Sunday, September 20, 2015

Burden of proof

"just as the Church of apostolic times seems never to have had the least difficulty in admitting the apostolic witness, the Church of succeeding ages, by a natural transition, without any sign of check, has never had the slightest difficulty in admitting the continuity of the episcopal with the apostolic witness. . . .
     ". . . If there is any assertion that requires proof, proof that seems not easy to furnish, it is not that made by the Catholic Church.  On the contrary, it is the assertion, made at so late a  date, so void of precedent, that with the death of the last apostle the truth of the Divine Word within the Church ceased to be entrusted to a responsible body of men, invested for that purpose with the very authority of their master, ceased therefore to be the truth of a living Word kept in men's hearts, and became the wholly exterior truth of the unchanging letter of a book."

     Louis Bouyer, The word, church, and sacraments in Protestantism and Catholicism, trans. A. V. Littledale (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2004 [1961, 1960]), 56-57.
     "wholly exterior" is of course a straw man.

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