Wednesday, May 04, 2005

fr. kimel on authentic catholicity (which doesn't equal diversity)

The Church is catholic because Jesus is catholic. He comprehends within himself the fullness of deity. The Church is catholic because she is mystically united to the God-man and sacramentally makes him present to the world. The Church is catholic because she embodies the wholeness of truth and teaches the dogmas of faith fully and completely. The Church is catholic because in her communion sinners are reborn in the Holy Spirit and brought into the salvation of the Kingdom.” The Church is catholic,” writes Georges Florovsky, “because it is the one Body of Christ; it is union in Christ, oneness in the Holy Ghost—and this unity is the highest wholeness and fulness.”

To be catholic is, I agree, to embrace everything. It is to embrace the fullness and perfection of divine revelation. It is to embrace the totality of God’s creation. It is to embrace life. But the Church has never understood her vocation as embracing or tolerating falsehood. Hers has been a tumultuous history of discerning truth and distinguishing it from falsity and error. Catholicity and orthodoxy cannot be divorced. Both the integrity of the gospel and the happiness of mankind hang in the balance.

The preceding is from Fr. Al Kimel's response to +Charles Pennsylvania's weird excurses on the meaning of catholicity. I encourage you to read all of both of them. Fr. Kimel's thing is insightful and entertaining, a rare combination of predicates.

It seems as though the death of Pope John Paul II really stirred something in the Bishop of Pennsylvania. May it be so. His thinking never the less still appears to be weird and completely off-base.

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