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Foto Etzi Priamo , Il concetto di «consacrazione religiosa» nel supremo magistero dal Concilio Vaticano II all'esortazione apostolica post-sinodale «Vita consecrata»*, in Antonianum, 72/4 (1997) p. 571-602 .

SUMMARY: In this article the development and magisterial deepening/clarification of the concept of «religious consecrations is analysed. The terminus a quo of the investigation is the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council, expressed especially in chapter 6 of the Dogmatic Constitution «Lu-men Gentium» and in the Decree «Perfectae Caritatis», while the terminus ad quern is the apos­tolic post-synodal Exhortation «Vita Consecrata» (VC) of Pope John Paul II, the end of a la­boured thirty year doctrinal journey. The author points out that although the terminology of consecration may be considered recepta, the (dimension of consecrations (VC 13) is still problematic among scholars. The discussion was initiated especially in the years 1971-1972, about the complement of agency (God or man?) of the verb «consecratur» of LG 44a, since the conciliar text does not make it explicit. There were two distinct tendencies: the first represented by Fr. Andrea Boni O.F.M., de­fended the traditional concept of «consecration to God»; the second, represented by Fr. Paolo Mo-linari S.J., held that during the Second Vatican Council there had been maintained the concept of ^consecration effected by God».

Controversy continued among scholars even after the promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law (25 January 1983), with some claiming that the legislative text favoured, in can. 573 § 1, the thesis of a special consecration effected by God. But from the clear meaning of the words results precisely the opposite conclusion. Moreover, there has recently been published the «Diary» of the influential Fr. Umberto Betti O.F.M., the only theologian present in the small Commission that helped the Holy Father in the final revision of the CJC in preparation for its promulgation. In it the Franciscan theologian relates the discussions, in the presence of the Roman Pontiff, regarding the doctrinal content of the canons and, referring to our can. 573 § 1, he affirms that, despite the pres­sure applied by influential ecclesiastical personalities to change the contents, Pope John Paul II in his role as Supreme Legislator, finding himself bound to make theological and doctrinal choices of some significance to consecrated life, having seen the reasons and with knowledge of the causes, did not want to modify the canon in question. It therefore passed unchanged into the current Co­de. Consequently the mens of the Pope in interpreting the «consecratur» of LG 44a, is the follo­wing: it is not God who consecrates the one making profession, but the one making profession who consecrates himself to God through the ministry of the Church. The Author, analysing all the texts of the Supreme Magisterium which, from Vatican II to the Ap. Exhort. «Vita Consecrata», treat of consecration through profession of the evangelical counsels, arrives at the conclusion that this is the doctrine that the Roman Pontiffs have constantly put forward in their teaching.

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