February 20, 2006

From the Catholic Rumor Mill

From comments in an article on the coming end of the SSPX schism.

However, as I see it, the Pope's doing this for other reasons: his intention is to end the schism with the Orthodox this year or next; and they have made it very clear that they want him to end the schism with the SSPX first; and show them thereby how he would propose to end the Great Schism.

So this is a case study for that. And I think B16 has the same idea for both: that is a unilateral cancellation of disciplinary censures. He may ipso facto make the SSPX in communion, without requiring anythign from them; as a good will gesture, and then ask them in Christian Charity to make a Christian response in Charity. And likewith to the Orthodox.

On the one hand, this is going to cause a lot of confusion: because laws are supposed to be for guiding the practice of virtue and for the instruction in virtue, and until we se how he does it and if he does it this way, it is hard to say what the repercussions will be. On the other hand, the sins of heresy and schism remain, regardless of whether they are condemend in this particular person or church. And it is conceivable, for those who are ignorant that they are in sin, and have no malice (which even Christ admitted to St. Bridget in regard to the majority of the Orthodox), that such a unilateral step will only foster their acceptance of the truth, ultimately. In short, the pope will be treating them as poorly catechised children, with whom it is pointless to impose censures, since they are not yet ready for the responsibility of adulthood. It all seems highly unorthodox to me.

Ending schism between Catholicism and Orthodoxy may seem to be obscure and inconsequential to many modern readers. I can assure you that it is not. It is the start of reforging an old Huntingtonian civilization, christendom. Stuff like this happens once a millenium and usually the process is the reverse, one civilization becoming two.

If this truly is the papal line, be ready for a few adjustments in practical terms. The calculation of Easter is a very likely concession of West to East. Protestants are going to have to decide denomination by denomination whether they want to go along with the Eastern formulation and then civil governments in protestant (like the UK) and split western nations (like the US, FRG, and France) are going to have to mediate.

Get ready to hear an awful lot about the Eastern Church fathers and their different approach to salvation. Even if you're a protestant or not even christian, the new preeminence of the eastern fathers are going to change the discussion in unexpected ways. Get used to thinking again because you're likely to hear some arguments that you haven't heard before.

Get ready for the first full apostolic council in a millenium whose first order of business will be reconciling the last millenia's thelogical developments between the major branches of apostolic christianity. God only knows what would come out of such a council but it will be the acid test of the new unity.

Posted by TMLutas at February 20, 2006 03:36 PM