MATTHIAS SCHEEBEN ON FAITH
The Doctoral Dissertation of John Courtney Murray
D. Thomas Hughson, S.J.
Toronto Studies in Theology
The Edwin Mellen Press
It is a pleasure to thank the following individuals and institutions for their generous cooperation. Most Rev. Donald E. Pelotte, S.S.S., willingly discussed themes in Murray’s theory and helped me to become familiar with the contents of the Murray Archives. These conversations with the author of John Courtney Murray:, Theologian in Conflict both encouraged me and directed my attention to the unpublished material in the Murray Archives. Brian A. McGrath, S.J., Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., and Joseph M. Moffitt, S.J., were kind and resourceful in recalling salient details and some principal aspects of Murray’s theology. David Hollenbach, S.J., added several reflections on Murray’s social ethic. John C. Haughey, S.J., and Patrick Carey each suggested that Murray’s dissertation deserved careful study.
Rev. Henry J. Bertels, S.J., alerted me to the copy of the dissertation in material awaiting inclusion into the Murray Archives at the Woodstock Theological Center Library. The staff of the Special Collections Room in the Joseph Mark Lauinger Library, Georgetown University, could not have been more helpful in making the Murray Archives available. Rev. John R. Crocker, S.J., Secretary of the Gregorian University, secured the photocopy of Murray’s original text. The Woodstock Theological Center Library and the New York Province of the Society of Jesus agreed to its publication.
The Georgetown University Jesuit Community hospitably received me for two summers of work in the Murray Archives. The Marquette University Jesuit Community made possible the preparation of the text by the typist, Mrs. Lorraine Brimat (Jerusalem).Bonnie L. Jones, Production Manager of the Edwin Mellen Press, provided editorial advice. Finally, the Department of Theology at Marquette University allowed me the time needed to work on this project.
My gratitude to these persons and to these institutions acknowledges their contribution to this volume and indicates the solidarity involved in this, or any, research. The sole responsibility for the Introduction, however, is mine.
Thomas Hughson, S.J.
Pontifical Biblical Institute Jerusalem, 1987
(Department of Theology
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This volume in the Toronto Studies in Theology reproduces the doctoral dissertation John Courtney Murray, S.J. (1904-1967) completed in the spring of 1937 at the Gregorian University in Rome. From then until now, the Gregorian University archives contained the original typescript of “Matthias Joseph Scheeben’s Doctrine on Supernatural, Divine Faith: A Critical Exposition”. A carbon-copy was incorporated into the Murray Archives housed by the Woodstock Theological Library in the Special Collections Room of the Joseph Mark Lauinger Library at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. John Courtney Murray eventually published the third chapter, modified and disengaged from its original context (1). The complete, original text is published here for the first time.
Preparing it for publication consisted in photocopying, and then retyping, the original typescript according to a new format suitable for this series. Minor alterations accompanied the retyping. Footnotes were shifted from page-bottoms to the end of major divisions. The internal punctuation of Footnotes and Bibliography, and some capitalization, was standardized in those cases where this was appropriate. In the body of the text, retyping produced new pagination. The few corrections in spelling and word-order inked into the original were accepted as Murray’s. Several pencilled marginalia were not, because they did not belong to the text. Also, Murray often inserted lengthy quotations into sentences. Here, these when lengthy and used as evidence, appear indented and without quotation marks. Occasional
typographical slips have been amended. But not all anomalies have disappeared. Murray did not prepare the manuscript for publication or for circulation beyond the official readers of his dissertation.
Murray’s own theology after the dissertation has become the context which determines the perspective within which this early text will be read. His unparalleled accomplishment in the area of Catholic Church-state relations in the United States is the basis for considering any one of his writings worthy of attention if only for the sake of discovering how it might enlighten reading of those texts. Although the dissertation read and approved by Frs. E. Hocedez, S.J. and H. Lennerz, S.J.(2) seemed to presage further work in the field of fundamental theology(3), it turned out that Murray’s achievement would be in social ethics. It would not be a book on faith, The Problem of God(4), much less courses in the systematic theology of grace, Trinity, Church, or the virtues(5) that would establish him as one whose “contributions to Christian life and thought qualify him to be called the most outstanding theologian in the history of American Catholicism”(6). When the editor of America magazine decided to commemorate him(7), it was not his theology of faith but his “reasoned civil discourse on the most complex problems of Church and state in America”(8) that constituted his legacy. Likewise Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s forthright declaration that “no single figure in American history has had a greater impact on how Catholics conceive of the relation between religion and politics,”(9) stemmed from consideration of We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition(10), which a political scientist describes
as “on its way toward the status of a classic” (11 ) . Murray’s public prominence in the United States came as the result of his work on the themes of Church-state relations and of religious liberty(12). His social-ethical writing has become a prepossessing foreground, to which his writing on other subjects is background.
For this reason, and apart from the intrinsic worth it has as a piece in fundamental theology, “Matthias Joseph Scheeben’s Doctrine on Supernatural, Divine Faith: A Critical Exposition” gains an obvious value from its link with Murray’s social ethics. Before explaining this link, the matter of how Murray’s study of Scheeben originated deserves a brief commentary. The choice of topic did not arise directly from the courses in which he had enrolled. None specialized in Scheeben, though three touched upon faith: 1) ascetical-mystical theology; 2) the theology of Aquinas in light of his commentators; 3) fundamental theology(13). Scheeben’s doctrine on faith could be considered a topic in fundamental theology, or apologetics, and certainly Murray approached it with recourse to Aquinas and his commentators. In his Introduction he attributed his selection of subject-matter to a new appreciation for Matthias Joseph Scheeben gained during a sojourn in Germany. The Introduction also alerted its reader to the future he at that time imagined would be his. He described his choice of the topic of faith and the author, Scheeben, as something he foresaw would yield “useful points of doctrine”(14). When he returned to the United States in 1937 he assumed the post of teaching Dogmatic Theology at Woodstock College in Maryland, and this may have been that for which Scheeben’s doctrine would prove “useful”(15).
But his Footnotes and Bibliography provide evidence for another view of why he chose the topic he did. The reading documented in the Footnotes and Bibliography, and frequently appearing within the text, placed him in the midst of a new movement in theology. Catholic theologians like A. Gardeil, P. Rousselot, M. D. Chenu, M. de la Taille, and H. de Lubac were bringing about what T.M. Schoof calls the “re-orientation within Neo-Scholasticism”(16). They were dissatisfied with the post-Reformation polemics which were often under the influence of a Cartesian mentality. They sought an analysis fidei freed from rationalist distortion. They studied the texts of Aquinas directly rather than as sources contained within post-Tridentine discussions of faith. Their impulse led Murray through Suarez, Banez, Molina, et al., to Aquinas’ In 3 Sententiae, De Veritate, In Boet. de Trinitate, Summa Contra Gentiles, and Summa Theologiae, which he referred to throughout his dissertation. Reading this school of thought directed Murray to one of its central themes in recovering a pre-rationalist theology of faith. The role of the will in the act of faith had been neglected by post-Tridentine theology, and was not prominent either in the teaching on faith given by Vatican Council I. Vatican I addressed the problem that had preoccupied the theology of faith since the Council of Trent, the relation of reason to faith in the act of faith. Vatican I upheld the truth that faith was a divine gift and a theological virtue. It emphasized the contents of faith. But, that faith also had the character of a personal encounter between God and the believer was not the thrust of “De fide catholica”(17). The result was a somewhat one-sided doctrine on faith that conceived only its intellectual aspects.
Correcting this imbalance by opening up the role of the will was a leading tendency in the new movement into which Murray educated himself.
Whether his reading preceded or coincided with his study of Scheeben, he framed the whole dissertation in reference to a problem central to the new theology of faith: the link between will and intellect in faith. He identified Scheeben’s originality as his attention to the irremovable role of the will within the act of faith. His principal theme when commenting on Scheeben’s doctrine on faith was the idea that faith was an “affective cognition”,(18) not an act of intellect dissociated from will. His evaluation turned on the extent to which Scheeben had succeeded in expounding the voluntary dynamic in an act often treated as solely intellectual. These major lines in his study of Scheeben show that he reflected along a path identical to that proposed by the new movement in theology. Furthermore, at the close of the dissertation he remarked that part of Scheeben’s value lay in the way “Scheeben’s ideas on faith were ‘definitely of the twentieth century”(19). Murray read, studied and wrote in connection with a theological development that took place after Scheeben and to which Scheeben could be seen to contribute. He was recovering, that is to say, Scheeben’s doctrine on faith from within a new theology of faith leading toward Vatican II’s teaching in “The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation”(20).
Undoubtedly, the outstanding value Murray’s early ideas on faith have for contemporary theology lies in their potential for illuminating the reading and application of his social ethics. Yet there are three other but still not negligible reasons for studying the 1937 text fifty years after it fulfilled the purpose
for which Murray wrote it. First, it adds to our knowledge of Scheeben’s theology of faith. Murray’s concentration on the central role of the will in Scheeben’s analysis fidei, coupled with the act of historical interpretation by which he distinguished Scheeben’s inner theological tendency from his reaction to Liberalism, can help supplement, for example, R. Latourelle’s summary of Scheeben in The Theology of Revelation(21). His Thomistic critique of Scheeben’s over-reaction to Liberalism as well as his distance from Kleutgen can enrich G. McCool’s treatment of J. Kleutgen in Catholic Theology in the Nineteenth Century(22). Murray’s own embryonic theology of faith can be discerned in his comments on Scheeben. Its post-Vatican I character locates it on the broad path from “De fide catholica” to the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” at Vatican II. This means that it could be read as material pertinent to A. Dulles’ Models of Revelation(23) or even H. Stirnimann’s “Erwägungen für Fundamental Theologie. Problematik, Grundfragen, Konzept”.(24)
Second, his treatment of Scheeben has ecumenical value. It can be placed alongside Paul Tillich’s The Dynamics of Faith(25) to exemplify the struggle in Catholic theology to achieve a concept of faith that did justice to the uniqueness of faith as an act of the total person. Then too, he expounded the act of faith as the initium salutis. Using Aquinas’ analysis of faith as finality toward a new end, he explicated the Tridentine motif in a way that resulted in an uncalculated openness to the Lutheran sola fida tenet. The affinity consisted in Murray’s insistence that faith is a divinely initiated , voluntary, immanent principle with decisive salutary effect. Nonetheless,
he proceeded on the basis of a characteristically positive Thomist anthropology in identifying faith as a principle of activity. It is also true that he dropped Scheeben’s simplistic synthesis of Protestantism’s approach to revelation when he published Chapter III as an essay in 1948(26).
Another aspect of his text that has significance for ecumenism consists in, first, Scheeben’s immersion in the Greek Fathers and their notion of salvation as divinization, and second, Murray’s partial assimilation of this insofar as he accepted a Trinitarian dynamic in salvation(27). This could be read as the presence of the East within the thought of a theologian whose concern for the issue of constitutional religious liberty otherwise seems typically Western.
Third, this early text demonstrates that Murray commenced his theological career by taking his orientation to faith from both the universal teaching of Catholicism at Vatican I and from the ensuing theological discussions of that teaching in Europe. Such details could enrich the background given by Donald E. Pelotte in John Courtney Murray: Theologian in Conflict, Chapter I, “The Early Years: 1940-1949”. Specialists in American Church history and in American theology will note that he started from a study of Scheeben and to some extent remained indebted to Scheeben throughout his career(28). Murray’s commitment to the values of American Catholic experience was not due, that is, to a lack of awareness of the patrimony of the Church international and universal.
The primary theological justification for looking into the 1937 text, however, is the potential it holds for deepening the understanding of his social
ethics(29). The essential relationship between Murray’s dissertation, and, for the sake of limiting the inquiry, the founding of his social ethics in 1948, is one of unexpected continuity. In 1948 the foundation of his Church-state ethic, and its teaching on religious liberty, took place in three articles, referred to by Thomas T. Love as Murray’s “First Major Constructive Proposal”(30). They were: 1) “St. Robert Bellarmine on the Indirect Power”; 2) “Contemporary Orientations of Catholic Thought on Church and State in the Light of History; 3) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”. They generated what Donald E. Pelotte describes as “The Church-state Debate”(31) that began in the late 1940s. Despite the shift in subject-matter from an analysis fidei to Church-state relations, a format changed from a dissertation done under the auspices of the venerable traditions of the Gregorian University to essays locked in controversy over American problems, and a purpose altered from that of presenting a comparison between Scheeben and Aquinas on the question of how the will acted within faith to that of challenging the dominant opinion in Church-state theory, there was unity between the text of 1937 and those three articles.
The unity was not continuity in social-ethical subject-matter. There was no Church-state theory in his study of Scheeben. Nor was the dissertation the genesis of his Church-state thought. One of Murray’s original angles of approach to Church-state relations lay through historically nuanced political philosophy. In this, unlike his opponents(32), he worked simultaneously from a starting-point in theological tradition and in the actual conditions of modern states. But this methodological principle was not in evidence
in 1937(33). Nor did he then formally address the question of religious liberty despite his concern for the freedom of faith. The freedom of faith at issue in his treatment of Scheeben was threatened by an authoritarian concept of revelation and faith, not directly by social or political forces. Freedom before God revealing was his focus in 1937. As Augustine, Aquinas, and Scheeben all taught, and as Murray too, propounded, that freedom was received as a gift, first of all in the will’s being moved by a new attraction to God. In 1937 he concentrated on the freedom in which faith was moved by the graced will. This might be read as preface to his later discussion of atheism in The Problem of God but not as preparing for the essays of 1948.
The unity was that theological principles in 1937 became presuppositions entering into and informing the social ethic of 1948, and after. This is why Murray’s discussion of supernatural, divine faith cannot be separated from his later Church-state theory. This link was not a personal predilection, or idiosyncratic associating of disparate subject-matters, the theology of faith and Church-state relations. Instead, there is an intrinsic unity between a theology of faith such as his 1937 dissertation was, and a theory of Church-state relations. For, as G. McCool states in in reference to the nineteenth century “the relations between faith and reason and the relations between Church and state after all were aspects of the one basic problem concerning the relation between grace and nature”(34). If this condition extended also into the first half of the twentieth century, then Murray’s dissertation in 1937 and his Church-state theory in 1948 have the unity of treating the relation between grace and nature through
two successive approaches, the second relying on the first. How accurate and significant McCool’s judgment can be in the case of Murray will be seen from the five elements in the text of 1937 and in the articles of 1948 that specify and manifest the theological con-tinuity between 1937 and 1948. They are: 1) the classical status of Aquinas; 2) the concept of human finality toward God; 3) opposition to Liberalism; 4) a normative implication in the concept of faith; 5) a strong natural/supernatural distinction. Each of these will be explained. The result will be that five elements in his social ethic can be seen not as confined to his ethic but as already expressed in the dissertation. In the social ethic begun in 1948, he presupposed the theology of faith containing precisely these principles.
First, Murray gave Aquinas the status of a theological classic(35) in his dissertation and subsequently accepted his teaching on the natural-law idea of the state as classic for his social ethic in 1948. In 1937, the more than twenty individual citations of texts from Aquinas did no more than indicate the position he gave Aquinas’ theology. Throughout, he presented Aquinas’s theology of faith as a most profound and balanced theology, and one open to further development. He drew Chapter I to a close by comparing Scheeben with Aquinas. Chapter II introduced the intricacies of post-medieval epistemology of faith, seen as sustaining certain themes in Aquinas. In Chapter III he moved through the question of how well Scheeben had actually explained the cooperation between will and intellect within the one act of faith. Aquinas was regarded as the key to the understanding of that cooperation. Chapter V and the Conclusion
contained advances on his earlier comparison between Scheeben and Aquinas. At all points in the study he guaged Scheeben’s theological success according to the extent to which he had developed one theme in Aquinas: faith is an act of intellect moved by the will. The normative role assigned to the theology of Aquinas will continually confront readers of the 1937 text. It should be noted, however, that the nature of this normative role was defined by what Murray took to be the content of Aquinas’ theology not the authority latterly conferred on Aquinas in the Thomistic revival.
The bench-mark of Murray’s new approach to Church-state relations, proposed in 1948, was the increased extent to which Aquinas guided Murray’s theoretical reflection. He moved from the mitigated Thomism with which Robert Bellarmine(36) had sought to resolve Church-state conflicts to the consistently Thomist theory of John of Paris(37). He professed admiration for Bellarmine’s recovery of the Thomist natural-law idea of the state. But his final judgment was that Bellarmine had misapplied it because he did not take sufficiently into account the new condition of post-medieval nation-states succeeding to the former-and to Bellarmine’s mind still extant-respublica christiana(38). His misapplication was most strikingly evident to Murray in Bellarmine’s theory of the Pope’s indirect power. Here he did not remain consistent with the natural-law concept of the state drawn from Aquinas. The purpose toward which the Pope exercised his spiritual power was salvific and spiritual. But what means were suited to this end and which were deviations from it? Bellarmine in general held the Pope to the exercise of spiritual power through means of a spiritual nature. For example, the Pope could
serve the good of souls by deposing a bishop if this was needed. This was an act of jurisdiction over the office of bishop in the Church. But could the Pope similarly depose a prince or king who was leading his subjects into heresy or sin? Bellarmine thought that in individual and exceptional cases where the salvation of souls was in the balance the Pope could act through such a means. He saw this as an exercise of papal power directly for a spiritual end and only indirectly passing through the temporal means to which it was extended in the exceptional case.
The problem with this view was that, as Murray pointed out, “in the course of the extension, the power itself has ceased to be purely spiritual and has become formally political, specified as such by an act that is formally political”(39). Bellarmine had not paid enough attention to the importance of the means, which in the case of the Pope deposing a temporal ruler, would be a temporal, political act. He failed to recognize the implications of Aquinas’ natural-law idea of the state. According to this, certain actions expressed and carried out the purpose of the state, and these were not identical to those carrying out the purpose of the Church. In not noticing that the one society with its two powers, spiritual and temporal, had ceased to exist and that nation-states had supplanted it, Bellarmine did not give the state its due. Because of this he was unable to develop and apply the “virtualities for Catholic doctrine that are inherent in the natural-law concept of the temporal power”(40). Therefore, Bellarmine was not a reliable guide for modern thought on Church-state relations.
In passing from Bellarmine to John of Paris, Murray exhibited more than the historical consciousness that
was his ability to see the contingency and mutability of the concrete ways people at different times had organized themselves politically. Important and indispensable as this was, it does not explain completely his new approach to Church-state relations. For that, there must be some account of his deepening appreciation of Aquinas’ political philosophy. His progress in theory was also a step toward Aquinas. His new proposal for Catholic Church-state relations was able to justify Catholic support for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the basis of a consistent application of Aquinas’ natural-law concept of the state to American Church-state relations(41). This was more than, though indivisible from, his realization that the post-Reformation confessional states were not permanent models for Church-state relations precisely because they were not permanent and immutable ways of organizing a political order(42). The pivotal element in his new social ethic was his turn to the consistent Thomism of John of Paris(43).
In the theory of John of Paris, Murray found principles exceptionally valuable for the recurrent task of applying the few essential and permanent norms for Church-state relations to the modern condition in which the Church related to a democratic state(44). John had distinguished four exercises of priestly power: 1) consecrating bread and wine; 2) absolving from sin; 3) preaching and teaching; 4) making judgments in the external forum. The first three involved changes in earthly realities but did not directly produce a temporal, political effect. Indirectly, the effects of the sacramental and evangelical ministry of the Church affected the temporal order through their after-effects. Preaching
evoked repentance, for example, that led to penance in a sacramental form; this required of a repentant thief, for example, that stolen property be restored to its rightful owner. But this type of indirect effect in the temporal order was so obviously connected to the spiritual effect of forgiveness and repentance that no Church-state problem arose from it. The exercise of the Church’s spiritual power became problematic only, John of Paris realized, in making judgments in the external forum(45).
He acknowledged the Pope’s power to make doctrinal and moral judgments on matters pertaining to faith or Church law, even when they touched matters outside the structures of the Church, and belonged to the temporal sphere of life(46). He accepted the exercise of papal power in cases of ecclesiastical crimes with penalties attached to them. There, papal jurisdiction extended to coercive sanctions. Yet he made a slight but crucial distinction in the manner of exercise of this jurisdiction. The Pope exercised his spiritual power spiritually, for example, when he separated a Church member from the sacraments. The act of ex-communication was a spiritual act and not a temporal means for the spiritual end of the Church. The nature of the act differed, that is, from imposing a monetary or corporeal punishment on the person. Levying a fine and physical punishment were acts that had their own, temporal nature. Hence they did not fall within the competence of the papal power. In distinguishing two ways in which the Pope could act, and showing that only one was in accord with the nature and end of the spiritual power, John of Paris laid down the principle that would become essential to determining how the Church should act toward the temporal order. The
principle was that in exercising its power for spiritual ends, the Church should act according to, or through, only those means that were of a spiritual nature(47).
This principle resulted from John’s consistency with Aquinas’ natural-law idea of the state(48). Some acts had the nature of temporal, political acts. Where this was true, these were not suited to the Church’s exercise of spiritual power. Acts directly ordered to the temporal goods of peace, justice, prosperity and freedom belonged to that order of institution whose nature was precisely to secure those goods, that is, the state. John of Paris took the natural-law idea of the state not just as a way of comprehending the nature of political reality but as a guide to determining the kinds of acts that were expressive of that political nature, and which were, on that account, acts the Church should not perform. In approving and incorporating John of Paris’ principle into his new proposal, Murray was carrying out a recovery of Aquinas’ natural-law idea of the state in its normative significance. This is perhaps the most important single way in which Murray gave Aquinas classical status in 1948. The change of one judgment on the exercise of the Church’s power when it has indirect effects in the temporal order, a change from the mitigated Thomism of Bellarmine to the consistent Thomism. of John of Paris, was fundamental to his Church-state theory. It was, again, an increased reliance on Aquinas as a classic for thought on the state, for the sake of developing a Church-state theory pertinent to modern democracies.
The second element of continuity between the 1937 and 1948 writings was Murray’s concept of human
finality toward God as supernatural Last End. In 1937 this was his leading idea of faith(49). In 1948 this became essential to the primacy of the Church in Church-state relations(50). In both he reflected under the auspices of Vatican I’s doctrine on faith. This means only that he was a Catholic of his generation. Adding that his grasp of that doctrine included exact historical and theological knowledge of the doctrine and “De fide catholica”(51) is to point out that he was also an educated priest of the first part of the twentieth century. But to go on to identify in the dissertation an original reading of Vatican I on faith and to observe its influence in the 1948 social ethic is to have located another unity between the early text and the foundation for his social ethics.
Murray made a perceptible beginning toward a definite, Thomist, but originally nuanced theology of faith. He did this by modifying Scheeben’s interpretation of Vatican I. The essence of this was to reconceive the meaning of the obediential aspect of faith which Vatican I taught and which Scheeben made primary.
Scheeben wished his theology of faith to be received as “a faithful interpretation of the Vatican Council”(52), said Murray in 1937. One statement in the doctrine put forward at the Council, in particular, had arrested the theological attention of Scheeben:
Cum homo a Deo tamquam et Domino suo totus dependet, et ratio creata veritati increatae penitus subjecta sit, plenum revelanti Deo intellectus et voluntatis obsequium fide praestare tenemur.
(Since man is wholly dependent upon God, as upon his Creator and Lord, and since created reason is
absolutely subject to uncreated truth, we are bound to yield to God, by faith in his revelation, the full obedience of our intellect and will (DZ 3008)](53).
In this statement, the final clause was especially important to Scheeben’s theology of faith. Human beings were bound, said Vatican I, to yield “by faith in his revelation the full obedience of our intellect and will.” This “obedience” became the watchword in Scheeben’s defense of Vatican I against Liberalism and in the theology of faith as sacrificium intellectus with which he campaigned against it. The role of the will became one of obediently submitting to an external divine command(54). Murray did not accept Scheeben’s position on this without qualification. Murray argued, in fact, that Scheeben exaggerated the aspect of submission in faith in order to combat Liberalism(55).
Murray conceived the role of the will in faith as the dynamic with which the believer made an act of self-surrender, in the form of a consecration to God as Last End newly revealed(56). His idea of authority differed from Scheeben’s too. Murray did not elaborate an analogy for the authority/obedience relationship in faith. But he did not find Scheeben’s parent/child analogy helpful. Scheeben regularly employed the vocabulary and concept of a likeness between faith in revelation and a child’s reverent, trusting accession to the parental word(57). By contrast Murray interpreted the term “obedience” from Vatican I in an active way: he did not imagine that the “full obedience of our will” meant above all submission to a superior will. Instead he thought of it as “voluntary acceptance of that Last End, newly revealed”(58). The will’s act in faith was something
more than the cessation of defiance against the Creator and Lord. Faith was the “inchoative ordination of oneself to one’s Last End”(59) by an act of will. The intellectual assent to God as Prima Veritas revelans(60) carried this movement to fulfilled expression.
Faith, for Murray, was obedience to a new finality and not solely to an external divine command. Faith was a finality, and so a principle of activity, in which the will had an essential role. It was not, that is, a factual condition somehow prior to the end, which was beatific vision. Rather, he picked up from Aquinas what he called a “dynamic”(61) theology of faith. He understood Aquinas, perhaps to some extent in a characteristically American way, to teach that faith was “the fundamental principle of purposeful striving toward that final self-perfection”(62) that was the beatific vision. Faith was a source of activity, and not primarily, as Scheeben continued to hold, the anticipation of beatific vision. Faith, in a word, was power to act in a way proportioned to the achievement of the Last End. in faith, the believer received from divine grace a “new finality, directing it [the will] now to Himself as supernatural Last End”(63). This was at the same time the free acceptance of the divinely moved, new attraction to God. In general, then, Murray’s idea of faith as obedience diverged from Scheeben’s in the direction of Aquinas’ idea of faith as a new finality.
In Murray’s idea of obedience there was room for the immanent as well as the transcendent. The act of will interior to faith “can be considered an obedience, if you will, but an obedience to a new finality imprinted by God Himself on human nature”(64). Backing
away from Scheeben, Murray said that obediential faith “was not merely the acceptance of a divine command from the Creator and Lord of all but essentially and above all an acceptance of a new destiny from the Father of mercies”(63). This was to read Vatican I in a way that allowed room for the immanence of divine action in the will as well as for the transcendence of divine revelation to reason. And that reading was in light of Aquinas’ idea that faith was a finality toward God as supernatural Last End.
The Church-state ethic of 1948 presupposed this concept of faith, without reiterating it. Essential norms in the ethic come into their full meaning only when understood in light of it. For example, his renovation of the norm that the Church had primacy in relations with a state hinged on his concept of a finality toward God that was immanent in all believing citizens. He organized, it can be said, his new approach to Church and state with special attention to the unique, ultimate finality toward God expressed and actualized in the act of faith. This orientation to God transcended all other orders of human reality, including the realization of social goods through the structured operation of the state. Finality toward God and eternal life was, or could be, immanent to human beings in this life. It was faith. Finality toward social ends reached through political structures was also immanent in human beings in this life. It was the political dimension of human nature. The goals of the state, - justice, peace, prosperity, freedom - were human goods of a very high order, but they were not the Last End of humanity(66). God and eternal life was the Last End. The new finality in faith was the reason for the primacy of the spiritual to the temporal power, of
the Church to the state. Whereas this primacy belonged to the traditional, essential norms for Church-state relations, Murray conceived it especially as a primacy in finality. For him the primacy or superiority of the Church in relation to the state was the primacy of the finality expressed in faith to the terrestrial finality toward excellent human goals realized through the action of the state.
The Church was the institutional witness and presence of that transcendent finality(67). The end of the Church was the Last End of humanity, God and eternal life. For that reason, the Church could be subject to no other agency, society, power or state. For the Church to accept the superiority of the state would be for the Church to profess in performance what would be untrue, namely that there was an End, and a finality toward it, above God and faith. The Church’s claim to immunity from interference with the free operation of her mission (libertas ecclesiastica) was essentially the declaration that God and eternal life was the Last End of humanity, and that faith was a principle of activity ordering, not ordered by, other principles of activity.
Murray reconceived Church-state relations by focusing on the contrast between the finality toward God, borne by the Church, and the finality toward terrestrial values, operative in the state. Clarity in applying this distinction produced clarity in Church-state norms. These norms were traditionally four: 1) the distinction between Church and political organization; 2) the primacy of the Church; 3) the legitimate autonomy of the political order; 4) the harmonious cooperation between Church and state. In working out the application of these in and to the new
condition of modern democracies, Murray drew out normative meaning from finality. Finality was the ordering any reality had toward its end. Finality became normative for Murray’s proposal in the field of Church-state relations insofar as the end of the Church and of the state became normative for their operations in relation to one another. Not only was its end that toward which either Church or state tended through its acts. That end settled in advance the kinds of means which actually bring the realization of the end. Clarity on the correlation between ends and the kinds of means that actually moved Church or state toward its purpose characterized his whole enterprise, and did much to make his contribution one with lasting value.
For example, in “Governmental Repression of Heresy” the concrete question whether or not the Church could and should enlist the action of the state in repressing heresy was settled by the principle of finality(68). The end of the Church, humanity’s Last End, was distinct from the end of the state, humanity’s necessary but penultimate ends of justice, peace, prosperity, freedom. The end of the state was not religious in that it did not lead to eternal life, but to the humane earthly life. The distinction was normative. There was an obligation to act in accord with the distinction so that the Church acted, and acted only for its end, and the state only toward its end. The state acted in this way when it protected public order but not when it entered into the field of religious truth and unity. Deciding on matters of religious truth and unity was not acting toward the end of the state but toward the end of the Church. Therefore, only the Church had competence to decide and judge on truth and ecclesial unity. The Church was
violating its relation to the state by inviting political action in support of its religious end. And if the state failed to act according to its end, it failed to carry out the role in human existence it had from the Creator of human nature(69). The government had no basis for acting in regard to heresy. Heresy was a religious reality, a matter of religious truth and error. For the Church to seek state action to repress heresy was for the Church to invite the state to violate its integrity and specificity. It was not to respect the differing ends, which were normative for the selection of means.
Murray’s Church-state ethic can be described as a fully consistent Thomism which took the incommensurate but ordered ends of Church and state as normative for thinking, judging, deciding, and acting in relations between Church and state. This focus on finality placed his 1948 ethic in continuity with his 1937 theology of faith. In 1937, faith was conceived as the new, supernatural finality toward God as Last End. In 1948 his Church-state ethic incorporated this finality, now as the finality of the whole Church, and then began to interpret the finality in a way that led to practical norms. It is also true, however, that in 1948 he subsumed the early concept of faith into a movement beyond individual soteriology to the ultimate common good of humanity. But in both 1937 and in 1948, the relation of humanity to God was understood in terms of supernatural finality.
Murray’s opposition to Liberalism was the third element linking the study of Scheeben to the foundation of his social ethic. In 1937 he shared Scheeben’s negative evaluation of the mentality which enthroned reason in sovereign autonomy over all truth and value.
He allied himself with Scheeben’s opposition to Liberalism’s refusal “to acknowledge the doctrinal rights and powers of any cathedra that dared to set itself up against the university chair”(70). Murray, however, did not undertake an independent critique of “this resistance to social, ecclesial, and divine authority. Rather, he registered concern with the way its tenet of absolute freedom of the individual resulted in a harmful attitude toward the Catholic faith. This had been Scheeben’s point of contestation with Liberalism. It regarded faith as an “act of free trust and sovereign approbation wherewith one accepts and makes his own a truth that is seen to be sufficiently attested”(71). Valid as this was for estimating the reliability of human expertise as a basis for human trust and faith, it lacked an inner dimension of awareness of God’s divine otherness when used as an approach to faith in the Word of God. Murray agreed with Scheeben that it was an error. He did consider that misunderstanding “by the Catholic Liberals-Döllinger, for instance”(72) was partly responsible for suspicion about the value of the Church’s teaching authority. This was to concede a need for checking Liberalism by positive teaching on the nature of the magisterium, something more than Scheeben’s polemic sought to accomplish.
He also departed from Scheeben’s reaction to Liberalism. Scheeben countered the Liberal idea of rational faith based on sufficiently attested truth with the concept of faith as sacrificium intellectus. Murray did not dismiss this. He found the portrayal of faith as the attitude of submissive trust listening obediently to the Father to be “most beautiful and most true”(73). He protested, nonetheless, the absence of
other details that would introduce a new tone into that picture. In addition to the “great Jehovah thundering forth his right to His creature’s obedience” there was a need to hearken to “the gentler accents of the Father, Who ‘in these latter days has spoken to us (Heb.1:2)”(74). The implication, of course, was that Scheeben temporarily overlooked the Son, Christ,as the way the Father has revealed His truth. Murray implied that Christ was the touchstone for appreciating the authoritative aspect of revelation and the submissive aspect of faith. Scheeben, according to Murray’s judgment, had over-reacted to Liberalism. He did accept Scheeben’s judgment on its erroneous content but moderated the theological reaction to it.
Murray’s opposition to Liberalism took a new form in 1948. Not only did his antipathy toward it survive the transatlantic voyage from Europe to America, it became if anything more pronounced and more incisive. He began to develop the social and political meaning of his earlier judgment against it. This was needed because Liberalism itself was more than an anthropology or an epistemology. Social and political consequences followed from the rationalism of its anthropology. The autonomy and sovereignty of reason was the premise upon which a claim for state control of all aspects of social existence could be built. The refusal to acknowledge any truth higher than that arrived at by reason and the resistance to any value or norm for conduct not similarly authenticated had a vicious political outcome in a view that tolerated no society or value higher than the state. There was no norm, value, or truth left by which the state fell under judgment from a higher perspective or from an ultimate point of reference.
The result was the claim by the state to juridical omnipotence. This directly clashed with the political principles fundamental to Murray’s, and America’s), philosophy: that the state was strictly limited in its end and operations; that it was distinct from and ordered to the good of society; and that it was not ultimate(75).
His entire Church-state ethic negated the rationalist premise and the Liberal politic. In one direct retort he demonstrated the distance which lay between it and his own espousal of pluralism, democracy, and religious liberty. He anticipated Catholic objections to his “proposition that a governmental right to repress heterodox religious opinions and worship enjoys no permanently valid status within the Catholic doctrine on the orderly relation of church and state”(76). One question that could surface was, “Is this Liberalism? At least, is it Catholic Liberalism?”. His reply pointed out that “no part of my argument rests on any part of the rationalist premise of Liberalism”(77). The premise was simply and directly stated as “the absolute autonomy of reason" (78). He had rejected this in 1937 when he proved Scheeben’s defense of divine, supernatural faith against Liberalism’s reduction of it to rational, human faith. In 1948 he turned aside also from its "false metaphysic of freedom”(79). He had already begun to form his negative judgment on this when, in 1937, he adverted to Scheeben’s dislike of the fundamental tenet of Liberalism, which he at that time identified as “the absolute freedom of the individual”. Most dangerous, however, was the social-ethical corollary, which was an “individualistic, eighteenth-century concept of rights”. This supported an atomistic concept of society”, and what was worse,
grounded the concept of the “juridical omnipotence of the state”(81). All of Liberalism was repugnant to Murray in 1948, especially its socio-political doctrine. He would devote many pages to his attack against the claim to juridical omnipotence by any state, and he saw that claim as the essential over-extension that produced a totalitarian state. Opposition to Liberalism was an element uniting his theology of faith in 1937 to his social ethic in 1948. This could be understood in light of McCool’s judgment as two phases in one affirmation that grace exceeded nature.
The fourth commonality between the dissertation and the 1948 social ethic was the moral concept of faith. The concept of faith presented by Scheeben, and to the extent that Murray offered one, in his commentary on Scheeben, was pre-eminently a moral concept of faith. Scheeben, and Murray after him, discussed faith as a moral act insofar as the will was active within it. It was not purely and totally an intellectual assent: it was also an act by the will and in that respect, faith was a moral act. For Scheeben, it was also the way to discharge the duty to obey the Creator that was part of human dependency on the Creator and Lord of all. Murray demurred from this precisely because it made faith into a species of moral virtue and robbed faith of the uniqueness of-being a new orientation to God as Last End. Just because of his departure from Scheeben Murray proposed a theology of faith that had normative implications in a way that Scheeben’s theology of faith did not. Whereas Scheeben saw faith as the fulfillment of a previously known moral duty, Murray conceived faith in a way that made it a new norm for all other, future choices.
The normative content in Murray’s concept of faith was not in the fact of freedom, as if to emphasize that was a responsible act putting the believer in the new position of having responsibility for further free and morally significant acts. Nor was it in the judgment of credibility which grounded the judgment of credendity placing faith before the person’s conscience as an obligation toward the truth. Rather, faith was itself the supreme moral act because in it the will aligned itself with the supreme good for which the will had a new aptitude: God and beatific vision. In faith, as he said, the believer accepted a new orientation to God as Last End. He explained the act of accepting God as Last End as the voluntary movement toward God fully realized in assent to revelation. It was a decision for God. It was the decision in a person’s life because in it alone did the person enter the new finality given by God. In it alone did the will order the intellect to assent to truths known to be divinely revealed. That choice or decision brought to completion the prior notion by which God stirred the will, drawing it to Himself. That choice or decision was inseparable from ‘the assent to revealed truth which formally characterized the act of faith. And that was the choice for the most comprehensive of goods, God and eternal life. As such it became not only a principle for further growth in faith but a new norm for further choices of other goods. It was the norm never subject to a higher norm.
He did not employ the Biblical vocabulary of metanoia in discussing faith. And yet he signalized his his divergence from Scheeben by his emphasis on faith as initium salutis(82). Instead of understanding faith as the anticipation of beatific vision, Murray
preferred to stress that faith was the beginning of a salvation that was still incomplete and still was to be realized through an earthly set of decisions. For Scheeben, faith had been a moral act because in it the will acted according to the established norm of obedience in its highest mode, to God as Creator. And it was a moral act simply because in it the will acted freely. But for Murray, faith was the moral act and not because any moral virtue was fully achieved in it, and not because established norms of morality were met. It was the act, rather, in which all choices found their center and goal because it was the choice of and acceptance of God as Last End(83). Murray’s way of bringing out the ultimacy of the finality toward God was also the basis for an important norm. There could be no good, no value, no goal, no reality which the person could choose that was not affected by the choice of God as Last End. No other reality could be the Last End.
This remained implicit in the theology of faith in 1937. Faith conceived as the supreme moral act, and implicitly the highest norm for conscience, did not become explicit in 1948 in the form of a theory of ethics. Nor did the implication produce Murray’s Church-state norms, as if he deduced them from a theological premise. It is the fact of his shift into ethics that made the normative aspect of faith as he wrote about in in 1937 explicit in 1948. His Church-state ethic did not have to abandon his analysis fidei, could presuppose it, and found there a concept of faith apt for ethical reasoning, be it in the field of Church-state relations or in some other area. Nonetheless, his ethic of Church-state relations specified that ethical aptitude in that he conceived
the Church as the highest moral community. It embodied and promoted the supreme moral act of choosing God as Last End(84). The Church was the social reality whose institutional existence was the way the act of faith existed in visible, corporate agency. The moral reality of the Church was not, for Murray, its ethical message or its exemplary fulfillment of moral virtues. it was, rather, that the Church was the community in which the Last End of a renewed human nature was accepted and chosen and institutionally expressed. This was an aspect of the Church’s priority over the state. The Church had primacy in Church-state relations because the human act of choice - graced - in which God and eternal life were embraced as Last End had precedence over all other choices of lesser goods. And this was where the normative implication of the 1937 theology of faith came to its most definite expression in the 1948 ethic.
A fifth element linking the 1937 with the 1948 work lay in the strong natural/supernatural distinction characterizing both. So much a part of Western Catholic theology had this distinction become that Murray would have needed extreme ingenuity to extricate from either his theology in 1937 or his social ethic 1948. Variations in its use were the way differing theologies affirmed the non-identity of creation and redemption. Murray discovered in Scheeben’s theology of faith an underlying ontology of redemption-as-divinization. Decidedly Greek in origin and inspiration, this theology conceived the mystery of salvation, the economy of salvation, as the created image of the inner-trinitarian mystery(85). The Father generating the Son in the Trinity was, for Scheeben, the cause and exemplar of the regeneration of the
believer by divine grace. The believer received not simply a new attitude but a new nature which was an image of the divine nature. And, “for Scheeben man’s new nature meant new powers and their acts”(86).
Faith, for example, was the power and act by which the saved person’s mind participated in the Son’s knowledge of the Father. In Scheeben’s theology supernatural acts expressing and arising from the new nature given in grace were acts whose contents differed from acts arising from human nature itself. He took pains, for instance, to show that supernatural faith differed from a possible natural faith which resulted from human reasoning upon the reality of a created world and the fact of a revelation by the Creator(87). This putative act of natural faith lacked the mode of voluntary movement Scheeben called the “pius credulitatis affectus”(88) and which was a surge of trusting, reverent willingness to heed the revealed word because it brought communion with the revealing Father. Natural faith was an ascent from rational knowledge of God’s existence and the existence of a revelation to a rational judgment in favor of accepting the truth of that revelation. Scheeben despised it because it seemed to mimic supernatural faith. Supernatural faith, on the other hand, was an assent moved by the will’s reverent trust in God and the obedient hearing of a word revealed by the Creator and Lord of all. This brought not just assent but a consent which was personal, sharing in the inner-trinitarian knowledge of the Father by the Son. In Scheeben’s theology only supernatural faith was saving faith(89). Murray covered Scheeben’s soteriology without becoming a participant in his vigilance against the dangers of an act of natural faith able to
substitute itself for supernatural faith. This led him move in the direction of diminishing Scheeben’s tendency to make a polarity out of the distinction between the natural and the supernatural. This was not explicit theme for Murray but when Chapter V in his thesis is allowed to become a retrospective view of the preceding four chapters, that direction becomes clear.
Murray set Chapter V, “The Two Lights” under the soteriological principle that grace perfects nature. The distinction between reason and faith, the two lights by which the mind can know, had been stressed in Chapter II, “Natural and Supernatural Faith”. There, he recapitulated Scheeben’s struggle to vindicate the act of faith as a gift: it came from God and was not a conclusion from rational premises. There, the incommensurability between the preparation for faith and the act of faith was to the fore. But Chapter V began with Murray’s explicit reference to the principle he designated the general law of the supernatural order”(90). This was the truth that grace does not destroy nature but perfects it. He did not present this as something taken from Scheeben’s theology but from Catholic tradition. He applied this principle to question of how the light of reason and the light of faith were compatible in the act of faith. He noted, and this could be read as correcting Scheeben, that “this means that the grace of faith, traditionally called the ‘light’ of faith does not destroy, nor dispense with, but perfects the operation of natural intelligence-known universally to philosophers as the “light’ of reason”(91). Scheeben did not develop the harmony between nature and grace, reason and faith. Hs theology of faith focussed, to the contrary, on the gulf between natural reason and supernatural faith,
because of his effort to lift up the supernaturality of faith for careful and reverent recognition. In Chapter V, Murray took a different perspective, the perfection of nature by grace, of reason by faith, and within this traditional concept explained Scheeben’s theology of reason and faith.
This enabled him to pin-point in Scheeben’s Dogmatik something native to Scheeben that also affirmed the harmony possible between reason and faith. Scheeben stressed, as Murray observed, that the lumen fidei was union with Eternal Truth and was more than an elevating transformation of reason(92). Faith was a gift that brought a new power and act to the person. Still, he was aware enough of Catholic theological tradition and of the actual way a person came to make an act of faith to realize that the novelty of faith did not dispense with prior conditions suitable to it(93). The preparation for faith was not the same as faith, and was not supernatural, but it was preparatory. The supernatural light of faith dawned upon something already there, namely a rational judgment that revelation had occurred, was believable, and should be believed. In accepting the role of the judgment of credibility as essential to the disposition for faith Scheeben accepted the role of reason in the preparation for faith. Here it was evident that the gratuitous, heart-felt spontaneity in faith did not negate the light of reason. Scheeben was not, therefore, a fideist.
Murray took account of the respect given to reason in the advent of faith. This principle in Scheeben, however muted by the fierce polemic against theological adversaries with rationalist tendencies, was something noteworthy for Murray. It was congruent with Murray’s
own conviction, expressed at the beginning of his fifth chapter, that grace perfected reason rather than destroyed it. And, in general that fifth chapter counter-balanced Scheeben’s firm grasp of another truth: that grace transcends nature. Murray suppressed neither truth yet sought their harmony in a way that Scheeben did not. Murray made the strong natural/supernatural distinction with Scheeben. But for Murray in 1937 this clarity on the transcendence of faith was able to harmonize with a positive affirmation of the created order represented by the light of reason.
He sustained the strong supernatural/natural distinction in his social ethic of 1948, but allowed a new aspect of it to emerge. In 1937 the distinction served to let faith emerge as a divine gift. In 1948 the same distinction served to let the natural order—the created reality of the state emerge as something not negated, not eliminated, not suppressed, by the Church. This distinction was crucial in Murray’s emancipating of Catholic Church-state theory from bondage to integrism(94). The non-identity of grace nature was the non-identity of the natural order of the state with the supernatural order of the church. This was significant for the reality of the state. The state, a work of natural reason in the practical order, had, moreover, a role in divine providence. It was not to be the instrument of the Church in the way integrism imagined. This thesis/hypothesis school of thought argued that Catholic doctrine had an exigence toward the establishment of Catholicism as the official religion wherever possible. In this view the state promoted the work of the Church by granting a special legal privilege to it and by repressing some aspects of
non-Catholic religions. Murray argued that the confessional state was a fairly recent phenomenon that could not arrogate to itself the importance of being a plenary manifestation of the unchanging norms of Church-state relations. It was also a confusion between Church and state, between the natural and the supernatural(95). It negated certain aspects of the natural reality that the state was. It did not accept the legitimate independence of the state from ecclesial linkage and tutelage as an inherent part of what the state was. Integrism and the thesis/hypothesis position was, therefore, a theological and philosophical disaster, and not only a rigid classicism lacking sensitivity to empirical data on modern political practice.
His analysis of the indirect power that the Church’s spiritual power has to affect the temporal order relied on the supernatural/natural distinction. The distinction became the ethical principle that the Church was not the state and should not try to be; nor was the state the Church or structurally instrumental to ecclesial ends(96). Because those he confronted were Catholic integrists not Catholic Liberals, he did not at every point also, in 1948, spell out the norm that the Church was not to allow itself to become instrumental to the valuable, but temporal, purposes of the state. The end of the state was, of course, ordered to the ultimate end which the Church acted toward, eternal life with God. But the ordering should occur with full respect for the natural/supernatural distinction. This meant that the state was effective for higher purposes not by directly seeking them but by being what the state was and in that way fostering conditions of justice, peace, prosperity and freedom
which were good for people and therefore good for the Church(97).
Murray’s concept of the “natural” in 1948 was theological and dynamic. It was theological because it always meant and referred to something created by God(98). The state was a creature arising immediately from human nature and ultimately from the Creator of human nature. He conceived this natural, created reality, too, as part of the way divine providence worked for humanity. And his idea of providence had an empirical content. He often referred to Pope Pius XII’s phrase on the “providential path of history and circumstances”(99) which asked from the Church obedience to her own inner “law of continual adaptation”(100) in order to foster all that is rational and human in the aspirations and institutions of any age. The salient example of the way God’s providence encouraged the maturation of “the virtualities of human nature as grace calls them forth”(101) was the gradual emergence of a political order not representing itself as ultimate, and yet independent from control by the Church. It was factual and providential that Church and state had come to mutual independence from one another. And the Church’s respouse was attentive learning as well as courageous witness to her own mission. The providential path of history-evident in the gradual rise of the inherently rational aspiration for political freedom through democratic government - was paralleled by the Church’s own developing doctrine on Church-state relations. He remarked that “the whole development of the doctrine of Church-state relationships has been conditioned by the sharpening of the distinction between the two orders of human life as the temporal order has progressively
grown into its natural autonomy”(102). For Murray, then, the idea of the “natural” was theological in respect to the Creator of nature and in respect to the providence with which the Creator continually worked the development of the capacities of that nature through his grace. Grace not only perfected an already completely finished nature; it assisted the realization of its capacities. The concept of the “natural” was also dynamic in that human nature was understood to be a reservoir of undeveloped potentials coming into actualization over the long course of history.
In 1948 the natural/supernatural distinction enabled Murray to conceive the Church-state distinction in a way that encouraged a new appreciation of an autonomous political order. In this it might seem that he retained Scheeben’s tendency toward a natural/supernatural polarity by giving the distinction institutional magnitude in the state/Church difference. And it is true that Murray argued for the distinction as the first and most important principle in Church-state relations. But the principle was most important for the sake of that for which it existed, the freedom which was the condition for harmony between Church and state in the order of activity. Such harmony was not itself institutional in structure. The harmony was personal, and in the ordered activities of conscience(103). In the conscience of the person the perfection of the social and political aspects of human nature which came to expression in the state occurred, indeed, through grace. But it did not occur through Throne-Altar alliance. The order of grace present through the Church perfected the order of nature expressed by the state. But the manner or mode in which this concretely took place was the coordination
of obligations to Church and state within the conscience of the one person who was believer and citizen.
Murray taught that the dual rights and responsibilities involved in a person being at once believer and citizen were meant to be in harmony. This personal harmony was the new mode in which the spiritual order had primacy over the temporal order. And it was the modern form of the Church-state cooperation affirmed by Catholic tradition. In modern democratic states, the bearers of temporal power were not first of all the elected officers but the citizens of the state. This changed the old order of things in which the Church-state relation was between the highest authorities of state and of the Church. Since the authorities of the democratic state were its citizens, the spiritual society encountered the state precisely in the citizens who were simultaneously members of the church and citizens of the state. The Church-state-relation was a relation within the mind, heart and conscience of the person who was the believer/citizen. And harmonious Church-state relations meant harmony between the person’s two sets of obligations. This harmony was how ecclesial grace perfected political nature. The perfection was dynamic and in the coordination of acts rather than quasi-substantial in an integrated structural union between church and hate. Thus, just as he taught in 1937 that grace perfects nature, he taught in 1948 that the believing citizen realized a harmony between ecclesial and civic responsibilities. In both cases the strong natural/supernatural distinctions is liberating: in 1937 from naturalist reduction of faith to reason; in 1948 from integrism.
Five principles, then, linked the dissertation to the founding of the social ethic: 1) the classical status of Aquinas; 2) the concept of human finality toward God; 3) opposition to Liberalism; 4) a normative implication in the concept of faith; 5) a strong natural/supernatural distinction. They prove the claim that the dissertation was not isolated from the 1948 articles on Church-state and religious liberty issues. In 1948, in fact, Murray incorporated into his social ethic five principles already evident in the study of Scheeben. When he began to address the American problems in the area of Church-state relations and the First Amendment he was relying to some extent on the theology adumbrated in the manuscript presented in this volume. This is not to make the additional claim that the dissertation was the single source for the founding of the social ethic. But it is to propose that that ethic cannot be fully understood apart from the dissertation.
There is more than biographical significance in that connection, more than a demonstrable continuity in motif between two stages in a theologian’s writings. What has been established bears also on the subject-matter. The realities of Church-state relations and faith are not so disparate. For, as G. McCool remarked in regard to 19th century Catholicism, the problem of Church-state relations was inseparable from the faith/reason issue. He identified both as arising from a more basic and more comprehensive reality, the entry of grace into the world of humanity. This judgment applies to Murray, as the preceding inquiry made evident. It discloses something about the subject-matter Murray treated and in this way becomes a perception of the subject-matter and not simply a
comment upon the temporal coinciding of two themes in the life of nineteenth century Catholicism, and then within the career of one twentieth century theologian.
Murray’s new focus in 1948 emerged from the subject-matter in 1937 and not only as a response to papal teaching on the need for social reconstruction in the aftermath of World War II or to Murray’s own insight into the need for religious liberty as a condition for collaboration in post-war America. The problem of how faith and reason harmonized within the act of belief in God and revelation became the problem of how Church and state harmonized the conscience of the believer/citizen. Now, faith and reason are problematic in relation to each other the same way Church and state are: from within the light of faith and the Gospel. Murray founded his social ethic within the same light of faith he expounded in 1937 and adumbrated in his directly theological writings. The Church/state relationship became the object for his reflection from within membership in the Church. And because it pre-supposed the analysis fidei from 1937 it was a theologically-qualified social ethic. It is true that he refused to argue from theological premises but he did not by that fact place his thinking outside the light of faith or apart from participation in the life of the Church. His social ethic is a theological ethic at least in the sense that it was worked out within the horizon of faith, constantly pre-supposed and without which it cannot be fully understood.
Assimilating Murray’s legacy will remain incomplete to the extent that its faith-horizon is
neglected, and his explicitly theological texts isolated from his social-ethical texts. The full meaning of We Hold These Truths, for example, depends to some extent on understanding it in conjunction with The Problem of God. This would be to fulfill the hermeneutical counsel advising the value of reading an author’s works in ensemble and to enter upon the task of interpreting Murray’s legacy in light of its subject-matter. The subject-matter itself urges that the faith-and-Church part of the problematic be fully in view in such interpreting.
Introduction to the Text
(1) The Root of Faith: The Doctrine of M.J. Scheeben, Theological Studies 9 (1948), pp. 20-46.
(2) E. Hocedez, S.J. was Murray’s dissertation advisor. He and H. Lennerz, S.J.approved the published excerpt from the dissertation.Its cover bears the information: “Dissertatio ad Lauream, In Facultate Theologica,Murray, Joannes, S.J., Tradita die 6a mensis Aprilis 1937, Moderante R. P. Hocedez, S.J.”
(3) The identity of fundamental theology as a distinct discipline is treated by Jean-Pierre Torrell in “New Trends in Fundamental Theology in the Postconciliar Period”, pp. 11-22 in Problems and Perspectives of Fundamental Theology, edited by Rene Latourelle and Gerald O’Collins, translated by Matthew O’Connell (NewYork: Paulist Press, 1982); by Rene Latourelle in “A New Image of Fundamental Theology”, pp. 37-58; by David Tracy in “The Necessity and Insufficiency of Fundamental Theology”, pp. 23-36 also in the same volume. Avery Dulles S.J. has presented his approach to fundamental theology in “Fundamental Theology and the Dynamics of Conversion”, The Thomist (S’81), pp. 175-193. Heinrich Stirnimann took up the theme in the important article, “Erwagungen fur Fundamentaltheologie.Problematik, Grundfragen, Konzept”, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie and Theologie, 24 (1977) pp. 291-365. For Scheeben and Murray, fundamental theology was apologetics.
(4) John Courtney Murray S.J., The Problem of God, Yesterday and Today (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964), but originally “On the Structure of the Problem of God”, Theological Studies 33 (March, 1962), pp. 1-26.
(5) According to a list of courses taught at Woodstock College from 1937-1967, he offered “De Gratia Actuali et Habituali” and “De Virtutibus” in 1938-39; 1940-41; 1946-47; 1958-59; 1960; “de
inhabitatione ac statu gratiae” as part of “De Personis as (sic) missionibus divinis” in 1960-61; 1961-62; 1964-65. He taught the doctrine on God, “De Uno et Trino” in 1937-38; 1939-40; “De Unitate Essentiae divinae; de providentia et predestinatione” in 1959-60; 1964. He taught “De Ecclesia et Statu” in 1948-49; 1952-53; “Problema de Ecclesia et Statu in Saeculo 19o” in 1955-58; 1959; 1960; 1961; 1962; 1963; 1964. Unnumbered file in the Murray Archives: “Courses of Fr. John Courtney Murray listed in WC Kalendarii.”
(6) David Hollenbach, S.J. “The Growing End of an Argument”, America (November 30, 1985), pp. 363-66; 363.
(7) America, dedicated issue, “The Legacy of John Courtney Murray”, (November 30, 1985).
(8) George W.Hunt,“Of Many Things”, America (November 30, 1985), p. 356.
(9) Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, “Religion and Politics: The Future Agenda”, Origins NC documentary service, vol. 14, no. 21 (November 8, 1984) pp. 321-328.
(10) John Courtney Murray, S.J., We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1960)
(11) John A. Rohr, “John Courtney Murray and the Pastoral Letters”, America (November 30, 1985), pp. 373-79; 373.
(12) On December 12, 1960, Time Magazine had Murray on its cover, just after John F. Kennedy’s election and while the relation between Catholicism and the First Amendment was a subject for public discussion.
(13) The Gregorian University records show that Murray completed: “Ascet. myst.” (Ascetical-mystical Theology] June 8, 1936; “Exercitatione de Aldama, Th. dogmatica” [Seminar in Dogmatic Theology, on Aquinas in light of his commentators] guided by J. de Aldama in June, 1936, and “Th. Fundamentalis” [Fundamental Theology] on June 5, 1936. Over the course of academic year 1935-36,
he also did courses in: “Hist, Bolsh” (History of Bolshevism]; “Eccl S. Cypriani” [Ecclesiology of St. Cyprian]’ “Th. saec, XIX” (Theology of the Ninetheenth Century].
(14) Introduction, p.1 in this volume.
(15) Cf. Donald E. Pelotte, S.S.S., John Courtney Murray: Theologian in Conflict (New York: Paulist, 1975), Ch.I “The Early Years: 1940-49”.
(16) T.M. Schoof, A Survey of Catholic Theology 1800-1970, translated by N.D. Smith (New York: Paulist Press, 1970), pp. 88-194.
(17) Cf. Josef Trütsch and Josef Pfammatter, “Die analysis fidei der nachtridentinischen Theologie”, Mysterium Salutis: Grundriss heilsgeschichtlicher Dogmatik; hrsg. v. Johannes Feiner u. Magnus Lohrer (Einsiedeln: Benziger Verlag, 1965), Kapitel 5, 3. Abschnitt “Dogmenund Theologiegeschichtliche Skizze”, pp. 817-26.
For the teaching of Vatican I, cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapters II-IV (Dz.. 3004-3020) and “Canons on Religious Knowledge”, (Dz.. 3026-3043), in The Teaching of the Catholic Church, ed. J. Neuner, H. Ross, K. Rahner; translated by G. Stevens (Staten Island, N.Y. Alba House, 1967; with the Mercier Press Ltd.) pp. 31-40.
(18) This volume, pp. 80-84; 116; Ch.III inter alia. Page references to “Matthias Joseph Scheeben’s Doctrine on Supernatural,Divine Faith:A Critical Exposition” will be to page numbers in this volume. Hereafter, these references will be preceded by MJS.
(19) MJS, p. 252.
(20) Cf. the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation” in The Documents of Vatican II ed. by W. M. Abbott and J. Gallagher (New York: Guild Press, 1966), pp. 111-128, sections 5 - 6.
(21) Rene Latourelle, The Theology of Revelation Staten Island, N.Y.: Alba House, 1966), pp. 200-203. Murray here gave an early instance of his
sensitivity to the explanatory value of the historical situation within which theology occurs. In reading Scheeben in reference to Vatican I, J. Kleutgen, and Liberalism, he interpreted Scheeben’s texts with some of that skill later so manifest in his interpretation of Pope Leo XIII’s indictments of democracy, religious liberty, and Church-state separation. He will come to distinguish Leo’s pastoral-theological content from its polemic against, amongst others, Liberalism. Cf. Murray’s articles, “Leo XIII on Church and State: The General Structure of the Controversy” Theological Studies 14 (March, 1953), pp. 1-30; “Leo XIII: Separation of Church and State”, Theological Studies 14 (June, 1953) pp. 145-214; “Leo XIII: Two Concepts of Government”, Theological Studies 14 (December, 1953), pp. 551-567.
(22) Gerald A. Mc.Cool S.J., Catholic Theology in the Nineteenth Century: The Quest for a Unitary Method (New York: Seabury Press, 1’977), pp. 167-215.
(23) Avery Dulles, S.J., Models of Revelation (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Co., 1983).
(24) Cf. FN. 3.
(25) Paul Tillich, The Dynamics of Faith (New York: Harper & Row, 1957).
(26) In 1948, he no longer proposed pp. 149-152 to his readers in “The Root of Faith: The Doctrine of M.J. Scheeben” (cf. FN. 1). All of Chapter III might be read in reference to Schleiermacher’s On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, trans. by John Oman, introduced by R. Otto (New York: Harper and Row, 1958), insofar as Scheeben affirmed the creaturely sense of absolute dependence as essential to faith, while battling against Liberal theology, (perhaps like Karl Barth). Cf. MJS, p. 169-172. Murray defended ecumenical and inter-faith cooperation in the early 1940’s. Cf. Pelotte, pp. 14-17. Later he became a founding member of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue and wrote “The Status of the Nicene Creed as Dogma” for an ecumenical purpose,
Chicago Studies: An Archdiocesan Review, 5(Spring, 1966), pp. 65-80. Richard John Neuhaus The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1984). Neuhaus sees Murray as a valuable and ecumenically accessible resource for the task of reconceiving the religious dimension of public discourse in America.
(27) John Courtney Murray, S.J., “The Most Blessed Trinity,” in St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica, First Complete American Edition, in Three Volumes; Volume Three, Containing Supplement, Q.Q.1-99,Appendices, Articles on Various,Aspects of the Summa, Scriptural, Patristic,Professional Indices.With Complete Series of Synoptical Charts (New York: Benziger, 1948) pp. 3153-3163. This essay, which began from the Greek Patristic starting-point in the Father, introduced the Trinitarian theology of Aquinas, which accepted the Augustinian starting-point in the unity of the divine essence. Bibliographies of Murray’s works have not included this essay.
(28) For example, in The Problem of God Yesterday and Today, Chapter 3, “The Contemporary Problem: The Death of God”, he speaks about faith in a way that sustains the emphasis on the role of the will in faith. Biblical “knowledge of God,” for example, is not “an affair of affirmation alone; it is free engagement in a whole style of life,” p. 77; the will is the “root” of either belief or unbelief; the “root of religious faith” is “the will to faith [which] issues forth from the deepest regions of the self where freedom is more than choice,” p. 85; the “Bible clearly locates the ultimate root of atheism not in an erroneous judgment of the mind but in an act of choice “ p. 84. Later, in “Religious Freedom and the Atheist,” an undated post-Vatican II text explicating the intent and logic of the “Declaration on Religious, Liberty”, Murray also described atheism as “never the conclusion of an argument ...Atheism, like faith, is a decision, a fundamental option, an act of freedom, that deserved civil and legal immunity from constraint or restraint on the grounds of religious liberty; p. 13. This 18-page text from the Murray
Archives, File 325, came to the author’s attention through the kindness of D. Pelotte, author of John Courtney Murray: Theologian in Conflict.
(29) Recent work on his social ethics includes:
Richard J. Regan, S.J., Conflict and Consensus: Religious Freedom and the Second Vatican Council (New York: Macmillan, 1967).
Faith E. Burgess, Ecclesia et Status, The Relationship Between Church and State According to John Courtney Murray, S.J., (Dusseldorff: Rudolf Stehle, 1971).
Edward A. Goerner, Peter and Caesar: Political Authority and The Catholic Church (New York: Herder and Herder, 1975), chapter 6, “John Courtney Murray, Historicism as an Antidote”.
Reinhold Sebott, Religionsfreiheit and Verhaltnis von Kirche and Staat: Der Beitrag John Courtney Murrays zu einer modernen Frage (Rome: Universita Gregoriana Editrice, 1977).
John A. Coleman, S.J., “Vision and Praxis in American Theology: Orestes Brownson, John A. Ryan, and John Courtney Murray,” Theological Studies 37 (1976), pp. 3-40.
David Hollenbach, S.J., “Public Theology in America: Some Questions for Catholicism after John Courtney Murray,” Theological Studies 37 (1976) pp. 290-303.
John A. Rohr, “John Courtney Murray’s Theology of Our Founding Fathers’ “Faith”: Freedom” in Christian Spirituality in the United States: Independence, and Interdependence, edited by Francis A. Eigo, O.S.A. and Silvio E. Fittipaldi, O.S.A. (Villanova, Pennsylvania: Villanova University Press, 1978), pp. 1-30.
“Current Theology. Theology and Philosophy in Public: A Symposium on John Courtney Murray’s Unfinished Agenda,” edited by David Hollenbach, S.J., Theological Studies 40 (1979) pp. 700-715.
Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., “A Mind, A Manner, A Man: Elegy for John Courtney Murray”, in Tell The Next Generation: Homilies and Near Homilies (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), pp. 211-215.
Charles E. Curran, American Catholic Social Ethics: Twentieth Century Approaches (Notre Dame, )Indiana: Notre Dame, 1982), Chapter 5, “John Courtney Murray,” pp. 72-232.
J. Leon Hooper, S.J., “John Courtney Murray’s “Ethics of Public Discourse: The Public Search for Understanding, Moral Judgment, and Commitment” (unpublished dissertation for the Joint Graduate Program, Andover Newton Theological School/Boston College: 1982).
America, Vol. 153, No. 16 (November 30, 1985) “The Legacy of John Courtney Murray”.
Walter J. Burghardt, S.J., “Who Chilled the Beaujolais?”, pp. 360-363.
David Hollenbach, S.J. “The Growing End of An Argument”, pp. 363-366
William E. McManus, “Memories of Murray”, pp. 366-368.
Charles M. Whelan, S.J., “The Enduring Problem of Religious Liberty”, pp. 368-372.
John A. Rohr, “John Courtney Murray and the Pastoral Letters”, pp. 373-379.
George C. Higgins, “Some Personal Recollections”, pp. 380-386.
J. Bryan Hehir, “The Unfinished Agenda”, pp.386-387; 392.
(30) Thomas T. Love in John Courtney Murray: Contemporary Church-State Theory (Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday & Co., 1965), chapter III, “First Major Constructive Proposal,” referred to the following three articles as the essential statement of Murray’s advance beyond his own earlier position: “St. Robert Bellarmine on the Indirect Power,” Theological Studies 9 (1948), pp. 491-
535; “Contemporary Orientations of Catholic Thought on Church and state in the Light of History,” Theological Studies 10 (1949), pp. 177-234; “Governmental Repression of Heresy,” Proceedings of the Third Annual Meeting of the Catholic Theological Society of America (Chicago: 1948), pp. 26-98. These will be referred to in ensemble as the work of 1948, instead of 1948-49.
(31) Pelotte, pp. 13-14.
(32) The position from which Francis Connell, Joseph Fenton, and Alfredo Cardinal Ottoviani criticized Murray has been described as “the conservative Catholic” position (Love), the “textbook theory” (Burgess), and the “traditional” view (Pelotte). Referring to Murray’s opponents as “integrists” situates their Church-state theory within the context of that understanding of the Church-world relationship described as “integrism” by Karl Rahner in “Church and World,” Sacramentum Mundi, Volume 1 (New York: Herder and Herder, 1968) pp-346-357; especially pp. 349-350. For a general account of the opposition to Murray, cf. Pelotte, Chapter 2, “Opposition and Rebuke” 1950-1959”, pp.7-73, and Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J., The Vatican and the American Hierarchy, 1870 - 1965, Band 21, Papste and Papstum (Stuttgart: Anton Hirsemann, 1982), Chapters XIV, “The Re-emergence of Religious Liberty” and XV, “Americanismus Redivivus.”
(33) In fact, in 1945 Murray’s position in “Freedom of Religion: I. The Ethical Problem,” Theological Studies 6 (1945), pp. 229-286, did not differ from what Burgess described as the “Conventional (customary) Textbook Statement” exemplified by Alredo Cardinal Ottaviani’s Institutiones Juris Publici Ecclesiastici, Volume II; Ecclesia et Status (Rome: 1960), at least on the principle that “The State has the obligation to acknowledge God as its author, to worship Him as He wills to be worshipped, and to subject its official life and action to His law”, Theological Studies 6, pp. 266-267; cf. Burgess, pp. 82-83 and Love, pp. 23-30. The shift from this principle to Murray’s 1948 position marked his recognition that the State was not a corporate personality. If it were, as he thought in 1945, then it had the
responsibility also to “promote public religion and morality as essential elements of the common good” through, among other measures, exercise of the right to restrict by juridical processes the spread of opinions, and to prohibit external actions, that tend to destroy in the community belief in God and fidelity to moral standards, ”Theological Studies 6, pp. 266-267.Love, in chapter II, “Dissatisfaction and Confusion”, told how Murray moved from this view to the one propounded in his first, major, constructive proposal in 1948. Also, as will be explained, through study of Aquinas and John of Paris, political philosophy and history, and an affirmation of the First Amendment, he introduced the material content of “nature” into the formal natural/supernatural distinction. The thesis/ hypothesis approach, on the contrary, was an integrist conclusions-theology because it lacked this philosophical analysis of “nature” and not only because it was a-historical.
(34) G. McCool, p. 27.
(35) In the hermeneutical theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer, a classical work “says something to the present as if it were said specially to it” and has power to speak directly to the present. Of course, as Gadamer also explains, the act of understanding a classical work or corpus depends upon and belongs to participation in a tradition. Truth and Method (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1982), pp. 253, ff.
(36) “St. Robert Bellarmine on the Indirect Power”; cf. FN.30.
(37) “Contemporary Orientations of Catholic Thought on Church and state in the Light of History”; cf. FN.30.
(38) “St. Robert Bellarmine”, pp. 506-13; 532-35.
(39) “St. Robert Bellarmine”, p. 500
(40) “St. Robert Bellarmine”, p. 504.
(41) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 186-199; 216-227.
(42) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 227-334.
(43) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 52-62; pp. 67-70; cf. FN.30
(44) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 194-227; “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 62-70.
(45) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 202-204.
(46) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 204-209; “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 58-62.
(47) Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 69-70; “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 213-214; p. 223.
(48) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 54 ff.
(49) For example, MJS, pp. 80-86; 172-177; 223-224.
(50) Cf. “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 44; 55-57; 61-63; 69-71; 75-76; “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 202-209; 210-211; 216-217; 220-224; 234. “St. Robert Bellarmine”, p. 504. The consideration of the ends of Church and of state was part of traditional teaching. Murray, however, noted its importance in John of Paris and Leo XIII and developed it.
(51) Cf., for example, MJS, pp. 141-148; 167; 169-170; 177-180.
(52) MJS, p. 149.
(53) MJS, p. 177; English translation, The Teaching of the Catholic Church, edited by Karl Rahner, (Staten Island, N.Y.: Alba House, 1966), p.32.
(54) MJS, pp. 253-255.
(55) MJS, pp.158-167; 171-172; 179-180.
(56) MJS, pp. 80 ff.; 171-180; 223-224.
(57) MJS, pp. 69-70; 148; 162-163; 244-246. (58) MJS, p. 173.
(59) MJS, p. 173.
(60) MJS, Chapter IV, “The Assent of Faith: Its Genesis and Analysis”, details the intricate intellectual assent.
(61) MJS, p. 81.
(62) MJS, p. 81.
(63) MJS, p. 174.
(64) MJS, p. 175.
(65) MJS, p. 179.
(66) MJS, p. 176; “Contemporary Orientations”; pp. 202 ff.; “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 69-85.
(67) E.g. “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 76 ff.
(68) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 70 ff. 69)
(69) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 62-70; “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 212-224. His historical consciousness was not, that is, an historicism methodologically excluding a divine dimension to human history. For a convincing example of his early familiarity with one element of historical research, cf. his investigation of Scheeben’s correspondence with Herder, in Chapter III, FN. 36; MJS, pp. 183-184. For a defence of Murray against the change that his historical interpretations of church-state relations ended up in ethical relativism, cf. John A. Rohr, “Murray and His Critics”, Continuum 4 (1966), pp. 147-150.
(70) MJS, p. 144; cf. pp. 141-153.
(71) MJS, p. 146.
(72) MJS, p. 152.
(73) MJS, pp. 169-170; 253.
(74) MJS, p. 253.
(75) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”. pp. 27-31; 79; “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 198-201; pp. 221-214; “St. Robert Bellarmine on the Indirect Power”, pp. 532-535.
(76) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, p. 95.
(77) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 95-96.
(78) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, p. 96.
(79) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, p. 96.
(80) MJS, p. 145.
(81) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, p. 96.
(82) MJS, pp. 172 ff.
(83) MJS, p. 176.
(84) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 76-78; “Contemporary Orientations”, 209-11; 216.
(85) Cf. MJS, pp. 99-103; p. 126.
(86) MJS, p. 99.
(87) MJS, pp. 106 ff.
(88) MJS, p. 113 ff., and Chapter III.
(89) MJS, pp. 108-120.
(90) MJS, p. 231.
(91) MJS, pp. 238-239.
(92) MJS, pp. 238-239.
(93) MJS, pp. 232-237.
(94) But, for the existence of a problem in regard to this distinction, cf. Charles Curran, American’ Catholic Social Ethics: Twentieth Century_ Approaches (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame, 1982) chapter 5, “John Courtney Murray”:
“A major point in Murray’s approach is the distinction between the spiritual and temporal
orders and the sacred and secular orders of human existence. This serves as the basis for the Gelasian dyarchy - the dualism and the distinction between Church and state. The distinction in Murray’s writing corresponds to the traditional Catholic distinction between the supernatural and the natural order. In Murray’s day such a distinction served as a basis for much Catholic theologizing. Murray himself recognizes that there must be an integration between the two orders and no clear dichotomy. The individual person who is both Christian and citizen is the integrating fact in the Church-state relationship...
However, many contemporary theologians call for a more integral approach. The distinction between the natural and the supernatural does not exist as an historical reality. At best the concept of the natural as distinguished from the supernatural is only an abstraction and a remainder concept,” p. 224.
It could be noted that lack of a natural/supernatural distinction in faith-understanding needs to protect itself against the charge that it has re-invented integrism. There could be an integrism of the left as well as an integrism of the right.
Curran’s tendency toward a negative evaluation of the contemporary applicability of Murray’s social ethic differs from the generally positive approach proposed by David Hollenbach and J. Leon Hooper. They recognize that Murray’s natural-law arguments for his social ethics pose difficulties for many ethicians. Yet, they see the value in interpreting Murray’s social ethics in light of what may be called his total theological presupposition. Accordingly, for example, Hollenbach realizes that the “ontological foundation of Murray’s social ethic is the human person graced by God, redeemed by Christ, and summoned to the Kingdom of God” (“Public Theology in America: Some Questions for Catholicism After John Courtney Murray,” Theological Studies 37 (1976), pp. 290-203; 295). Likewise, Hooper sees Murray as “...not simply a natural law theorist... . He was also a man of faith for whom
the actual world of human interaction was touched by divine power and will,” (“John Courtney Murray’s Ethics of Discourse: The Public Search for Understanding, Moral Judgment, and Commitment,” dissertation for the Joint Graduate Program, Andover Newton Theological School/Boston College (1982); 7-8).
(95) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 227-234.
(96) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 85-95. (97) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 70-76.
(98) “Governmental Repression of Heresy”, pp. 30; 54-58; “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 198 ff.
(99) “Contemporary Orientations”, p. 225.
(100) “Contemporary Orientations”, p. 213.
(101) “Contemporary Orientations”, p. 213.
(102) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 191 ff.
(103) “Contemporary Orientations”, pp. 220-224.