Monday, February 11, 2013

Communio

By one of those odd coincidences that become very meaningful, just this past Friday Brigitte and I read (she was reading to me) an article in The American Conservative titled “Philosopher of Love” by Jeremy Beer. The article, in the January/February 2013 issue, deals specifically with a philosopher, David L. Schindler, and more broadly with a school of theology that has come to be known as the Communio school, Communio itself being a federation of theological journals known as Communio: International Catholic Review. Among the founders of Communio, in 1972, the leading figures are Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Walter Kasper, Marc Ouellet, and Louis Bouyer. Some twenty years after this founding, Schindler became the editor in 1992. The article, in turn, gave us an introduction to the rise, in Catholic thought, of an important theological school. Today we learn that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned his office as of February 28. The rival to the Communio school within Catholicism is called Concilium. In a way even attempting to describe the differences between these two schools is well above my pay-grade (and any attempt to do so would be premature: I’ve only learned of the two three days ago). But B and I see in Communio something alive and vital, whereas Jeremy Beer describes Concilium as a kind of accommodation to secularism caused by a misreading of Thomas Aquinas. Therefore news of Benedict’s resignation caused a strange shock in this household. The Pope may retire now, but we hope that Communio will continue to influence the world. For those with time to listen to an hour-long presentation, this video, in which David Schindler answers seven questions, will certainly reward the time spent.

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