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  Frithjof Schuon on Christianity Back to the List of Slideshows
    
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The Protestant Reformation sought to correct certain abuses and excesses, as well as certain omissions, that had manifested themselves in the Church of Rome. Rome, in turn, saw to its own affairs in the Counter-Reformation. The history of Western Christianity since these movements has been replete with schismatic hostility, manifesting itself socially, politically, and doctrinally.
According to Catholic logic, the Lutheran Communion is invalid, not only because the rite has been changed, but also because the officiant is not a priest; whereas from the Lutheran—or general Protestant—point of view, the officiant is a priest thanks to the sacerdotal virtuality that man as such possesses by his deiform nature; Christ actualized this virtuality through the “mandate of Heaven”…Heaven permits this Mandate to descend upon the officiant by virtue of his election by the Community, or by those whom the Community delegates, exactly as is the case—technically speaking—with the Roman pontiff…Doubtless, the Western Church never went so far as to deny the laity a kind of indirect sacerdotal function, but it has not granted it the same degree of recognition as has the Eastern Church; on the contrary, it too much neglected it, the celibacy of priests helping to widen the gap between the tonsured and the laity, which, precisely, was avoided by the Orthodox. (from “Christian Divergences”, pp. 89-90)
That Catholicism and Protestantism each express a certain perspective of truth has meant that neither is capable of submitting to the other. This does not mean that an ecumenical relationship is not possible but that any such reconciliation must be based upon both recognition and appreciation of divergences rather than a destruction of valid perspectives.
In the framework of Christianity as a whole, the Reformation, while appearing logically and technically as a heresy…possesses in itself a justification and hence an efficacy, which it draws from a spiritual archetype that was, if not entirely ignored by Rome, at least certainly “restrained”. (from “Christian Divergences”, pp. 81-2)

It is possible that Heaven could will a phenomenon such as the Lutheran Communion; but it is impossible that it could will the Lutheranization of the Catholic Mass, for God cannot contradict Himself on one and the same plane, the very one that would imply an intrinsic contradiction; the fact that God brings about the manifestation of the Islamic possibility in no way means that He wishes Christianity to be Islamized, any more than He desires that Islam be Christianized. (from “Christian Divergences”, pp. 89)
The Last Supper,
by Duccio di Buoninsegna, 14th c. (C.E.)
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