I think he’s wrong about this, but only in the “maybe” part. They definitely are a call to confusion. They definitely have gotten themselves into something they don’t fully understand. And they’re treating it as if they do.
In their call to find infallible certainty over “the proximate object of faith”, and in their enthusiasm to proclaim that they have found such infallibility, the Called to Communion gang have embraced their own worst nightmare – the fact that there are multiple “Roman Catholicisms” that have existed over time and across the religious spectrum today. Hart has isolated one, but there are many. The claim is that these are all “under” the same authority structure, but many of them mock it and are still called “Roman Catholics”. They all hold to the “same Catechism”, but how many of them pick and choose (and the Pope says he’d rather these would leave), whereas, how many hold to the Catechism with the same “correct interpretation” and with the same purity that the Called to Communion gang hold it?
Since Hart is talking about councils in conflict, some time ago, I wrote about some other councils that are in conflict: Vatican I and Vatican II.
Consider Michael J. Buckley, S.J., “Papal Primacy and the Episcopate: towards a relational understanding,” New York: Crossroad Herder, © 1998, from the “Ut Unum Sint” series. Some comments from Buckley:
The development from Pastor aeternus (Vatican I) to Lumen Gentium (Vatican II), from speaking of the bishops as the episcopate to speaking of the bishops as “a college...or a college of bishops” (collegium ... seu corpus episcoporum), is far more considerable than a simple semantic shift. “Episcopate” is somewhat more abstract than “college of bishops,” and it fails to express the dynamic relationship of the bishops among themselves… (pg 77).
Then there are the vital relationship between the bishop and the local church within which he is to represent the leadership and the sanctifying presence of Christ (81) … and the Apostolic Tradition which insists that the bishop is to be chosen by all of the people and that this selection is to be approved by the assembled [local] bishops and elders (86). Buckley writes, in summary:
Two questions arise in this context. Whether the present settlement actually detracts from the full vigor of the episcopate and whether papal restoration of ancient legislation on the selection of bishops and their stability within their sees could contribute significantly to the strengthening of the episcopate and the local churches today. Could the apostolic See further effectively its responsibilities simply by restoring what has been taken [or, what the papacy has usurped for itself] over the centuries? This would be to retrieve in a very different way that papal leadership whose bent was the strength and freedom of the local church. Neither problem is an easy one to resolve, but both merit serious study and each touches upon both components of this essay (94).
After 1800 years, they still cannot agree on what the definition of a bishop should be. But believe with the assent of faith any way, because whatever it is they do agree on surely must be infallibly so.
In reality, these guys are not called to communion with the one true faith that was preached by the Apostles. They are called to share the communion of noumenality that exists between Bryan Cross’s ears, under that fine-looking hat that he wears. It is not the communion of Paul and the martyrs and the untold masses of saints who have existed in union with Christ through the ages. It is the call to the communion of a faith that’s shaped by Bryan’s made-up definitions of monocausalism and ecclesial deism and whatever new concepts he can dream up.
They are not “called to communion”. What they are called to is quite different. They are called to a cult.