To say "everybody's right" is to assure that everyone will think you're wrong. But the Bear was thinking about an old saying: "Every heresy is the revenge of a forgotten truth."
Let us not talk about heresy, but, rather emphases or tendencies. Several decades ago, the Bear read a book called The Catholic Center. He doesn't think it's on Amazon; in fact he can't find it anywhere. But the Bear clearly remembers the message. An argument for the truth of Catholicism is that the Church invariably places itself in exactly the right place between extremes of error, marching right down the highway and avoiding the ditches on either side. Not in the bland and cautious "middle of the road" way, but in the disciplined and determined journey along the very best of courses.
Naturally, it got down to cases, but, unfortunately the Bear cannot remember more than the thesis. However it was one of those books that stick with you your whole life.
It's not so much that the Church is not healthy; it's not whole. The body isn't sick, it's broken. Of course, it will always be one, holy and apostolic, but "as constituted in society" it seems that there are too many competing visions for the Church. The Bear does not want to go into details, because most of us know what he's talking about. Even more so, it would not serve the purpose of this little essay to get bogged down in labels.
Being not particularly attached to any camp may be wisdom or laziness. But it is true for the Bear. And as he looks around, he agrees with everyone -- but only so far. There is indeed a blessed place for mercy. There is a place to advocate for the poor and homeless, and for fair dealing with workers. Tradition is essential. The traditional Latin Mass is great. The newer liturgy can be awesome. The Bear will happily go to either.
Sadly, Catholics are divided. If one person is right and the other wrong, that's unfortunate. If two people are both right, that's much harder to deal with. It is not our vices that separate us, but our virtues. Our insults are actually unintended compliments, because they mostly touch on the essence of each other's good. Being "rigid" is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is being "merciful." Somehow, in the Bear's opinion, we have to meet one another once again in the Catholic center.
When the Church is whole again, we will not pit one virtue against another to identify ourselves.
It can happen, but not now. The Bear just wrote about Pope Francis' mad virtues, and that is exactly what the Bear is talking about. The Bear does not think it will happen by taking things away from people. That would be exactly wrong. It will happen when the wild virtues on every side are curbed, and the Church remembers who she is. It is not just "those other Catholics," that need to be straightened out. It's going to take all of us.
It's hard to imagine today, with such a polarizing Pope. But we do not know what the future will bring. The Bear can't even imagine when it will happen, but he knows exactly what it will look like when it does.
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