Henri De Lubac on the Spirit of the Age

The Christian thinkers of the past are looked down upon as if they no longer had anything to say; the traditional formulations of faith are stated in such a way as to appear ridiculous, so as to hasten their replacement. And under the pretext of merely changing this or that word or phrase, it is the very essence of our faith which runs the risk of being sifted away. . . .

Whatever is recriminatory, whatever excites, is declared prophetic, even if it is evident that it stems from ignorance, or from concessions made to what is currently in vogue—and this is the exact opposite of what we mean by prophetic! . . .

We must not be afraid to say so: there is nothing in all of this that is promising. A faith which dissolves itself is unable to engender anything whatever. A community which breaks up is incapable of radiating or of attracting others. Agitation is not synonymous with life. That last hatched slogan is not necessarily a new thought. The noisiest critics are frequently the most sterile.

— Edward D. Lubac. “ The Church in Crisis,” Theology Digest 17 (1969): 312–25; here 317. As relayed by Edward T. Oakes (“The Surnaturel Controversy: A Survey and a Response” Nova et Vetera 9:3), who notes that “most secondary scholarship on de Lubac, both pro and con, largely ignores his criticism of liberal Catholicism in the wake of Vatican II”.

(Oh, the irony).

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