Bishop Robert Barron, Nouvelle Théologie, Ressourcement, Communio, and What’s Really Going on


Most of my readers are familiar with the famous school of thought which arose in the 20th-century called the Nouvelle théologie (french for New Theology) and the method of ressourcement (French for Return to the Sources) or ad fontes (Latin for To the Sources). For those who are not, this “new” school of thought was a reaction to the Manualist neo-scholastic theology which pre-dominated Catholic thought in reaction to the heresy of Modernism which emerged in the 19th-century. This New Theology sought to return to the Sacred Scriptures and the Church Fathers, and to get at what the Biblical and Patristic authors were aiming to get at in their own literature. One of the critics of this new movement was the great Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange OP, Dominican theologian and lecturer, and it was actually from him that we believe this new method of doing theology was coined as Nouvelle théologie. He believed there was a threat to the Church’s theology if this New Theology was going to be given any space. Defenders of the New Theology (rightly, in my opinion) stressed the importance of returning to the sources in order to reach for the authentic foundations of the Christian faith, and, in particular, to contextualize it in the effort of finally engaging with the modern intellectual landscape hitherto then largely ignored. Continue reading

Saint Optatus on Schism : A Critique of an Eastern Orthodox Interpretation


In our ongoing dialogue concerning the Papal claims vs. Eastern Orthodoxy, Craig Truglia has taken the time to spell out his interpretation of St. Optatus of Milevis’s argument in his Against the Donatists, written against Parmenian, a Donatist Bishop. As recorded previously (see here, here, and here), Truglia sees the Optatian definition of schism as a litmus test for who is really the schismatic in the Latin West vs. Greek East separation, and so it is paramount that St. Optatus truly does exemplify what is alleged. However, below I give my reasons why I have not been compelled by the exegesis of St. Optatus given by Truglia, and why other data serves to lead me contrariwise to the historic Papal position. Continue reading