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purely hypothetical. Consequently between the two systems there cannot be any reconciliation and Christianity must look at Tolstoy as a high-minded and idealistic reformer, but cannot accept his teachings if it wishes to remain loyal to its past history, its fundamental principles and beliefs, and its divine Founder.
The Holy Catholic Church
BY THE REV. JAMES H. FLYE.
OR a thousand years the Catholic Church was one; but in the eleventh century there occurred the consummation of an unfortunate division which has lasted till the present day. The boundaries in this division were geographical and non-overlapping. On the one hand was the eastern half of Christendom, the metropolis of which part of the world was Constantinople; on the other western Europe, whose metropolis was Rome. The official ecclesiastical as well as cultural language of the one was Greek, of the other Latin; modes of thought in East and West were different; and political jealousies and antagonisms were not lacking. The great cause of the separation, however, had to do with the Papacy. In the West there had been increasing emphasis upon the authority of the pope, the Bishop of Rome, who it was claimed was by divine appointment the Vicar of Christ on earth, with authority over the whole Church. This conception of ecclesiastical centralization though meeting with some protest was pretty generally accepted throughout the West. It had never been accepted, however, in the East, and as the doctrine of the
Papacy was more strongly put forward, and the papal power more strongly exercised, the rift between East and West widened. There were other points of difference, not doctrinal (except the question of the Procession of the Holy Spirit) which would no doubt have been capable of adjustment, but concerning the Papacy no agreement could be reached. The final cessation of intercommunion between East and West took place in 1054 A. D., and thenceforward for five centuries the Catholic Church existed in two great branches, Eastern and Western. (The Eastern is often, though not very accurately, called the Greek Church.) The Catholic faith, then, was what these two branches of the Church held in common. Of any such doctrines it could be said, "The Catholic Church-Christ's commissioned teaching authority teaches this," and not merely "one branch of the Church teaches thus and so."
This was the state of things from the eleventh to the sixteenth century.
In the sixteenth century another division took place, much like the former, this second one being between that part of the Catholic Church which was in England and that in the rest of Western Europe. The main point at issue, as in the separation of East and West five hundred years previously, was the question of the papal power. The English portion of the Catholic Church now took the same position that the East had maintained, viz., that the pope did not by divine appointment and should not by right exercise authority over the whole Church, and that in the region in question the exercise of such authority would not be permitted. If this separation seems more violent and radical than the earlier one between East and West, it is because the papal power had been increasing during those five cen
turies, so that the wrench with it was naturally greater; and because while the East had always maintained its ecclesiastical independence of Rome, England had pretty generally submitted to the exercise of Roman authority and so had to regain her independence.
At the same time the opportunity was taken to make some desirable reforms. The Mass and other rites of the Church were somewhat simplified and put into English, and some changes were made in matters of discipline and practice. But of course none of the Catholic Faith-the doctrine held in common by the whole of the Catholic Church, East and West, at that time—was denied. And if it had been, such denial would manifestly have been an unwarranted and invalid action of no binding force; as if a state of the American Union should in revising its constitution repudiate or set at naught some article of the Consitution of the United States. Such an action would be simply null and void. The English portion of the Catholic Church-or the French, or the Spanish, or the Greek-could no more reconsider such a matter as the number and nature of the sacraments, for example, than it could reopen the question of what books should comprise the New Testament, or any other question that had been similarly determined. Such matters had been settled decisively by the highest and final authority, the unanimous consent of the whole Church, and a small part had certainly no power to review a unanimous decision of the whole. Whatever Christian doctrine, therefore, was held by all the rest of the Catholic Church—that is, held in common by the Eastern and Western branches of the Church-the English portion was bound to continue to hold. Local or provincial teachings or beliefs were of course not universally binding, and the English Church
acted quite rightly in insisting upon this fact.' But there were now three branches of the Catholic Church, the Eastern, the Roman, and the Anglican, each keeping the necessary succession of bishops and the priesthood and the sacraments, and holding the faith once delivered to the saints.
The Catholic Church, then, consisted thereafter of these three branches. The Catholic religion was that which had been unanimously held by the whole Church, Eastern and Western, and now continued to be held in common by all. The differences between the three branches are really very few and mostly concern matters of discipline or usage rather than doctrine. For example, the Roman branch of the Church requires parish priests to be unmarried, the Eastern branch requires them to be married, and the English branch leaves it optional. The Roman branch prefers its services in Latin, the Eastern and Anglican use the national language. In the East only leavened bread is used for the Eucharist, while Roman Catholics always, and Anglicans generally, use wafer or unleavened bread. And the details of religious observance and of ritual vary, of course. The great difference is that Roman Catholics believe the Papacy to be by divine appointment the head of the whole Church—a principle which has never received universal Catholic consent-and insist on communion with the Roman See as a test of perfect orthodoxy. Certain other matters of belief and practice are so closely connected with the Papacy as scarcely to need separate consideration;
1 This does not mean that beliefs found locally or in only one branch of the Catholic Church must necessarily be false; it certainly does not mean that a private individual should hastily condemn them. It is simply to say that since the Church as a whole has not declared them essential doctrines of the Christian religion they cannot be considered as necessary articles of faith, but merely as matters of opinion. That is the Anglican and Eastern attitude, for example, towards purely Roman beliefs.
such, for example, as the system of indulgences. There are, to be sure, certain points of difference in doctrinal emphasis, but these are very few and do not need to be discussed here.
Pe haps it may seem that the formularies of the Anglican Church are at some points not entirely explicit, so as to leave some uncertainty as to what this branch of the Church holds. But there need be no such uncertainty when we remember that the Anglican Church is only a part of the historic Church, and is of course bound by the teaching of the whole. Federal law is in force in every state of the Union, and binds every citizen of each state. The Anglican portion of the Church, as has been pointed out, could not repudiate that which the whole of Christ's Church had agreed upon. If, therefore, there is any doubt as to the belief to which Anglicans are bound in a certain matter, it is necessary simply to ascertain the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic teaching on that subject. If these two agree, the Anglican Church of course agrees with them. For where the teaching of Rome and the East is identical, such consent means that this is a matter on which the whole of Christ's Church has agreed, an integral part of the Christian religion, which, therefore, the English portion of the Church was bound to maintain.
There have been no further interruptions of intercommunion between any portions of the Catholic Church since the sixteenth century-though as in the early centuries there have been separations from it -and the three branches have continued; so that it is now easy to answer the question with which this paper began.
The Catholic Church is the Church founded by our Lord through His Apostles (excluding denominations founded later) and continued down to the present time in three