“Partial Communion”

2 02 2009


Some personal reflections of a post-traditionalist

Over at the traditionalist blog, Cornell Society for a Good Time, they have posted a brief essay about the ambiguity of the term “imperfect” or “partial” communion. Of course, this has become almost an official term in the Catholic Church to categorize our “separated brethren”, that is, those people who profess Christ but are not in communion with the See of St. Peter and the Holy Roman Church. The general tenor of the post is critical in that it calls out the vacillation involved in such terminology; as I summarized it, it seems that one cannot be partially in communion anymore than one can be partially dead or partially pregnant. If the axiom “salus animarum supremus lex” (the salvation of souls is the highest law) holds, why would we toy around with such concepts asserting that people have one foot in the Kingdom and might be saved? Is such phrasing a fundamental abandoning of the mission of the Church? What other factors are involved?
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