Two PopesBishop Butler

Vatican II - Voice of The Church

The Church's English Voice — Bishop Christopher Butler, OSB

John XXIII and Paul VI - the
two Popes of the Council
Bishop BC Butler
"Let us not fear that truth might endanger truth"

The Second Vatican Council

(Chapter 13, of A Time To Speak by Bishop B.C. Butler)

A Time to SpeakIn August, 1961, I was elected Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation, and in that capacity I found myself a member of the second Vatican Council, which opened on October 11th, 1962. I have no intention here of writing a history or a general evaluation of the Council. It comes into the purpose of this book because of its educational effect on me personally, and because it has, obviously, been a determining factor for all Catholics in their life as Christians and human beings.

There are some converts who seem to be able to swallow the Catholic Church whole with no critical reservations even in regard to its most contingent and mutable contemporary aspects, and with a total alienation from their own past allegiances. My own case was different. I can perhaps show what I mean by reference to the particular instance of biblical criticism and scholarship. I had been initiated into New Testament criticism at Oxford and it was an advantage that, in reading for my degree in Classics, I had learnt something about the modern approach to ancient documents. One of the things that helped me to become a Catholic was my fear that, without the counterpoise of an ecclesiastical authority which claimed and could rightly claim to speak for Christ and which was not afraid to be dogmatic, my critical leanings would take uncontrolled possession and I should end up with no firm and articulable beliefs at all.

But my desire for authority did not spring from a rejection of criticism. On the contrary, it was just because I believed in criticism that I looked for the counterpoise. It was this balance that I admired in the later writings of Von Hügel.

But Von Hügel was not a typical Catholic of the period in which my conversion took place, and especially he was not typical of the English Catholic milieu. Abbot John Chapman, who clothed me as a novice at Downside, regarded him as a "bad Catholic". Even Newman was not popular. One of my earliest experiences after reception into the Church was to be told in a presbytery that Newman was not in the mainstream of Catholic thinking, the implication being that he was not a safe guide.

Thus from the first I found myself both a believing Catholic and estranged from the main current of Catholic opinion in a field which was for me of great importance. And there were other matters which helped to put me into a minority as the years went by. I thought that the Church had become far too centralised, and that Roman authoritarianism must tend to drain the lifeblood from the Church at large. One of the reasons why Benedictinism appealed to me was that, at least within its own limits, it clung stubbornly to the principle of local autonomy: each Benedictine abbey is a whole in itself, though it may be linked with others through federation into "congregations" and through confederation of these congregations under the rather honorary leadership of the Abbot Primate. The trouble, as I saw it, was that centralisation was typical of an age of mass-production, and also that Rome had by now obtained such a commanding position that it would take something not far short of a miracle to reverse the centralising trend in the Church.

There were, of course, minority movements in the Church. My monastic vocation possibly had something to do with my sympathy with the liturgical movement and renaissance. This came to my attention in the years before the Council, first as a kind of Gothic revival. There was an attempt to explore and restore the riches of the liturgy and of liturgical music as they had been handed down and embellished in the Western Church before the Reformation. Stanbrook Abbey, the great abbey of Benedictine nuns in Worcestershire, had exemplified this revival in the astonishing beauty and dignity of its services and had contributed to the scholarship of the movement. But there was an interior dialectic in this preoccupation with liturgy. It sprang to some extent from the hope that liturgy might become a more real and living thing for the faithful. But the more expertly and integrally the medieval liturgy was restored, the more obvious it became that it was a period piece. In particular, it was geared not to the participation of the whole people, but to clerical performance. There were few places in England where plain chant, for instance, was well performed by ordinary congregations of worshippers. From Gothic revival there was therefore a shift towards what I venture to call liturgical archaeology: what was the liturgy of the fourth, the third, the second century A.D.? Scholars could tell you a good deal about it, but it was remote from the circumstances of a Church living in the midst of modern urbanised technocracy. I have never been a liturgical expert. But already before the Council I had come to see the immense force of the arguments in favour of a vernacular liturgy; not a popular stance among the authorities of the pre-conciliar Church.

Ecumenism was another area in which I found myself estranged from the Catholic majority, particularly in England. It was difficult for me to feel bitter about the Church of England, to which under God I owed the fact that I was a Christian, and of which the closest members of my own family were all devoted adherents. Already by 1940 Father Henry St John O.P. was engaged with a few others in theological discussions with a similar group of Anglicans, and on one occasion I had the privilege of attending one of their meetings. After the war invitations began to arrive, usually from Protestant or Anglican organisers, to speak on a common platform at meetings during the annual week of prayer for Christian unity. I fear that I abused these invitations by taking occasion of them to explain the Catholic Church's claim to uniqueness and the arguments in its favour. Looking back, I admire the forbearance of the non-Catholics in face of such behaviour. The truth no doubt is that the Anglican ecumenists, or some of them, were afraid of an excessive Protestant bias in the ecumenical movement as a whole and were glad of the co-operation of any Catholic who, without being absolutely insulting or sheerly incompetent, would take his stand with them. But all this was viewed with a good deal of disfavour by the Catholic authorities in England, and indeed in Rome, so far as Rome knew about it.

My contacts with the Catholic world beyond the Channel were few. I had not realised the extent to which the experiences of the 1939 war, its Nazi antecedents in Germany, and its aftermath in France and Holland, had stirred West European Catholicism to its depths. Latin America represented to me an area in which there was a terrible shortage of priests and a certain failure of Christian morality; but it meant little more. The vigour and independence of the Church in Africa were things to which I had paid little attention. Almost my only practical links with the outside world were those created by membership of the international Benedictine confederation, which involved attending periodic meetings at Rome. But I did not like Rome or enjoy my visits there. I could have echoed Ronald Knox's explanation of his avoidance of that city: that a bad sailor keeps clear of the engine room. After all, the Vatican bestrode the narrow Catholic world like a colossus, and I could see little for us but to walk under its huge legs and hope for a not too dishonourable grave. While men like de Lubac and Congar in France and Rahner in Germany were coming under ecclesiastical censure or being reduced to silence, anyone like myself who, while not a professional theologian, had an interest in the intellectual element of religion, had strong arguments for keeping quiet.

It should not for a moment be supposed that any of this discomfort or any of my "deviationist" thinking led to a diminution of my loyalty to the Catholic faith and Church. I had taken the measure, broadly speaking, of what I was about to do before I was received into the Church, and had been told by an Oxford friend (who subsequently himself became a Catholic) that I was committing intellectual suicide. If Von Hügel could brave it out, then with God's grace so could I. And my cautious behaviour was not due merely to fear but also to a spirit of obedience and docility. Shortly before the Council opened I had written a book, The Idea of the Church, to show that the only intellectually justifiable position for a Christian was, to be a Catholic. I stand by the main conclusions of that book.

I looked forward to the Council with more foreboding than hope. Hans Küng's book, The Council and Reunion, which appeared in the months preceding October 1962, seemed to me to be exciting but Utopian. A meeting of some 2000 prelates, averaging in age about sixty years, was unlikely to be a progressive tribunal or the sort of body to put up a strong fight against the Roman Curia. I feared another dose of authoritarian obscurantism. And I was not happy at the thought that I, an amateur in theology, might find myself conscientiously bound to stand out against an overwhelming majority.

Some quotations from letters which I wrote to a friend from Rome during 1962 may help to portray my mind during the first months of the Council:

(October 10, 1962): One of the best things I have read on the Council is an article in the U.S.A. Time for October 5. It brings out, what one knew, that the real line of division is going to be betwen die-hards and progressives. It quotes a remark: If the present Pope (John XXIII) is a liberal who feels he should make concessions to the conservatives, it might be better if we had a conservative Pope who feels bound to make some concessions to the Liberals.

(October 14, 1962): There are rumours going about which may or may not be true (they can hardly all be true), which at any rate illustrate how atmosphere is already developed. It is conceivable that things might come to a direct conflict between the Holy Office and the German-French-Belgian bishops.

(October 17, 1962): I was amused to find that, after my very discreet reference to "procedural difficulty", the papers ran a full story of last Saturday's Congregation[1]. On Monday I met the Times correspondent (as also the Observer man, Patrick O'Donovan, a Catholic) and he made the good point that though per accidens Liénart is (by repute) left wing, the affair on Saturday was not so much radical versus conservative as Council versus officialdom.

(Same date): I'm very glad that they have chosen to start not with Faith and Morals but with Liturgy. Liturgy is of course controversial enough, but the Council could make mistakes about liturgy which could be corrected later on; whereas one must not make mistakes about faith or morals. Before we get on to those matters, we must get to know one another better, and have got "the hang" of the Council and its procedure.

. . . This morning our "monastic" group had a meeting about emendations of the schema on liturgy. What I want here is a wide freedom for experiment and innovation in the different regions of the Church (specially the Mission countries, but also I think Germany, where they seem to feel keenly about liturgy). If things go that way, we shan't get much advance for some time to come in England — but it really does not matter to us all that much.

. . . I am feeling rather happy about things. I begin to hope that the Council will prove to have a mind of its own. My one real fear is that it will define any doctrine, or close the door on what I think reasonable theological and biblical speculations. I gather some interesting people are in Rome, eg Karl Rahner and (I think) de Lubac or Congar.

(October 24, 1962): What I am interested in is theology. In particular, I have a definite point of view about the Church's rights vis-a-vis "natural" branches of knowledge, eg philosophy and biblical criticism. Judging by the loquacity of Cardinals and archbishops, mere abbots are not going to have much of a look­in in the discussions in Saint Peter's. I have written today to Heenan, suggesting that, if he has time, he would let me talk to him about some points.[2]

(November 2, 1962): I am very clear myself as to what I want and do not want about Scripture. My difficulty is that my views are the fruit of years of study and meditation on these subjects, and how can one "convert" in a short speech hundreds of bishops who have never had to think about these things since the obscurantist days of their training for the priesthood, and who are naturally shocked at the things (some of them indeed reprehensible) which they are told are being written and talked by the advanced school?

. . . One of the great blessings of my life was reading Von Hügel. I suppose I might have got from elsewhere what in fact I got from him: a deep, clear realistic insight at once into the imperfections and the necessity of the institutional element of religion. Yesterday, in spiritual reading, I was reading Matthew xxiii, the fearsome denunciation of the “pharisees and scribes" — who nevertheless sit on Moses' seat and must therefore be obeyed. I suppose we in the Council are the scribes and Pharisees of the present day. . . . Meanwhile, the real work of the Council is being done by the prayers of Christ's little ones and their unnoticed sufferings.

The debate on the draft document on the Liturgy lasted about five weeks. It was followed by a short debate on the draft "On the Sources of Revelation", which ran into such heavy water that it was withdrawn from further discussion by the Pope (John XXIII), who appointed a new commission to prepare a revised version of it. This was the turning-point of the Council. The hopes raised by the "procedural" affair on the first day of business were plainly to be fulfilled. Not only would the Vatican have to treat the Council seriously, but the "progessives" had shown that they could command a majority of the voting strength of the Council.

Correspondingly, my own attitude to the Council had changed. Having feared it as a possible further step in the Church's retreat from modern knowledge and the modern world, I now began to see that it might turn out to be, what John XXIII had encouraged us to expect: a New Pentecost. My personal diffidence was being dissipated by contacts with others of sympathetic outlook, and by the reception given to my speeches in the first session of the Council. I rarely had serious doubt about the course I was to pursue, either in general or in detail, and — though I lay little stress on personal devotional feelings — I came to live with the sense that, above the conflicting opinions and interests and intrigues of the human participants in the Council drama, the Holy Spirit was overruling us to ends which transcended those of all or indeed any of us.

It was during the second session, and especially after my election, with others, to the enlarged Commission for Doctrine, that I began to make contact in a fuller way with theologians, who were present in Rome at that time in large numbers. Except for the occasional theologian-bishop, they were in the main not members of the Council, but played an invaluable part as advisers both to individual bishops and national conferences of bishops and also to the conciliar commissions. The Commission for Doctrine was served by a really remarkable body of "experts", as they were called. Karl Rahner, Congar, de Lubac, Benoit of the Revue Biblique, Smulders, Laurentin and others were there, side by side with Guagnibet, Ciappi and similar traditionalists. The Commission had two secretaries, one, Father Sebastian Tromp, S.J., a rather traditional expert on ecclesiology, the other, Mgr. Phillips of Louvain, a much more forward-looking man; Phillips was ably assisted by Ch. Moeller, also of Louvain, who has since become an official of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith which has replaced the old Holy Office. It was exhilarating and highly educative to hear Rahner in debate with Guagnibet.

I have mentioned earlier that for years I had thought of "theology" as a rather boring, though no doubt indispensable, subject. The Council showed me not only that it is exciting and fascinating, but that hard-currency theology is immensely powerful. It showed its power in the Council against traditionalism and against that curious presumption that Canon Law dictates theology's terms rather than vice versa. And many of the bishops were willing to learn. They would listen to a lecture, out of hours, from a New Testament expert trying to show them that to accept Form Criticism did not necessarily mean accepting all Bultmann's conclusions (Bultmann seemed to be one of the great bogies of the ill-informed); or to a speculative theologian on the idea of the Church. We owe an incalculable debt to the theologians of Vatican II. And those who have been dismayed by the waves of rash thinking that have spread through the post-conciliar Church and are inclined to blame it on the Council should bear in mind that, although as time went on the conservative theologians were clearly fighting a difficult rearguard action, they still, with the help of the present Pope (elected in 1963, between the first and second sessions of the Council), saw to it that the core of the Sacred Tradition was at no point eroded. In any case, our "new" theologians were themselves orthodox.

However, I was not only being educated in the fields of theology which had been taught in the ordinary seminary courses. The Council was bringing me face to face with areas of Christian concern to which I had hitherto paid little attention. It must sound curious, but I had not in the past given much thought to the rights, status, and functions of the laity in the Church. Perhaps the key point for me, as for many others, in this respect was the apparently technical decision, taken fairly early in the Council, to place a chapter on "the People of God" in the proposed Dogmatic Constitution on the Church before the chapter on the hierarchy. This simple device, advocated by Cardinal Suenens, enabled us to see the Church as the great fraternity of all the baptised, and to understand the role of the hierarchy within this great whole as essentially one of service. The lesson was to be driven still further home by the constitution on Divine Revelation, which eventually superseded the discarded draft on "the Two Sources". In the constitution, as finally adopted, the revelation in Christ, together with all that he had brought to mankind, was presented as having been entrusted to the Church as a whole, not merely to the bishops. Newman with his sense of the importance of "consulting the laity", would have been delighted with this. However, the real lesson of the chapter on the People of God is, in my opinion, that the old distinction­opposition between laity and clergy is overcome. It is the whole People of God (which of course includes the clergy) and each member thereof in virtue of his baptism, that shares in the common priesthood of Christ. And when we are told, in a rather clumsy phrase, that the ministerial priesthood differs essentia, non tantum modo, from the common priesthood of all, it must be inferred that a bishop or priest shares the priesthood of Christ in two ways, first as a baptised member of the Church, and secondly as an ordained minister.

It was at a later date that I became fully aware that there is a work of demythologisation to be done on the concept of the priesthood of Christ. The Council accepted the distinction of three functions in Christ, the royal, the priestly and the prophetic (I doubt whether most of the conciliar members realised that this distinction had a Protestant origin), but it did not perhaps pay sufficient attention to the fact that, just as Christ's kingship was "not of this world", so his priesthood is not to be understood simply in terms of the cultic priesthoods of Judaism and paganism. The cultic element is in fact quite secondary in Christ's priesthood, as can be seen from the fact that his "sacrifice" was the existential self-sacrifice of calvary; what happened on calvary can scarcely be considered a cultic act, although doubtless the Eucharist, so intimately connected with calvary, has a cultic aspect. The real implication of the doctrine of the priesthood of the People of God is that collectively and as individuals we are called to bring the spirit of Christ to bear on the things of this world, and to dedicate all human activity by and in our self­dedication to God.

Particularly educative to me was the Council's growing concern about the Church's relations with the world as a whole. It was at the end of the first session (December, 1962) that the proposal was first put publicly forward that the Council should sanction a document on the Church in the World of Today. There was, it appeared, no such document among the sixty-eight draft documents prepared beforehand, and when this proposal was accepted the desired statement had to be composed ab initio. It was no easy task. It was entrusted to a joint commission consisting of the Commission of Doctrine and that for the Laity, and work for this commission further enlarged my acquaintance. I was for a time on a small group working on the subject of peace and war and became deeply involved in the moral issues connected with the nuclear deterrent. Later I was assigned to a similar group which was to prepare the chapter, in the Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, on Human Culture — a thorny subject, since definitions of the word culture were either non-existent or mutually contradictory.

In season, and sometimes (it appeared to me) out of season, speeches in the Council Hall were emphasising the problems of human poverty, especially the poverty of the "developing countries"; and we were told, over and over again, that the Church had to become "the Church of the poor". I felt some resentment, since material and cultural poverty are not the only, nor (I should think) the primary concerns of a Church whose mission I took to be the proclamation of the gospel. But it was good to be forced to examine these issues of urgent human material need. I was led to think more deeply than before about the world-wide population explosion and the moral problems posed by it.

The Constitution on the Church in the World of Today is imperfect. Those of us most closely concerned were aware that its final stages of preparation were carried out against an extreme pressure of time, since it had been decided that the Council would finally close in 1965. But it is, for all its defects, a great docu­ment. It registers the Church's commitment to serve the good of humanity in every sphere; its determination not to confine itself to matters of the sacristy or the soul.

The Church's relation to the world is summed up in a phrase at the beginning of the Constitution on the Church: "The Church is in Christ as it were a sacrament or sign and instrument of inward union with God and of the unity of the whole human race" (n.1). The Council has helped me to see that this notion of the sacramentality of the Church is basic to our understanding of her. The underlying idea of "sacrament" is partially conveyed by the terms which accompany the word in the quotation just cited. A sacrament is a sign and an instrument. The notion of "sign" is, I suggest, very deeply embedded in Christian teaching. The New Testament understanding of Christ is that he was "the word become man". A word is a sign — and we have to bear in mind that in ancient usage "word" does not mean just a single noun or verb but a sentence or other piece of rational discourse. A spoken or written "word" is a sign and expression of the interior meaning of the speaker; and God's Word is the sign and expression of the meaning of God who is absolute meaning, a sign and expression of God. This Word was expressed as and in the man Jesus of Nazareth, who is himself thus the sign or sacrament of God. And the Church exists to actualise the presence and role of Christ in every human context throughout the ages. It can thus be seen as a system of communication, and is itself the sacrament of Christ, just as Christ is the sacrament of God.

The Church's sacramental nature is concentrated in the "seven sacraments" of traditional doctrine, especially of course in baptism and the Eucharist. And I have come to think that all that is "juridical" in the Church is really subordinate to this sacramentality. The supreme "juridical" authority in the Church (the episcopal college with its head the Bishop of Rome) is itself a sacramental phenomenon, inasmuch as it is an incorporation of the episcopal office, and the episcopal office is conferred in a sacrament, the Sacrament of Orders. And in my view, the papacy itself is part and parcel of this sacramental episcopacy — there is no special sacrament for making a man Pope; he becomes Pope by election and, if not already a bishop when elected, he has to accept Ordination as a bishop. To put the matter another way, I have come to think that the concrete reality into which a man is incorporated when he is ordained bishop is the episcopal college, and that college includes its own head, the successor of Peter. If I am right, all authority in the Church is sacramental, just as the whole Church is sacramental in its nature.

One of the greatest debts that I owe to the Council on the theological side is the vision of the unification of theological understanding. Traditional theology in recent centuries had divided theology up into a number of separate treatises. There was, to begin with, the distinction between "fundamental" theology or apologetics and theology proper, the latter being treated deductively on the basis of an acceptance of revelation. Then there was the distinction between dogmatic and moral theology. Dogmatic theology was subdivided into a number of "subjects": God, grace, Christology, the sacraments, eschatology. Moral theology was, as ordinarily taught, a pedagogy in casuistry (I use the word in a non-pejorative sense), while ascetical and mystical theology were treated separately, if treated at all. Alongside dogmatic and moral theology, and jostling for Lebensraum with Canon Law, there was Scripture. This "subject" really did not fit into the scheme of treatises at all. A dogmatic treatise would, no doubt, make a formal bow to the Bible by choosing a few "proof texts", and giving them a predetermined exegesis; and the same might happen in moral theology. Scripture had a better place in fundamental theology, but its use there was to substantiate the claim that Jesus was God's Messenger to man and that he had given to the Church the full authority which it claimed. Meanwhile the best modern biblical scholarship was pursuing its own course, little noticed by dogmatic theology, and ever threatened by charges of unorthodoxy.

The Council, without much advertence to what it was doing in this respect, in fact broke up this schematisation of the "branches" of theology, and laid the foundation of a new syn­thesis, in which Scripture, as the crystallisation of the tradition of of revelation at its origins, will no doubt come to play a central role. It should be observed that Aquinas himself knew nothing of the modern treatise division; for him theology was a single "subject" and its ultimate purpose in this life was pastoral. But Aquinas himself was a systematiser, and it is doubtful whether theology is today in a phase in which systematisation of Aquinas's kind is possible. With the shift from "classical" to "scientific" culture of which Lonergan has written[3] we shall have to look for a unification not on the basis of results but in the organisation of theological method.

My second personal debt to the Council is the recovery of hope. In the preconciliar situation the various movements for fruitful change in the Church were working from a minority position and under constant threat from the centre. This can be seen in the treatment meted out to ecumenism, to biblical scholarship, to the so-called "new theologians" like de Lubac, Congar and Rahner, and to the priest-worker movement in France. It might seem that lay involvement was an exception to the rule, since Catholic Action was officially supported. But Catholic Action was really an exception that proved the rule, since it meant, in the period before the Council and in the eyes of Rome, a kind of para-clerical ecclesiastical force under the closest control, surveillance and direction of the hierarchy. In all these fields the Council has produced a new situation; each of these minority movements, and with them the movement for liturgical reform, has found its aims adopted by the Council and incorporated into its documents. It is true, as Cardinal Suenens has pointed out, that a desire to avoid the appearance of a factional victory has led, in those documents, to a number of compromise positions. But, to put the thing at its lowest, the "progressive" movements have been accorded full droit de cité by the Council and the way is open for a powerful and confident entry of the Church into the missionary and pastoral realities of the twentieth century.

I have described how I had lived for years with the uncomfortable sense that I was on the distant left fringe of Catholicism. As a result of the Council I found myself in what Suenens, again, has described as "the extreme centre"; not a position of compromise, but one in which it is possible to work for a genuine theological synthesis and practical application of the gospel in the conviction that one is at the same time in harmony with the contemporary Church.

I can perhaps sum up my own position by reference to my last speech in the first session of the Council, which happened also to be the last speech of the session except for the closing discourse of the Pope. I drew attention to the fear that seemed to find expression in conservative speeches in the Council, that the acquired positions of orthodoxy and tradition were being threatened by a kind of new modernism. Those acquired positions were formulated in terms of scholastic philosophy and theology, in what Schillebeeckx has nicknamed "essentialism": the understanding of Christianity in terms of eternal "Platonic" ideas and formal essences in abstraction from history. The new understanding, in contrast, took its stand on history; it was, in Schillebeeckx's terminology, "existentialist". It took account of the modern appreciation, in the fields of evolutionary science and historical study, of the durational element in all human experience, and it saw the Church as manifestly a historical entity[4]. In my speech I made two observations. First, in a religion which had the incarnation of the Word in history as its central tenet, the historical approach could scarcely be considered inappropriate, indeed it must be the most appropriate of all approaches. But secondly, the "new theology" did not wish to jettison anything that is good in the older approach. It was a question of a higher viewpoint, and in that higher viewpoint the contributions of essentialism could find their honoured place. The ultimate aim was not an exclusive choice of historicism, but a new synthesis. on a new foundation.

Footnotes to Chapter 13

[1]  On Saturday October 13, the first day of conciliar business, the Council Fathers were expected to vote for members of the conciliar commissions, to replace the preparatory commissions. To assist them, they were provided with lists of the members of the corresponding preparatory commissions, and if the vote had in fact been taken forthwith, as "officialdom" proposed, the probability was that, granted our ignorance of each other at this early stage of affairs, and the lack of opportunity for consultation across the national barriers, a preponderance of the preparatory commission men would have been selected. Cardinal Liēnart of LiBge protested, despite the charge that he was offending against the regulations of the Council. He was supported by the German Cardinal Frings, and the officials gave way and postponed the election for a few days. The meeting thus broke up after about twenty minutes. There was, at this time, a stern law of secrecy about business in the Council chamber. It was said that journalists pieced together what had happened through overhearing the conversation of groups or pairs of prelates as the latter were on their way down from the meeting in the basilica to Saint Peter's Square.

[2]  In 1962 the present Cardinal Heenan was Archbishop of Liverpool. I apologise to him for the informal use of his name — the letter was a private one. He was consistently kind to me during the Council.

[3]  On the breakdown of classical culture, see Lonergan, Dimensions of Meaning, in Collection, 1967, pp. 258ff. On method in theology, cf. Method in Theology, by the same author.

[4]  Recently, I developed this notion in a paper prepared for the Lonergan Congress, 1970, now published in Foundations of Theology, ed. Philip McShane, ST (Gill & Macmillan 1971).