B. C. Butler’s Developing Understanding of Church: An Intellectual Biography

Footnotes (Click any footnote number to return to the dissertation)

[1] Butler, Christians in a New Era (New York: Maryknoll Publications, 1969), p. 13 (hereafter cited as CNE).  This series of essays appeared first as “The Meaning of Renewal” in The Tablet (London), then as a book entitled In the Light of the Council (London: Darton, Longman, & Todd, 1968).  A Maryknoll jacket blurb comments that “of all Englishmen [Butler is] the best qualified to write on the subject.”

[2] Professor Valentine Rice, Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, provides two sources of biographical data.  The first, Dom Christopher Butler: The Abbot of Downside (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965), was written in preparation for University of Notre Dame honorary degrees conferred on Council Fathers who were making contemporary Church history.  The second source is Rice’s Introduction to Searchings: Essays and Studies by B. C. Butler (London: Geoffrey Chapman Publishers, 1974), pp. 9-27.  Biographical data of another sort is provided by Butler himself in his intellectual autobiography, A Time to Speak (Southend-on-Sea, England: Mayhew-McCrimmon, 1972).  Personal data and events pertaining to Butler that are significant for this dissertation will be supplied in an Appendix.  The above-mentioned works will be cited hereafter as DCS, Searchings, and ATTS, respectively.

[3] The New York Times, December 2, 1966, noted that Abbot Butler’s appointment as bishop would especially be hailed by the intelligentsia of England.  An impressive tribute is Henri de Lubac’s comment that Butler is “one of the most noble and learned men of our generation.”  See “The Church in Crisis,” Theology Digest 17 (Winter 1969): 312-25.  More recently, Butler’s brilliance is acknowledged by Richard A. McCormick in his essay, “Authority and Morality,” America 142 (March 1, 1980): 170.

[4] In his Introduction to Searchings , Rice points out that

“beneath the surface diversity of these studies there is . . . an underlying unity of concern.  There are two unifying principles—the particular biographical experiences of the author and his emphasis on the necessity for a theological return to the Bible.  The second is, of course, a product of the first.  And very often both are operating together” (p. 25).

A similar principle is at work in the title of this dissertation, a title which indicates that a subjective principle grounds Butler’s ecclesiology.  In no way can this dissertation do adequate service to the quality of Butler’s intellect, but it will afford an introduction to Butler’s thought which might be called “The Mind and Heart of Butler.”  Nicholas Lash, a longtime friend of Butler, in reviewing Searchings, states that this collection “needs complementing by another (which will surely one day be published) showing how . . . years of austere ‘watching’ bore fruit in the statesmanship and breadth of vision of recent years.” See The Tablet 229 (July 12, 1975): 649-50.

[5] Butler acknowledges his dependence on Lonergan.  See CNE, p. 10, and “Back to Philosophy,” ATTS, pp. 115-37.  It must be said from the outset that Butler, in trying to show his admiration for Lonergan, is telling his own story, not Lonergan’s.  This study works from the same perspective.   It is inevitable that Lonergan appear in this dissertation and that his language regarding conversion be used and understood, but it is used as a forum for what Butler has to say.

[6] Butler speaks movingly of this desire:

“When Augustine of Hippo lay dying, while the Vandals were besieging Hippo, he had the walls of his room adorned with the penitential psalms.  Foreseeing the moment of truth, he found himself possessed by a conviction of the unworthiness of the life that lay behind him.  Lesser men, awaiting, like him, the final summons, may well share that conviction about their own life.  ‘How enormously has my life fallen short of the witness it should have been to the truth as I have come to see it.’  Is it permissible, then, before the curtain goes down, to make what could be a last endeavour to say, at least in words, what one has failed to express in behaviour?  Will there be anyone to listen to the last words of one whose debts to his friends are beyond reckoning?  Do not guide yourselves by what I have done, but rather believe this that I now say.  It is time to speak” (Foreword, ATTS, p. 1).

[7] Butler asserts that the individual and the Church are not mutually exclusive realities.  On the one hand, there is what Butler sees as the basic religious experience, “a radical actuation of the self at its deeper and therefore all-encompassing level,” and on the other hand, the fact that religion is never a purely private thing: “The individual is rooted in history and society.”  See “The Data of Theology,” Clergy Review 61 (May 1976): 177.  This key article of Butler’s will appear later in the dissertation but it used here to demonstrate the statement of thesis.

[8] See Butler’s “The Synoptic Problem” in The New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1975), pp. 815-21.

[9] Butler attended “public” grammar school in Reading, and although there are few records of its history, it is believed that the grammar school existed even before Henry I founded the Abbey in 1125.  After that date, no one could keep school without consent of the Abbot.  The scholarship that Butler later won to Oxford was established by Sir Thomas White, founder of St. John’s College, Oxford, and “old boy” of Reading.   Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop Laud, a native of Reading, both endowed the Reading School.   See John Rogers, The Old Public Schools of England (New York: Morehouse, Barlow, Co., 1973), p. 25.

[10] Oxford’s Litterae Humaniores, or “Greats” as it is called, had a lasting influence on his life and thinking.   It confirmed his opposition to materialism.  Tempting as it was to him, Butler found the tenets of materialism unsustainable:

“I could not see how man’s conscious experience could be explained away on materialistic principles.  Matter appears to be totally external and, in itself, totally lacking in awareness.  Man was, equally obviously, aware, and possessed of an interior life.  Moreover, deny the validity of man’s intellectual process, and materialism, along with every other theory, was deprived of a foothold in reason” (ATTS, p. 16).

[11] Butler spoke to one of his theology tutors and was introduced to N. P. Williams, a fellow of Exeter and one of the intellectual leaders of Anglo-Catholicism.  Williams, in turn, introduced Butler to the work of Baron Friedrich von Hügel, whose influence on Butler was enduring. 

“I was enchanted and impressed.  Here was a man of great erudition and of manifest integrity; and he had succeeded in being a convinced Christian, and of the stricter sort, a Roman Catholic.  If he could effect a synthesis between his reason and the Christian faith, might not I?” (ATTS, p. 6)

[12] Butler began this investigation with Martin Hancock, a theology student.  Hancock was a fellow Anglican and Butler’s best friend.  A Time to Speak is dedicated to him.

[13] During that same summer, Butler received a signal honor.  It was rare for a twenty-five year old scholar to be asked to deliver a paper at the Anglo-Catholic Congress.  This was the occasion of his first published work.  See Searchings, pp. 28-37.  “The Christian Eucharist and the Mystery Religions” was originally published as “Christianity and the Mystery Religions,” Report of the Anglo-Catholic Congress, 1927 (London: Society of SS. Peter and Paul, 1929).  The honor, however, did nothing to relieve him of the intellectual and spiritual struggles which were plaguing him.

[14] Abbot Ramsay, a convert since 1895, was an Anglican priest who studied theology from Hort, Lightfoot and Wescott.  He knew the pain of separation from old associates and was able to offer to Butler the same friendship that Downside had offered to him.

[15] DCB, p. 20.

[16] Butler, ATTS, p. 22.  Butler is referring here to that time when Newman’s theory of the Church of England as the Via Media had crumbled.  Newman’s theory envisioned the Church of England as truly and purely catholic, based on the customs of the apostolic Church and the teachings of the Fathers, corrupted neither by Romanism nor Protestantism.  Thus, Newman had to reconsider his position regarding the Church of England.

Dr. Wiseman, later Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, elucidating St. Augustine’s criteria for true faith, had struck a powerful blow to Newman.  Newman wrote: “The words of St. Augustine struck me with a power which I never felt from any words before. . . . The theory of the Via Media was absolutely pulverized.”  See Hilda Graef, God and Myself (New York: Hawthorne Books, 1968), p. 19.  At this time, as he began to  sort out this trauma, Newman began to develop his notion of the development of doctrine.  It became clear to him that he was wrong about Rome; the primitive Church could not know the whole truth, and only slowly could truth be revealed in the course of history.  See John R. H. Moorman, A History of the Church in England (New York: Morehouse-Barlow, 1973), pp. 341-47.  Following the uproar after Tract 90, Newman lost faith in the Church of England.  On October 8, 1845, Newman wrote, “I am this day expecting Father Dominic, the Passionist.  He does not know of my intention, but I mean to ask him admission into the fold of Christ” (Apologia, pp. 234-35).  “So passed from her ranks one of the greatest minds which the Church of England has ever produced, and this departure marks the end of a chapter in the history of the Anglican revival” (Moorman, p. 347).  The poignancy of the moment is relived by Butler in his own interior anguish.

[17] Butler, ATTS, p. 133.

[18] At times, questioning his decision, Butler knew he would not have reached any other, even if he had to do it all over again.  His tendency would have been to put it off:  “In the banausic sense of the word, I should not have found it difficult to ‘earn my living’ without reaching a decision on my faith problem.”  In fact he was urged to accept a position as tutor in classical honors moderations at Oxford, but the indecision was becoming intolerable (ATTS, pp. 24-26).  In 1928 Butler wrote to a friend:

“. . . I think the difficulties and doubts that surge up so strongly at times are partly due to moods, and partly to looking at one area of the problem in isolation from the others.  Taken in its positive complexity, I think the RC position is probably convincing to an extent that would justify submission.  But just at the moment, I am talking more or less ‘in the dark’; I think if need were I would be prepared to act in the dark too; but I think a moment may come when the scene lights up: but it is good to be able to see the strength of the RC position, when feeling is under a cloud” (ATTS, p. 26).

[19] The years following ordination were dark ones and the chores of teaching were a relief to him.  In 1937 his spirits lifted and he continued his studies with a lighter heart.  In face of the European crisis, he became involved in Catholic Action.  His writing career had begun in earnest.  In “A Manual of Catholic Action,” Downside Review 54 (April 1936): 204-11, and in “What Is to Be Done (About Catholics in England)?” Downside Review 54 (October 1936): 515-21, Butler called for an integration of life’s energies.  Since Christ’s work in men is a total perfection, one needs both action and contemplation:  “. . .  the total life of man individually and for mankind altogether, rooted and grounded on the Faith and inspired, commanded by charity.���

[20] Butler, ATTS, pp. 138-39.

[21] Ibid., p. 139.  

[22] Ibid., p. 140.

[23] Ibid., p. 141.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Letters from Abbot Butler in Rome to the Prior of Downside during the Second Vatican Council are variously dated from October 1962 to November 1965.  These are unpublished letters, typewritten and mimeographed.  On November 15, 1962, Butler wrote that one of the greatest experiences he ever had was to be present at the moment of the opening of an ecumenical council preparing to come to grips with questions of immutable truth.  He noted that it was at such a point that the mystical and institutional showed themselves in coincidence: “There are the very actual reality of created agencies and imperfections, and the no less real action of God in these manifestations of human weakness.”

[27] Butler, ATTS, p. 144.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid., pp. 144-47.

[30] Letters of Butler, November 28, 1965.

[31] Butler’s dedication to aggiornamento is recognized by John O’Malley in “Reform, Historical Consciousness and Vatican II’s Aggiornamento,” Theological Studies 32 (December 1971): 573-601.  Walter Burghardt, the editor, noted that it is one of the most significant articles of its time in ecclesiology ever published by Theological Studies.  O’Malley lists the important work done in aggiornamento (see p. 573, n. 2), though he noted that at the time there was little serious literature.  He notes especially Butler’s “The Aggiornamento of Vatican II,” in Vatican II; An Interfaith Appraisal, ed. John Miller (Notre Dame Press, 1966), pp. 3-13.

[32] As part of the fiftieth anniversary of the Abbey, and in co-operation with the School of Religious Studies and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of The Catholic University of America, September 28, 1974, Butler delivered a lecture, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” later published in The American Benedictine Review 25 (December 1974): 411-26.  At this time, the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa was conferred on Butler.

[33] Butler, Searchings, p. 22.

[34] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” p. 421 (hereafter abbreviated as ACC).

[35] Butler has addressed himself to the crisis confronting those who are caught in the contemporary crisis and who are chagrined by the changes.  In a two-part series in the form of letters, Butler discusses the changes, and especially the situation of the Ecône community of Archbishop Lefevre.  See “Dear Thomas,” The Tablet 230 (31 July 1976): 735-36, and (7 August 1976): 757-58.  These letters occasioned a reply by Bede Griffiths who made this comment on Butler’s suggestion that the crisis through which the Church is passing can be compared with that through which the apostolic Church passed in the first century, when it ceased to be the Church of the Jews and became the Church of the gentiles.  Bede Griffiths believes that this is an extremely important suggestion and is a unique insight.  Griffiths draws out some of the implications in the suggestion in “Dear Thomas Again,” The Tablet 230 (11 September 1976): 879-80.

[36] Butler, “Dear Thomas,” The Tablet 230 (31 July 1976): 736.

[37] Butler, ATTS, p. 149.

[38] Butler, “Dear Thomas,” p. 736.

[39] Ibid.

[40] See Butler’s “Very Fiery Particle,” a review of E. L. Mascall’s Whatever Happened to the Human Mind? in The Tablet 234 (4 October 1980): 971.

[41] Nicholas Lash, “Finding Out,” a review of Butler’s Searchings, in The Tablet 229 (12 July 1975): 650.

[42] Butler, The Church and Infallibility: A Reply to the Abridged “Salmon” (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954).  This highly specialized treatment of the subject is often used as a textbook.   Butler’s research, judging from the index, is impressive.  He offers this work as an apologetic defense, but not the sort that Butler himself believes is required “for a comprehensive work on apologetics” (p. vi).

[43] See Butler, “The Lost Leader,” Downside Review 69 (January 1951): 62-73; and “The Significance of Newman Today,” Dublin Review 233 (Winter 1959): 337-46, reprinted in Searchings, pp. 133-42, under the title “Newman and Development.”

[44] Butler, “Lost Leader,” p. 72.

[45] Ibid., pp. 72-73.

[46] Butler, Searchings, p. 138.

[47] See Butler, “The Catholic Faith and the Bible,” Downside Review 75 (April 1957): 107-25, reprinted in Searchings, pp. 114-32; and The Church and the Bible (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1960).

[48] Nicholas Lash, Newman on Development: The Search for an Explanation in History (Shepherdstown, West Virginia: Patmos Press, 1975), pp. 199-200.  Lash, noting Butler’s use of Newman, refers to “The Significance of Newman Today” (cited above) and to Butler’s Theology of Vatican II, p. 30.

[49] Lash, Newman on Development, p. 204, refers once again to Butler’s Theology of Vatican II, p. 40.

[50] Butler, “Significance of Newman Today,” pp. 344-45.

[51] See James C. O’Neill’s report in Council Daybook: Vatican II—Session 2, ed. Floyd Anderson (Washington, D.C.: National Catholic Welfare Conference, 1965), pp. 104-5.

[52] Ibid., p. 105.

[53] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 40.

[54] Lawrence F. Barmann, Baron Friedrich von Hügel and the Modernist Crisis in England (Cambridge: University Press, 1972), p. 5.

[55] Ibid., pp. 5-6.

[56] Joseph P. Whelan, The Spirituality of Friedrich von Hügel (New York: Newman Press, 1971), p. 20.

[57] Barmann, p. 2.

[58] Ibid.

[59] For an account of the meeting and the reaction to the publication of Pascendi dominici gregis, see Acta Sanctae Sedes, Vol. XL (Rome: 1907). Cf. Barmann, pp. 198-209.  Butler notes that there is a resemblance between the Christian experience at the present day and the Modernist movement, but that the Church today has officially initiated the work of theological and spiritual renewal.  The tensions of our times could benefit from von Hügel’s world of fresh air, limitless horizons, and wholeness of vision, and from his presentation of Christian spirituality in its total richness (Butler, in the Foreword to Whelan, p. 12).

Barmann makes special note of von Hügel’s ability to adhere to institutional religion, despite his difficulties with it.

“The Baron was not a man to whom religion was merely one among many factors of personality and life.  It became the integrating factor of his own personality, and was also the dimension in which his life was most deeply lived.  On the other hand, he never confused nor identified religion itself with the structures with which it became institutionalized.  To be true to the most important currents without repudiating the ecclesial structures within which he felt this life should be channeled, was the chief struggle of his adult years.  As he matured, the struggle intensified until it became critical; eventually it was resolved, and without compromise of principle on the Baron’s part” (Barmann, p. 2).

[60] Friedrich von Hügel, The Mystical Element of Religion as Studied in Saint Catherine of Genoa and Her Friends, 2 vols. (London: James Clarke & Co., 1908).  This non-Modernist work combines von Hügel’s two main interests—biblical studies and the philosophy of religion—with psychology and textual criticism in literature (Whelan, p. 19).

[61] Butler, review of A Critical Examination of von Hügel’s Philosophy, by Albert Cook, in Downside Review 71 (April 1953): 204.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Rice, Introduction to Searchings, p. 10. See also Patrick Granfield’s interview with Butler in Theologians at Work (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967), p. 224.

[64] Butler, Idea of the Church, p. 84.

[65] Butler, review of Baron Friedrich von Hügel; A Study of His Life and Thought, by Maurice Nédoncelle, in Downside Review 55 (April 1937): 260,

[66] Ibid.

[67]   Granfield, Theologians at Work, p. 225.

[68] Butler, Foreword to Whelan’s Spirituality of von Hügel, p. 10.  Von Hügel’s erudition and his utter honesty helped Butler to remain a convinced and open-minded Christian.  “Von Hügel restored my faith in the possibility that Christianity might, after all, have the answer,” and that he could consider the truth of Christianity free from “warped mental geography.”  See also Butler’s review of Baron Friedrich von Hügel, p. 261.

[69] Butler, ATTS, p. 116.  

[70] Ibid., pp. 115-37.  Nicholas Lash, in his review of ATTS in the Irish Theological Quarterly 40 (April 1973): 189-90, recalls the excitement when he, Abbot Butler, and Sebastian Moore discovered Insight in 1958.

[71] Butler, ATTS, pp. 135-36.

[72] Butler, “God, Anticipation and Affirmation,” Heythrop Journal 20 (October 1979): 374.

[73] Ibid.

[74] Ibid.

[75] Lonergan makes it very clear that those who endeavor to separate and compartmentalize the intellectual, the moral, and the religious, do not understand “the unity of the human spirit, this continuity in its operations, this cumulative character in their results.” See Lonergan, A Second Collection (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1974), p. 128.

[76] Butler quotes Lonergan’s “The Natural Knowledge of God,” found in Second Collection, p. 130.

[77] Butler, “God, Anticipation and Affirmation,” p. 374.

[78] Butler, CNE, pp. 10-11.  Butler directs us to Second Collection where Lonergan says that in addition to this kind of deliberate choice, “if one deliberates and chooses, one has moved to the level of the rationally conscious, free, responsible subject.  That by his choice he makes himself what he is to be and what his world is called to be” (p. 227).  See also Lonergan, Method in Theology (New York: Herder, 1972), p. 268, and Walter Conn, Conscience and Self-Transcendence (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1975), p. 396.   Conn notes that this heightening of the conscious subject is a prerequisite for the fruitful exercise of transcendental method.   In ATTS Butler states that:

“. . . the Eros of the intellect is not, indeed, corrupted, but is harnessed to the chariot wheels of our responsible freedom, and we criticise the ‘larger world’ because we are aware that our behaviour ought to be given its bearings by truth, . . . We know that it is immoral to hug a myth for the comfort it may give us” (p. 181).

[79] Butler, ATTS, p. 133.

[80] Butler, “God, Anticipation and Affirmation,” p. 366.

[81] Ibid., p. 367.

[82] Ibid.  By his reference to the Symposium, Butler links his own love of Plato with Lonergan’s understanding of intellectual eros. 

“I referred . . .  to the Dialectic of Love in Plato’s Symposium.  I pointed out that, according to ‘Diotima’  in that dialogue, Love (Eros) is not precisely the good itself, but is a hunger and a quest for the (not yet attained) good.  In Diotima’s dialectic the good takes on the aspect of beauty, and the term of Eros’ quest is absolute, eternal and changeless, perfect Beauty, of which all beautiful things and persons express only a likeness or participation” (p. 123).

[83] Butler, ATTS, p. 125.  

[84] Ibid.

[85] Butler, Church and Unity, p. p. 11.

[86] Butler considers Lonergan’s “picture of a world in evolution the most impressive intellectually I have ever seen” (ATTS, p. 120).  For Lonergan’s development of the inner design of world process exhibited as an emergent probability, i.e., a view of world order within the limits of empirical method, see Insight (New York: Philosophical Library, 1958), pp. 115-28.  David Tracy, in The Achievement of Bernard Lonergan (New York: Herder, 1970), p. 123, directs us to pp. 259-62 of Insight where Lonergan joined “the notion of the reality and underlying continuity of the phenomenon of change, to the world view of emergent probability articulated in the early chapters in order to argue for the probability of the eventual emergence of intelligent consciousness.”  See also Butler’s “The Openness of Theology,” The Month 1 (January 1970): 21-25, as an application of Lonergan’s emergent probability to an open process to which the Church is invited (p. 21).  Butler’s book Church and Unity (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1979) presents a more recent understanding of the term.

[87] A heuristic structure is an anticipatory structure of ways by which world order can be known completely and concretely, but which order is, as of now, not known.  See Joseph Flanagan, “Insight into Insight,” preliminary draft paper submitted to the 1979 Lonergan Workshop, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts, p. 27.  Lonergan, in chapter 20 of Insight (“Special Transcendent Knowledge”), affirms the existence both of the problem of evil and of its solution

“. . . within the intelligible unity of the actual order of the universe.  But this implies the existence of a heuristic structure whenever the object of an inquiry admits antecedent determinations; and the solution that we are seeking is an object of inquiry that satisfies the intelligible world order and that solves the problem defined above” (p. 696).

[88] Lonergan, Method, p. 251.

[89] Ibid., p. 253.

[90] The use of the term “self-appropriation” is meant specifically in Lonergan’s sense, i.e., it is the heightening and intensifying of an awareness that is already given.  Self-appropriation is not becoming aware of knowing, but becoming aware of it in new ways.  See also Flanagan, “Insight into Insight,” p. 43.

[91] Butler makes note of this in “Bernard Lonergan and Conversion,” Worship 49 (June-July 1975): 329-36.  “Conversion is a good Christian word, though it is not listed in the analytic index to my old theological standby, Tanquery’s Brevior synopsis theologia dogmatica.”  Nor, he notes, is it listed in the index of significant topics in Lonergan’s Insight—a landmark work of influence in Butler’s intellectual development.  Conversion is a major theme, Butler notes, in Lonergan’s “Theology in Its New Context,” Second Collection, pp. 55-67.  The theological implications of conversion are considered in Lonergan’s Method in Theology.  See Butler’s review of Method in Clergy Review 57 (August 1973): 579-94.

Butler claims that he goes beyond Lonergan in stating not only that conversion supplies theology with its data, but without conversion there can be no theology.  See Butler’s “Theology and Conversion,” The Tablet 224 (May 2, 1970): 424.  Walter Conn uses Lonergan’s categories as a framework for organizing and systematically questioning the other essays in his book, Conversion: Perspectives on Personal and Social Transformation (New York: Alba House, 1978).  “Lonergan,” Conn claims, “clarifies the present theological context by locating it in terms of the classicist past and specifying the shift in theological method demanded by contemporary culture” (p. xi).  Conn’s work is important to this study because conscience is the source of the subjective principle in Butler’s religious thinking.

[92] In “Theology in Its New Context,” Second Collection, pp. 55-67, Bernard Lonergan refers to this as a “theology of renewal”:

“Any theology of renewal goes hand in hand with a renewal of theology.  For ‘renewal’ is being used in a novel sense.  Usually in Catholic circles ‘renewal’ has meant a return to the olden times of pristine virtue and deep wisdom.  But good Pope John has made ‘renewal’ mean ‘aggiornamento,’ ‘bringing things up-to-date’.”

[93] Avery Dulles, S.J., The Resilient Church: The Necessity and Limits of Adaptation (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1977), p. 1.

[94] See Pope John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution, “Humanae Salutis,” convoking the Council.  Walter M. Abbot, S.J., gen. ed., The Documents of Vatican II (New York: Guild Press, American Press and Association Press, 1966), pp. 703-9 (hereafter cited as Abbot, Documents).  A more recent edition of conciliar and postconciliar documents is Vatican Council II, ed. Austin Flannery, O.P. (New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1975) (hereafter cited as Flannery, Vatican II).  In the convocation cited above, Pope John looked to the renewal of Christian life as “an anticipated token of the decisions taken by each of the individual faithful to apply the teachings and the practical directives that will emerge from the Council itself” (Abbot, Documents, p. 709).

[95] Ibid., pp. 703 and 704.

[96] Xavier Rynne, The Fourth Session: Debates and Decrees of Vatican Council II: September 14-December 8, 1965 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965), p. 1, quoting Butler.

[97] Butler, “The Aggiornamento of Vatican II,” in Vatican II: An Interfaith Appraisal, ed. John H. Miller, C.S.C. (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame, 1966), pp. 1-13 (hereafter cited as Miller, Vatican II).   Butler applies an analogy from biology in regard to “aggiornamento-in-depth.”  Basic biological structures are modified to meet slightly different concrete situations, but a time may come when survival requires radical change.  Butler insists that, with grace aiding, the Church as a communion of human beings can achieve radical new solutions, while preserving what is immutable (p. 12).

[98] It was at the end of the first session (December 1963) that the proposal was first put forward that the Council should sanction a document on the Church in the modern world.  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.  For a history of the drama involved in the construction of this document, see Mark McGrath, C.S.C., “The Constitution on the Church in the Modern World,” in Miller, Vatican II, pp. 397-412.

[99] See ATTS, pp. 146-47, for Butler’s reflection on this document.  For all its defects, Butler notes, it is a “great document.”   It registers the Church’s  commitment to  serve the good of humanity in every sphere and  the Church’s determination not to confine itself  to matters merely of the  sacristy or  the soul.

[100] Ibid.

[101] Lonergan discusses the breakdown of classical meaning in an address delivered at Marquette University, May 12, 1965.  See “Dimensions of Meaning,” Collection: Papers by Bernard Lonergan, S.J., ed. Frederick E. Crowe, S.J. (New York: Herder and Herder, 1967), pp. 252-67.  Butler notes that this address was given before Gaudium et Spes was promulgated.   See “Conversion and Theology,” The Tablet 224 (2 May 1970): 424.

[102] Abbot, Documents, p. 267.

[103] See Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” ed. Philip McShane, Foundations of Theology: Papers from the International Lonergan Congress, 1970 (Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971), pp. 1-21.  Of this contribution, Lonergan expressed gratitude for the way Butler took his (Lonergan’s) heuristic structure as outlined in Insight and filled it in with his firsthand knowledge of Vatican II.

[104] William F. J. Ryan, S.J., and Bernard Tyrrell, S.J., identify a “watershed” in Lonergan’s thought, which they say is a crucial shift.  They date it between the years 1964-65, and identify it with the last two essays in Collection—“Existenz and Aggiornamento” and “Dimensions of Meaning,” pp. 230-51 and 252-67, respectively.  Butler locates this shift in Lonergan’s essay, The Subject, where conversion is used of a “personal, philosophical experience.”  Frederick Crowe, in Collection, says that the change is development in Lonergan, not revolution.  Orientation toward the subject turns our attention to personal responsibility and eventually towards conversion. The Subject, Marquette University Aquinas Lectures (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1968) is reprinted in Second Collection, pp. 69-86.

[105] Lonergan, “Existenz and Aggiornamento,” Collection, p. 248.

[106] Lonergan, “The Absence of God in Modern Culture,” Second Collection, p. 113.

[107] Lonergan, “Dimensions of Meaning,” Collection, p. 255.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Ibid., p. 266.

[110] Lonergan, “The Absence of God in Modern Culture,” Second Collection, p. 113.

[111] Ibid.

[112] Lonergan, “Existenz and Aggiornamento,” Collection, p. 248.

[113] Lonergan, “The Absence of God in Modern Culture,” Second Collection, p. 116.

[114] Lonergan states that Method outlines the clusters of operations performed by theologians and is a framework for collaborative creativity, but that it should not be slavishly imitated.  With this in mind, the functional specialties described in Method, pp. 125-44, have provided a way to distinguish among Butler’s theological contributions and to select those that best serve this dissertation.  I have divided Butler’s works into research (scripture), dialectic (apologetics), communications (ecumenism), foundations (conversion made thematic).  The bibliographical material will reflect this division and the selection is determined by those works which are used in this study.  Butler’s work as a scripture scholar and most of his involvement in the ecumenical movement will be reflected in the bibliography, but will not be discussed in the text.

Lonergan differentiates between the role of the methodologist and the role of the theologian.

“. .  I must at once recall the distinction between the methodologist and the theologian. . . . The methodologist has the far lighter task of indicating what the “various tasks of theologians are and how each presupposes or complements the others” (Method, p. 355).

The task of the dissertation is clarified via Lonergan’s account of the underlying ideas and directives of his eighth functional specialty— communications—which pertains to Butler’s effort to communicate the Christian message.  (We ought to be about the task of converting institutions, among them the Church.  See Method, p. 361.)

[115] Lonergan, Method, p. 129.

[116] Butler, review of Method, Clergy Review 57 (August 1972): 587-88.

[117] Ibid., pp. 588-89.

[118] Butler, “The Unity of the Church,” Searchings, p. 99. In a prefatory note Butler states that he would write in a different style today, but he still endorses the main thrust of the article.  The principle of unity of doctrine is the context of his ecumenism.  The foundation, he claims, is visible unity.  Cf. Rahner on the “visible communion of those who genuinely believe, hope, and love.” “On the Structure of the People of the Church Today,” Theological Investigations, vol. 12 (New York: Seabury Press, 1974), p. 220.

[119] Lonergan, Method, p. 362.

[120] Ibid., p. 368.

[121] Butler, The Idea of the Church (Baltimore: Helicon Press, 1962), pp. xiii-xvi (hereafter cited as IOC).

[122] Butler, “Unification,” Searchings, pp. 49-60.  The theme of unification is the subject of Chapter One of this dissertation.

[123] Ibid., p. 58.

[124] Butler, IOC, p. 10.

[125] Ibid.

[126] Ibid., p. xiv.

[127] See Lonergan, Method, pp. 355-68.  In this chapter Lonergan explains in detail his notion of communications as one of the functional specialties.

[128] Butler’s ecclesiology of communion, which he describes as valuable for ecumenical dialogue, will emerge from this dissertation.  Butler’s ecumenical concerns go far beyond the ecumenical movement and, indeed, he claims that to propose “a view of the Church whose sole recommendation was that it would help the Ecumenical-Movement” might be suspect.  See his The Theology of Vatican II (London: Barton, Longman and Todd, 1967), p. 135.  This work, originally delivered as the Sarum Lectures, is Butler’s interpretation of several conciliar documents. Cf. also Butler’s most recent discussion on the Church as communion in The Church and Unity (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1979), pp. 32-52. Butler states that this new attempt to view the Church within a theology of communion complements his The Idea of the Church which, Butler tells us, was criticized for undue emphasis on the institutional ecclesial model.

[129] Butler, Why Christ (London: Barton, Longman and Todd, 1960), p. viii.

[130] Ibid.

[131] See Karl Rahner, et al., gen. eds., Sacramentum Mundi, 6 vols., s.v. “Apologetics,” by Johannes-Baptist Metz (New York: Herder and Herder, 1968), 1:66-70. Metz discusses the changing methods of apologetics, claiming that the self-understanding of faith embraces more and more its own history.  The hermeneutical question concerning understanding in general has modified the notion of historical science.  Metz cautions the historical apologist to be more subtle and critical in his approach. To avoid hermeneutical pitfalls, he directs attention to the future and to a critical appraisal of the hermeneutical reflection on time, thus offering a new form of relationship between theological reflection and religious institution.  See also Edward Schillebeeckx, “Toward a Catholic Use of Hermeneutics,” in God the Future of Man, trans. N. D. Smith (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968), pp. 3-49.

[132] Lonergan, Method, p. 133.

[133] Jacques Maritain, An Essay on Christian Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library, 1955), p. 58.

[134] Gustave Weigel distinguishes the two tasks of theology and ecumenism.  In describing the ecumenist-theologian in A Catholic Primer on the Ecumenical Movement, Woodstock Papers, no. 1 (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1963), pp. 71-72, he writes:

“The ecumenist apostolate is not the formal task of theology.  It is a by-product. The theologian by definition does theology, and in so doing it performs his proper function in the Church. He is a contemplative primarily though from the overflow of his contemplations the neighbor’s thirst for light and knowledge can be slaked or sated.   The non-contemplative apostolate, striving for the unity of all Christians, is a specifically different activity of the Church.”  (Cf. Lonergan’s phases of mediated theology, Method, pp. 144-45.)

Weigel further emphasizes the fact that because theologians must work within the Church, the ecumenical theologian is radically committed to the guidance of episcopal regimen, even with its human deficiencies: “Under God’s guidance the regimen works, and even its human deficiencies help to bring about the divine good for us all.”  These words written in 1963 are no less true today; but in the wake of Vatican II, the theologian in the service of the Church has come in for severe scrutiny.  Richard McCormick’s article, “Authority and Morality,” p. 170, points to Butler for clarification on this topic.  A unique contribution of this dissertation will be the explication of Butler’s views on authority and freedom, and these from one who is bishop, ecumenist, and apologist.

[135] Nicholas Lash, review of A Time to Speak, in Irish Theological Quarterly 40 (April 1973): 189-91.

[136] Butler, ATTS, p. 197.

[137] Thomas Corbishley, “Resolute Hope,” a review of A Time to Speak, in The Tablet 226 (December 2, 1972): 1149-50.

[138] E. L. Mascall, “Religio Monachi,” a review of A Time to Speak, in The Month 6 (February 1973): 59-60.

[139] Lonergan, Method, p. 123.

[140] Ibid.

[141] Butler, “Data of Theology,” Clergy Review 61 (May 1976): 173.

[142] Ibid., p. 171.

[143] Ibid., p. 176.

[144] Karl Rahner’s “searching Christology” is relevant in this respect.

“In freedom and orientated toward definitiveness, man is concerned with himself as a single whole.  It is true that he can let himself be driven along through the multiplicity of experience in his life and be preoccupied first with one and then with another detail of his life and his various possibilities.  He should, however, allow the whole and the singleness of his existence to appear before him and be answerable for this in freedom.”

Karl Rahner and Wilhelm Thusing, A New Christology, trans. David Smith and Verdant Green (New York: Seabury Press, 1980), p. 5.

[145] Butler, “Conversion and Theology,” p. 425.

[146] Ibid.

[147] Butler, “The Duality of History,” Searchings, p. 97,

[148] Ibid., p. 90.

[149] Butler, ATTS, pp. 65-66.

[150] Ibid., p. 190.

[151] Butler, ATTS, p. 202.

[152] Ibid., p. 11.

[153] Ibid., p. 201.

[154] Butler, “Data of Theology,” p. 174.

[155] Butler, “Unification,” Searchings, p. 54.

[156] Butler, ATTS, p. 55.

[157] For another aspect of Butler on self-actualization see “Self and Not-Self,” in Why Christ, pp. 30-52.  This book, by Butler’s own admission, is an apologetic.  The first three chapters (“The Modern Situation,” “Self and Not-Self,” and “Religion in History” complement Chapters One and Two of this study.

[158] Rice, “Introduction” to Searchings, p. 20.  The biographical introduction by Valentine Rice is a compilation of taped reflections of Rice with Butler and are, therefore, firsthand reflections.   The experience here referred to in the text is not discussed by Butler; he merely notes it.

[159] Butler, “Unification,” and “One Aspect of the Christian Fact,” Searchings, pp. 38-60, both written in 1937.  The importance of these early articles lies in the fact that, although he writes differently, Butler’s core vision of reality remains consistent through the years.

[160] Ibid., p. 49.

[161] Ibid., p. 60.   

[162] Ibid., pp. 54-55.

[163] Ibid., p. 50.  Regarding the act of attention, Butler has returned to its importance in The Church and Unity, pp. 40-44.  This time he shows the influence of Lonergan as he uses the terms “pure and corrupt attention” as a basis for a discussion on community, and as a moment of self-transcendence, if it is authentic.  On this point see also Method, p. 20.  “The ultimate basis of both transcendental and categorical precepts will be advertence to the difference between attention and inattention, intelligence and stupidity, reasonableness and unreasonableness, responsibility and irresponsibility.”

[164] Ibid., p. 50.

[165] Ibid., p. 51.

[166] Ibid., p. 52

[167] Ibid., pp. 52-53,

[168] Ibid., p. 53.

[169] Ibid., p. 54,

[170] Ibid.

[171] Ibid., p. 56.

[172] Ibid.

[173] Ibid., pp. 57-58.

[174] Ibid., p. 58.

[175] Butler, “The Future,” ATTS, pp. 151-76.

[176] Butler, CNE, p. 9.

[177] Butler, ATTS, p. 152.

[178] Ibid., p. 154.  Cf. “The World Food Crisis” in Time Magazine, November 11, 1974, pp. 66-83.  The report warned that unparalleled acts of international cooperation are needed to prevent the Malthusian nightmare from becoming a reality—nature’s way of redressing the balance when population exceeds food supply—if man does not first redress it voluntarily.  The World Food Conference made a grim prognosis and gave apocalyptic warnings.  The determining situation poses a dilemma for the wealthy food-surfeited citizens of the developed world who must decide from a moral sense, or from sheer self-interest, or from their own sense of human dignity to feed the starving (p. 76).

[179] Ibid., p. 153.

[180] Ibid.

[181] Ibid., p. 154.

[182] Ibid., pp. 154-55.         

[183] Ibid., pp. 194-95.

[184] Ibid., p. 195.

[185] Ibid., pp. 167-68.

[186] Ibid., p. 168.

[187] Ibid., p. 157.  Emmanuel Suhard in The Church Today: Growth or Decline? (Paris: Arch, 1947) notes that the world crisis of unification, and the growth or decline of the Church, depends on how the Church reacts to this crisis.  The Church must lead in the unification and enter into the economic, the political, artistic and cultural factors of life, or it will decline (p. 122).

[188] Butler, “Unification,” Searchings, p. 59.

[189] Butler, ATTS, p. 159.

[190] Ibid., p. 158.

[191] Ibid., p. 160.

[192] Ibid., p. 157. Cf. William F. Ryan, S.J., and Peter J. Henriot, S.J., “Message from Bucharest for Washington and Rome,” America, November 2, 1974, pp. 248-53.  At the writing of this article, Ryan and Henriot, representatives of the Center for Concern, Washington, D.C., had official non-governmental organizational status with the United Nations.  In evaluating Church policy, they called for a change in the Vatican’s status in UN meetings to that of a very welcome and influential non-governmental organization, thus allowing the Church to take a more radical and unambiguous stance on behalf of the poor and powerless.  In some ways this effort would make the Church the medium and articulation of human unification.

[193] Butler, “Self and Not-Self,” Why Christ, p. 51.

[194] Butler, ATTS, pp. 16-17.

[195] See William C. Bier, ed., Conscience: Its Freedom and Limitations, The Pastoral Psychology Series, no. 6 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1971) on conscience as a central issue both in Church and world from an interdisciplinary approach (p. x).   Bier gives three reasons for this prominence: (1) the declaration on religious freedom of the Second Vatican Council; (2) the encyclical Humanae Vitae; and (3) the question of the exercise of authority in the Church.  This work will be of significance in Part II of this dissertation.

See also John Donnelly and Leonard Lyons, eds., Conscience (New York: Alba House, 1973).  This volume of philosophical discussions raises questions about conscience: “When does man’s conscience come into play?  Should a man always do as his conscience directs or is it possible for a man to follow his conscience and yet do evil?  Finally, is there a faculty of conscience or is conscience no more than conditioned fears of retribution?” (Preface)  The essays in this volume are intended to inspire further work in the area of moral concern.

[196] Bernard Haring, C.S.S.R., speaks of “The Conversion of the Heart in Christian Renewal in a Changing World (New York: Desclée Company, 1964), p. 157, and entitles Section 3 on conscience “God and the Heart of Man” (pp. 91-172).  “The sublime goal of education,” Haring states, “is the proper formation of conscience” (p. 172).

[197] B. C. Butler, Stephen Neill, Brian Hebblethwaite, and John Macquarrie, The Truth of God Incarnate, ed. Michael Green (London: Rodder and Stoughton, 1977), p. 100. This citation is Butler’s.

[198] See Butler, Why Christ, pp. 51-52, and cf. ibid., pp. 19ff.

[199] Butler, Theology Vatican II, p. 181.

[200] Ibid., p. 188.

[201] Butler, “Responsible Freedom,” CNE, p. 79.

[202] Butler, CNE, p. 10.

[203] Butler, “Responsible Freedom,” CNE, p. 79. Cf. Bier, Conscience, Section VIII, “The Mature Conscience in Multidisciplinary Perspective.”  Maturity of conscience is described from a philosophical perspective (W. Norris Clarke, pp. 357-68); from a theological perspective (Ewert Cousins, pp. 369-78); from a psychological perspective (John R. Cavanagh, pp. 379-87); and from a political science perspective (John A. Rohr, pp. 388-97).

[204] Ibid.

[205] Butler, ATTS, p. 185.

[206] “Butler, “Joy in Believing,” Searchings, p. 267.

[207] Butler, “Belief and Reason in Science and Religion,” Searchings, p. 235.

[208] Butler, ATTS, pp. 38-69.

[209] Butler, “Grace Abounding,” CNE, p. 21.

[210] Butler, ATTS. p. 65.

[211] Ibid., p. 57.

[212] Ibid., p. 66.

[213] Ibid., p. 38.

[214] Ibid., p. 38.

[215] Butler refers to de Caussade’s doctrine in the review of Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, ed. Marcel Viller, S.J., Fasc. VIII: Cassien-Chappuis (Paris: Beauchesne), in the Downside Review 57 (April 1939): 251-53. Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) is an outstanding representative of the spirituality of abandonment or surrender of oneself to God.  Spiritual Instructions in Dialogue on the Different States of Prayer, ed. Gabriel Antoine, came out anonymously in 1741.  It was published as a defense of the mystical life against the false mysticism of Quietism.  De Caussade became more widely known by Ramiere’s edition of his Abandonment to Divine Providence Envisaged as the Easiest Means of Sanctification, in 1861, almost one hundred years after his death.  The critical edition of the original text of L’Abandon was published by Father M. Olphe-Galliard, Lettres spirituelles I: Texte établi et présenté, trans. William J. Young, “Collection Christus,” no. 8 (Paris, 1962).  See also The Jesuits: Their Spiritual Doctrine and Practice, a posthumous work by Joseph de Guibert, S.J., trans. William J. Young, ed. George E. Ganns, S.J. (The Institute of Jesuit Sources/Loyola University Press, 1964), pp. 431-35.  Butler regrets that Olphé-Galliard makes no mention of the influence of de Caussade in England (von Hügel was reading de Caussade in the late nineteenth century; Abbot Chapman in the 1920s). In 1925, at Downside, Butler, reading de Caussade, said, “It was like the joy of meeting an old friend.”  See “The Absurd and John Chapman,” Searchings, p. 159, n. 9.  That article was written in 1950.  This was an important year because in 1950 Butler wrote an article, “A Master of the Spiritual Life: J. P. de Caussade, S.J., 1675-1751,” The Tablet 196 (December 23, 1950): 548-49; (December 30, 1950): 569-70.  See also ATTS, pp. 63-69.

[216] Butler, “A Master of the Spiritual Life,” p. 548.

[217] Ibid.

[218] Butler, ATTS, p. 66.

[219] Ibid., p. 67.

[220] Ibid., p. 66.

[221] Ibid., pp. 55-56.

[222] Butler, ATTS, pp. 55-59.

[223] The preceding paragraph summarizes Butler, ATTS, pp. 55-59,

[224] Ibid., pp. 57, 58-59.

[225] Butler, Letters from Abbot Butler in Rome to the Prior of Downside during the Second Vatican Council, unpublished.

[226] Butler, ATTS, p. 16.    

[227] Butler, CNE, p. 98.

[228] Ibid., p. 10.

[229] Ibid., p. 79,

[230] Ibid., pp. 79-80.

[231] Ibid., p. 77.

[232] Ibid., p. 78. Cf. Karl Rahner, S.J., “Observations on the Problem of the ‘Anonymous Christian.’” Theological Investigations, vol. 14 (New York: Seabury Press, 1976), pp. 280-94. “The only necessary condition [for salvation] which is recognized here [in Vatican II] is the necessity of faithfulness to and obedience to the individual’s own personal conscience.” Rahner makes a distinction between two functions of conscience: “The one which tells a man’s subjective self the universal norms of ethics and moral theology and applies them to his ‘case,’‘ and the one by which the individual hears God’s call to him alone, and which can never be fully deduced from universal norms.”  See also Rahner’s Nature and Grace: Dilemmas in the Modern Church (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1964). The latter function of conscience seems to be the one Butler also intends.

[233] Ibid., p. 77.

[234] Butler, Theology Vatican II, p. 173.

[235] Ibid., pp. 180-81.

[236] Ibid., p. 181.

[237] Butler, CNE, p. 101.

[238] Butler, Theology Vatican II, p. 169.

[239]  Ibid. pp. 169-70.

[240]  Butler, CNE, p. 20.

[241]  Ibid

[242] Ibid. p. 21. 

[243] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” The American Benedictine Review 25 (December 1974): 417.  This article was the inaugural lecture of the annual Thomas Verner Moore Memorial Lecture series, newly established by St. Anselm’s Abbey, Washington, D.C., as part of its fiftieth anniversary celebration and offered in cooperation with the School of Religious Studies and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of The Catholic University of America, 28 September 1974.

[244] Ibid., p. 418.

[245] Ibid., pp. 418-19.

[246] Ibid., pp. 411-12.

[247] Ibid., p. 412.

[248] See “Mystics and the Present Moment,” ATTS, pp. 60-69.

[249] Ibid., p. 67.

[250] Ibid., p. 185.

[251] Ibid., p. 30. This conviction of Butler’s is a key factor in his dialogue with Lonergan, the focus of the next chapter,

[252] Ibid., p. 127.

[253] Ibid., p. 128.

[254] Ibid., pp. 185-86.

[255] Ibid., p. 185.  Jacques Leclercq, in Christ and the Modern Conscience, trans. Ronald Matthews (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1962), makes note of the fact that from the nineteenth century on, “it has become impossible to discuss the moral problem without mentioning Kant, and that although Kant thought of himself as a metaphysician, he is,” Leclercq states, “incomprehensible apart from his Christian background” (pp. 83-84).  Cf. Butler, “One Aspect of the Christian Fact,” Searchings, p. 44.  Butler refers to C. C. Webb’s Kant’s Philosophy of Religion (Oxford: University Press, 1926), pp. 117ff., and puts the Christian position at the opposite pole from the Kantian emphasis.  Butler makes no judgment on the rightness or wrongness of Kant’s attitude.  He is more concerned with contrasting the primacy of the Kantian ethical “Ought” with the primacy for Christianity of the factual “Is,” and also by the fact that the historical order is invaded by a real yet ambiguous transcendent order.

Cf. also New Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Categorical Imperative,” 3:240-41.  For Kant, the categorical imperative considers neither divine command nor conformity with nature nor consensus.  It has “the category of a priori.  For a philosopher with theistic presuppositions, the autonomous nature of Kantian morality has few adherents, for the obligation is imposed through the mediation of the law in the individual conscience.  Such a critique of Kant’s philosophical position is based on the possibility of man’s specific knowledge of God and of the nature of the moral “Ought.”

For a modern commentary on Kant’s Grundlegung, see Kant on the Foundation of Morality, trans, with commentary by Brendan E. A. Liddell (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1970).   See also Louis Dupre’s Introduction to a Dubious Heritage; Studies in the Philosophy of Religion after Kant (New York: Paulist Press, 1977), pp. 1-5, for a summary of Dupre’s evaluation of Kant’s challenge to the study of religion.

[256] Ibid., pp. 26-28.

[257] Ibid., p. 27.

[258] Ibid.

[259] Ibid.

[260] Ibid., p. 16.

[261] Butler, Theology Vatican II, p.. 188.

[262] Ibid., pp. 188-89.

[263] Butler, ATTS, p. 168.

[264] Ibid., p. 59.

[265] Ibid., pp. 177-86.  On these pages Butler discusses such a process in terms of the basic option, of which the fully adult moral conscience is a key factor.  Walter Eugene Conn, Conscience and Self-Transcendence, unpublished dissertation (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1973), presents Lonergan’s transcendental analysis as “a normative understanding of conscience as the critically appropriated drive of the self-transcending personal subject for the authentic realization of value” (p. 4).   This work is supportive of Butler’s subjective principle, but we reserve comment on this for the next chapter.

[266] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” pp. 411-12.

[267] Butler,   “Data of Theology,” p.” 174.

[268] Ibid.

[269] Ibid., p. 177.

[270] Ibid., p. 173.

[271] See Introduction of this dissertation, note 86.

[272] See Introduction, note 87.

[273] Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” p. 2.  Despite his diffidence, Butler’s critiques are welcome guides to Lonergan’s thought.

[274] Of this dialogue, Butler is careful to disqualify himself as a Lonergan expert.  In describing some of Lonergan’s influence, Butler hopes “that it will not be supposed that I am giving an adequate and balanced account of his thinking.  His books are there to be read, and on the whole I think he would say that if he could have expressed his meaning more lucidly and more shortly than he has done, he would have, in fact, been briefer” (ATTS, p. 116).

[275] Butler, ATTS, p. 136.

[276] Ibid., p. 120.

[277] The use of the term “self-appropriation” is meant specifically in Lonergan’s sense, i.e., it is the heightening and intensifying of an awareness that is already given.  Self-appropriation is not becoming aware of knowing, but becoming aware of it in new ways.   See also Flanagan, “Insight into Insight,” p. 43.

[278] Butler, IOC, p. xvi.

[279] Butler, ATTS, p. 131.

[280] Butler, “God, Anticipation and Affirmation,” p. 373.

[281] Butler, IOC, p.  1.

[282] Ibid., pp. 163-64.

[283] Quoted by Butler, ibid., p.  164.

[284] Ibid., p.  166.

[285] Butler, ATTS, p. 150.

[286] Butler, review of The Study of Theology, by Charles Davis, in The Downside Review 81 (April 1963): 165-67.

[287] Ibid., p. 166.

[288] Butler, “The Aggiornamento of Vatican II,” Searchings, p. 257.

[289] Lonergan, Insight, p. 216.  On the crisis of development (Searchings, p. 259) Butler quotes Canon Houtart’s L’Eglise et le monde, p. 18.

“Never has there been a more powerful consciousness of humanity’s engagement in a common adventure, driving it as with irresistible force to the achieving of a goal which will mean, perhaps, man’s willingness to transcend himself.”

Cf. Lonergan’s prophetic words on tension in community in Insight, p. 592.

“The tension between meaning and expression will be at its maximum at the beginning . . . : images and words that previously bore an established significance appear in strange collocations; they struggle under a burden of meaning that they do not succeed in conveying; quite suddenly they pass out of currency to be replaced by fresh efforts. . . .”

[290] Butler, “Aggiornamento of Vatican II,” Searchings, pp. 264-65.

[291] Butler, ATTS, pp. 138-50. These are Butler’s reflections on the Second Vatican Council.

[292] Butler, “Aggiornamento of Vatican II,” Searchings, pp. 258-60,

[293] Butler, “Joy in Believing,” Searchings, p. 271.

[294] Ibid., p. 272.

[295] Butler, CNE, p. 13.

[296] Butler, “The Constitution on the Church and Christian Reunion,” Searchings, p. 250.

[297] Ibid., pp. 250-51.

[298] Lonergan, “Existenz and Aggiornamento,” Collection, p. 251.

[299] At this Congress Butler does not give a detailed account of why Lonergan holds that the solution for the problem of evil can be found.  He underlines some of the elements of that heuristic structure relevant to an ecclesiology. See Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” in McShane’s Foundations of Theology, pp. 4-7.

[300] Of this transition Butler notes that

“In some more recent work Lonergan has taken his stand with us at the particular stage of human historical development in which we are all involved, and he has moved more explicitly from the notion of man as substance to that of man as a subject, man as he makes his own environment and as he makes himself.  This distinction, between man and man and man the subject, is worked out in ‘Existenz and Aggiornamento’ and in The Subject (1968).”

He goes on to indicate in what way Lonergan’s thought from this new perspective may benefit ecclesiology.  Again see Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” pp. 4-7.

[301]  “Collaboration,” in Lonergan’s scheme, provides the “antidote to the errors to which man is inclined.”  He says that “the solution in its cognitional aspect will consist in a new and higher collaboration of men in pursuit of truth” (Insight, p. 719).  See also Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” p. 5.

[302] Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” pp. 16-17.  A discussion of conversion is reserved for below.

[303] Butler, “Unification,” Searchings, p. 50.

[304] Ibid.

[305] Ibid., p. 51.

[306] Ibid., p. 53.

[307] Ibid., p. 54.

[308] Lonergan, The Subject, pp. 7-8.

[309] Ibid., pp. 26-27.

[310] Butler, ATTS, p. 136.

[311] Butler, Why Christ, p. 55.  Note the Teilhardian Christology: “Christ, the apex and climax of the whole of creation and of history.”

[312] In CNE, pp. 10-11, Butler quotes Shock’s Theology of Renewal where direct reference be made to Teilhard’s synthesis: “The religious history of man has to evolve around one privileged axis. . . . This axis is the Church which Christ founded and in which he continues to live. As the Incarnation is unique, so is the Church unique.”

[313] Butler, ATTS, p. 136.

[314] Ibid.

[315] Butler, review of Adventure in Search of a Creed, by C. F. Happold, in Downside Review 76 (Summer 1958): 188.

[316] Valentine Rice, “Introduction,” Searchings, p. 27.  This observation is Rice’s, whose information is from recorded interviews with Butler.

[317] Butler, ATTS, p. 150.

[318] Butler, “Belief and Reason in Science and Religion,” Searchings, p. 227.

[319] Ibid., p. 235.

[320] Ibid., p. 230.

[321] Ibid., pp. 230-31.

[322] Ibid., p. 231.

[323] Ibid., pp. 231-32.

[324] Ibid., p. 232.

[325] Ibid., p. 235.

[326] Ibid.

[327] Ibid., pp. 235-36.

[328] Ibid., p. 236.

[329] In “The Role of Philosophy,” The Tablet 222 (July 13, 1968): 692, Butler reflects on the current confusion in philosophy and points to Lonergan’s Insight as the philosophia perennis in its modern rethinking.  He urges that students of theology be exposed to it, but he cautions that philosophy and faith have very different motivations.  Philosophy has the same motivation as pure science, i.e., the pure desire to know.  The God that philosophy affirms is the satisfaction of the intellectual curiosity.  The purpose of his article rests in the conclusion where he states:

“I conclude that, if theology is made to rest upon and derive from philosophy, it fails of its purpose and cannot hit its target.  It will also appear that not only does theology have a different motive from that of philosophy, but that it depends upon something of which in its intrinsic essence philosophy takes no account: divine revelation, or—to put it in biblical terms—the given word of God.”

In a later work, Philosophy of God and Theology (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1973), Lonergan argues that philosophy of God and theology are distinct, but that they should not be separated because they have a common origin and a common goal.  Both have their origin in religious experience and their goal is to promote into clear consciousness the major factor in the integration and development of the person (p. 59).  The philosophy of God can only exist in the climate of religious experience, and “the philosophic inquiry needs the support of the properly religious context for the full and effective attainment of its goal” (p. 55).  In reviewing this book, Butler says that Lonergan does not mention it, but he supposes that if this proposal (not to separate the philosophy of God and theology) is to be carried out successfully, philosophers will have to take to theology and theologians to philosophy (p. 21).

[330] Butler, “Belief and Reason in Science and Religion,” Searchings, p. 236.

[331] Ibid., p. 238.

[332] Ibid., p. 239. The test of verification for theological theories will be an appeal to the religious experience of believers. “A man who has valid grounds for believing has his faith integrated into his total life of responsibility, and his religion can, in its turn, illuminate the rest of his human experience and guide his activity. Nevertheless, it is true that such a man, having recognised his duty to believe, accepts the content of his faith from the source of revelation and does not test it in detail by detailed verification” (p. 239).

[333] Ibid., p. 232.

[334] Ibid., p. 239.

[335] Ibid., p. 234.  In Philosophy of God and Theology, Lonergan refers to the modern conception of theology as not a set of propositions but a concrete religion, “as it has been lived, as it is being lived, and as it is to be lived” (p. 56).  For that reason “theology has to draw on the resources not only of scientists and historians but also of philosophers” (pp. 56-57).  Moreover, the empirical nature of its operations demands of theology that it acquire a method and insofar as it does so, theology “becomes a reflection on the significance and value of religion within a culture” (p. 56).

[336] Butler, “Conversion and Theology,” p. 425.

[337] Lonergan, Second Collection, p. 277.

[338] Ibid.

[339] Butler, “Conversion and Theology,” p. 425.

[340] Ibid.

[341] Alberic Stackpoole’s account, “Bishop Butler on the State of the Church,” in The Ampleforth Journal 57 (Autumn 1972): 4-14, records the Bishop’s question as to whether the contemporary task “is not to foster and sensitise a more generic moral ‘oughtness’ which is a subjectively personal force.  Moral action lies not in social habit, not in code, but in the private intentional area” (p”. 5).  Butler relies strongly here on Newman’s Grammar of Assent (London: Burns & Dates, 1881), p. 37, hereafter abbreviated Newman, Grammar.

[342] Butler, review of Method, p. 595.

[343] Ryan and Tyrrell, “Introduction,” Second Collection, p. ii; and Insight, p. 730.

[344] Lonergan’s doctoral dissertation, Grace and Freedom (1941), concerned with the fourth level of evaluation and Christian love and indicates an even earlier concern with the existential level.

[345] Lonergan, Second Collection, p. 277.

[346] Ibid., p. iii.

[347] Butler, ATTS, p. 133n.

[348] Butler, “Conversion and Theology,” p. 425.

[349] Butler, ATTS, pp. 27-28.

[350] Butler, review of Method, pp. 586-87.

[351] This was an oral public response given by Lonergan to Butler’s argument which had been presented for comment at the Lonergan Dialogue, held during the annual Lonergan Workshop, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts, June 1979.

[352] Newman, Grammar, p. 37.

[353] Lee H. Yearly, The Ideas of Newman: Christianity and Human Religiosity (University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978), p. 49.

[354] Newman, Grammar, p. 83.

[355] Ibid., p. 38.

[356] Ibid.,   pp. 87-88.

[357] Ibid., p. 89.

[358] Ibid.,   pp. 90-91.

[359] Ibid., p. 98.

[360] Ibid., pp. 37-38.

[361] Lonergan, Method, p. 130.

[362] Ibid.

[363] Ibid.

[364] Ibid.

[365] Ibid., p. 131.

[366] Newman, Grammar, pp. 185ff.

[367] Lonergan, Second Collection, pp. 65-66.

“Fundamental to religious living is conversion.  It is a topic little studied in traditional theology since there remains very little of it when one reaches the universal, the abstract, the static.  For conversion occurs in the lives of individuals.   It is not merely a change or even a development; rather it is a radical transformation on which follows, on all levels of living, an interlocked series of changes and developments.  What hitherto was unnoticed becomes vivid and present.  What had been of no concern becomes a matter of high import.  So great a change in one’s apprehensions and one’s values accompanies no less a change in oneself, in one’s relations to other persons, and in one’s relations to God.”

[368] Lonergan, “Theology in a New Context,” Second Collection, p. 66.

[369] Lonergan, “The Natural Knowledge of God,” Second Collection, p. 128.

[370] Butler, ATTS, p. 185.

[371] Ibid.

[372] Ibid., p. 30.

[373] Ibid.  It was stated in the last chapter that Conn would take a position supportive of Butler’s.  Perhaps his position will add some clarification to the unresolved point at issue here.  Unlike Butler, who emphasizes the moral/religious.connection, Conn emphasizes the intellectual/moral.  He says that this is because his is a philosophical work and his primary concern is the nature of moral conversion (p. 530).  Butler does not avoid the intellectual/moral, as we have seen in Chapters One and Two of this dissertation: the search for the one thing necessary and the authority of the heart.

Both Conn and Butler agree on the moral conversion as the beginning of religious conversion (Conn) or fundamentally if unconsciously a religious conversion (Butler).  Conn asks about a philosophical, humanist ethic that may not want to presuppose God and his love.  Conn adds, however, that “to be authentically open it must be ready to recognize that the self-transcending love of man has no necessary limits” (p. 524).  But since “a religious outlook may be specified by its recognition and acceptance of life as a gift, even the most circumscribed love of man, if it be genuine self-surrender, can be considered as the beginning of religious conversion” (p. 524).

Conn proposes the following distinctions: between a critical moral/religious conversion and an uncritical moral/religious conversion, on the one hand, and on the other, a distinction between a fully explicated philosophical intellectual conversion and a more implicit, but nonetheless real, intellectual conversion.

Such distinctions, it would seem, remain circumstances that differentiate but do not constitute the real assent to self-transcendence.  The point remains: is it possible to separate the reality of moral self-transcendence from the reality of religious self-transcendence? (See Conn, Conscience and Transcendence, pages cited.)

[374] Butler, ATTS. p. 183.

[375] Ibid.

[376] Ibid., p. 184.

[377] Ibid., p. 192.

[378] Ibid., p. 174.

[379] The term is borrowed from Roger Balducelli’s “A Phenomenology of Conversion,” in The Living Light 10 (Winter 1973): 545-57.  This idea will be considered later in the dissertation. (See pp. 215ff.)

[380] Butler, ATTS, p. 184.

[381] Ibid., p. 23.

[382] Ibid., p. 9.

[383] Ibid., p. 177.

[384] Lonergan, Method, pp. 268-69.

[385] Ibid., p. 268.

[386] Recall that Butler, in the matter of conversion, stipulates that the individual and the Church mutually provide the data of theology. See Butler, “Data of Theology,” p. 177.

[387] Ibid., p. 172.

[388] Ibid., p. 174.

[389] Lonergan, “Metaphysics as Horizon,” Collection, p. 213.

[390] In koinonia, or sharing grace gifts in common, Butler sees a mutual enrichment instead of mutual concession.  He suggests the principle of the “lowest common multiple” and argues to the fact that the potentiality within Christianity will unfold itself in a majestic and continuing development, referring his readers to Newman in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine and in “The Theory of Development in Religious Doctrine” (an earlier sermon).  It is Butler’s conviction that, as Newman points out, the unending process of interpreting the faith leads to the accumulation of a tradition to which tradition we contribute our own small share (Church and Unity, pp. 157-58).

[391] Lonergan uses the notion of sublation to mean “that what sublates goes beyond what is sublated, introduces something new and distinct, puts everything on a new basis, yet so far from interfering with the sublated or destroying it, on the contrary needs it, includes it, preserves all its proper features and properties, and carries them forward to a fuller realization within a richer context” (Method, p. 241)

[392] An application of koinonia in an extended sense is his argument for the Church as the “anticipatory embodiment . . . of the spiritual unity of humanity . . . at the deepest levels of human experience” (Searchings, p. 56).  This notion will be developed as a wider ecumenism.

[393] Ibid.

[394] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 115; and IOC, p. 227.

[395] Butler, “United Not Absorbed,” The Tablet 224 (7 March 1970): 220-21.  See also Sonya Quitslund’s positive reaction to this article of Butler’s: “‘United Not Absorbed,’ Does It Still Make Sense,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 8 (Spring 1971): 255-85.

[396] Butler, ATTS, p. 2.

[397] Lonergan, Method, p. 355.

[398] Ibid., p. 356.

[399] Ibid., p. 298.

[400] Ibid., p. 357.

[401] Ibid.

[402] Ibid.

[403] Ibid, p. 298.

[404] Ibid., p. 357.

[405] Ibid.

[406] Ibid., p. 358.

[407] Ibid., p. 299.

[408] Ibid., p. 361.

[409] Ibid., p. 362.

[410] Ibid., p. 319.

[411] Butler, IOC, p. 231.

[412] Butler, “Lonergan and Conversion,” p. 336.

[413] Ibid.

[414] Ibid.

[415] Butler, “Data of Theology,” p. 172.

[416] Butler, Searchings, p. 56.

[417] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 135.

[418] Butler, ATTS, pp. 158-59.

[419] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 5

[420] Ibid.

[421] Ibid.

[422] Ibid., pp. 4-5

[423] Butler, IOC, p. xiv.

[424] Ibid.

[425] Butler, Church and Unity, pp. 233-34.

[426] Ibid., p. 234.

[427] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 131.

[428] P. De Letter, “Our Unity, in Faith,” Theological Studies 38 (September 1977): 536-37.

[429] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 197.

[430] Ibid., p. 234.  Quoting from the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, paragraph 24, note 8.

[431] Ibid., p. 235.

[432] E. L. Mascall, “Koinonia,” review of The Church and Unity, by B. C. Butler, The Tablet 233 (3 November 1979): 1075.

[433] Ibid.  Here Mascall quotes Butler, Church and Unity, p. 8.

[434] Ibid.

[435] Lonergan, Method, p. 299.

[436] Ibid.

[437] Butler, IOC, p. 84

[438] Ibid., pp. 11-12.

[439] Ibid., p. 11.

[440] Ibid., p. 223.

[441] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 33.

[442] Ibid.

[443] Ibid.

[444] Butler, IOC, p. 2.

[445] Ibid.

[446] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 226.

[447] Ibid.

[448] Ibid.

[449] Ibid., p. 254.

[450] Butler, IOC, p. 55.

[451] Ibid. p. 56.

[452] Ibid.

[453] Ibid., p. xiv.

[454] Ibid., chapters 10 and 11.

[455] Butler, ATTS, p. 141.

[456] Butler, IOC, p. 86.

[457] Ibid., p. 83.

[458] Ibid.

[459] David Tracy, Blessed Rage for Order: The New Pluralism in Theology (New York: A Crossroad Book, Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 239-40.

[460] Ibid., p. 240.

[461] Johannes Quasten encourages study of the early Fathers as an excellent source for the study of late antiquity and early Christianity. [Cf. Concise Sacramentum Mundi: Encyclopedia of Theology, ed. Karl Rahner (New York: Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 181-85.]  Patristic studies, Quasten notes, have influenced the Second Vatican Council, especially in ecclesiology.  Patristics emphasizes the development of Christian dogma.  “Of great importance now is the question of the development of doctrine—the gradual, organic process that has been made in Christian thought through the ages.  To understand this development, one must know what the Christian writers of the early Church taught.” [From an interview by Patrick Granfield, Theologians at Work (New York: Macmillan, 1967), p. 23.]

[462] “The axiom [outside the Church no salvation] is customarily tied to the name of Cyprian, but versions of it antedate his writings.  St. Ignatius of Antioch (d.c. 110), for example, approximates the saying when he prescribes doctrinal unity and union with the Church and the bishop as the attachment to God and Jesus Christ.” [Jerome P. Theisen, The Ultimate Church and the Promise of Salvation (Collegeville, Minn.: St. John’s University Press, 1976), p. 3.]

[463] Butler, IOC, pp. 87-104.

[464] Ibid., p. 88.  See Martin Marty, A Short History of Christianity (New York: Fontana Books, World Publishing Co., 1975), p. 77.

[465] Ibid., p. 89.

[466] Ibid., p. 90.

[467] Butler, “Catholic and Roman: The Witness of St. Cyprian,” The Downside Review 56 (April 1938): 127-44.  See also Butler, “New Light on the de Unitate of St. Cyprian,” The Downside Review 56 (October 1938): 452-67.

[468] Maurice Bevenot, St. Cyprian: The Lapsed, The Unity of the Catholic Church (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1957), p. 65.  Jaroslav Pelikan in The Emergence of the Christian Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), pp. 159-60, notes:

“In making such an issue of the empirical unity of the Church, Cyprian was expressing the conviction of the Church Catholic from the beginning.  Heresy and schism were closely related because both of them violated the unity of the Church.  It is interesting that in all the seven epistles of Ignatius the Church was explicitly called ‘holy’ only once, while the unity of the Church in the bishop was one of the overriding preoccupations of all the epistles, so much so that it seems accurate to conclude that the most important aspect of the Church for the apostolic fathers is its unity.  It has also been observed that the noun ‘unity’ occurred eleven times in Ignatius and the verb six times, but that neither was found anywhere else in the apostolic fathers.

For both Ignatius and Cyprian, moreover, the bishop was the key to authentic unity, and schism was identified as party spirit in opposition to him.  Therefore the efforts to superimpose upon the second or third centuries the distinction made by Augustinianism and especially by the Reformation between the visible and invisible Churches have proved quite ineffectual, even in interpreting the thought of Origen, whose dichotomy between the heavenly and earthly Churches might seem to have tended in that direction; but on earth there was only one Church, and it was finally inseparable from the sacramental, hierarchical institution.  Church was in the striking phrase of Origen, ‘the cosmos of the cosmos, because Christ has become its cosmos, he who is the primal light of the cosmos.’”

[469] Butler, IOC, pp. 93-97.

[470] On the controversy between Stephen and Cyprian, see Henry Chadwick’s The Early Church (London: Penguin Books, 1967), pp. 119-20. Controversy and fundamental divergence in sacramental theology was resolved by Stephen’s death (256) and Cyprian’s martyrdom (258) during the persecutions of Valerian.   Stephen’s attack on Cyprian is the first occasion where the bishop of Rome is known to have appealed to “infallibility,” so to speak.  Contrast this with Cyprian’s claim that all bishops are in theory equal, like apostles, and answerable to God alone. Cyprian’s sacramental theology was abandoned by the bishops of Carthage because of the Donatist crisis fifty-five years later.

[471] Butler, IOC, pp. 100-102.  The term “intercommunion” means sharing sacraments in common in subordination to a super-local, universal episcopate; individual bishops are linked by mutual recognition and communion (IOC, p. 94).  In 314 the issue of the rebaptism of heretics was settled by the Western Council of Aries.  Rebaptizing was discontinued.  Since 400 the principle was established that there was the possibility of baptism outside the Catholic communion.  In regard to orders, the Council of Nicea decided to admit convert clergy from the Novationists to Catholic ministry, implying the validity of their baptism.  The Council of Trent made this view official.  In 1958 this was presupposed by the Lambeth Congress.  The variety of practices in the Eastern Orthodox Church since 1054 is not discussed by Butler.

[472] Ibid., p. 100. See also Butler, “Catholic and Roman: The Witness of St. Cyprian,” p. 128.

[473] Ibid., p. 100.

[474] Ibid., p. 101.

[475] Ibid., p. 100.

[476] Ibid.

[477] Ibid., p. 91.

[478] Ibid.

[479] Ibid.

[480] Ibid.

[481] Ibid.  This notion of the indivisible unity of the Church provides the stable or “static” element of the Church considered in its extensive dimension.  The gift of God in Christ is that it will survive thus undivided.

[482] Ibid., p. 105.

[483] Ibid., p. 106.  Augustine’s conversion from Manichean dualism through agnosticism to God, and from Platonism to Jesus Christ, resulted in his conversion to a particular institution.  For Augustine, Christianity and Catholicism were one thing.  Butler had come to the same conclusion, especially in regard to authority.  “As regards authority, I held that Christianity was a dogmatic religion, and that there was indeed some living authority to determine its dogmatic content” (ATTS, p. 15).  Augustine, too, had to accept the authority of the Church before the Gospel could have any claim over him.  “I should not believe the gospel unless I were moved thereto by the authority of the Catholic Church” (Lib. c. ep. Manich. V [ P.L. viii, 176]).

[484] Ibid., p. 112.  Cf.  St. Augustine, C. Cres. II, xxi, 39. Donatism was a powerful schism that held that all sacraments bestowed outside the one communion were null.  They had appealed to the authority of Cyprian.

[485] Ibid.

[486] lbid.


[487] Ibid., pp. 106-7.

[488] Ibid.

[489] Ibid., p. 113, citing Contra litt. Pat. II, 77.

[490] Ibid.

[491] Ibid., p. 120.

[492] Ibid.

[493] Ibid., p. 110.

[494] Ibid.

[495] Ibid., p. 121.

[496] Ibid., p. 1.

[497] Butler, Searchings, p. 182.

[498] Ibid., pp. 41-47.

[499] Butler, IOC, p. 12.

[500] Ibid., p. 13.

[501] Ibid.

[502] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 60.

[503] Butler, IOC, pp. 13-15.

[504] Ibid., pp. 15-16.

[505] Ibid., pp. 16-27.

[506] Ibid., p. 21.

[507] Ibid., p. 25.

[508] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 60.

[509] Butler, Searchings, p. 241.

[510] Ibid., p.   242.

[511] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 74.

[512] Ibid., p. 75.

[513] Ibid., p. 74.

[514] Ibid., p. 76.

[515] Ibid., pp. 36-37.

[516] Ibid., p. 37.

[517] Ibid., p. 38.

[518] Ibid. p. 35.

[519] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 134n.

[520] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 74.

[521] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 35.

[522] Butler, Searchings, p, 240.

[523] Ibid.

[524] Ibid.

[525] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 133.

[526] Ibid.               

[527] Ibid., pp. 133-34.

[528] Ibid., p. 135.

[529] Ibid., p. 134.

[530] Ibid.

[531] Ibid., p. 133.

[532] Ibid.

[533] Ibid. p. 135

[534] Ibid.

[535] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 7.

[536] Ibid.

[537] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 135-36.

[538] Ibid., p. 138.

[539] Ibid., p. 139.

[540] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 9.

[541] Ibid.

[542] Ibid., p. 10.

[543] Ibid., p. 194.

[544] Butler, IOC, p. 227.

[545] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 115.

[546] Ibid., p. 2.

[547] Ibid., p. 113.

[548] Ibid., p. 2.

[549] Butler, ATTS, p. 98.

[550] Ibid.

[551] John H. Miller, ed., Vatican II: An Interfaith Appraisal, International Theological Conference, University of Notre Dame, March 20-26, 1966 (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966), pp. 316-17.

[552] Butler, ATTS, p. 98.

[553] Ibid.

[554] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 113.

[555] Ibid.


[556] Ibid.

[557] Ibid., p. 19.

[558] Ibid.

[559] Ibid., p. 113.

[560] Ibid., p. 114.

[561] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 135.

[562] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 228.

[563] Ibid.

[564] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 234.

[565] Miller, ed., Vatican II, p. 13.

[566] Ibid.

[567] Ibid., p. 12.

[568] Ibid.  Butler notes that a volume could be written on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which paved the way to a change of theology in the field of the subjective and the objective (Theology of Vatican II, p. 163ff.).  This shift is the starting point in dialogue with Christianity and the world.

[569] Butler, Searchings, p. 240.

[570] The following citations present Butler’s concentrated attention on two key ecclesial issues following Vatican II: (1) the limits of infallibility and (2) the relationship of authority and freedom from an ecclesial perspective: “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” American Benedictine Review 25 (December 1974): 411-26; “Authority in the Church,” The Tablet 231 (May 21, 1977): 477-80; “Authority in the Church, 2.” The Tablet 231 (July 2, 1977): 631-32; The Church and Infallibility (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954); “Church and Primacy,” The Tablet 227 (September 29, 1973): 916-19; “The Church’s One Foundation,” The Tablet 222 (December 14, 1968): 1243-44; “Conscience and Authority,” The Tablet 222 (September 21, 1968): 934-35; “A Grave Issue in the Church,” The Tablet 223 (March 29, 1969): 311-12; “If We Could Only Be Sure,” review of A Pope for All Christians, by Peter J. McCord, The Tablet 231 (September 17, 1977): 889-90; “Individual Commitment and the Church,” The Month 238 (January 1977): 4-5; “Infallibility: Further Considerations,” The Tablet 225 (September 25, -1971): 924-26; “The Infallibility of the Church,” The Tablet 225 (April 3, 1971): 328-30; “Institution versus Charismata,” in Theology of Renewal, vol. 2, ed. L. K. Shook (Toronto: Palm Publishers Press, 1968), pp. 42-54; “Judgment and Formula,” review of Infallibility: The Crossroads of Doctrine, by Peter Chirico, in The Tablet 232 (January 7, 1978): 10-11; “The Limits of Infallibility, I,” The Tablet 225 (April 17, 1971): 372-75; “The Limits of Infallibility, II,” The Tablet 225 (April 24, 1971): 398-400; “The Limits of Infallibility,” in Christians in a New Era, pp. 53-62; “Obedience and the Moral Law,” The Tablet 223 (August 30, 1969) 854-55; “Permissiveness—Pros and Cons,” The Tablet 225 (March 20, 1971): 278-80; “Responsible Freedom,” The Tablet 222 (March 2, 196.8): 199-200; “The Roman Primacy,” The Tablet 223 (January 6, 1979): 15; “The Significance of the Synod,” The Tablet 223 (September 20, 1969): 919-20; “Teaching Without Authority,” The Tablet 199 (May 10, 1952): 376-77; “A Witness to Papal Authority,” The Tablet 229 (November 8, 1975): 1076-78; “Vatican I, A Hundred Years Later,” The Tablet 224 (January 3, 1970): 3; Cuthbert Butler, The Vatican Council I, 1869-1870; Based on Bishop Ullathorne’s Letters, ed. Christopher Butler (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1963).

[571] Butler, Searchings, pp. .242-43.

[572] Butler, “Institution versus Charismata,” in Theology of Renewal, vol. 2, ed. L. K. Shook (Toronto: Palm Publishers Press, 1968), p. 45.

[573] Butler’s lengthy footnote in ATTS, p. 159, represents his own summation of his position on infallibility, the context within which his discussion on the limits of infallibility can be better understood, i.e., “the quest for genuine and practical ‘collegiality,’ for true Christian freedom, and for real diversity . . . within ultimate unity.”

“As regards infallibility, I would put my own position succinctly as follows.  Unless the Church is able and willing to commit herself without reservations to some doctrines (e.g., the true godhead of God the Son, the perfect reality of both the godhead and the manhood of the one person Jesus Christ, the real eucharistic presence, our transcendent human destiny in the ‘vision of God’) then she has no categoric message to offer to men, but only a vague ‘uplift’—or an attractive ‘myth.’  The purpose of such categoric teaching will be that it should be accepted by the individual believer as giving a body to his own faith and a meaning to his own life.  However, unless the Church has a divine guarantee that she will not be allowed by God so to commit herself except to doctrines that are true, and unless the individual believer can believe that this is so, the categoric truth of the doctrines will not in fact become accepted as categorically true by the individual.  Or, if he does so accept them, he accepts them not qua taught by the Church but qua conclusions of his own judgment.   And in that case, the unity of the faith will be not, as historically it has been, a given unity in which individuals participate; it will be, on the contrary, a resultant unity, or rather a confluence of innumerable individual faiths.  This is neither Catholicism, nor is it a ‘message’ which can convert and help the world.  I am quite prepared to consider the possibility that ‘infallibility’ is an unfortunate word to have chosen to express the Catholic position.  What matters is the truth which God, through the collective mind of the Church’s teaching authority, was expressing in the ‘infallibility’ definition of 1870, the truth which the faithful have now accepted under the integument of that word for over a century.”

[574] Butler, “Institution versus Charismata,” p. 45.

[575] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 167.

[576] Miller, ed., Vatican II. p. 12.

[577] A selected bibliography on recent literature dealing with these first two questions follows.  It provides a wider context for Butler’s positions on these same issues (see footnote 7, above): Peter Chirico, Infallibility: The Crossroads of Doctrine (Kansas City: Sheed, Andrews and McNeel, 1977); Nicholas Grotty, “Conscience and Conflict,” Theological Studies 32 (June -1971): 208-32; Paul C. Empie and Austin T. Murphy, eds., Papal Primacy and the Universal Church: Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue V (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1974): John C. Ford and Germain Crisez, “Contraception and the Infallibility of the Ordinary Magisterium,” Theological Studies 39 (June 1978): 258-312; John T. Ford, “Infallibility: A Review of Recent Studies,” Theological Studies 40 (June 1979): 273-305; Patrick Granfield, The Papacy in Transition (New York: Doubleday, 1980); John Jay Hughes, “Infallible?: An Inquiry Considered,” Theological Studies 32 (June 1971): 183-207; John J. Kirvan, ed., The Infallibility Debate (New York: Paulist Press, 1971); Joseph A. Komonchak, “Humanae Vitae and Its Reception: Ecclesiological Reflections,” Theological Studies 39 (June 1978): 221-57; Peter J. McCord, ed., A Pope for All Christians?: An Inquiry into the Role of Peter in the Modern Church (New York: Paulist Press, 1976); Richard A. McCormick, “Authority and Morality,” America 142 (1 March 1980): 169-71; Richard A. McCormick, “Notes on Moral Theology: 1978,” Theological Studies 40 (March 1979): 59-112; Karl-Heinz Ohlig, Why We Need the Pope: The Necessity and Limits of Papal Primacy (St. Meinrad, Ind.: Abbey Press, 1975); J. M. R. Tillard, “The Jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome,” Theological Studies 40 (March 1979): 3-22; George B. Wilson, “The Gift of Infallibility: Reflections Toward a Systematic Theology,” Theological Studies 31 (December 1970): 625-43.

[578] See McBrien, “Special Questions in Ecclesiology,” Catholicism (Minneapolis: Winston Press, 1980), p~ 817-63.

[579] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, Foreword.

[580] Philip McShane, ed., Foundations of Theology: Papers from the International Lonergan Congress 1970 (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971), p. 12.   See also Avery Dulles, “Papal Authority in Roman Catholicism,” in A Pope for All Christians, pp. 48-70.  That the papacy is the greatest ecumenical problem between Protestants and Roman Catholics is generally agreed, but Dulles notes as well the fact that the papacy is a problem for Roman Catholics, not the idea of a papacy but “the present mode of operation and the possible future shape of the papacy” (p. 48).  Dulles discusses the papacy as an inner-Catholic problem from three perspectives—the divine institution of the papal office; the Pope’s primacy of jurisdiction; and his infallibility—with the suggestion that these key tenets may need reinterpretation (p. 51).  The essay contrasts the attitudes of Vatican I and Vatican II and offers a splendid historical background against which to measure Butler’s own position on these same issues.  This dissertation has selected Butler’s interpretation of what he calls “the limits of infallibility.”  Dulles’ notes on pages 68-70 are an enriching complement to Butler’s published interpretations listed above (see footnote 7, above) .

Cf. Granfield on “The Pope as Ecumenical Pastor,” and his discussion of these same tenets—divine institution, primacy of jurisdiction, and infallibility—in The Papacy in Transition, pp. 96-123.

[581] Butler, “A Grave Issue in the Church,” The Tablet 223 (March 29, 1969): 311.

[582] Butler, CNE, p. 49.

[583] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 136-37.

[584] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 231.  By the “ordinary magisterium” Butler means the moral unanimity of the worldwide episcopate.  On the doctrinal and theological reflections of the Church, Butler describes them as conducted with a “collective or collaborative climate of opinion controlled by the pervading presence of a total truth revealed by God” (Theology of Vatican II, p. 25).  The moral unanimity of the episcopate consists in “a truth which is always carried and in some measure expressed in the “mind of the Church” and in the teaching of her magisterium, and which is capable, when circumstances require it, of partial formulation in definitions of faith” (ibid.).

[585] Butler, “Institution versus Charismata,” p. 45.   See also CNE, pp”. 53-62; and ATTS, pp. 145-48.  Butler suggests Garrett Sweeney’s “The Primacy: The Small Print of Vatican I,” Clergy Review 59 (February 1974): 96-121.

[586] See Abbot, Documents, p. 37.

[587] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 233.

[588] Butler, “Vatican I, A Hundred Years Later,” The Tablet 224 (January 3, 1970): 3.  On the ending of Vatican I, see John T. Ford, “Infallibility: A Review of Recent Studies,” Theological Studies 40 (June 1979): 291, n. 71.  Ford says that “the termination of the Council left in abeyance the plan to promulgate a constitution on the Church as the context for the constitution on papal primacy . . . , the absence of an ecclesiology gave ample opportunity for what B. C. Butler has described as ‘creeping infallibility.’”  Ford is here quoting “The Limits of Infallibility,” by Butler in The Tablet 225 (April 17, 1971): 291.

[589] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 232.

[590] Ibid.

[591] Mascall, review of Church and Unity, p. 1075.

[592] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 233.

[593] While the papacy remains a stumbling block, there is at least discussion on the matter among the leading Christian denominations, a sign of hope in itself.  In the Introduction to A Pope for All Christians, Robert McAfee Brown states that there are “no fetters on the Holy Spirit.”

“The reunion of a tragically divided Church will not come without some breakthrough on the understanding of thepapacy.  We must not presume at this point to know how a breakthrough would come.  But we must also not presume at this point to deny that could come” (p. 12).

[594] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 233.

[595] Ibid.

[596] Butler, CNE, p. 54.

[597] Ibid., p. 49.

[598] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 136-37.

[599] Ibid., pp. 138-39.

[600] Butler, ATTS,  p.  147.

[601] Ibid., p. 148.

[602] Ibid.

[603] Butler, CNE, p. 50.

[604] Ibid., p. 49.  Patrick Granfield, The Papacy in Transition, (New York: Doubleday, 1977).  Granfield uses Butler’s translation of in (universam) ecclesiam, i.e., “in relation to the (universal) Church.” He prefers it over the more usual “over the (universal) Church,” in order to avoid the idea that the Pope is “above and outside the Church” (p. 68, n. 17).   Granfield refers to Butler’s Theology of Vatican II, pp. 101-2, n. 14.

[605] Butler, “Institution versus Charismata,” p. 45.

[606] Ibid., p. 46.  See also Butler, “A Grave Issue in the Church,” p. 311.

[607] Ibid.  See also Butler, “A Grave Issue in the Church,” p. 312, n. 1.  The role of the Pope in the college is unique, but the college and its authority survives the demise of the Pope, though in an abnormal form.  It calls urgently for normalization by the lawful election of a new Pope of Rome (Theology of Vatican II, p. 102).  The college of cardinals is a human, not a divine foundation, with no intrinsic authority per se.   Its authority derives from the implicit assent and indeed the delegation of the episcopal college.

[608] Ibid., pp. 45-46; and Theology of Vatican II, pp. 91-92, on the relationship between the Pope and bishops in council.  Butler realizes that his petition is in verbal contradiction with a statement in Lumen Gentium which states that the college of bishops cannot be conceived apart from its head, but he explains that the situation he refers to is the normal one where there is a head of the college.  In an interregnum, Butler insists that when there is no head, authority must reside somewhere, perhaps in the world-wide episcopate (“Grave Issue in the Church,” p. 312, n. 1).  Moreover, Butler suggests that when a non-bishop is elected Pope, his immediate possession of full jurisdiction must be seen as resulting from a concession of the college, whose authority derives from the implicit assent and delegation of the episcopal, college.  If this were not the case, papal supremacy would fall right outside the sacramental structure of the Church.  A coherent ecclesiology would be rendered impossible (‘‘Grave Issue,” p. 312).

[609] Butler, CNE, p. 54. Ibid., p. 55.

[610] Ibid.

[611] Ibid., pp. 55.

[612] Ibid., pp. 97-102.

[613] Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” pp. 14-15.

[614] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 105.

[615] Butler says that the whole body of the faithful have an unction from the Holy One (cf. 1 John 2:20-27) and cannot be deceived in belief (Lumen Gentium, paragraph 12).  Thus, the whole body of the faithful has its own infallibility.  It cannot be deceived, and—if it has any way of giving unanimous utterance to its unanimous faith—it consequently cannot deceive (CNE, p. 56).  This is a most important point.  Vatican II appears to teach that the sacred tradition, or deposit of faith, is something committed to, held by, and transmitted by the Church as a whole, not something entrusted privately to the magisterium and to be received passively from their pastors.  When the bishops or the Pope teach, they do so as expressing the mind of the Church as a whole (CNE, pp. 56-57).         

[616] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 105.

[617] Ibid., pp. 104-5.

[618] Butler, “Lonergan and Ecclesiology,” p. 15.

“From the point of view of evidential value there must be a vast difference between the passively received opinions of the immature, together with the irresponsible fancies of drifters, and the tenets or those who have faced and responsed positively to the challenge of the critical point ‘when the subject finds out for himself that it is up to himself to decide what he is to make of himself.’” (p. 14)

As Butler understands Lonergan, the critical point is never transcended; as each challenge is met, the development reveals a further and graver challenge (p. 15).

[619] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 39-40.

[620] Butler, “Ten Years After—Vatican II and the Future,” The Tablet 226 (September 30, 1972): 24.

[621] Ibid., p. 925.

[622] Ibid.

[623] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 30-31.

[624] Butler, “Lonergan and Conversion,” Worship 49 (June/July 1975): 336.

[625] Ibid.

[626] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” American Benedictine Review 25 (December 1974): 411-12.

[627] Ibid., p. 412.

[628] Ibid.

[629] Ibid.

[630] Ibid. p. 413.

[631] Ibid., pp. 422-23.

[632] Ibid., p. 424. See Butler in this work for observations concerning doctrinal and linguistic problems in official statements.  He calls both exegesis and hermeneutics to aid in clarifying the truth intended by the official statements.  In “Renewal and Adaptation,” Theology of Vatican II, p. 23, Butler makes observations concerning the linguistic problems in the statement of dogmas.  A dogma is the statement of a proposition, in human language, and like all statements, it is subject to interpretation, and interpretation has to take account of the historical and especially linguistic context in which the statements were made.  He further emphasizes the fact that definitions of faith are the outcome of the contingent circumstances, needs, and interests.  Merely listing the dogmas does not insure a complete and balanced picture of the Christian faith.  “All dogmas are true, but not equally important and in fact some can be less important than truths of faith which, have never been defined.”

[633] Ibid., pp. 424-25.

[634] Ibid., p. 425.

[635] Butler, “The Limits of Infallibility, II,” The Tablet 225. (April 24, 1971): 399.

[636] Butler, CNE, pp. 100-101.  See Richard McCormick, “Authority and Morality,” America 142 (March 1, 1980): 170, on the proper response to authentic, but noninfallible teaching.  He refers to Bishop Butler who, he says, brilliantly states the crux of the matter.  He appreciates Butler’s realism.  Assent without critical analytical thought “is to reject . . . responsibility and to be disloyal to the truth— and to the Church.”

[637] Butler, “Ordinary Teaching,” Clergy Review 66 (January 1981): 3-8. Joseph A. Komanchak, in “Theological Reflections on Teaching Authority in the Church” (a paper delivered at Boston College, Lonergan Workshop, June 1979), notes similarly that “a critical history of the “teaching office in the Church, which itself would have theological implication, remains to be written” (p. 2). Komonchak refers to some initial work by Cougar and Dulles.

“Yves Congar has recently published some initial investigations, “Pour une histoire semantique’ du terme ‘magisterium,’” Revue de Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 60 (1976): 85-98; “Bref historique des forms du ‘magistère’ et de ses relations avec les docteurs,” Ibid, pp. 99-112. Avery Dulles has a few brief observations in “What is Magisterium?” Origins 6 (1 July 1976): 81-88.” (p. 2)

[638] Butler, CNE, p. 102.

[639] Ibid.

[640] Ibid. See also McCormick, “Authority and Morality,” p. 171.

[641] Ibid., p. 102.

[642] Ibid., p. 101.

[643] Ibid.

[644] Butler, review of Method in Theology, by Bernard Lonergan, in Clergy Review 57 (August 1972): 579-96.

[645] Lonergan, Method, p. 332.

[646] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” p. 426.

[647] Ibid.

[648] Butler, Searchings, pp. 61-75, passim.

[649] Ibid., p. 74.

[650] Ibid., p. 75.

[651] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” p. 423.

[652] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” pp. 425-26.

[653] Butler, The Church and Infallibility (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954), p. 220.

[654] Ibid.

[655] Butler, ATTS, p. 46.

[656] Butler, Searchings, p. 49.

[657] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 40.

[658] Butler, Searchings, p. 49.

[659] Ibid., p. 52.

[660] Butler, Why Christ, p. 30.

[661] Ibid.

[662] Ibid., p. 35.

[663] Ibid.

[664] Ibid., p. 37.

[665] Ibid., p. 32.

[666] Butler, Data of Theology,” p. 172.

[667] Ibid.

[668] Ibid.

[669] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 43.  Lambert Beaudin, a Belgian Benedictine monk (1873-1960), worked for ecumenism along similar lines.  He uses the term “psychological rapprochement”: “The method of psychological rapprochement emphasized the necessity of getting to know the other person, especially within the totality of his or her spiritual tradition, with all its richness.   It required an openness to learn, indeed, an eagerness to reach out and meet the other person in a veritable ‘I-thou’ encounter.” Sonya Quitslund, in “It Takes Courage to Be a Prophet,” describes Beaudin as one who, remaining unknown to Christians in North America, helps shape modern Roman Catholicism. Ecumenical Trends 8 (December 1979): 43.

[670] Ibid.

[671] Ibid., pp. 40-41.

[672] McBrien, Catholicism, p. 687.

[673] Butler, Church and Unity, p. 225.

[674] Ibid., p. 182.  Butler cites One Baptism, One Eucharist and a Mutually Recognized Ministry: Three Agreed Statements, Faith and Order Paper No. 73 (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1975), p. 6.

[675] Ibid.

[676] Ibid., p. 183.

[677] Ibid.

[678] Ibid.

[679] Ibid.

[680] Ibid.

[681] Ibid.

[682] Ibid.

[683] Ibid., p. 197.

[684] Ibid., p. 198.

[685] Ibid., p. 220.

[686] Ibid.  Edward K. Braxton writes on conversion in The Wisdom Community (New York: Paulist Press, 1980) and provides a model for what he calls “Conversion and Theological Activity” (p. 105, fig. 5).  The model incorporates Lonergan’s eight functional specialties, and the chapter from within which the model emerges demonstrates Braxton’s interpretation of Lonergan’s definition of theology as the reflection on religion which mediates it within a culture.  Braxton describes the “wisdom community” as the Christian churches.  The wisdom community is a metaphor for a framework and a program for “renewing understanding and communication between parish, priests, theologians, bishops, and the people in the pews” (p. 1).  Braxton’s wisdom community is an example of koinonia.  A book such as Braxton’s, which is global in its design, provides the wider picture within which Butler’s unique, highly specialized and self-limited ecclesial issues are highlighted.  In some ways it also fills out in great detail the model of communion that Butler argues for.  On the other hand, Butler’s emphasis on ecumenical ecclesiology is a wider horizon for Braxton’s emphasis on the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church.  Braxton’s wisdom community is an example of a community working toward common, meaning as constitutive of community within koinonia.

[687] Butler, “Roman Requirements,” pp. 261-63.

[688] Butler, “The Church and Primacy,” The Tablet 227 (September 29, 1973): 919.

[689] Butler and Jean Tillard, “The Pope with the Bishops,” The Tablet 234 (October 11, 1980): 987-88.  The editor of this article for The Tablet states that Butler claims merely to be summarizing the views of Tillard, but he is evidently in agreement with them.

[690] Ibid., p. 988.

[691] Juan Luis Segundo, The Community Called Church (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1973), pp. 73-76.

[692] Avery Dulles, The Resilient Church (New York: Doubleday, 1977), p. 10.  Dulles refers the reader to Pope Haul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” paragraph 2 (Washington, D.C.: United States Clergy Conference, 1976), p. 5.

[693] Marie-Joseph Le Guillon, “Mission as an Ecclesiological Theme,” in Concilium, vol. 13, ed. Karl Rahner (New York: Paulist Press, 1966), pp. 81-130.

[694] Dulles, The Resilient Church, p. 10.

[695] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 186.

[696] The dictum “outside the Church, no salvation” has been variously interpreted.  The historical controversies about salvation outside the Church are recognized by Karl Rahner as internal to Catholic theology and the whole issue occupies him extensively under the term “Anonymous Christian.” [See Rahner, “Observations on the Problem of the Anonymous Christian,” Theological Investigations (New York: Seabury Press, 1976), pp. 280-94.]  John Macquarrie discusses the same issue under the image of “the wider ecumenism,” and he does so in dialectical terms.  He uses the Greek tonos (tension of the well-functioning bow) to describe the tension between the particular commitment of the Christian and his openness to people of other faiths or those of no faith (Macquarrie, Christian Unity and Christian Diversity, pp. 102-9).  On this score, Butler thinks that it might be insulting in some circumstances to tell a Buddhist or a Hindu that he is an “anonymous Christian, but it is not insulting if we give him this honourable title in our own thinking.”  If there is no reciprocal desire on the part of other religions to consider Christianity in the same light, the fact is, Butler affirms, they do not make the same claim to universality as does Christianity.  In Butler’s opinion, this claim, coupled with the doctrine of the incarnation, is at the core of Christianity, and any diminution of it would be surrendering the validity of Christianity (see Butler, “After Ten Years, p. 876 and 876n.).

[697] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 71-72.

[698] Butler, “After Ten Years,” p. 876.

[699] Ibid.  Cf. Acts 10:35.

[700] Butler, “Authority and the Christian Conscience,” p. 415.  See also Butler’s “The Church’s One Foundation,” The Tablet 222 (December 14, 1968): 1244; and “After Ten Years,” The Tablet 226 (September 16, 1972): 876.  This latter is the first of three articles which were written to commemorate the ten years since Vatican II.  The other two—“Ten Years After Vatican II,” The Tablet 226 (September 23, 1972): 901-2; and “Ten Years After—Vatican II and the Future,” The Tablet 226 (September 30, 1972): 924-25—discuss theological method and the interior renewal without which, Butler claims, no exterior changes can be of any permanent significance.

[701] Butler, “After Ten Years,” p. 876.

[702] Ibid.

[703] Ibid.

[704] Ibid.  Cf. Acts 4:12.

[705] See Boniface Willems, “Who Belongs to the Church?,” trans. Theodore L. Westow, in Concilium, vol. 1 (New York: Paulist Press, 1965), pp. 131-51.

[706] Eberhardt Sunons, “Augustinianism,” in Encyclopedia of Theology: The Concise Sacramentum Mundi (New York: Seabury Press, 1975), pp. 56-57.

[707] Ibid., p. 57.

[708] Butler, “The Encounter with Humanism,” The Tablet (July 12, 1959): 686-87.    In this article, “the possibilities of dialogue between Catholics and humanists and the larger question of the place of religion in the secular city,” is considered.

[709] Ibid.

[710] Ibid., p. 687.

[711] Ibid.

[712] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, p. 77.

[713] Butler, CNE, p. 24.

[714] Butler, Theology of Vatican II, pp. 77-78.

[715] Ibid., p. 188.

[716] Butler, ATTS, p. 165,

[717] Ibid., p. 151.

[718] Ibid., p. 152.       

[719] Ibid.

[720] Ibid.

[721] Ibid., pp. 168-69.

[722] This chapter draws on the following selection of reviews of Butler’s books: Bede Bailey, review of Searchings, in New Blackfriars 57 (May 1976): 238; Maurice Bevenot, review of Theology of Vatican II, in Heythrop Journal 9 (July 1968): 326-28; Thomas Corbishley, “Resolute Hope,” review of A Time to Speak, in The Tablet 226 (December 2, 1972): 1149-50; Charles Corcoran, review of Idea of the Church, in Worship 35 (November 1963): 674-75; Colin Garvey, review of Theology of Vatican II, in Louvain Studies 2 (Fall 1968): 182-84; Nicholas Lash, “Finding Out,” review of Searchings, in The Tablet 229 (July 12, 1975): 649-50; Nicholas Lash, review of A Time to Speak, in Irish Theological Quarterly 40 (April 1973): 185-91; E. L. Mascall, “Koinonia,” review of Church and Unity, in The Tablet 233 (November 3, 1979): 1075; Fergus Kerr, review of Church and Unity, in New Blackfriars 61 (April 1980): 201-2; James Quinn, “Vatican IL,” review of Theology of Vatican II, in Clergy Review 53 (April 1968): 323-25; Gerard S. Sloyan, “Dr. Salmon Redivivus,” review of Church and Infallibility, in America 91 (July 17, 1954): 402; Alan Wilkinson, ‘‘‘Evolving Church,” review of Searchings, in Clergy Review 61 (February 1976): 74-75.

[723] The Theology of Vatican II is the best of Butler’s interpretations of the Council documents.  Garvey, who attended Butler’s Sarum Lectures at Oxford, wrote: .

“It would be difficult to find a better blend of wide and deep scholarship, thorough knowledge of what went on at the Council, penetrating analysis of texts, and it is important to note, a strong spirit of charity” (p. 184).

        Quinn’s review of the same book emphasizes not only Butler’s interpretation of texts but also the fact that Butler realized the depth of change, the shift of concerns and perspectives, in The Theology of Vatican II.  There are loose ends in the essays, but Quinn believes that these loose ends represent “signposts of the future shape of theology” (p. 323).  The sacramental nature of the Church and its bearing on our understanding of the primacy is the most important topic of Butler’s conciliar theology.  Quinn imagines that it “is the topic nearest Bishop Butler’s heart.  Its ecumenical importance need hardly be stressed” (p. 323).  Quinn is likewise impressed by Butler’s unique understanding of eschatology and history (metachronics) and by Butler’s account of the three contrasting emphases which the Council tried to hold in tension: “... tensions between the sacramental and the juridical, between’ the subjective and the objective, and between a closed and open view of the Church” (p. 324). Butler, Quinn concludes, evidences the saving grace of the contemporary theologian: a fine sense of proportion.

“Bishop Butler has a delicate feeling for history, combined with humble openness to new insights.  Speaking, e.g., of the charismatic gifts of the Church as the ‘perennial source of its unpredictable novelty,’ he sees the role of the institutional Church as one of judgment and control, yet without stifling genuine inspiration” (p. 324). Butler is the kind of theologian needed for our day, Quinn concludes.

[724] In his review of Church and Unity, Kerr writes that Butler starts alone among English Catholic theologians.

“No one else has been able to combine sound learning with a sense cf theological adventure. . . . Ecclesiology is his predilection; and there is certainly no better account than this of the Catholic understanding of the indivisible, visible unity of the Church” (p. 201).

[725] On his ecumenical attitude at the time of Sloyan’s review, Butler says that he would not write in the same style today.  But as recently as 1979 Mascall, reviewing Church and Unity, expresses his disappointment at the firmness of Butler’s conclusions, but at the same time he admires Butler’s determination:

“. . .to avoid the vagueness and sentimentality that persistently haunt the ecumenical movement and at the same time to disown any kind of legalism, authoritarianism, or politicism in his exposition of the Church and its unity” (p. 1075).

On his apologetic stand in Why Christ, the London Times recorded the following:

“Abbot Butler has provided a reasoned argument that is wholly free from the moralizing alibis that can so easily deflect the Christian apologist from his purpose.  Written with precision and grace, his book is adult in purpose and achievement and must command respect for the intellectual integrity with which the Christian faith is commended” (Times [London] Literary Supplement, October 14, 1960, p. 665).

[726] See “Ten Years After Vatican II,” The Tablet 226 (September 23, 1976): 901-2.  Butler argues that within the framework of Lonergan’s cognitional theory a broad distinction between theology as the work of understanding and the “magisterium” as the voice of judgment is made.

“As Lonergan insists, understanding is not the final stage in human cognition.  The final stage, presupposing understanding, is the act of judgment.  Understanding says: Perhaps things are capable of being interpreted in this or that way.  Judgment says: Things are this (or thus). . . . What Vatican II says . . . about scripture scholars should, in my view, be extended to theologians as a whole.  Their function is a function of understanding, and their work is preliminary to the act of judgment in which the episcopal college not only surmises but teaches.  Unless the bishops grant due freedom to the theologians, this necessary preparatory work will not be done” (p. 902).

[727] Ibid.  In his book Doctrinal Pluralism, Bernard Lonergan discusses from a broad perspective the issue of pluralism of doctrine.  The fact of diversity and complexity relative to the contemporary task of preaching the gospel to the modern world entails a “pluralism not yet of doctrines, but at least of communications” (p. 2).  He points to the challenge that pluralistic culture poses to contemporary Christian faith.

“Currently in the Church there is quietly disappearing the old classicist insistence on worldwide uniformity, and there is emerging a pluralism of the manners in which Christian meaning and Christian values are communicated.  To preach the gospel to all nations is to preach it to every class in every culture in the manner that accords with the assimilative powers of that class and culture” (p. 6).

Lonergan insists that the crisis is one of culture, not of faith, indicates what the crisis of faith entails, making a distinction between the pluralism implicit in the transition from classicist to modern culture and the “more radical pluralism that arises when all are not authentically human and authentically Christian” (p. 6).  Thus, Lonergan restates the role of theology as mediating religion in a culture, demanding of the mediator a converted consciousness (see Method, p. xi).

[728] Kerr’s review of Church and Unity points out that although the book constitutes “an important statement of why the papacy is an essential element in the Church and why it matters so much that it should change,” he adds the following qualification:

“The whole argument of the book would have gained a great deal if such discreet allusions to misguided papalism had been linked to a thorough-going examination of the way in which the explicitation of the papal office has so often been inseparable, from an erosion of both conciliar and episcopal authority” (p. 202).

Kerr also claims that the true understanding of conciliarity, of collegiality, and of Rome’s credibility as the visible center of unity have been hampered by unjust defense of papal claims: “As Bishop Butler puts it (almost): the pope, in the ‘great Church’ of the future, must learn to be, not ‘the dictator of a world-wide quasi-political organization,’ but ‘the centre of charity’  (p. 216)” (p. 202).

[729] Thomas Corbishley seems to say that A Time to Speak is Butler’s effort to do this.

“If there is an underlying theme of the book, it is not so much the author’s own subjective reaction to certain events . . . but the insistence on the idea, the conviction, that there is one fundamental explanation of human experience, and of the cosmos, a belief that reconciles the claims of reason with the religious, mystical quest of the spirit (p. 1150).

[730] Wilkinson remarks the maturation and development in Searchings that has characterized the life and work of Bishop Butler.  He notes the shifts of horizon in Butler’s life: the move to Downside; the year of wrestling before he became a Catholic; the “long journey to the Vatican” Council which seems to have released in him questions that had long been buried”; the intellectual relief of the Council; the “new step” for the Church; and, above all, the bishop’s celebration of the Vatican Council as “a powerful intervention of God’s saving Spirit” (p. 75). About this change of horizon, Wilkinson comments:

“It sounds as if Bishop Butler has moved to a point where he is now ready to develop a theology in which full and grateful recognition is given to the fact that God speaks to the Church through the world as well as speaking to the world through the Church.  For as he says in a pregnant phrase ‘our Lord Himself was the great Excommunicate’” (p. 75).

[731] In The Idea of the Church Butler attempts to determine by historical means the true nature of the Church, not its identification. This limited argument, Corcoran notes in his review, is brilliant and unique: Butler refutes the liberal Protestant thesis that the Church is a purely invisible entity.  The work is incomplete, Corcoran ventures to suggest, in Butler’s not identifying the Church (p. 675).

[732] [The superscripted numeral in the text has no corresponding text at the bottom of page 245 of the typewritten dissertation.—Anthony Flood.]

[733] In his review of Searchings, Lash says that the post-Lonergan and postconciliar Butler emerges only briefly in Searchings. Lash is convinced that another collection will appear to supplement Rice’s selection.

“All his life, Bishop Butler has been a man of uncompromised integrity, penetrating intelligence and deep spirituality.  And yet it is in the last decade or so, assisted by the combined experience of his ‘conversion’ to the thought of Bernard Lonergan, the experience of Vatican II, and of being a bishop with the responsibilities wider than those he enjoyed as Abbot of Downside, that he has transcended the somewhat restrictive framework within which, especially in matters of ecclesiology (and many of these essays are, fundamentally, exercises in ecclesial apologetics) he operated during most of the period covered by this collection” (p. 650).

A new collection of Butler’s essays is necessary for many reasons, but chief among them seems to be the necessity to show

“. . . how these years of austere ‘watching’ bore fruit in the statesmanship and breadth of vision of recent years, a statesmanship which has enabled him to exercise an influence on twentieth-century English Catholicism the extent of which it would be premature to estimate” (p. 650).

If the Catholic Church in England survives the fate of the coleocanthus (a favorite word of Butler’s), a not important part will have been played by Bishop Butler’s insistence upon “. . . in season and out of season, that obedience to the highest standards of intellectual integrity as an indispensable feature of authentic Christian experience and of the form of the Church’s mission” (p. 650).

[734] In his review of A Time to Speak, Lash explains Butler’s theological conservatism as

“. . . partly due to his personal temperament and philosophical temper, and partly due to the diffidence of the scholar who, always insisting that he is not a theologian, operates with donnish caution in areas that are not professionally his own. And, anyway, ‘conservatism’ is here, as always a misleadingly crude label.  In matters of biblical exegesis, he is a ‘conservative’ in the sense that Dodd and Jeremias (both of whom he admires) are usually so described.  The undoubted ‘conservatism’ of certain aspects of his ecclesiology and sacramental theology may possibly be due to the premature invocation of those metaphysical techniques amongst which he is so much at his ease. . . . in matters of Church policy he is manifestly more ‘progressive’ than the majority of bishops in the English-speaking world” (pp. 189-91).

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