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And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, May 20, 2019

Plus ça change....Congar on the "Crisis" of "Heresy" Today

I had occasion, while working on something else, recently to pick up a short book published in 1976, Challenge to the Church: The Case of Archbishop Lefebvre, written by the man who is arguably the greatest historian and theologian of the postwar period, Yves Congar.

Congar's book contains striking parallels to today. He wrote to respond to a remarkably similar hostile exchange of views and letters between Lefebvre and the pope—with some others being drawn in as well. The gist of those letters was that the pope was presiding over the destruction of the Church, and the only answer to this was some imagined return to “tradition.” Congar noted that “Mgr Lefebvre never stops invoking tradition,” but doing so in a way that argues tradition ceased “in 1962.”

Congar patiently but cogently dispatched the claims of the letters by showing, time and time again, that they did not, as today, have coherent and cogent arguments to offer but only their own “obstinate self-righteousness in the face of all the facts.” The answer to such nonsense, then as today, Congar continues, is for the writers and signatories to give up their “cantankerous, aggressive, or unintelligently intransigent spirit.”

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.....

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