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St Bonaventure
July 15, 2010, 8:02 am
Filed under: Devotional | Tags: , ,

Today, besides being (in England) the feast of St Swithun, Bishop of Winchester, is also the feast of St Bonaventure. Bonaventure was the greatest Franciscan theologian of the thirteenth century, Minister General of his Order, and Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He worked for the unity of the Church, dying in 1274 at the Council of Lyons which had been called to re-establish unity between the Latin and Greek churches. He preached at the Mass during which the Greek legates accepted as legitimate the Latin understanding of the Trinity. Bonaventure, in his Commentary on the Sentences, had accepted that both Latin and Greek formulations of the procession of the Holy Spirit were valid. Unfortunately, the unity achieved in 1274 lasted only fifteen years, but Bonaventure surely provides a model for theological dialogue.

Standing firmly in the Augustinian tradition, and with only limited sympathy with the Aristotelian approach of St Thomas, Bonaventure has been a major influence on the thinking of Pope Benedict, who recently devoted three of his Wednesday catecheses to him.

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