Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Divide et Impera


Mr. Patrick Boyden has penned a reflection worth noting. In 2013 I wrote:

Lest we forget, there were indeed reform-minded Council Fathers who responded to Pope John’s vision of the Church growing in spiritual riches as a fruit of the Council under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the hope that the faithful might through grace be aided in turning hearts and minds toward heavenly things.  Given what has been said thus far, it should not surprise the reader that many “liberal Catholics” view the pontificate of John Paul II as too “conservative,” and out of touch with the modern world, while the traditionalists view the writings and teachings of the Holy Father as modernist!
Thus the schema of “liberal” (progressive, left) vs. conservative (traditional, right) which followed upon the close of Vatican II is wholly inadequate for explaining the present-day crisis of faith within the Church of Jesus Christ, though it is most unfortunate that usage of these terms persist among many Catholics and in the media today. Division within Christ’s Church is a clear attack by the evil one. Satan’s strategy here is the time-honored one of divide et impera  –  divide and conquer. Remember, too, Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” Quite simply, no ideology, no matter how sincerely embraced, may substitute for personal conversion.

Mr. Boyden also notes, sans the demonic element (couched as "civil war:")

Ultimately, what Ross Douthat and others miss is the deep and abiding reality that there is, in the end, no such thing as “liberal Catholicism” or “conservative Catholicism.” There is only Catholicism. [italics mine] In our human imperfection, we often try to erect walls of division where walls need not exist or, in fact, cannot exist. So, Mr. Douthat, I don’t think that your civil war will ever come to pass: how could a perfectly one body—the Body of Christ—ever truly divide itself, despite how loudly its members clamor for revolt? Have faith—the Spirit hasn’t led us astray yet!

Need I say more? Well, I have.