English, Personalism

Personalism, Individualism, 'Communio' (Osservatore Romano (English Ed.), April 28, 1993)

    "Communio" is the central and dominant theme of Vatican II, which presents the Church as the communion of the People of God, open to all men: a divine force to gather them into one. "The Church, in Christ, is in the nature of sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men" [Lumen Gentium 1.]. And the Council issued a powerful call and laid down the inspirational guidelines for renewing the Church and the world through this sense of "communio" [cf. Relatio Finalis of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, Dec. 7, 1985: Enchiridion Vaticanum 9, 1800-1809.].

Renewal, Personalism and Law (Onclin Chair Lecture, Louvain 1995)


            The Second Vatican Council was aimed at formulating principles for the renewal of ecclesial life in all its aspects. More than thirty years later, varying evaluations of the results are made. Some persons, perhaps feeling that renewal was a dangerous idea in itself, hold that in any case it went off the tracks from the start. Others think that it ran into too much entrenched opposition from conservative forces, and is now largely dead-ended, an ideal or a dream they no longer really believe in. For others again, it remains a program of hope, which is still being attempted or needs to be attempted. Pope John Paul II is evidently one of these; he is a firm believer in renewal and, as I see his ministry, it is being constantly spent in seeking to bring it about.

Married personalism and the «good of the spouses» (Angelicum 75 (1998), pp. 255-269)

Self-giving is the basic notion of christian personalism, as is so succinctly expressed in that key phrase of Gaudium et Spes: "man can fully discover his true self only in a sincere giving of himself" (GS 24). In these pages therefore the idea of marital self-donation - mutually made and mutual accepted in all sincerity - has largely guided our consideration of personalism as present in the matrimonial canons of the new Code. Before ending these brief considerations, I wish to turn again to that other significantly personalist term, the "bonum coniugum" or the "good of the spouses", which c. 1055, the opening canon of the Title on Matrimony, presents (along with procreation) as an end of the conjugal institution.

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