Commission on Doctrine of the Faith (ECDF)
December 16, 2016
Mr. Ramon Gitamondoc
CFD National President (2010-2016)
Dear Mr. Gitamondoc,
Thank you for contacting us on the question of the validity of the expression “God died”, in your email dated December 14, 2016.
You asked for answers to the following questions: (I quote)
“1) Is it a correct understanding of the Catholic Faith to say that when Jesus suffered and died that only his human nature suffered and died and not the divine person?’
Answer: No, it is not correct. When the Lord Jesus Christ died, it is proper to say that God died. The reason is this: the subject of the actions of Jesus is the divine Person (i.e., God). Nature” – in Metaphysics – is the “principle of operation”; the subject (“suppositum”, the subject of operation) is always the person (in rational beings).
“2) Is it a correct understanding of the teaching of the Catechism of the Council of Trent to say that the expression “God died” is not to be understood literally but rather figuratively (i.e., anthropomorphism and/or synecdoche)?”
Answer: No, it is not correct. The expression “God died” is to be understood literally, not figuratively.
The contents of the dossier of statements and explanations from various Bishops and priests are in accord with the teachings of the Church.
There is nothing more to add to those explanations. It is suggested that the basics of Metaphysics be taught to the members of the CFD. This “controversy” within CFD could have been avoided if the distinction between “nature” and “person” were grasped from the outset. The most outstanding sources for the study of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation is the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles of St. Thomas Aquinas.
May the Lord bless your laudable work for the Church.
Rev. Fr. Luis P. Supan, Ph.D.
CBCP Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith
FINALLY, THE MUCH AWAITED DECISION HAS BEEN GIVEN AND IT CAME DIRECT FROM THE CBCP DOCTRINAL COMMISSION EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, REV. FR. LUIS P. SUPAN. ON HIS PART, FR. SUPAN IS A PRIEST OF GREAT ERUDITION AND SOLID ORTHODOXY. HE HAS A DOCTORATE IN PHILOSOPHY AND A MEMBER OF THE OPUS DEI.
WE HOPE AND PRAY THAT THIS DECISION IS ENOUGH TO CLARIFY THE MATTER AND STOP THOSE WHO ARE PRETENDING TO BE EXPERTS IN DOGMATIC THEOLOGY EVEN THOUGH LACKING IN COMPETENCE AND PROPER TRAINING IN SUCH A FIELD. MAY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH ENLIGHTEN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THESE PEOPLE TO SUBMIT TO THE PROPER EXPLANATION OF THE CHURCH MAGISTERIUM LED BY ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA OF CEBU, BISHOP LEONARDO MEDROSO OF TAGBILARAN, BISHOP CHRISTIAN NOEL – THE BISHOP EMERITUS OF TAGBILARAN… THEN THE PRIESTS CONSULTANTS: FR. CARLOS ESTRADA, S.T.L LICENTIATE IN CHRISTOLOGY FROM HOLY CROSS UNIVERSITY IN ROME, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY AND SUPERIOR OF THE OPUS DEI IN THE PHILIPPINES, FR. RUSSEL BANTILES, S.T.D. Summa cum Laude FROM NAVARRE UNIVERSITY, FR. ABE P. ARGANIOSA, S.T.B – FORMER NATIONAL SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR OF CFD AND FR. JORGE S. ANGGA, S.T.B OF CFD DAVAO.
LET THIS BE THE END OF THIS CONTROVERSY. WE BESEECH ALL CFD MEMBERS TO HEED THE MAGISTERIAL VOICE OF YOUR SHEPHERDS THE BISHOPS AND PRIESTS RATHER THAN THOSE WHO LACK AUTHORITY AND COMPETENCE. LISTEN TO THE OFFICIAL TEACHERS OF THE CHURCH AND NOT THE SELF PROCLAIMED INTERPRETATION OF SOME.