Thursday, August 05, 2010

Theology/Canon Law Doctorates without Scholastic Philosophy: "Null and Void"?


Quaeritur: Perhaps you could comment on when and where this command of Pope St. Pius about doctorates in theology and canon law was reversed?  Or whether someone is improperly and liberally interpreting the Saint's words, "the regular course"?

49. Equal diligence and severity are to be used in examining and selecting candidates for Holy Orders. Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and the obstinate mind. For the future the doctorate of theology and canon law must never be conferred on anyone who has not first of all made the regular course of scholastic philosophy; if conferred, it shall be held as null and void. The rules laid down in 1896 by the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars for the clerics, both secular and regular, of Italy, concerning the frequenting of the Universities, We now decree to be extended to all nations.  (Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, par. 49)
God bless, 
Daniel Offutt

RespondeoGood quote, Daniel.  I am no canon lawyer, but as far as I understand, the New Code supplants all prior legislation, such that this legislation is no longer in force.  Now, up until the issuing of the Codex Iuris Canonici (1983), I would think this legislation was still in force.  Yet, during the 18 years between the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and 1983, it was simply ignored.  To my knowledge, no one even bothered misinterpreting it.  People just got doctorates without even the slightest training in Scholastic thought, and no one thought it a legal problem.  It was not even an issue.  In their minds it was the "spring time" of the Church, the "New Pentecost," and  scholastic philosophy was directly against what the Holy Ghost was doing in the Church, so it was obvious to all that no such training was needed.  Assuming that this Pascendi quote was in force until 1983, I wonder if canonically one could argue that doctorates (at least the canonical doctorates, i.e., STDs and JCDs) 'awarded' by pontifical faculties without the proper scholastic training before the new Code was issued are indeed null and void, such that many people with apparent doctorates do not really have them.  In any case, it's an interesting issue.  I welcome informed thoughts on it


Daniel Offutt said...

St. Pius X had the Gift of Counsel. Since He was a saint, the Holy Ghost worked in Him through the Gift of Counsel, all the time. Hence the Holy Ghost was working in St. Pius X while He was writing and/or approving Pascendi. Hence the quote about STDs being null and void for those who have not undergone the regular course of scholastic philosophy cannot be reasonably contradicted by anyone who has not been canonized.

How would one go about determining during what periods of the past (since 1907) scholastic philosophy what not taught in each of the world's actual- and supposedly-Catholic seminaries?

How would one go about determining who "has" a STD who was "trained in philosophy" at such a seminary during such a period?

How would one most effectively cause such "theologians" to be dismissed from seminary and other faculties until they completed their remedial training in scholastic philosophy and proved their competence in it?

Daniel Offutt

Mark said...

The mere lack of an older code in the new canon does not negate the moral force of earlier canons, which retain their binding force. For example of how such operates, see the response to the dubium about membership in the Masons.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Romero,

Does Mark's remark mean that some of those younger Jesuits at Marquette University can be driven off the Marquette faculty, so that some Marquette students, at least, may be saved?

God bless,

Daniel Offutt

Don Paco said...

Dear Daniel,

It does not mean that because Marquette is not a Catholic university.

Anonymous said...

of the Congregation for Catholic Education revising the order of studies in the faculties and departments of canon law (2002)

I. Art. 76 of the Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia Christiana'

The curriculum of studies of a faculty of canon law should include:

a) the first cycle, lasting for four semesters or two years, for those who have no previous training in philosophy or theology, including those who already hold an academic degree in civil law; in this cycle students should study the fundamental concepts of canon law and the philosophical and theological disciplines required for an advanced formation in canon law;

b) The second cycle, lasting for six semesters or three years, during which the entire Code should be studied in depth by way of the complete study of its sources, both magisterial and disciplinary, along with other disciplines having an affinity with it;

c) the third cycle, lasting for at least two semesters or one year, in which students perfect the canon law training necessary for scholarly research in view of preparing a doctoral dissertation.

II. Art. 56 of the "Norms'

The following disciplines are obligatory:

1. In the first cycle

a) elements of philosophy: philosophical anthropology, metaphysics, ethics;
b) elements of theology: an introduction to Sacred Scripture; fundamental theology: the transmission and credibility of divine revelation: Trinitarian theology; Christology; divine grace; in a special way, ecclesiology; general and special sacramental theology; fundamental and special moral theology;
c) fundamental canonical structures (institutiones generales) of canon law;
d) Latin.

2. In the second cycle

a) The books of the Code of Canon Law or the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, and other norms in force;
b) Related disciplines: the theology of canon law; the philosophy of law; fundamental concepts of Roman law; elements of civil law; the history of the fundamental canonical structures of canon law; the history of the sources of canon law; the relationship between the Church and civil society; canonical administrative and judicial praxis;
c) an introduction to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches for students at a Latin faculty of canon law; and introduction to the Code of Canon Law for students at an Oriental faculty of canon law;
d) Latin;
e) the optional courses, exercises and seminars as required by each faculty.

3. In the third cycle

a) canonical Latin

b) optional courses or exercises as required by each faculty.

I've studied canon law according to this legislation.