Novelty in Terminology:

The fourth thesis which David Palm (DP) seeks to establish as supporting of his overarching theory is that novelties in terminology brought about by the manner whereby certain terms have been utilized in the period since the opening of the Second Vatican Council -and in the aftermath of said council- represent "harmful novelties in the life of the Church."  The section of the essay you are reading will examine the veracity of this assertion by looking at the proofs David brings forward to sustain the fourth thesis of his theory.

As the authors of TGF quite rightly point out, the conciliar and post-conciliar period has been characterized by a whole passel of new terms, never part of the vocabulary of the Church, ill-defined, but now thrown around with tremendous regularity and force.  They argue—and I agree—that these neologisms represent harmful novelties in the life of the Church.  Many examples are given in TGF, but I will develop one here, the term “dialogue”. 

Before dealing with this section, the reader is reminded by this writer that the arguments of David Palm (DP) supporting a widescale opposition to novelty in Tradition all collapsed in a smouldering heap. That is correct, he attempted to demonstrate that the Fathers, the medievals (represented by St. Thomas Aquinas), and the pre Vatican II modern popes all condemned novelty indiscriminately. As this writer showed by exposing the wider context of David's sources -and utilizing some other sources which assisted in this endeavour- his theory is ridiculous. But we will allow DP to establish yet another thesis point to interact with here in discussing the terminology issue.

Romano Amerio, a peritus at the Council, points out both the newness and the centrality of this word “dialogue” in the documents of Vatican II:

Some words that had never been used in papal documents and which occurred only in specific fields have acquired an enormous popularity in the short space of a few years.  The most notable of these is the word dialogue, which was previously unused in the Church.  Vatican II used it twenty-eight times and coined the famous formula which expresses the axis or main intention of the council: dialogue with the world [GS 43] and mutual dialogue between the Church and the world.  The word became a category embracing the whole of reality, going far beyond the ambit of logic and rhetoric within which it had previously been confined.  Everything had a dialogical structure.  Some even went so far as to imagine a dialogical structure in the divine essence (considered as one, not as three), a dialogical structure in the Church, in religion, in the family, in peace, in truth and so on.  Everything becomes dialogue, and truth in facto esse ["as an acquired fact"] dissolves into its own fieri ["process of becoming"] as dialogue.[14]
Of course the word "dialogue" received an outline of its constituent elements by Pope Paul VI prior to the third session of the Council in his first encyclical letter. So the assertion that the term had either (i) never been used in papal documents prior to the documents of the Third Session and (ii) that the main formula or intention of the Council was "coined" by Gaudium et Spes are both false. This writer recently wrote a commentary on dialogue as envisioned in Pope Paul VI's Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam which can be read here. The long and short of it is this: the assertion that that the term "dialogue" did not already have an understood meaning and usage prior to the third session of the Council -where the word makes its first appearance in texts of the Council- is also false.

This is not to say of course that all who have espoused the term have utilized dialogue correctly of course. (By no means is this being inferred.) However, those who impugn the term as David Palm and his allies at The Remnant  do quite clearly do not know what they are talking about. (Nor do those who claim that the term "had never been used in papal documents" either.) And when those who do not understand the meaning of a word (or the concepts it embodies) are launching criticisms, it is difficult if not impossible to take them seriously as commentators. For in lacking the constituent element that must undergird authentic dialogue, they are akin to the proverbial "fish out of water" in trying to come to grips with it. Nonetheless, the lack of credibility will probably not stop most of them from discoursing publicly about it anyway -as lack of credibility on discussing various issues has never stopped them before nor is likely to stop them in the future either.

Amerio is certainly right that the notion of dialogue permeates almost every aspect of the Church today; it is in many ways the terminological tail that wags the ecclesiastical dog.  But what, exactly, does it mean?  I challenge Mr. Gutierrez or anybody else to provide a precise, magisterial definition for this word “dialogue.” 

Of course since the term "dialogue" does not possess a magisterial "definition", this challenge cannot be met. However, that does not mean that the term is beyond comprehension. Can David present us with a "precise, magisterial definition" of "God"??? How about "truth"??? How about "charity", "church", "desire", or "soul"??? Remember, this must be a "precise, magisterial definition". Another way of saying this is that the definition he provides must be all encompassing to thereby exclude any need whatsoever to inform oneself from any other sources viz. what the meaning of the term is. And if David cannot do that for the terms this writer proposes, then he needs to not seek to have others do more with a term of his choice than he can do with the terms chosen by others.

The issue of whether or not philosophy or theology can or cannot utilize new terms from time to time is of course at the foundation of this particular issue. And the magisterium of course as long recognized that this can occur indeed that it does occur. Even the Encyclical LetterHumani Generis, one of the papal encyclicals often raised like a shibboleth by self-styled "traditionalists" who do not properly understand its teachings (ala Pius X's Pacendi and Pius XI's Mortalium Animos) admits this principle in the frankest of terms when it noted that "[e]veryone is aware that the terminology employed in the schools and even that used by the Teaching Authority of the Church itself is capable of being perfected and polished; and we know also that the Church itself has not always used the same terms in the same way" (Humani Generis §16). Obviously if "everyone is aware" of these facts amongst the target audience of the pope's encyclical letter (which any astute reader can note did not include laypeople) then the theory that "Tradition rejects novelty" as proposed by David Palm and his allies at The Remnant  receives yet another fatal blow from reality.

This essay by itself has already noted forty distinct areas where novelties have taken place throughout Church history and that list is just the tip of the iceberg. (Indeed it was thrown together in less than two minutes time.) But we are not done yet because more important in this context, Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Letter Humani Generis clearly gives a cautious nod to the concept of framing new terminology for theology and philosophy -even in the areas which touch on the fundamental tenants of the faith:

[Of course] philosophy deals with much that neither directly nor indirectly touches faith or morals, and which consequently the Church leaves to the free discussion of experts. But this does not hold for many other things, especially those principles and fundamental tenets to which We have just referred. However, even in these fundamental questions, we may clothe our philosophy in a more convenient and richer dress, make it more vigorous with a more effective terminology, divest it of certain scholastic aids found less useful, prudently enrich it with the fruits of progress of the human mind. [1]

The astute reader will note that if Humani Generis says that "even in these fundamental questions, we may clothe our philosophy in a more convenient and richer dress, make it more vigorous with a more effective terminology, divest it of certain scholastic aids found less useful, prudently enrich it with the fruits of progress of the human mind"  it is inexorably endorsing a species of novelty!!! Granted, this is not an indiscriminate usage of the concept of course -nor should it be. But this very admission in and of itself directly confutes David's overarching theory that "tradition rejects novelty."

Another factor highlighed by Humani Generis is the striking departure from the language used in Pascendi. A discerning reader could conclude out of this, one of two things, either (i) Humani Generis erred in light of Pacendi or (ii)  Pacendi -in light of Humani Generis- is too restrictively interpreted by the vast majority of self-styled "traditionalists." This essay already highlighted areas of Pacendi which do not support the theses (or theory that said theses attempt to support) of those who would "withhold obedience" to the Holy Father and the ecclesiastical magisterium. For this reason, the latter interpretation (that Humani Generis  is too restrictively interpreted by the self-styled "traditionalists") would be by far the most probable one. Hopefully DP will carefully consider what his affiliation with such people implies viz. his own fealty to the faith and adjust his allegiences accordingly.

Actually, he has all but conceded that no such definition exists: “Even if dialogue did not have a clear meaning in [Unitatis Reditegratio] there is a dictionary definition of the word that is easily understandable and applicable . . .”  But is it really that simple? No. 

This writer agrees with David that his associate (who gives the response noted by David) is approaching this subject in an erroneous manner. Dictionary definitions of words are not necessarily indicative of how the magisterium utilizes them. Certainly this is to some extent applicable viz. the term "dialogue." Indeed a proper understanding of dialogue  in its proper meaning and application would involve DP's associate admitting to DP that the question that David asked is one that is beyond his ability to adequately answer at that time. Likewise, a proper understanding of dialogue would involve David not framing the discussion in terms which are misleading. The present author does not believe that David has done this deliberately; however that is nonetheless what has objectively happened here. And as the faulty principle was already covered earlier in this section of the essay, there is no need to repeat it here.

For here’s the testimony of a prominent council father of Vatican II on the meaning of this word:  “Dialogue is an essential theme of the Council, perhaps the most essential . . . . But this word ‘dialogue’ can have extremely different meanings.  One of the tasks of the Church since the Council is to define precisely what ‘dialogue’ means.”[15]  The Cardinal goes on to enumerate four things that he thinks “dialogue” means.  Now this is just so typical of the muddle unleashed in the Church by this fuzzy terminology. 

This is absurd. David is hereby asked by this present writer to define precisely what "God" means as well as precisely what "charity" means. The other terms he is asked to define are noted above. And again, these must be "precise, magisterial definition[s]" not requiring any additional clarifications whatsoever. If David wants to concede that he cannot do this, then he must withdraw his challenge which is equally ludicrous. This is not to say that a definition of dialogue cannot be given; however like all terms which denote a form of dynamism, they cannot encapsulate the full import of their meaning in an abstract sentence or two.

The neo-Catholic apologist like XXXXXXX is annoyed with traditionalists for making an issue out of the lack of a definition for “dialogue”. 

On the one hand, the so-called "traditionalists" get annoyed with people like this present author who demand a precise definition of "modernist" so that their obfuscations and ambiguities can be nailed for what they are. Then on the other hand, those who throw the derogatory smear of "modernist" around so uncharitably and lazily get mad at faithful Catholics for (supposely) not doing what the so-called "traditionalists" themselves do not generally do. This is blatantly hypocritical. David himself does not lazily tar people as "modernists" ala what many of his allies do -a notation that is to his credit. However, he should not try to make this scenario appear so one-sided.

Having noted that, since David wants a basic definition or at least a point of reference for the term "dialogue", this present author will provide him with one of his own:

Dialogue is...defined as [the] internal drive of charity which seeks expression in the external gift of charity. [2]
This writer after noting the aforementioned definition -based so strongly on a magisterial source as it is- readily admitted "[o]bviously this is a definition that admits of many possible applications" (ibid). Nonetheless, there is a working definition for discussing the subject with some degree of intelligence.

“Just look it up in the dictionary!”, is his easy answer. 

Again, DP is correct that the answer he was given by his associate was (and is) problematical.

But a prominent council father states that, on the contrary, “this word ‘dialogue’ can have extremely different meanings” and that it has been a task of the Church since the Council to try to define this word. 

This is correct in two ways (i) the term does require application and (ii) many who have sought to do so have not done so correctly.

So, whom shall we believe: XXXX XXXXXXXXX, who insists that the word is easy to define, or council father Cardinal Daniélou, who says a precise definition is difficult to procure?

Cardinal Danielou of course but with a couple of caveats. First of all, the difficulty in placing a precise definition on a term that involves a dynamic principle needs to be recognized. The reason for this is that it is not possible to do -though one can define such a term in approximations of course. The second point is that the work of Cardinal Danielou cited by David was one of his last works. Those familiar with Cardinal Danielou's life are aware that the pioneering theologian and influential council peritus did not write those words. They were instead written in the mid 1970's by a cardinal with the same name who had grown bitter in his dotage and had begin endorsing inanities that the younger Danielou would have recognized as fallacious.

Nor has there been any help on this matter from the Magisterium in the post-conciliar period.  Amerio notes the harm that such ambiguity in the conciliar documents brings, yet observes that nothing official has been done to ameliorate this ambiguity of terminology:

The more general procedure, however, has not been to abandon the council thus baldly but rather to appeal to its spirit and so to introduce new words designed to insinuate particular ideas, exploiting to this end the imprecision of the conciliar documents themselves.  It is highly significant in this regard that, although the council, as is customary, left behind it a commission for the authentic interpretation of its decrees, that commission never issued any interpretations and is never referred to by anyone.[16]

You caught that, right? 

At this point David brings up another canard common amongst the so-called "traditionalists" and it is the notion that (i) the documents of Vatican II are "ambiguous" or "easily misunderstood" while (ii) magisterial statements prior to Vatican II were somehow "perspicuous" or easy to understand at face value. It was noted in the last section of this essay that David and his allies quite clearly do not understand the manner whereby the term "novelty" was denounced in the magisteriums of Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XV. (In Pascendi  and Ad Beatissimi  respectively.) The reason for this misunderstanding lies of course in not recognizing the crucial axiom that "a text without context is a pretext."

The most essential theme of the Second Vatican Council is captured by a word that is neither defined by the council nor by the commission set up after the council to interpret its decrees. 

Of course as this writer has noted elsewhere, the term was already understood by virtue of a key magisterial pronouncement prior to the third session of the Council. (The term made its first appearance in documents of the Council in the third session.)

With no official guidance in the matter, it is left for each individual to invest the term with the meaning and import he sees fit.

Of course there was official guidance. It was predominantly in the form of an encyclical letter of no small authority. Other documents were issued by dicasteries later on; however they do not say anything substantially different than what the aforementioned encyclical did.
Indeed, the principle of dialogue is invoked to explain and excuse all sorts of public behavior on the part of high-ranking Church officials that would have been grounds for deposition in any century before Vatican II. 

The corroborating thesis noted above will be tested for the most part in this section. However, let us preface it with the following from an essay on inculturation by Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Jose Pereira:

Since the time of the apostles, the Church has always attempted to adapt the Gospel message to the particular needs and circumstances of diverse cultures. St. Paul expresses his desire to be "all things to all" (1 Corinthians 9:22) and is shown in the Acts of the Apostles preaching to the Athenians in terms they can understand (Acts 17:22-30). In the Patristic Age, Christian writers like St. Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria manifested a deep respect for pagan wisdom and showed a willingness to explain the Christian mysteries in language borrowed from Stoic and Platonic philosophy.

As the Christian faith spreads to different cultures, many indigenous ideas and practices were incorporated into Church usage. The use of priestly vestments, candles, incense, holy water as well as certain holy days and seasons can all be traced to various pagan customs. Such borrowings confirm the observation of Cardinal Newman that the "great portion of what is generally received as Christian truth, is in its rudiments or in its separate parts to be found in heathen philosophies and religions." [3]

Of course presumably those who advance such untenable theories such as "Tradition rejects novelty" -a theory which this essay effectively decimated in earlier sections- would find the notion of inculturation problematical. Nonetheless it is a reality and yet again the espoused by this author over the years that "to be deep in history is to cease to be a 'traditionalist'" applies.

In the name of inter-religious dialogue Cardinal Law enters an Islamic mosque and prays to Allah[17],

David of course is relying on the anti-Catholic (and Cardinal Law hating) Boston Globe for his "facts" here. That is all the reader needs to know on that matter except of course the fact that Cardinal Law prayed. That is seemingly indubitable; however that there is little (if any) application of the Ignatian principle of charity on DP's part here is rather disconcerting. Nonetheless, three weeks after this event which DP chronicles, the pope accepted Cardinal Law's resignation so the latter is no longer a factor in this equation. However, let us consider his situation in light of David's statement.

Was Cardinal Law praying in a mosque really any different than the methods used by Roberto De Nobili in the sixteenth century??? According to David's thesis on "novelty in terminology", actions akin to Cardinal Law's would have been grounds for deposition in any century before Vatican II. Of course history tells us something interesting that does not mesh with DP's thesis:

There were noteworthy early attempts at dialogue and inculturation in both China and India. The impressive work and assimilation of the Jesuit scholar Mateo Ricci in China cannot be overemphasized. Equally inspiring has been the example of the lesser-known Jesuit missionary Roberto de Nobili (1577-1656) in India. What he achieved still has an impact today.

De Nobili was an incomparable scholar of Indology and was actually the first non-Hindu ever to read the sacred texts of Hinduism, the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.(l) Though a missionary, de Nobili entered very deeply into the life of Hinduism, winning the respect of the Brahmins and even taking the radical step of sannyasa. The term sannyasa means 'renunciation,' ultimately of the false self, and is the ideal of the Indian monk. De Nobili received permission from his superiors in 1607 to wear the kavi, the orange garb or habit of a sannyasi. He became in every sense a true sannyasi, fasting, meditating and abstaining from meat. He made a solemn vow to remain a sannyasi to the end of his life, a vow he kept (Cronin 70-71).

De Nobili could not only read and write Sanskrit and Tamil, he also composed original works in these languages that have become classics. Furthermore, according to Joseph Thekkedath, he developed a whole terminology for Indian Christian theology, creating a theological structure for teaching the Christian faith on the subcontinent (224). Although his original purpose was evangelization -- and this remained true throughout his life in India, even to his death -- he grew to respect and cherish this ideal, especially in it deepest truth, in its dimension of contemplative interiority and its serious commitment to inner transformation. In a sense, his life was a living dialogue, and he was certainly far ahead of his time. [4]

And of course as Rome weighed in on this matter, a direct opportunity to confute David's fourth thesis by demonstration presents itself here:

[Roberto] De Nobili not only studied the native languages, he also dressed in the long robe and wooden clogs of a holy man and teacher. After a Hindu Brahmin was converted to Christianity, a controversy ensued over whether such converts must give up the white thread and single plait of hair that mark them as Brahmins. From 1610-1623 the issue was debated until Pope Gregory XV finally decided in favor of De Nobili's methods. The controversy, though, greatly hindered De Nobili's missionary efforts since he was forbidden to baptize while the case was being discussed.[5]

The wide-sweeping thesis that DP sought to assert in this section has been confuted with one example from Church history; ergo no more needs to be said about it in that regard.  However, the issue of the success of evangelizing the Muslims throughout history is not insignificant so the reader is asked to consider this subject carefully. (Since Cardinal Law's example took place in a mosque apparently.) As a good friend of this writer (F. John Loughnan) has noted on the matter of evangelizing the Muslims:

Islam may well be said to have commenced with the production of the Quran/Koran in 610.

The pope of the time was St Boniface IV, 608 - 615, the 67th pope.

From his time to (and including) that of the reign of Pope Pius XII there have been 192 popes - including 23 Saints and 7 Blesseds.

Despite any efforts of those 192 popes (73% of all popes since St Peter) - despite those efforts, the Muslims have increased to over 1,000 million people. In that time - the efforts of the popes to convert the Muslims to Christianity have proven generally unsuccessful...

I think any fair minded Catholic would look at the situation where, in a period of nearly 1340 years not one of the 192 popes in that period (including Saints and Blesseds) could penetrate the Muslim mind with fire and brimstone theology. Why, then, ought not the 262nd pope be encouraged to gain their trust in order to a) lighten the load of the Christian community within Islamic lands, and 2) attempt to penetrate that which has been impossible to date? [6]

Again, all of this is a direct bearing on the subject of evangelization. Compared to all of this, Cardinal Law praying in a mosque to (presumably) God is quite a minor bagatelle really. Unless Cardinal Law personally admitted to praying to "Allah", the principle of Ignatian charity would require the faithful Catholic to not put an unfavourable interpretation on his actions. And part of that process for a faithful Catholic is not taking as Gospel truth the assertions made by a source which is openly hostile to the Catholic Church in general and Cardinal Law in particular. For yes, the Boston Globe hates his guts. And for that reason, whatever they say should be taken with much more than a few grains of salt -no matter how someone feels about Cardinal Law personally.

Cardinal George participates in a pagan “cleansing ritual”[18],

This is hardly different from the many pagan rituals the Church has incorporated into her ceremony over the centuries. Examples of this were already noted earlier on. To note another such example, "[t]he obtaining and blessing of the new fire is probably a rite of Celtic or even pagan origin, incorporated in the Gallican Church service of the eighth century" (Cat. Encycl. on Holy Week). Whatever the merits of the ritual Cardinal George was doing, the incorporation of pagan ceremonies into the liturgy is hardly a historical oddity in the slightest to those who actually know their liturgical history.

and the Holy Father kisses the Koran and invites pagans of all stripes to Assisi to pray to their false gods for world peace.[19] 

The prevarication of the "pray to their false gods" statement will be dealt with later in this essay.

Very recently I called the diocese of Springfield, IL to ask why a pro-abortion Jewish rabbi had been invited to the cathedral to participate with Bishop Lucas in an “Interfaith Worship Service” entitled “Neighbors Mirroring the Image of God”.  When I asked how the diocese could, at a gathering so-titled, honor someone who doesn’t even believe that unborn babies bear the image of God in sufficient measure to protect them from arbitrary execution, I was read a statement by Bishop Lucas stating that he is following the example of the Holy Father by maintaining lines of dialogue even with people with whom he has disagreements.  (The same defense was offered by Cardinal George to The Wanderer’s complaint about his participation in pagan purification rituals.) 

Again, this writer has gone over the meaning of dialogue as enunciated by Pope Paul VI.

The invocation of the Holy Father’s example is designed to stop neo-Catholic objectors in their tracks, which it does.  But a traditionalist like me replies that bad example is bad example and scandal is scandal, no matter who perpetrates them.

Well, as this writer has noted already, DP is not the "traditionalist" he claims to be. Another area which bears this fact out is that with the latter example, his blanket shunning of inculturation puts him squarely against the means whereby the Church evangelized whole nations and continents for much of the first millennium. (As well as her most successful evangelization periods of the second millennium.) Of course if DP wants to talk about bad examples, the starkest example that this writer can think of is the possible loss of souls as a result of this kind of ecclesial "straining the gnat and swallowing the camel" (cf. Matt. xxiii,24). Or to quote from an essay this present author wrote nearly three years ago:

[I]t is disgraceful that so many souls were probably lost centuries ago all over stupid symbols such as European customs and the dead Latin language rammed down the throats of people to whom Latin language and European customs were as alien to them as their customs were (and are) to those of us of European ancestry and culture. This is the biggest danger of the 'traditionalist' movement and they are too stubbornly ignorant to wise up to these matters and deal with the mission of the Church. That mission is preaching the Gospel and helping people achieve salvation, not promulgating as symbols of a 'tradition' elements that are in no way fundamental to the faith. (And insisting doggedly on their adherence imply because it makes the 'traditionalist' feel better that they are not "scandalized" by seeing Natives in head dresses, eastern dance during the liturgy, or other elements of Third World missionary work.) Remember the words of the Apostle James about the sin of partiality (James 2:1,9. 4:11-13). It is the contention of this author that this sin is present in spades among a lot of self-styled traditionalists'.[7]

That is the bottom line really. And the failure of so-called "traditionalists" to see it -even those like DP whom this writer believes are of goodwill- is quite tragic indeed.

Certain other effects of the pervasive program of dialogue are less obvious, but no less harmful to the Church.  For example, in a recent issue of Catholic World Report, the editor, Philip Lawler, makes this perceptive connection between the regime of dialogue and the Vatican’s almost complete unwillingness to discipline wayward Catholics, even in the face of sweeping scandals:
In the cover story of this issue, James Hitchcock makes a provocative argument that since the Second Vatican Council, Church leaders seem to have been guided by the principle that all disagreements can be resolved through dialogue, so that disobedience and dissent are best met with patience and understanding, not firm disciplinary measures.  The results generated by that approach have not beenpromising. Disobedience and dissent have spread unchecked, doing incalculable damage to the faith and the faithful.[20]
And of course David defends in his essay the theory on novelty of people who are dissenters in their own right. (The "We Resist You" crowd.) As far as the article he refers to, since this writer does not have access to it, commenting too much on the referenced quote would not be prudent to do. However, the reader needs to remember how inaccurately David quoted the Fathers, the medievals, and the pre Vatican II modern popes to understand why the present author exhorts them to take any quote offered by DP with several grains of salt. (If they cannot verify its context for themselves.) As far as the argument itself goes, someone who understands the dynamics of dialogue understands that it is a process that does not resolve itself in short time frames most of the time. Or to quote Pope Paul VI on the matter from his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam:
[I]t becomes obvious in a dialogue that there are various ways of coming to the light of faith and it is possible to make them all converge on the same goal. However divergent these ways may be, they can often serve to complete each other. They encourage us to think on different lines. They force us to go more deeply into the subject of our investigations and to find better ways of expressing ourselves. It will be a slow process of thought, but it will result in the discovery of elements of truth in the opinion of others and make us want to express our teaching with great fairness. It will be set to our credit that we expound our doctrine in such a way that others can respond to it, if they will, and assimilate it gradually. [8]
Numerous other examples could be cited, but I think this is sufficient to demonstrate that the undefined neologism “dialogue”, the central theme of the Second Vatican Council, has indeed jeopardized the Tradition on numerous fronts, marking it as a harmful novelty.

As this section sufficiently outlines, (i) the magisterium prior to Vatican II explicitly recognized the principle of novelty within certain parameters. Likewise, (ii) David's assertion that the term "dialogue" is not sufficiently explained in magisterial texts is false. Furthermore, (iii) David's claim that the principle of dialogue is invoked to explain and excuse all sorts of public behavior on the part of high-ranking Church officials that would have been grounds for deposition in any century before Vatican II  is confuted by an incontrovertible historical example. And finally, (iv) the Church's history of inculturation supports the principles behind the events that David is critical of.

The long and short of it all is this: DP's thesis here is no more successful in withstanding scrutiny than his theses earlier that the writings of the Fathers, Medievals, and Modern Popes (separately or taken together) affirm the theory that "Tradition rejects novelty." And while we are not done yet in confuting in detail the evidences brought forward by David Palm on this subject; nonetheless the subject of "novelty in terminology" is adequately dealt with in this thread.


[1] Pope Pius XII: Encyclical Letter "Humani Generis" §30 (August 12, 1950)

[2] I. Shawn McElhinney: "On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary" (c. 2003)

[3] Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Jose Pereira: "The Swami From Oxford" from "Crisis" (March 1991)

[4] Wayne Teasdale: "Interreligious Dialogue Since Vatican II The Monastic Contemplative Dimension" from "Spirituality Today" Summer Issue (c. 1991)

[5] Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Jose Pereira: "The Swami From Oxford" from "Crisis" (March 1991)

[6] F. John Loughnan: "Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Re: Islam?" (July 16, 2003)

[7] I. Shawn McElhinney: "Confusing Culture With 'Tradition'" (c. 2001)

[8] Pope Paul VI: Encyclical Letter "Ecclesiam Suam" §83 as quoted in I. Shawn McElhinney's essay "On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary" (c. 2003)

Other Notes:

The citation from Pope Pius XII's Encyclical Letter "Humani Generis" was obtained at the following link:

The citations from I. Shawn McElhinney's commentary "On the Intricacies of Dialogue" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from Dr. Robert Fastiggi and Jose Pereira's essay "The Swami From Oxford" were obtained at the following link:

The citation from Wayne Teasdale's essay "Interreligious Dialogue Since Vatican II The Monastic Contemplative Dimension" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from F. John Loughnan's essay "Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Re: Islam?" was obtained at the following link:

The citation from I. Shawn McElhinney's essay "Confusing Culture With 'Tradition'" was obtained at the following link:

©2004, "The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard, written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be
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