jueves, 11 de octubre de 2007

Estudio a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk (VI y final)

b) El Concilio Vaticano I y el dogma de la infabilidad pontificia
Newman examina su postura personal ante el dogma de la infabilidad pontificia. Antes de la proclamación del dogma tenía dudas de su oportunidad. Una vez proclamado, lo acata obedientemente. Pero su postura antes de la proclamación se llegó a conocer en contra de sus propios deseos – a private letter of mine became public property… was one of the most confidential I ever wrote in my life[1]. Procura aclarar los malos entendidos derivados de una lectura errónea de su postura, entre ellos el que el propio Gladstone tenía, y a continuación hace una reflexión en defensa de la infabilidad pontificia basándose en la infabilidad de la Iglesia, para terminar analizando su verdadero alcance y lo infundado de los temores expresados por Gladstone.
En cuanto al alcance de la infabilidad pontificia, termina haciendo un resumen de en qué condiciones se da esa infabilidad:

The forms, by which a General Council is identified as representing the Church herself, are too clear to need drawing out; but what is to be that moral cathedrâ, or teaching chair, in which the Pope sits, when he is to be recognized as in the exercise of his infallible teaching? the new definition answers this question. He speaks ex cathedrâ, or infallibly, when he speaks, first, as the Universal Teacher; secondly, in the name and with the authority of the Apostles; thirdly, on a point of faith or morals; fourthly, with the purpose of binding every member of the Church to accept and believe his decision. These conditions of course contract the range of his infallibility most materially.[2]

Con esta respuesta, Newman considera que ha dado respuesta a la principal acusación que Gladstone dirige al Papa, una acusación que no tiene fundamento después de lo expuesto. La autoridad del Papa es la que es. Puede dormir tranquilo como estadista.
The main point of Mr. Gladstone's charge against us is that in 1870, after a series of preparatory acts, a great change and irreversible was effected in the political attitude of the Church by the third and fourth chapters of the Vatican Pastor Æternus, a change which no state or statesman can afford to pass over. Of this cardinal assertion I consider he has given no proof at all; and my object throughout the foregoing pages has been to make this clear. The Pope's infallibility indeed and his supreme authority have in the Vatican capita been declared matters of faith; but his prerogative of infallibility lies in matters speculative, and his prerogative of authority is no infallibility in laws, commands, or measures. His infallibility bears upon the domain of thought, not directly of action, and while it may fairly exercise the theologian, philosopher, or man of science, it scarcely concerns the politician. Moreover, whether the recognition of his infallibility in doctrine will increase his actual power over the faith of Catholics, remains to be seen, and must be determined by the event; for there are gifts too large and too fearful to be handled freely. Mr. Gladstone seems to feel this, and therefore insists upon the increase made by the Vatican definition in the Pope's authority. But there is no real increase; he has for centuries upon centuries had and used that authority, which the Definition now declares ever to have belonged to him. Before the Council there was the rule of obedience and there were exceptions to the rule; and since the Council the rule remains, and with it the possibility of exceptions.
It may be objected that a representation such as this, is negatived by the universal sentiment, which testifies to the formidable effectiveness of the Vatican decrees, and to the Pope's intention that they should be effective; that it is the boast of some Catholics and the reproach levelled against us by all Protestants, that the Catholic Church has now become beyond mistake a despotic aggressive Papacy, in which freedom of thought and action is utterly extinguished. But I do not allow that this alleged unanimous testimony exists. Of course Prince Bismarck and other statesmen such as Mr. Gladstone, rest their opposition to Pope Pius on the political ground; but the Old-Catholic movement is based, not upon politics, but upon theology, and Dr. Dollinger has more than once, I believe, declared his disapprobation of the Prussian acts against the Pope, while Father Hyacinth has quarrelled with the anti-Catholic politics of Geneva. The French indeed have shown their sense of the political support which the Holy Father's name and influence would bring to their country; but does any one suppose that they expect to derive support definitely from the Vatican decrees, and not rather from the prestige of that venerable Authority, which those decrees have rather lowered than otherwise in the eyes of the world? So again the Legitimists and Carlists in France and Spain doubtless wish to associate themselves with Rome; but where and how have they signified that they can turn to profit the special dogma of the Pope's infallibility, and would not have been better pleased to be rid of the controversy which it has occasioned? In fact, instead of there being a universal impression that the proclamation of his infallibility and supreme authority has strengthened the Pope's secular position in Europe, there is room for suspecting that some of the politicians of the day, (I do not mean Mr. Gladstone) were not sorry that the Ultramontane party was successful at the Council in their prosecution of an object which those politicians considered to be favourable to the interests of the Civil Power. There is certainly some plausibility in the view, that it is not the "Curia Romana," as Mr. Gladstone considers, or the "Jesuits," who are the "astute" party, but that rather they themselves have fallen into a trap, and are victims of the astuteness of secular statesmen.[3]

Con esta conclusión, Newman quiere dejar claro como quedan las relaciones de la Iglesia con los Estados. La proclamación del dogma de la infabilidad pontificia no afecta ni puede afectar la actividad política de las diversas naciones. Es más, con mucha visión, ve como muchos tomarán pie de esta definición para atacar a la Iglesia. Son los tiempos de la ocupación de los Estados Pontificios, de la Kulturkampf, de la III República Francesa, del movimiento de emancipación irlandés, del triunfo del liberalismo… Los tiempos de los astutos políticos, como él mismo dice, que sacarán partido de ello, y los tiempos donde la autoridad pontificia crecerá en medio de grandes dificultades en su prestigio. Poco después saldrá elegido Papa León XIII, el papa de la doctrina social, el Papa que – curiosamente – hará cardenal a un Newman cuyo espíritu latirá con fuerza en el Concilio Vaticano II.
[1] o.c., p.300
[2] o.c., p.325
[3] o.c., p. 341-344

miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2007

Estudio a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk (V)

a) La encíclica Quanta cura de 1864 y el Syllabus
Según Gladstone, la encíclica condenaba a todos los que mantienen la libertad de prensa, de conciencia y de culto: "Pontiff has condemned free speech, free writing, a free press, toleration of non-conformity, liberty of conscience,". Newman le responderá que la Iglesia no condena todas las libertades así como el Estado no permite todas las libertades. Que la libertad y sus condiciones admiten una gradualidad:

The very idea of political society is based upon the principle that each member of it gives up a portion of his natural liberty for advantages which are greater than that liberty; and the question is, whether the Pope, in any act of his which touches us Catholics, in any ecclesiastical or theological statement of his, has propounded any principle, doctrine, or view, which is not carried out in fact at this time in British courts of law, and would not be conceded by Blackstone. I repeat, the very notion of human society is a relinquishment, to a certain point, of the liberty of its members individually, for the sake of a common security. Would it be fair on that account to say that the British Constitution condemns all liberty of conscience in word and in deed?[1]

Continúa argumentando que a los católicos en Inglaterra se les niega la libertad en el ejercicio de su religión de diversas maneras en las leyes inglesas, pero que no se quejan, porque se debe poner límites a las libertades inocentes.
Respecto de la libertad de opinión y de prensa, en Inglaterra se practica. No se puede hablar a la ligera del Soberano, y el Estado ejerce un control sobre la prensa con la Ley de libelo, con la cual se pueden incurrir en penas. La Iglesia no niega la libertad, sino el libertinaje, como lo hace cualquier Estado:
All that the Pope has done is to deny a universal, and what a universal! a universal liberty to all men to say out whatever doctrines they may hold by preaching, or by the press, uncurbed by church or civil power. Does not this bear out what I said in the foregoing section of the sense in which Pope Gregory denied a "liberty of conscience"? It is a liberty of self-will. What if a man's conscience embraces the duty of regicide? or infanticide? or free love? You may say that in England the good sense of the nation would stifle and extinguish such atrocities. True, but the proposition says that it is the very right of every one, by nature, in every well constituted society.[2]

En cuanto al Syllabus, Newman centrará su defensa en limitar el alcance de las afirmaciones en él contenidas. Insiste en el carácter de índice del documento, y que el peso real de cada frase en él contenido está en su contexto, en el texto de origen. De hecho, eso es lo que es el Syllabus, porque cada frase en él condenada como un error moderno remite en nota al texto del cual procede la condena de la Iglesia. Es ahí donde se ve el alcance de cada afirmación.

The Syllabus then has no dogmatic force; it addresses us, not in its separate portions, but as a whole, and is to be received from the Pope by an act of obedience, not of faith, that obedience being shown by having recourse to the original and authoritative documents, (Allocutions and the like,) to which it pointedly refers. Moreover, when we turn to those documents, which are authoritative, we find the Syllabus cannot even be called an echo of the Apostolic Voice; for, in matters in which wording is so important, it is not an exact transcript of the words of the Pope, in its account of the errors condemned,—just as is natural in what is professedly an index for reference.[3]

Es entendiendo así el Syllabus como quedan matizadas ciertas afirmaciones que a Gladstone le parecían peligrosas para la integridad de Inglaterra. El Syllabus hace afirmaciones siempre de carácter universal que muchas veces son inferencias de condenas particulares a lugares y situaciones concretas. A ellas hay que remitirse. Uno de tantos ejemplos es el siguiente:

For instance, take his own 16th (the 77th of the "erroneous Propositions"), that, "It is no longer expedient that the Catholic Religion should be established to the exclusion of all others." When we turn to the Allocution, which is the ground of its being put into the Syllabus, what do we find there? First, that the Pope was speaking, not of States universally, but of one particular State, Spain, definitely Spain; secondly, that he was not noting the erroneous proposition directly, or categorically, but was protesting against the breach in many ways of the Concordat on the part of the Spanish government; further, that he was not referring to any work containing the said proposition, nor contemplating any proposition at all; nor, on the other hand, using any word of condemnation whatever, nor using any harsher terms of the Government in question than an expression of "his wonder and distress." And again, taking the Pope's remonstrance as it stands, is it any great cause of complaint to Englishmen, who so lately were severe in their legislation upon Unitarians, Catholics, unbelievers, and others, that the Pope merely does not think it expedient for every state from this time forth to tolerate every sort of religion on its territory, and to disestablish the Church at once? for this is all that he denies. As in the instance in the foregoing section, he does but deny a universal, which the "erroneous proposition" asserts without any explanation.[4]
[1] NEWMAN, John H., Certain Difficulties ,p.269-270.
[2] o.c. , p. 274-275.
[3] o.c., p.281
[4] o.c., p.286