… For a surprising number of Roman Catholics today it seems to be inconceivable that any grave and damaging transformations could happen to their church. Of course we have our Lord’s word that the Church will endure, since not even the gates of hell can finally prevail against it. But, strangely enough, those who call themselves conservatives seem more aware of the possibility that the gates of hell might do a great deal of damage before Christ returns in triumph. They more readily recognize that the particular form of the Church that is Roman Catholicism is a historical construct and can be historically deconstructed. In this instance, Ratzinger’s complaint about theologians who view the church “sociologically” rather than as a “mystery” is reversed. An astonishing sense of “mystery” is to be found among the ecclesiastical fundamentalists who believe that the Roman Catholic Church can abandon its identifying particularities and indulge any force of transformation and still be the Roman Catholic Church. Their church, to which they are undoubtedly devoted, floats above the mundane, indifferent to the fragilities and contingencies of historical change. Therefore anything can be done, and it does not matter, not really.
The above Neuhaus citation comes from Ross Douthat’s recent column, Why I Am Catholic. I think hell has frozen over because I substantially agree with a NY Times Columnist. I also think it is fitting that Pope Benedict’s comment regarding theologians who view the church “sociologically” is prophetic because that is exactly who the Progressives are and that is exactly the mentality that came to the foreground at the Synod, and in particular, paragraph 52 of its final document:
52. The possibility for the divorced and remarried to accede to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist was considered. Several Synod Fathers insisted in favor of the current discipline, in consideration of the constitutive relationship between participation in the Eucharist and communion with the Church and her teaching on indissoluble marriage. Others expressed themselves in favor of a non-generalized welcoming to the eucharistic table, in certain particular situations and in very specific circumstances, especially in cases that are irreversible and linked to moral obligations towards children who would [otherwise] be subjected to unjust suffering. The eventual access to the sacraments should be preceded by a penitential path under the responsibility of the diocesan Bishop. The matter should still be deepened, taking into consideration the distinction between an objective situation of sin and attenuating circumstances, considering that the “Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified” by several “psychological or social factors.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1735)] [This paragraph did not reach the required 2/3 of the Fathers: 104 in favor, 74 against]