Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rosmini

I am pleased to see that Rosmini is moving up in the world:

The pope also approved a miracle attributed to Antonio Rosmini, an Italian priest and philosopher who died in 1855 and whose writings were once condemned by the Vatican. In 2001, the then-head of the Vatican's watchdog office for doctrinal errors, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, ruled the concerns over his writings were outdated.

Rosmini developed a philosophical system that incorporated political and social ideas with Roman Catholicism. The approval of a miracle opens the way for Rosmini's beatification, the last formal step before sainthood in the Catholic Church.


Antonio Rosmini Serbati (1797-1855) was a very controversial Italian philosopher, active in Catholic life. Contrary to common belief, his works were not condemned, but only 'dismissed', a slippery notion used by the Congregation of the Index to indicate that they were not so erroneous as to require censure, but not so free from error that they might not be criticized without danger of a note of temerity. The decree of dismissal very clearly states that the investigation and its result was not intended to be disparaging to Rosmini or his services to the Church. The Congregation of the Inquisition did publish a decree listing erroneous propositions from Rosmini's works, without explanation; it was posthumous, however, being promulgated in 1887; and in 2001 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a note clarifying the Vatican's current view of the dismissal and the condemnation; the impetus for the note seems to have been John Paul II's proposing him as a possible model in Fides et Ratio. Rosmini was declared Venerable when Benedict XVI signed a decree recognizing his heroic virtues on June 26, 2006.

Rosmini founded the Institute of Charity and the Rosminian Sisters of Providence, both of which still exist. The Institute of Charity founded Rosmini College (in New Zealand in 1962) on Rosminian principles.

Denis Cleary has a useful summary of Rosmini's philosophy at the SEP.

Radical Academy has a selection by Rosmini on the functions of the human mind.

The Institute of Charity has a pamphlet devoted to Rosmini's Maxims of Perfection for those interested in Rosminian spirituality.

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