torsdag 24 december 2009

Schillebeeckx om prästvigning och eukaristi

Nyheten kom just att en av de mest inflytelserika katolska teologerna har lämnat oss...

Nedan finns en del av hans tankar om eukaristin och prästvigningen. Lustigt nog läste jag om det som berör eukaristin just medan påven lyfte paten och kalk i den direktsända midnattsmässan som pågår i bakgrunden...


"The Belgian-born Dutch Dominican theologian, Edward Schillebeeckx, died Dec. 23 at the age of 95 in Nijmegen, where he lived and taught for more than five decades. He wrote well into his nineties.

He died of natural causes.

Schilllebeeckx was one of the most influential theologians during and after the Second Vatican Council, interpreting the meaning of the council to Catholics throughout the world. He was a major supporter of the reforms that came out of the council. His books were translated into many languages.

After being educated by the Jesuits, Schillebeeckx entered the Dominican Order in 1934. He studied theology and philosophy at the University of Louvain. In 1941 he was ordained to the priesthood.

During the Second Vatican Council, Schillebeeckx was one of its most active theologians. He drafted various council interventions for Dutch bishops such as Cardinal Bernard Jan Alfrink. Because he had been a "ghost writer" for the Dutch bishops' pastoral Letter leading up to the council in 1961, he was rendered suspect with the Congregation of the Holy Office, led at the time by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.


My wife and I found Schillebeeckx sitting in his study, thin but bright-eyed, clearheaded and ready to chat. This man’s theological ideas, expressed in some 400 books and articles, published in 14 languages, have influenced several generations of Catholic thinkers. Although he has endured years of Vatican scrutiny and the Vatican has publicly rejected some of his ideas, he has managed to escape both silencing and censure.

It was Schillebeeckx who contended in his 1980 book Ministry: Leadership in the Community of Jesus Christ that the church had gone awry by connecting the faithful’s right to Eucharist to some “magical power” of the hierarchy to ordain, thereby disconnecting it from the community of Christians. He noted that the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century had declared any ordination of a priest or deacon illegal, as well as null and void, unless the person being ordained had been chosen by a particular community to be its leader.

Because the church has basically ignored that clear directive of the early church throughout the second millennium, Schillebeeckx recommended “new possibilities” for reconnecting the Eucharist to its community roots, even if such actions contradict current church law.

In “Church and Ministry,” the newly released document, the Dominicans put forward such “new possibilities” as this: “Men and women can be chosen to preside at the Eucharist by the church community; that is, ‘from below,’ and can then ask a local bishop to ordain these people ‘from above.’ ”

If, however, “a bishop should refuse a confirmation or ordination” of such persons “on the basis of arguments not involving the essence of the Eucharist, such as a requirement that deacons or priests be celibate, parishes may move forward without the bishops’ participation, remaining confident “that they are able to celebrate a real and genuine Eucharist when they are together in prayer and share bread and wine.”

This notion of community-based ordination was in the background as we sipped our wine, nibbled on cheese crackers and talked of other things.

Schillebeeckx mentioned his many trips to the United States and shared his view that most young Catholics are “choosing their own vision of Christianity.” He said he feared the institutional church did not “have enough movement toward Jesus Christ.” And he spoke about his soon-to-be-published book, a collection of 60 of his homilies, with a title still being fine-tuned: something like Weren’t Our Hearts Burning Within Us: Theology as a Model for Proclamation.

As for the future, Schillebeeckx is optimistic, “always optimistic.” “I believe in God and in Jesus Christ,” he said, as if to ask: “And what else would one need?”"

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