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Bit of Balthasar

“In the reciprocal relations between Protestants and Catholics, the most striking thing is that the latter ignore the former completely and no longer give them a thought: they perceive the Protestant principle as a minus of themselves, something they have clearly penetrated once and for all and have found to be too light, something that basically is not worth the trouble. By contrast, the Catholic is for Protestants an annoyance, a constant object of curiosity: they feel in him the presence of a plus that irritates them, something that they cannot get at and that consequently is always challenging them to produce a contradiction.”

~ Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat, 125.


  1. Hill wrote:

    I’m assuming you’ve read his book on Barth. I found his discussion of Protestant/Catholic dynamics to be totally illuminating and singularly helpful.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Pat wrote:

    … and to make matters more entertaining, for the Orthodox, the Catholics are the original Protestants, so they’re lumped together. And for the Catholics and the Protestants, the Orthodox are just plain strange. :-)

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Colin wrote:

    Not only are the Orthodox just strange, they are just ignored and forgotten!

    I usually hate these sorts of analogies, but in particle physics if you have a particle colliding with its antiparticle, they annihilate one another.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  4. X-Cathedra wrote:

    What is this “Orthodox” you speak of??? ;)

    Pax Christi,

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink
  5. roger flyer wrote:

    Right who’s got it ‘right’? (ortho)

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  6. Skip Newby wrote:

    Yes. Because of all these “differences” I am Catholic in the truest sense, Universal.

    However, I do know many Roman Catholics who appreciate many things about Protestants. And, Protestants who are at least fascinated by the adoration of Christ that has motivated many RC’s eg. M. Teresa, Father Damian, Fr. Maxmillian Kolbe, Francis……………

    Peace in the Body, Skip.

    Friday, March 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  7. interesting, but doesn’t ring true to me.

    Monday, March 30, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

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