of the Gospel and on the action of the Church in the world.
Boff accuses Messori of ignoring the role of the "Spirit", which, according to him, it would act even and even better outside the Catholic Church, who can't "learn from others". In this regard Boff, with the tone of the defender of what he calls the Holy Spirit, get to write: “It means being blasphemous against the Holy Spirit to think that others have only thought wrong. For this reason, an open Church as Francis of Rome wants it is extremely important. It must be open to the irruptions of the Spirit called by some theologians "the fantasy of God", because of its creativity and novelty, in companies, in the world, in the history of peoples, in individuals, in the Churches and also in the Catholic Church ", which, before Francesco, she would have been too tied to Christ, too "Christocentric".
According to the former Franciscan, that when he is interested he poses as a lover of doctrine (his), Vittorio Messori is terribly lacking in theology: he "runs into the theological error of Christomonism, i.e., only Christ counts. There isn't really a place for the Holy Spirit. Everything in the Church is resolved with Christ alone, something that the Jesus of the Gospels does not exactly want ".
And then, returning to take on the role of the antidogmatist, adds: "Without the Holy Spirit the Church becomes a heavy institution, boring, without creativity and, at a certain point, it has nothing to say to the world that is not always doctrine upon doctrine, without arousing hope and joy of living ". He would also ignore, poor Messori, religious sociology: he would not have yet understood that Latin America is the true center of the Catholic Church today, even if the number of Latin Americans who declare themselves Catholics is decreasing due to the widespread proselytism of Protestant sects (indeed, perhaps precisely for this reason Boff believes that Latin America is at the forefront).
Christianity and theology would have made great strides in Latin America (in Brazil which is the home of Leonardo Boff, in Peru which is the homeland of Gustavo Gutiérrez, and in Argentina which is the homeland of Jorge Mario Bergoglio) for having listened to the "Spirit", thanks also to the indigenous culture (pre-Columbian) which would free the Church from the doctrinal abstractness of European theology, of the German one in particular (the controversial target is Benedict XVI, fondly remembered by Messori), knowing how to interpret the Gospel in harmony with the demands for liberation of the popular masses. Let it be said in parentheses, because it is not very important here, the myth of native Latin American theology is immediately disproved, accidentally, Boff same as when he quotes as the only theological authority his teacher Johan Baptist Metz, Germany initiator of the "political theology" from which are derived the Latin American liberation theologians, formed all in Belgium, France and Germany, starting with the Peruvian Gustavo Gutiérrez. It is not Central European, indeed its German, Karl Marx, the inspirer of the first "liberation theology"?
But this, I said, it's just a sarcastic brackets. The serious talk is theologically, first of all because it is the theological approach the only one that interests me when the Church speaks of current and possible changes in Church doctrine, and then because the main topic of Boff's speech is precisely the "voice of the Spirit", that Pope Bergoglio would have listened docilely while his predecessors, in particular Benedict XVI, they would have ignored, closed as they were in "Christocentrism", which for Boff means dogmatism, juridicism, traditionalism, Vatican centralism.
Now I wonder: what is the point, theologically speaking, claim exclusivity in the interpretation of "what the Spirit says to the churches"? And yet. what is the point, theologically speaking, oppose his own interpretation of the designs of the Holy Spirit to the dogmatic and moral doctrine of the Church? Such speeches are understandable, even if illogical, in the mouth of heretics and schismatics, in the mouth of the propagandists of one of the many sects that have invaded the Christian West, vaguely related to Christianity or directly inspired by Buddhism, but not in the mouth of those who present themselves as Catholics and moreover theologian.
The fundamental norm of an authentically theological discourse, as I have clearly explained in my treatise on True and false theology (where Leonardo Boff is not mentioned, but his masters are mentioned). It is the intention to rationally illustrate the truth revealed by God in Christ Jesus, who entrusted the authentic interpretation of his Gospel to his Church, that is, to the Apostles and their legitimate successors, the bishops in communion with the Pope, who also individually enjoys the charisma of infallibility.
In practical terms, this means that someone like Boff, who despises dogmas and attributes to himself that infallibility that he does not recognize in the Church's magisterium, he does not speak as a theologian. Certain, I give him the right to have his ideas, even the craziest, on Christianity, but if he speaks in public addressing Catholics, I have a duty to warn believers that he does not have the authority that belongs to a theologian in the Catholic Church: as I always say in these cases, it is a false prophet and a bad teacher. I have said this several times about Vito Mancuso and Enzo Bianchi, I did not hesitate to say it also about Bruno Forte and Gianfranco Ravasi, who occupy prominent positions in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Who wants to listen to their theories, know at least that you do so at your own risk (soul, is intende); I have warned everyone I could.
To end with Boff. What does a Christian know about the Holy Spirit, which like God is absolutely transcendent? His Person, within the "immanent Trinity", it is particularly inaccessible to human knowledge, so much so that he is called "the unknown God", and also its action in the world (the so-called "Economic Trinity") it is completely invisible, except by public disclosure. But the public revelation is that of the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, the Emmanuel, the "God-with-us".
What We Can Know About God's Mysteries it is only what Christ has revealed to us. How do you contrast your own (claims) knowledge of the action of the Spirit to what Christ revealed to us by the same Spirit? And Christ revealed to us that the Holy Spirit was sent to us by himself and by the Father, on the day of Pentecost, to make it effective all over the world, for all the time of history, the saving action of the Church of Christ, through the proclamation of the Gospel and the grace of the sacraments. This is what we know about the Holy Spirit, and therefore only this can be said theologically, that is seriously, with the pretense of being listened to by believers.
The true theologian explains and applies to his time and to the people he addresses the truth contained in public revelation, that is, in the doctrine of the Church. The true theologian does not pretend, as the Gnostics do, to know more than I know, of the mysteries of God, any faithful, a person who at any time has received divine revelation with sincere faith. The true theologian, above all, he does not pretend to be divine truth what are his personal and arbitrary conjectures, whatever the sincerity with which these are served up to the people (if they lied knowing they were lying, the false prophets are not only deluded but just "seducers", like the Antichrist of which Scripture speaks).
Article Published on 2 January 2015 on