The Body of Christ

I have recently taken to reading George Tyrell’s ‘Oil and Wine’ and have been quite enjoying it (hence the silence on the blog). I daresay that a review of it will be forthcoming… eventually. Coupled with my teaching of Catechism and certain events, this has gotten me to think harder on what exactly constitutes the Body of Christ.
There are certain Catholics, and I’m sure many of you have met them, that hold an extreme papal-centric view of salvation. One must be within the Roman Communion to be saved. Period. If you are a destitute Ethiopian Christian, too bad! If you were a Russian peasant in 1567 (because everyone knows that there was a schism in 1054 that magically separated the “East” from the West), then your disobedient schismatic hind-end is off to hell. If you were raised in an SSPX chapel and continue to attend, then God help your lost soul.

You went against your patriarch due to liturgical changes?  How original and unprecedented.

Needless to say, I find this puritanical view usually comes from those who are most insulated. So many quick to declare what the problems are, who the enemy is, what MUST be done, and so on. Some Latin Massers are oftentimes the worst offenders. After all, if it wasn’t for that wicked “Novus Ordo” things would be far better today!


While I certainly have my opinions on things that could be done to counter many of our current problems, I acknowledge that I am not a magical answer-man. I am more interested in the causes of why things went wrong in the first place or rather whether they actually did. A vision for the future is not possible without a clear knowledge of the past, something most traditionalist Catholics – by definition – lack any interest in. This is why I would be interested on researching and writing about the original modernists and the time in which they lived, were I ever to get a break from my job and my fiction writing.

In the meantime we need to look around at the world today and reflect on something essential: we are all sinners and we have no business thinking of ourselves in a mythical “state of grace”. Perhaps the Church is not a doofie Argentinan in a white robe. Perhaps it doesn’t constitute the gang of half-senile old men in Rome who wear silly red pajamas and usually contribute nothing of note. Perhaps the gaggle of self-righteous church ladies gossiping about the parishoners are not the apex of Christianity. Perhaps… Christ’s Bride is written in the hearts of those fleeing from the sword of the Saracen. Perhaps God’s grace lives within those poor godless souls who wander through the mire of a decrepit society, grasping for any grain of truth or love in their chaotic lives. Perhaps the Church is twenty-one men kneeling in the sand with the words “Lord Jesus Christ” on their lips as the knife of the infidel severs their throat.


4 thoughts on “The Body of Christ

  1. Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus : ut nullis nos permittas perturbationibus concuti, quos in apostolicae confessionis petra solidasti. Per Dominum nostrum &c.

    Perhaps that statement (collect of the Vigil of SS. Peter and Paul) expresses the true essence of the Church and of the the belonging to the Lord’s Body: the Faith revealed by Him, handed down by the Church, put in action by means of the Sacraments, and rightfully celebrated in the Liturgy. In many ways, the Oriental churches have shown a far more traditional and truly Christian spirit that our Latin church, decimated by Ultramontanism.

    Indeed, and knowing that many will see me as a heretic for what I’m saying, the recent events have made me wonder if the statement in Lumen Gentium>/i> that “the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church” (it would be pretty nice to know what exactly the Conciliar Fathers had in mind when putting the term “Catholic”) may be far more realistic than we use to think…

    K. e.


    • If you mean Oriental as in the Byzantine/Oriental Catholics and the Miaphysite Orthodox, then yes I agree with your statement. Many of the Chalcedonian Orthodox are just as bad as (or even worse than) the Latin Church on this point: There is “Holy Orthodoxy”, outside of which there is no salvation.


      • My statement was rather generical. But you are right: there is something even worse than a Catholic Tradistani, an “Orthodox” one – the former at least do not deny the validity of Baptism conferred by anybody outside “their” priests. On the other hand, it is also true that inside Chalcedondian Orthodoxy there are some remnants of a true traditional spirit that we have completely lost.

        If you read Italian, I strongly recommend you this blog:
        Its author is an Italian Orthodox man, and whose postings (perhaps he is the only non-anticatholic among Orthodox writers) contain some of the best analysis of the decadence both of modern Latin and Byzantine churches.

        Two more points, if you allow me:
        1) I have realized at some point that in 1054 there was no schism at all. We have talked about it here and in His Traddiness’ blog, but I’m still surprised of the force of this myth.

        2) The photograph of the Nouus Ordo concelebration (and with two deacons!!) is pretty nice. I still hope that, some day in the far future, concelebration (with all its due reverence and solemnity) will be restored in the Roman rite(s).


      • I sometimes wish I knew more languages than my native one…

        The first concelebration I ever witnessed was a Byzantine one in a Ukrainian church. I spoke of its beauty to room of trads some time afterwards and they winced at the word “concelebration”, associating it with a line of priests doing nothing but raising their hands and robotically saying the words of institution in unison. It is a pity that the most beautiful of things in the Roman Rite have been thus degraded.

        Also of note, those vestements in the picture are rose-colored and not the bubble gum pink many are accustomed to on Gaudete.


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