Sunday, December 17


Approving Truth Where Found

Occasionally, St. Blog's is witness to mummerings that what the Church needs most are definitive, no-holds-barred smack-downs, with little or no consideration for whether this (actually essential) medicine of truth is really recieved efficaciously by those smacked-down. This attitude came out in the debates over the use of Santa Sabina's by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the occasional anger directed even at our Holy Father for allowing it. I'm not definitively saying this was a great idea, I'm responding to those who reacted to it with near-vitriol towards any reconciling attitude with our separated brethren. How could Benedict, good Augustinian that he is, allow it?

Thus Augustine:

God has determined that in the case of every schismatic and heretic, the wound which caused his separation should be cured by the medicine of the Church; but that what remained sound in him should rather be recognized with approbation, then wounded by condemnation. (On Baptism, Against the Donatists; I.7)

And that is why we rightly call Christians outside the Catholic Church "separated brethren," because we do not condemn what they rightly believe about Christ, and can only respect them for what they rightly believe in Christ, and call them to believe it with us.

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