On November 14 the Second Vatican Council finished its discussion of the liturgy and turned to the all-important area of revelation. The two major problems with which the council became concerned were, first, the exact relationship between Scripture and tradition, and, second, the extent to which literary criticism and similar tools of modern study may be applied to the books of the Bible. That these are problems of a highly controversial nature, and that they are closely interrelated, was evidenced in the opening days of conciliar discussion. On the second day of discussion a number of prelates (including those from France, Belgium, and Germany, who had complained earlier that many of their outstanding theologians had played no part in the drafting of proposals to be discussed at the council) demanded that the schema on revelation be rewritten in its entirety. Others (largely Italian Curial officials and dogmatic theologians in sympathy with the very conservative views of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, head of the Congregation of the Holy Office, who was responsible for the writing of the schema) countered that it was “basically sound.” Even the title of the schema, “The Two Sources of Revelation,” was very controversial, because the more biblically and ecumenically minded Roman Catholics feel that this post-Tridentine division of revelation into two sources begs the question. Men such as Avery Dulles have pointed out that “the more recent theological opinion … would regard them as two aspects of a single source, rather than as two separate deposits” (“The Council and the Sources of Revelation,” America, 107 [Dec. 1, 1962], p. 1177). Repeatedly scholars of this wing of Catholicism have stressed the fact that such a view makes ...1
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