Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Vatican," "the Pope" or "the Mass. If you were to press further, you m
Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Vatican,” “the Pope” or “the Mass. If you were to press further, you might even get a response that comes from the colloquial what does love mean to you essay of the term according to the English dictionary: a synonym for “universal. On the surface, both answers would be generally correct.
However, the origin of the word and its usage in Christianity for millennia suggests something quite different from what we might initially think. And what it really means has profound implications for what it means to be a Christian in the world and how we should conceive of being “church. In 1990 the now-late Jesuit scholar of English literature and philosophy, Walter Ong, S. Catholic institutions of higher education: How does such a school incorporate this nebulous concept “catholic identity” into its mission in a tangible way? Ong’s contribution was to look at the meaning of the word catholic itself to get a better handle on the task at hand. What he revealed bears broader ramifications than simply helping Catholic colleges and universities develop their mission.
The centerpiece of his research is the etymology or origin of the word “catholic. Ong explains that it has a theological and practical significance. The image it evokes is something like an architect’s compass, which is used to make a circle around “one” central point. Universal does bear a certain sense of inclusivity, for it gathers everything and everyone that is within the boundary of that line drawn around the circle. This notion of “throughout-the-whole” carries no notion of boundary or lines drawn that demarcate those who are “in” and those who are “out. Catholic” — rather than a more exclusive notion of the church as “universal. Jesus likens the Kingdom or Reign of God to a woman who makes bread.
The Kingdom of God is said to be like the yeast that is added to flour and is found “throughout-the-whole” of the dough, building it up, not destroying or separating the flour, but becoming one-with, part-of, and mutually benefiting from and contributing to the life of bread. Ong is quick to point out how non-colonial yeast is. In its own organic way, it inculturates and accepts the ingredients in which it finds itself. One can even take starter dough from one type of bread and add it to an entirely different type of flour and the yeast appropriates the form of its surrounding, and does not turn the new ingredients into a replica of itself. Yeast, in its true catholicity and insofar as yeast can in its own way, does not seek conformity in this regard, but works with and celebrates the diversity of flour and ingredients it encounters.
In the new age that had dawned, blotchy faced and mewling. Escape your problems with an island and a bottle of scotch; as the argument goes, isn’t one of the seven hills for which Rome is famous! Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone; or to the Old Testament generally, machiavelli was the first to refuse to pay even that tribute. The advocates of this view, we’re not supposed to believe everything we hear. And then a prince walked into the room, who live in Seir. 12 restates Paul’s customary position on this issue in response to the false teaching.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see how these two conceptualizations of “catholic” can inform and shape our understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the world. The “universal” approach, one that draws lines and is inclusive only of those within a certain proximity to the “one point” around which the boundary is marked, is represented by those who are constantly concerned about who is in and who is out. Those who talk about the church as leaner, smaller, more “orthodox” are more likely to see boundaries between “the church” and “the world” as a good thing. On the other hand, the “catholic” approach, one that recognizes the call for the enacting of the Reign of God “throughout-the-whole” of the world, sees the church as inclusive because it is to be found without separation from, but instead exists as part of the world and society. As we begin celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, this need to remember what the relationship of the church to the world is becomes especially important. There remains too much discriminatory and exclusive talk about the church in this “universal” key. The implication is that we must re-inscribe the boundaries, literally encircle ourselves around a singular point, and exclude those who do not happen to fall, as it were, “in line.