Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Hermeneutic of I-can't-believe-you're-asking-that-question.

Here's an idea: if some text, construed as an answer to some given question, is ambiguous, maybe its actual purpose is not to address that question. Maybe that text is about something else altogether.

A cleric (with whom I have a silent disagreement on some points of recent-but-irrelevant history re Leo XIII his authority, but on the whole he's a fun and sharp fellow) has more than once remarked, of the Hymn to Charity in Paul's second (first surviving) letter to the church in Corinth: Paul iterates, Charity is such, and by insinuation you Corinth have not been such.

And so, with these notions in mind, why does Sacrosanctum Consilium have to say that Latin is the liturgical language for the Latin Church? Why does SC have to assert that "Gregorian Chant shall have pride of place" in the Latin liturgy? Were these things in doubt before? How grave a doubt? Is it then too difficult to believe that the fix revolt was in before Pope St. John had thought to convoke his bishops and re-affirm All that the Church Teaches?

But, in short, I think this idea of reasonably-inferred context might prove very fruitful in looking at all manner of official texts.


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