Henley Henson on unity

Thanks to Bishop Alan for this gem:

No ideal of unity can satisfy us which fails in range or in quality, i.e. which leaves outside the visible church any genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, or which sets before the world a partial or distorted conception of Christian fellowship. Whether the attainment of that ideal would imply the organization of the visible church as a single polity is a point which neither the New Testament nor the experience of the Christian Society enables us to determine.

The true parallel to the spiritual society of Christ’s Church is not a single government, however effective and extended, but the human race. The Church is ultimately equivalent to redeemed humanity, and the nature of its unity will have its analogue in the unity of mankind.

History is continually revising the definition of the Catholic Church. We are called to recognize the teaching of history (i.e. the Mind of the Spirit disclosed in Christian experience), and to extend our definition of the Catholic Church until it covers the facts.

Amen.

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