Gherardini in English

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(by Monsignor Brunero Gherardini)

The following essay is translated from Perché sono d'accordo con il libro di Enrico Maria Radaelli, a comment to Il Domani - terribile o radioso? - del Dogma [The Future - dismal or radiant? - of Dogma] by Enrico Maria Radaelli (Milan 2012). For a link to the full Italian text, go to: Gherardini online

When, a few months back, this book came into my hands with the first proofs, I did not fail to take it into serious consideration because of the radical quality of its title - hence of its contents.

A book such as this, which makes no secret of dogma, cannot be taken lightly. Nor is it a pastime to read such a book. For the question on the "dismal or radiant" future of dogma is a shocking one, in the sense of being both heartening and provocative.

Truly, the future of dogma is always as "radiant" as it is "dismal": the reasons why it is seen in an aura of light, and radiating it, are the same why it inspires not so much terror, as awe and admiration.

There is in dogma the presence of that absolute which finds in it, and in it only, an at least formal analogical representation.

Keeping in mind that "form" is in effect the fundamental value that enables the Author to develop his considerations, turning first of all to the solution of the hermeneutic problem of Vatican II, then to both models in force since Vatican II on: one "hypodogmatic" and even willing to denature the content of dogma in the so-called pastoral language, the other truly and authentically dogmatic as the language proper to Church teaching.

The analysis of such language is sharp and to the point. It shows first of all an authoritative language that is such because it was born from God, abides by the principle of non-contradiction and determines (the Author even says, "actualizes") truth.
The other aspect of ecclesial language (that coming mainly from Vatican II) understood as improper "linguistic event" is thought to attenuate, almost to the point of overcoming it, the dogmatic content in favor of the pastoral form.

The judgement, founded by the Author on the basis of the metaphysical approach and of a basically Scholastic methodology, combines and expresses convictions as radical as they are unappealable.

The consequences are dramatic: orthopraxis in lieu of orthodoxy, action unbound from thought, love independent of faith.

These are the consequences of Vatican II, of its new narrative and pastoral language, of "its present adulteration."

The relinquishment of dogmatic language was to been replaced by the "medicine of mercy," which was to find expression in the pastoral set-up of the whole Vatican II.

There is no doubt that the new book by Enrico Maria Radaelli will cause some stir, while at the same time setting some unsound notions straight.

We wish it for the good of the Church and her theology.

Brunero Gherardini

Vatican City, 10 January 2013
Saint Pietro Urseolo Confessor