“Laudate Si’s” Disturbing Echoes

The great 19th century thinker and apologist John Henry Newman observed that the Church exhibits three characteristics: first she is pastoral thereby sanctifying her members, next she is pedagogical (a fancy word for her teaching mission), and finally she is political because the Church is made up of humans. It was this third characteristic that caused Newman the greatest concern and, in fact, any cursory glimpse of Church history quickly reveals her many political struggles from the beginning, when Paul took Peter to task over his attitude towards the gentiles as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

.  The problem is that the lines are not clearly demarcated and sometimes political considerations become entangled with the Church’s pastoral and pedagogical mission Continue reading