The Unholy Holiness of the Church

Sandro Magister has entered into dialogue with Joseph Komonchak on the "Chiesa" website. The issue is how to speak of the Church as holy, yet counting innumerable sinners among her members. Both refer to Joseph Ratzinger's great work "Introduction to Christianity." Here is the portion that Magister cites:

Is the Church not simply the continuation of God's deliberate plunge into human wretchedness; is it not simply the continuation of Jesus' habit of sitting at table with sinners, of his mingling with the misery of sin to the point where he actually seems to sink under its weight? Is there not revealed in the unholy holiness of the Church, as opposed to man's expectation of purity, God's true holiness, which is love, love which does not keep its distance in a sort of aristocratic, untouchable purity but mixes with the dirt of the world, in order thus to overcome it? Can therefore the holiness of the Church be anything else but the mutual support which comes, of course, from the fact that all of us are supported by Christ?

The rest of the exchange is here.N.B. This is the second day in a row that Magister has referenced Commonweal. Yesterday, on his blog, "Settimo Cielo," Magister referred to Ken Woodward's article, in the print issue of the magazine, which he called: "la rivista Commonweal, espressione raffinata della cultura cattolica progressista americana, specie newyorkese."Since "raffinata" is feminine, he must mean Mollie!

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.

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