"The first and fontal dogma there attributed [in Wikipedia] to 'Modern Church' [i.e., Modernism] is ... lo and behold ... the prime distinctive dogma of Bergoglianism:
"DIVINE REVELATION HAS NOT COME TO AN END"!!!
What Fr Hunwicke is referring to is Bergoglio's constant contention that the Holy Spirit is speaking to him and that he is only doing what the Spirit bids him to do. The "God of surprises" communicates His surprises to Bergoglio through the Spirit. And we all know that whoever sins against the Spirit commits the unforegiveable sin. (Mark 3:28-29)
Fr Hunwicke appeared to believe that this notion, that revelation has not come to an end--which I refer to as "continuing revelation"--is a dogma that is distinctive of "Bergoglianism." In the comments I sought to rectify that misconception. It certainly is a distinctive mark of Bergoglianism, but it's just as certainly not unique to Bergoglianism. What, to me, makes this question a matter of some topical interest is that within a few days of Fr Hunwicke's post the whole question of an "inner continuity" between the pontificates of Ratzinger and Bergoglio took on added significance due to the famous letter of Ratzinger. In the letter Ratzinger responded to what amounted to a request that he endorse Bergoglio's ideas, as described in "eleven small volumes" by a variety of pro-Bergoglio theologians. I wrote about that controversy in Bergoglio's LetterGate--Continuity and Discontinuity, my central contention being that Ratzinger was quite correct in pointing out the "inner continuity" between his pontificate and that of Bergoglio. This fact of substantial theological agreement is, of course, exactly what Ratzinger cultists are in a complete state of denial about. To admit it would bring their entire worldview crashing down on their heads.
At any rate, wishing to bring some clarity to the matter, I commented on Fr Hunwicke's blog:
But, speaking of "continuing revelation," that, of course, is a position that Ratzinger was accused of holding as far back as his seminary days and right through his Dei Verbum days up to the present. A point of "inner continuity" with Bergoglio? [Dei Verbum, the Word of God, is the Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation, at Vatican II.]
Here's a link ...: The Debate on Tradition.
In this blog the author [Fr. Waldstein, cf. below] includes a quote from Ecclesia Dei in which Lefebvre is attacked for having "an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition." IMHO, however, a good case could be made that the position espoused in Ecclesia Dei that "the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, 'comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit'" does in fact constitute a form of "continuing revelation." The passage from Ecclesia Dei continues in a way that is for me most alarming, smacking as it does of an uncritically optimistic as well as a very subjective notion of Tradition and, therefore, of Revelation. [Ecclesia Dei is the reaction of pope Wojtyła to Archbishop Lefebvre's consecration of four bishops without Vatican authorization.]
A look at Fr. Edmund Waldstein's (O. Cist.) blog shows that he was actually attempting to defend Ratzinger's view on Apostolic Tradition as a "living process," not a matter of "definite ideas." Let's take a look. (For fuller links to referenced material please vist the blog, linked above.) Fr. Waldstein begins:
I have just been reading parts of the debate at Vatican II on the sections of Dei Verbum dealing with Apostolic Tradition. ... I have been defending ... the account of Tradition developed by by Pope Benedict XVI long before he became pope. He understands Tradition as “the living process whereby the Holy Spirit introduces us to the fullness of truth and teaches us how to understand what previously we could still not grasp (cf. Jn 16:12-13),” and the “remembering” by which the Church “can come to recognize what it had not caught sight of previously and yet was already handed down in the original Word.” Aelianus and Thomas Cordatus [commenters at Fr. Waldstein's site] have been objecting that Ratzinger’s account seems dangerously close to the modernist idea of continuing Revelation. They insist that Tradition must be the handing on of definite ideas, though not in set formulas.
Very similar objections were brought up by some of the council fathers in the debate on Dei Verbum. The peritus Ratzinger had given a speech which had influenced the 4th draft of the Document–especially Article 8–and several of the fathers objected to this.
One might well imagine that this idea of Tradition as a living process could be taken to amount to "continuing Revelation." As we see next, some of the Fathers of the Council put their finger on the nub of the problem: Ratzinger's view places later theologizing attempts at the explanation of Apostolic Tradition on the same level as the Tradition itself--and this is a view that Ratzinger has consistently maintained. Note that in the passage from Ratzinger's Commentary Ratzinger notes the final decision of the Theological Commission but not any arguments that could be said to actually address the objection that Leger raised:
... Cardinal Leger insisted on the same point, He found that the Schema, ... blurred the strict distinction between apostolic and post-apostolic tradition [what I call "theologizing"] and endangered the strict transcendence of divine revelation when it was confronted with the statements and actions of the teaching office of the Church. The Cardinal was concerned that the Church should bind itself firmly to the final and unchangeable word of God, that does not grow, but can only be constantly assimilated afresh and cannot be manipulated by the Church. The Theological Commission considered the question carefully, but decided not to make any major alterations in the text. It pointed out that the clause ” … Traditio proficit” is explained by a second clause “crescit … tam rerum quam verborum perceptio“, i.e. the growth of tradition is a growth in understanding of the reality that was given at the beginning. (Commentary pp.186-187)
So, yes, if "the growth of tradition is a growth in understanding of the reality that was given at the beginning," that does amount to saying that later theologizing has the same authoritative status as "the reality that was given at the beginning." And with that, Ratzinger's views became ... gospel.
Waldstein then notes how Ratzinger's view, as embodied in Dei Verbum, was cited to justify excommunicating Archbishop Lefebvre:
Bl. Pope John Paul II saw this question, ... as the main error of Archbishop Lefebvre. In the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei he has written:
The root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition. Incomplete, because it does not take sufficiently into account the living character of Tradition, which, as the Second Vatican Council clearly taught, “comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities and words that are being passed on. This comes about in various ways. It comes through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts. It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth”.
So here we see that theological speculation on Tradition is itself part of the "living character of Tradition," the development of doctrine, as it were. To call it "theological speculation" hardly gives it its due, for we are told that "this living process ... comes from the apostles and progresses in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit." And a sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable. Have I played fast and loose by conflating the "living process" with the resulting "tradition?" I don't think so--after all, where else would the process come from it is to be considered valid? But what if later "tradition" seems to contradict earlier tradition? Well, since the process "progresses ... with the help of the Spirit" that would seem to be the case. The Spirit leads us to an ever greater insight--onward and upward, Excelsior! Cynics are left to wonder why the Spirit took something like 1,964 years to help us to this insight, but I suppose that's what the "hermeneutic of continuity" ultimately explains. A Teilhardian Eucharist and New Liturgy that bears no resemblance to the Apostolic Tradition, but does bear an uncanny resemblance to the Gnostic speculation of Hegel and others, the abolition of Hell "that all may be saved", a new definition of the ends of marriage to provide cover for contraception and homosexuality--all that and much more has come into the V2 Church through the magical "hermeneutic of continuity."
Therefore, it seems amply safe to conclude that, far from being a wild eyed radical introducing dangerous Modernist heresies into the Church, Bergoglio is no more than a staid Ratzingerian, repeating the same old Modernist heresies that Ratzinger has been repeating for decade after decade.
ADDENDUM: As further examples of inner continuity between Ratzinger and Bergoglio, in spite of differences of "style and temperament," we could cite the influence of Rahner's idea of the "anonymous Christian." Ratzinger has been--for practical purposes--a lifelong supporter of this idea, while claiming to "nuance" it. Bergoglio as well is a whole hearted supporter. We see the practical results of this belief in the well known incident in which Cardinal Ratzinger of the CDF persuaded a Lutheran lady (Sigrid Spath, a German language translator for the Vatican) not to become a Catholic, claiming that she could do more for both churches if she remained a Protestant. One wonders, of course, about Ratzinger's estimate of the value of leading a life informed by participation in the sacraments (in the Church) versus a life lived within a Protestant sect which is, beyond verbal formalities, not even Christian. The incident speaks volumes regarding Ratzinger's own faith and understanding of faith (which we have repeatedly maintained is Lutheran, not Catholic) as well as the shallowness of his historical understanding.
Place against this the equally well known incident in which Bergoglio, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, advised an Anglican bishop (Tony Palmer) not to convert and later, as Francis, instructed that Palmer be buried not only as a Catholic but as a Catholic bishop. It should hardly be surprising, then, that, speaking of a Benedict initiative, Pope Francis 'dismissed Anglican branch as quite unnecessary'. Here we see not a lack of continuity--indeed, there is a real inner continuity at work--but rather a difference of "style and temperament." Ratzinger showed himself more sensitive to those Paul referred to (in the context of eating food sacrificed to idols) as "people with weak consciences." That's all. Ratzinger, no doubt, regarded the Anglican ordinariate as an ecumenical outreach that might bear ecumenical fruit in the future--despite the fact that his theological fellow travelers regarded it not only as unnecessary but even as offensive. Ratzinger has always seen himself as playing a deeper game of unification rather than of confrontation, which also explains his outreach to Catholic traditionalists. It's really politics or strategy/tactics, rather than theology.
Likewise regarding the notion of the institutional church "subsisting in" the Catholic Church. I submit that this concept too is an expression of Rahner's notion of the "anonymous Christian." However, this notion in turn is ultimately derived from the Teilhardian notion of all humanity being drawn up in unity--and recall that both Ratzinger and Bergoglio have been lifelong fans of Teilhard--in a Gnostic cosmogony of which Ratzinger and Bergoglion see the Eucharist as an expression. Ut unum sint, so to speak. This in turn plays into the idea which both men embrace that "all may be saved," which Ratzinger/Benedict actually alluded to with his reference to his fellow Gnostic de Lubac in his final encyclical, Spe salvi. (Cf. section 14. Characteristically, Ratzinger/Benedict disguises the subversive meaning and intent of what he's seeing by using the euphemistic phrase "salvation has always been considered a “social” reality," accompanying it with a pastiche of scriptural passages ripped out of context.)
The upcoming "Youth Synod", with its inclusion of atheists and other non-Christians, is a further manifestation of this line of thinking. All humanity is Church in the Modernist cosmogony.