Friday, July 06, 2007

"Subists" - Years of Controversy

When I first read the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church promulgated by the Second Ecumenical Council at the Vatican, I recall noting the choice of terminology was quite precise. In particular, the use of the word "subsists" to indicate the identity of the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church. The term clarified (at least to me) that the Council Fathers were asserting that the Catholic Church is the one and same body established by Christ, proclaimed by the Apostles and intended by God for the salvation of the world.

In that light, I was disappointed when, after crossing the Tiber, a vistor from a Roman parish, declaimed the term as an abberation and "proof" that the Council was heretical. He argued that to "subsist" in something was a lesser identification than to "exist". I tried to counter this interpretation but to no avail. (Incidentally, there was once a short-lived blog, which had a very thorough and succinct discussion of the topic. Alas, I no longer have the link and the blog has long since disappeared.)

Gerald Augustinus reports that the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will soon issue a document clarifying the use and intention of the word "subsistit".

Read his report, based on an article in here.

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