ISAAC KIZHAKKEPARAMPIL, The Invocation of the Holy Spirit as Constitutive of the Sacraments according to Cardinal Yves Congar
Christians of the East
accuse of the West - Catholic as well as Protestant - of not recognizing
the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church and its sacraments. Indeed, both
in its theology and in its practice, the Church in the West seems to have
diminished the role of the Spirit and has often regarded the Spirit as
something added on to an existing reality.
The rediscovery of the Holy Spirit is the great novelty of the postconciliar period. Among the scholars who articulated the urgent need to restore pneumatology to its rightful place in the theology of the Catholic Church was Cardinal Yves Congar [+1995]. This book centers on one aspect of this theme in which his influence is particularly evident, namely, the constitutive role of the Holy Spirit in effecting the sacraments of the Church. The author manifests in each part of the study a particularly fine appreciation of the issues which Congar raises, showing both how he was influenced by the return to the sources of Christian tradition during the first part of this century, and how he began, during and after Vatican II, to heighten Catholic awareness of the importance of pneumatology for all dimensions of theological reflection. Through a careful analysis of the texts of Congar which explicity treat the sacramental epiclesis, the author claims that the solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit is as constitutive of the sacraments of the Church as is the formal recitation of the words of Jesus Christ. The sub-sequent evaluation indicates a bi-polar emphasis on the liturgical anamnesis and epiclesis, to surmount some major tensions in the twentieth-century Catholic theology, such as that between the role of the presider and that of the faithful in the sacramental celebration. The constitutive role of the invocation of the Holy Spirit dealt in this book urges to reconsider all in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
ISAAC KIZHAKKEPARAMPIL was born in 1959
in Valankara, India, joined the Syro-Malankara Catholic Diocese of Thiruvalla
and took his secular degrees from the University of Kerala, and the ecclesiastical
degrees from the Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, and the Pontifical Gregorian
(C) PUG 1999