Friday, February 16, 2007

Vincentian Canon

Michael Liccione criticizes, rightly, a misuse of the Vincentian Canon. I left a comment, but as the topic fits very well with what I often talk about here (being a misinterpretation of an important theological text), I thought I'd also post it here:

What always strikes me about this sort of use of the VC is that St. Vincent didn't put it forward as a definition of the Church; he put it forward as a guideline for how we individuals can interpret Scripture in conformity with the Church -- namely, by taking into account the confession of the whole Church (everywhere), respecting the interpretations of our holy predecessors in the Church (always), and sticking as much as possible to those truths that have achieved a consensus among bishops and teachers of the Church (by all). So it's a very odd thing to use as an ecclesiological criterion a guideline for interpreting Scripture that already presupposes the Church as its reference point.

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