Friday, October 31, 2014

Returning to an empty lot

Every year, predictably, there are Roman Catholics and ecumenists who lament or complain about Reformation Day. The Reformation was, at best a "tragic necessity," and we should work overtime on interfaith dialogue to achieve reconciliation. 
One obvious problem with that scenario is that it isn't even possible to return to Rome, even if you wanted to. The Church of Rome which the Protestant Reformers left behind no longer exists. That's long gone. It's like going back home to an empty lot. Just weeds. The house was bulldozed years ago. 
You can still convert to Rome, but you can't revert to Rome. Not unless you're a post-Vatican II cradle Catholic. There's no Rome to go back to. Rome keeps changing. Same address, different establishment. Under new management. New menu. 
It's like telling fourth-generation Chinese-Americans to "go back to where you came from." At best, that's something their great-grandparents could do. It's way too late for that now. 

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