instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A virtue, not a metric

Somewhere along the line, the term "faithful Catholic" changed from a description to a grade. The adjective "faithful" changed from characterizing actions to measuring opinions. It stopped referring to the theological virtue of Faith and started referring to The Faith -- specifically, The Faith understood as an itemized set of propositions to which assent is to be given.

I think it's time we stop preparing for the Council of Trent.

If we do that, if we understand "faithful" as properly applying to someone who lives by faith in Jesus Christ rather than to someone who signs off on a list of doctrines, then I think we will have a much better grasp of what's going on. (We also might be able to wean people off that noxious phrase of self-puffery, "faithful to the Magisterium.") At the very least, our conversation and thoughts will be about Jesus rather than about which revision of which list is the one that counts.