17.12.09

Holy Church or Holy Writ? (8)

In this context the third of the objections raised against the original draft* must be understood. The traditional understanding of Scripture and Tradition as two sources of revelation of equal rank must make any union with Protestant churches, including the Anglicans, impossible. Just as Rome can never accept the Sola Scriptura, so the churches of the Reformation can never accept Holy Tradition as a second source of Christian doctrine beside Holy Scripture. This is the result of the great theological 'dialogue' which has been going on since the sixteenth century between the major branches of Western Christendom, both in polemical controversies and in the irenical attempts at peaceful co-existence. For all great theology in the Western world has been a constant dialogue between Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and the various Reformed groups, as their learned theological works show.

Holy Church of Holy Writ? The 1967 Annual Inter-Varsity Lecture in Queensland
(see previous entries for bibliographic details).

* I.e., the original draft of the document Dei verbum, The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, the initial drafting of which was under the supervision of the conservative Cardinal Ottaviani, which was the subject of intense debate at the early sessions of Vatican II in November, 1962, as it preserved the 'two-source theory of revelation' promoted by Trent in response to the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura. It required the intervention of Pope John XXIII for the original schema to be rejected and a new draft to be called for, which was placed under the supervision of Cardinals Ottaviani and Augustin Bea (a Jesuit) and which resulted in the final document promulgated by Paul VI on 18 November, 1965. Sasse's lecture begins with a consideration of the drama surrounding the production of this document and the lecture elucidates what Sasse considers to be its significance for Protestant-Roman Catholic relations.

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