Moral Theology and the ScripturesEssay

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[. . .] " The definition of nature of church can no longer be expressed in western ideology and terminology." (p. 113) Two different directions are reported by Osborne (2009) to "energize the globalization of ecclesiology":

(1) scholars who maintain that the church itself has a common denominator that is applicable in each and every world locale and which is not differentiated by either space or timeand is above space and time which makes a requirement of "an essentialist understanding of church, that is, an essence that remains the same no matter where it is and no matter when it is." (Osborne, 2009, p. 115)

(2) The second approach stated for the globalization of ecclesiology is such that can be "designated as an existential and not an essentialist approach. Each ecclesial community is existentially a manifestation of the church." (Osborne, 2009, p. 116) From this view "space and time are honored as fundamental dimensions of all reality, including the reality of the church. The individuality of each community is honored as a true but not complete manifestation of church." (Osborne, 2009, p. 116)

Joseph Komonchak, in "The Reception of the Vatican II" is reported to provide an explanation of the constitutive elements of the church as stated in "Lumen gentium" and specifically writes as follows:

"A particularly important observati9n on this point is given in LG 8, where the council sets out the constitutive elements of the church that a theological vision must integrate. It is at once a community of faith, hope and love, and a visible structure, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ, a visible group and a spiritual community existing on earth and endowed with heavenly gifts." (Osborne, 2009, p. 118)

It was indicated by Komonchak that this view of Vatican II could be best understood by the following diagram labeled Figure 1 in this study.

THE CHURCH The mystery of the church and the people of God

Transcendent dimension: (1) a community of faith, hope and love; (2) a spiritual community; and (3) endowed with heavenly gifts and hierarchical structures.

Historical dimension: (1) and a visible structure in history; (2) and a visible community; and (3) and endowed with human structures

Figure 1

Source: Osborne (2009)

Osborne (2009) states that while the "conciliar bishops "spoke of these two themes, transcendent and historical, in a parallel way" that is noted by Komonchak that the bishops were "describing one complex reality comprising a human and divine element (LG 8)." (p. 118) According to Osborne (2009) the diagram requires "some sort of relational configuration, since the transcendent material can only be understood in relationship to the hierarchical material and vice-versa." (p. 118) The entire argument, according to Osborne is founded on Greek philosophy "with its distinction of essence and existence." (2009, p. 118) Osborne relates that this must be understood in terms of service and the Divine Word is not such that serves the human nature as assumed but rather the human nature must serve the Divine world just as the structure of the Church must be such that serves the Spirit of Christ.

Summary and Conclusion

The focus of this study is the statement of the Second Vatican Council that the scripture should be the soul or moral theology and the material reviewed in this study has demonstrated clearly that the Second Vatican Councils view on moral theology according to the Scripture is well-founded. The Church is to serve the Spirit of Christ and moral theology has its very foundations and roots in scripture and in what Jesus taught to the apostles. In fact, there is no other basis for moral theology, neither through Greek philosophy, contemporary ecclesiology, nor any other foundation for the moral theology of the Church other than the Scriptural foundations which should be applied to today's Catholic Church and moral theology or the moral theology of any other denomination. To attempt to utilize any other basis for moral theology other than that found and clearly demonstrated in the scripture and the teachings of Jesus to his apostles is erroneous and terribly misplaced.

Therefore, it is the conclusion of this study that moral theology should derive strictly from the scriptures and not from human conscience, human freedom of thought nor human free will because all of these derivations of moral theology are likely to be flawed just as Greek philosophy has no place in today's Church in terms of moral theology neither does human derived opinions, conscience or beliefs have any place in the determination of moral theology for today's church.

References

Blankenhorn, B (2007) Two Paradigms of Catholic Moral Theology. Retrieved from: http://www.blessed-sacrament.org/twoparadigms.htm

Curran, C. (nd) The Role and Function of the Scriptures in Moral Theology.

Curran, CE (1999) The Catholic Moral Tradition Today: A Synthesis. Georgetown University Press. 5 Apr 1999. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=HlrI8btG2wEC&dq=how+scripture+can+be+properly+used+in+moral+theology.&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Faith and Culture in Conversation: Another Theologian at Work.(2010) Australian eJournal of Theology 16.1. Retrieved from: http://aejt.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/436107/AEJT_16_BR_1.pdf

Koterski, J. (2014) On Veratis Splendor. International Catholic University. Retrieved from: http://icucourses.com/products/on-veritatis-splendor

Ormerod, N. (2014) Re-Visioning the Church: An Experiment in Systematic-Historical Ecclesiology. Augsburg Fortress Publishers. 1 Mar 2014. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=_wUDAwAAQBAJ&dq=Creation,+Grace+and+Redemption+-+Neil+Ormerod&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Osborne, KB (2009) A Theology of the Church for the Third Millennium: A Franciscan Approach. BRILL. 2009. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=obir7wgcnp8C&dq=Creation,+Grace+and+Redemption+-+Neil+Ormerod&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Pinckaers, Servais, OP (1995) The Sources of Christian Ethics, translated by Sr. Mary Thomas Noble, OP (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1995).

Pinckaers, Servais, OP, (2005) The Pinckaers Reader: Renewing Thomistic Moral Theology, edited by John Berkman and Craig Steven Titus (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2005).

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