"Omnis enim res quæ dando non deficit, dum habetur et non datur, nondum habetur quomodo habenda est." ("For a possession which is not diminished by being shared with others, if it is possessed and not shared, is not yet possessed as it ought to be possessed.") —St. Augustine, De doctrina Christiana lib. 1 cap. 1

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Dietrich von Hildebrand, Phenomenology, John Paul II, etc.

Started by Kephapaulos, July 22, 2017, 11:59:47 PM

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I just read some time ago that Pius XII called Dietrich von Hildrebrand "Doctor of the 20th Century." I would disagree and say that Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange deserves that title. He was the greatest theologian pf the 20th century.

What are Dietrich van Hildebrand best works that are safe to read?

How is phenomenology an invalid philosophy since it formed outside the wisdom of the Church?

It seems Kantian. Is it Hegelian too?

John Paul II was doing the impossible then in trying to fuse Thomism, existentialism, amd phenomenology.


Quote from: Kephapaulos on July 22, 2017, 11:59:47 PMWhat are Dietrich van Hildebrand best works that are safe to read?
Probably none of them

Hildebrand was a student of the founder of phenomenology, Husserl. Hildebrand had some perverted views of marriage and sexuality that seem to have influenced both Vatican II's inversion of the ends of marriage in Gaudium et Spes and Wojtyła's Theology of the Body. See PDF pp. 41ff. of Engel's The Theology of the Body: A Critique, where she quotes (PDF pp. 41-42) Hildebrand's Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love:
Quote from: Hildebrand's contreceptive mentalityAs marriage is, in its nature, principally a communion of love, so the meaning of physical consummation is not restricted to its function as a means of procreation. ... But this primary end is not the only meaning of the physical act. Subjectively [?] speaking, it is not even its primary meaning.

Alice von Hildebrand, however, had some really glaring errors:
Quote from: Alice von Hildebrand's errors regarding the nature of the sacrament of marriage: "Personalist Responds 8 to Critic of Paul VI," Pro Ecclesia, 2002, Vol. XXXIII No. 3, p. 7.The marital embrace - a sacrament – has its own value, but to choose to sever it from the fruitfulness that God has linked to it, is a grave sin which inevitably saps the beauty of the mutual self-donation of the spouses.
Quote from: Alice von. Hildebrand's equation of the marital embrace with the sacrament, ibid.The marital embrace is the sacrament, not procreation.
Neither is procreation the sacrament (else infertile couples wouldn't be married)!
This last quote concisely sums up what is wrong with Theology of the Body: It equates the marital embrace with the sacrament! By this "logic," Sts. Joseph and Mary must not have been married!

Here is the Catholic magisterial teaching, from Casti Connubii §17:
Quote from: Pope Pius XIlet Us sum it all up by quoting once more the words of St. Augustine: "As regards the offspring it is provided that they should be begotten lovingly and educated religiously," - and this is also expressed succinctly in the Code of Canon Law - "[Canon 1013:] The primary end of marriage is the procreation and the education of children."
Here's St. Thomas's definition of marriage (Summa Theologica suppl. q. 44 a. 1 c.):
Quote from: St. Thomas Aquinassince by marriage certain persons are directed to one begetting and upbringing of children [primary end], and again to one family life, it is clear that in matrimony there is a joining in respect of which we speak of husband and wife; and this joining, through being directed to some one thing, is matrimony; while the joining together of bodies and minds is a result of matrimony [secondary ends].


Wojtyła's Love and Responsibility p. 29 blasphemes the love the Divine Persons have when he writes: "Love is exclusively the portion of human persons."!


Certainly, there is hardly any von Hildebrand's text which is purely in accord with the Catholic doctrine, simply for the fact, that he  could not refrain from implementing his own point of view to improve, to add something, as if he translated the Church's identity into his perspective.


Another phenomologist / Husserl student:

Edith Stein wrote in Essays on Woman:
QuoteAfter their [Adam & Eve's] Fall, the relationship between them is transformed from a pure partnership of love to a relationship of sovereignty and subordination...
She doesn't distinguish servile from economic/civil subjection:
Summa Theologica I q. 92 a. 2
QuoteSubjection is twofold. One is servile, by virtue of which a superior makes use of a subject for his own benefit; and this kind of subjection began after sin. There is another kind of subjection which is called economic or civil, whereby the superior makes use of his subjects for their own benefit and good; and this kind of subjection existed even before sin. For good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves. So by such a kind of subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because in man the discretion of reason predominates. Nor is inequality among men excluded by the state of innocence, as we shall prove (q. 96 a. 3 ad 2).

pure Modernism and feminism:
QuoteMarriage and the religious life should not be set up as alternatives. Signs indicate that our time needs people who will lead a God-dedicated life "in the world"; this is certainly not to say, however, that conventual life is "outmoded."
The remark "conventual life is [not] 'outmoded'" is mere window dressing; she thinks it is, by not distinguishing marriage and religious life.

QuoteIt was the Reformation which actually first recognized the value of family life in its rejection of virginity as an ideal.
The Catholic Church has always valued both marriage and virginity! To depreciate the one is to depreciate the other.


I had mistakenly thought St. Teresa Benedicta had not written anymore after she joined the convent, but at least her heart was in the right place for the conversion of the Jews, even if not sadly in her thought.

I see where or how Pope St. John Paul II got his idea in the Theology of the Body concerning the relationship between husband and wife before and after the Fall.

What are some good titles that critique phenomenology, existentialism, and personalism?

Is there such a thing as a Catholic personalism?


Quote from: Kephapaulos on August 23, 2020, 04:58:24 PMI see where or how Pope St. John Paul II got his idea in the Theology of the Body concerning the relationship between husband and wife before and after the Fall.
I'm not sure what his view was, but concupiscence after the Fall did make the subjugation of woman to man servile (like how work after the Fall was toilsome, but before it was only pleasurable and refreshing).

Quote from: Kephapaulos on August 23, 2020, 04:58:24 PMWhat are some good titles that critique phenomenology, existentialism, and personalism?
I haven't read it yet, but Brian Kemple, Thomist student of semiotician John Deely, wrote a book called Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue: The Intersection of Semiotics and Phenomenology that might help. His dissertation Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition: The Philosophy of Being as First Known is excellent.


QuoteWhat are Dietrich van Hildebrand best works that are safe to read?
Probably none of them
Actually, his In Defense of Purity: An Analysis of the Catholic Ideals of Purity and Virginity is good.


Thank you! I am perplexed though at why Timothy Flanders of The Meaning of Catholic would say Dr. Dietrich Hildebrand was the greatest theologian of the twentieth century. Rather I would say that Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. was.