Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Cardinal Sarah speaks

Here and here.  He's one to watch.  Of course anyone who thinks he will espouse some Conservative Republican Middle American version of Catholicism will be sorely disappointed.  But most I know don't think - or don't want - that from the Church.  They want the Church to look like the Church.  To that end, they also don't want the Church to be some mock up of a Marxist, post-modern, Leftist, secular Socialist institution.  And sad to say, many across the Church, including its leadership, are trying to get the Church to become just that.

In comes Cardinal Sarah reminding us of some things we seem to have forgotten.  One such thing is refuting the development among Catholics that I can only call a Protestant development.  That is a notion that the Church was just fine and Jesus and God and all, but then it moved into Europe and that's when everything went to hell.  But thank goodness the Church is moving away from that Babylonian Captivity, and it's finally getting to the people who look more like Jesus did (HT: Fr. James Martin).

That's actually a very Protestant understanding of Church history.  People say that Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide (that's 'Scripture Alone' or 'Faith Alone') are the foundations of Protestantism, but that's not true.  The foundation of Protestantism is the idea that the Church was guided by God up until Point X in history, but then it went off the rails until [pick your favorite Protestant Reformer] came by to get it back on track.  That is the essence of Protestantism and much of modern thinking today.  "Jesus was alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary.  It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."   So said John Lennon.

That so many Catholics have adapted that very Protestant perspective when thinking of the unique development of European civilization along with the Church just shows how far things have gotten in the Catholic Church today.  And it's good to see Cardinal Sarah rebuke such thinking. 
God does not change his mind. God gave a mission to Europe, which received Christianity. Then the European missionaries brought Christ to the ends of the earth. And this was no accident, but rather God’s plan. This universal mission, which He gave to Europe when Peter and Paul came to settle in Rome, from which city the Church evangelized Europe and the world, is not over. But if we put an end to it by sinking into materialism, godlessness and apostasy, then the consequences will be serious. If Europe disappears, and with it the inestimable values of the old continent, Islam will invade the world, and we will totally change our culture, anthropology and moral vision.
Not that everything to do with Europe deserves to be equaled to the Gospel (far from it).  But the idea that the whole thing was an unfortunate white racist xenophobic mess that hijacked the pure Church and troubled Jesus, but we're finally now getting away from it all, has far more to do with Luther than it does Jesus or the Apostolic tradition.

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