Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Various bloggers chime in on the Qualified Catholics question and related matters:


Some might say, "Heretics are automatically excommunicated, and the number of heretics in my 'so-called' Catholic parish is legion." But heresy doesn't seem to be such a casual matter -- again, perhaps, by necessity. Sure, you aren't a Monothelite, but can you be sure about all the knights in your local council? Scratch a member of the ladies' sodality, and who's to say you won't find someone who thinks in order for your sins to be forgiven you have to be certain they're forgiven?

Sed Contra

I think the problem at the root of this is self-righteousness and that the cure is a good dose of humility. Can someone who claims the label of "traditionalist" or "conservative" or "progressive" know for absolute, blue-sky certain that God really doesn't care about the things we do as His body to fight injustice based on race or class or origin or that He doesn't really care about personal holiness as much? Yes, we can quibble about how things are done, but is it such an impossible thing to believe that the "other side" (however we define that) might have some truth behind their points? And would the charity and humility it would take to admit that really cost us so much?


Contrast this with the groups that have worked reform in the history of the Church, let me take St. Francis for an example. Did Francis' begin by taking on a political slogan? No, he began by praying before a crucifix. He began with a look into the Gospels and a re-encounter with Christ. Christ was his focus and through the eyes of Christ he saw the church that Christ founded falling into ruin and felt the command to rebuild it--begining with the crumbling church that he was praying in. Here is true reform--not focused on the structures of the Church but rather on Christ and following Him. In this view of reform the Church is seen transfigured, her humanity veiled, the battle won.