Saturday 18 December 2021

Magister 2


In Sandro Magister's magnificent post about the virus that has infected the Church, the virus that he is speaking of is the attitude of the Enlightenment, and the vaccine that the Church needs to counter this is to reclaim the Christian life.

To better understand what is taking place in the Church today, it is good to understand what flowed out of the Kulturkampf in Germany between 1872 and 1878. Essentially this Kulturkampf created two wings to the Church in Germany: a Church which corresponded with the values and attitude of the Enlightenment, and a Church which, rather than do that, sought to reclaim its native identity and vision.

This division was present in the background at the Second Vatican Council, and is apparent today in the Church Universal. This is the issue at stake today. The Enlightenment has been allowed to enter into the Church and now we have a full-scale dichotomy on our hands:

1. For the Church to approach the world, as the Council intended, from a renewed understanding of her Faith.

2. For the Church to approach the world from a shared position of Enlightenment, where we all agree the Ts and Cs.

This all takes some time and understanding to see. The more time, reflective reading, and conversation that we give to this, the more we will see it. We need to step back and see the big picture.

Today, it is becoming clearer to me, that the two attitudes or projects which flowed out of the Kulturkampf in Germany, are now present in the Church:

There is an un-Enlightened Church, which seeks to claim anew her Faith and Teaching, and so build up her life and mission. In other words, a Church who wants to allow God to act.

And there is an Enlightened Church, which seeks to appropriate much of the world's criteria and self-understanding, and to accommodate herself to its ways. In other words, a Church which is a human endeavour, based on human resourcefulness.

To be continued.

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