Wednesday, March 24, 2010

John Paul and Gaudium et Spes

John Paul uses GS 22 and 24 often in his encyclicals and other writings. These texts teach us that only Christ fully reveals man to himself and that man is the only creature which He willed for itself. Having cited these texts many times in his pontificate, the question arises: did he write these texts during Vatican 2? Was he influential at all?

William Newton, in the journal Anthropotes (08/xxiv/2), has an article regarding the authorship of these texts. Using the archives of Fr. Pierre Haubtmann and Fr. Charles Moeller, he has shown that John Paul probably did not write these texts. We know that Fr. Haubtmann became the editor in chief of Gaudium et Spes, replacing Bernard Haring, on the 16th of Novemeber, 1964. Fr. Moeller worked on it as well, including Daniélou and Congar. The people who can be credited with the formulations and redactions are Haubtmann, Hirschmann, Tucci, and Moeller.

So what does this mean? As Newton pointed out, although John Paul did not write these texts, it shows that the teachings of the Council greatly influenced the theology of John Paul.

This is very interesting for me because it reveals that John Paul, the great educator of man, immersed himself with the treasures of the Church. Not only was he influenced by John of the Cross, Thomas Aquinas, and phenomenology, but he wanted to understand what the Council proposed to himself and the world. He became a father because he was first a son of the Church.
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