Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Razing the Bastions"

The title of this post is the title of a little book written by Hans Urs von Balthasar prior to Vatican II calling upon the Church to engage the world instead of remaining aloof, locked away in a dusty, Medieval room. The whole title is Razing the Bastions: On the Church in This Age. The fortress mentality of the Church was definitively blown away by the Second Vatican Council, but not without opposition from the "prophets of doom". Lest there be doubt, here is an excerpt from Gaudium et Spes, of which then-Karol Wojtyla was a primary architect:

89. "Since, in virtue of her mission received from God, the Church preaches the Gospel to all men and dispenses the treasures of grace, she contributes to the ensuring of peace everywhere on earth and to the placing of the fraternal exchange between men on solid ground by imparting knowledge of the divine and natural law. Therefore, to encourage and stimulate cooperation among men, the Church must be clearly present in the midst of the community of nations both through her official channels and through the full and sincere collaboration of all Christians-a collaboration motivated solely by the desire to be of service to all.

"This will come about more effectively if the faithful themselves, conscious of their responsibility as men and as Christians will exert their influence in their own milieu to arouse a ready willingness to cooperate with the international community. Special care must be given, in both religious and civil education, to the formation of youth in this regard."

I love that this extract, along with a few others from the constitutions of Vatican II, appear from time-to-time in the Office of Readings. With that I link you to Let’s Sit Out World War IV, by Steven LaTulippe. Once again, it is thanks to Alex, who daily finds such wonderful things and also performs acts of charity by keeping me straight, that I came across LaTulippe's insightful article.

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