An Institution, Its Functions, And Its Organization

     I have said at other times that a church is necessarily a conservative institution. Its first duty is to conserve its theological core, for from that, all its other doctrines and pronouncements must flow. A church that discards or casually alters its core, or permits it to be altered or ignored by those who claim to speak in its name, is on the highway to dissolution.

     The Catholic Church, the oldest of the Christian churches from which all the others have fissioned, is in danger of several dramatic changes to its doctrines, owing to the occupancy of the Throne of Saint Peter by Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio and his many appointments of new cardinals. To the best of my knowledge, the Catholic theological core, which is neatly summarized in the Nicene Creed, is not yet in danger…but when radicals are in the power seats, anything is possible. Indeed, one’s worse imaginings are more likely to be realized than one’s better ones.

     Today at The Catholic Thing, Robert Royal writes thus:

     For anyone in a country well advanced into postmodernity, the newer Church reforms suggest the distribution of responsibilities via what is essentially a neo-Marxist perspective – i.e., questions of power and the distribution of power among currently favored social groups (women, racial minorities, LGBT+). To embrace that perspective, however, is to join the dying world in a delusion. Unequal distribution of power is not necessarily justice. It may even be a requirement in an institution like the Church. The way the world seeks equity is merely a playing of one power off against another. The Church is in a different business, the pursuit of truth, (true) justice, and holiness.

     If this is so – and I know far less than Mr. Royal about what the current “extraordinary consistory” is currently contemplating, though its convocation by the blatantly political, rapidly aging Pope Francis makes me massively suspicious – then the Church is in danger. If the Church is in danger, so are Catholics worldwide. If Catholics are in danger, can the rest of world Christianity deem itself safe and secure?

     It could be a while before the consistory produces definite results. I’ll do my best to stay abreast and report on them. Other interested parties – and if I may paraphrase an old commercial, you don’t have to be Catholic – should consider doing likewise.

1 comment

  1. The Church has survived power-hungry popes before. We even had that unpleasantness of the Avignon Papacy, when alternative claimants to the Throne of St. Peter jockeyed for supremacy.

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