The Community of Saints

The Community of Saints:

The Belmont Club joins our old friend Baldilocks in exploring the concept of the communio sanctorum:

The Communion of Saints (in Latin, communio sanctorum) is the spiritual union of all Christians living and the dead, those on earth, in heaven and, in Catholic belief, in purgatory. ...

The earliest known use of this term to refer to the belief in a mystical bond uniting both the living and the dead in a confirmed hope and love is by Saint Nicetas of Remesiana (ca. 335–414); the term has since then played a central role in formulations of the Christian creed.

The term is included in the Apostles' Creed, a major profession of the Christian faith whose current form was settled in the eighth century, but which originated from not long after the year 100, the basic statement of the Church's faith.
Baldilocks had said, referring to the Reverend Mr. Wright controversy:
Yes, our ancestors in this country and our kinsmen across the water fought to be just as Christian as other Christians—as Christian as our brothers who are white. And many of the latter stood for us and side-by-side with us—not because of us primarily but because of the One Who is Primary. Has that particular battle been won? I say yes, though the war continues. But Wright not only continues to fight the battle, he willfully misunderstands the nature of the War and identity of the Enemy. And by doing that, he becomes the tool of the Enemy. That’s his choice, but not mine and not that of those who focus on the Redemption offered by Christ instead of getting upon the Cross themselves.

To quote myself, there is no “black church.” There is only the Church.
The Belmont Club's response, finally, is to simply to repeat the Creed's on words: "I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, forever and ever. Amen."

Now we add in our friend Dad29, commenting on a different topic: how the Pope's embrace of the American separation of church and state means.
At the very deepest level, his apparently pro-U.N. speech turned out to be a stunning endorsement of the United States’ understanding of religion in the public sphere, and the need to apply that understanding to international dialogue.
In the past, Rome has looked askance at the American formulation, and had never come close to endorsing it. But B-16 noticed something: it works, and works very well. The formulation has served to keep 'religion' in the square, not to suppress it.
It's interesting to see the effect of that fact. A political campaign allegedly premised on reconciliation has proved bitterly divisive, even within its own party. Yet outside of politics, even reacting against those politics, people of good heart are reaffirming that they believe in that community.

That has not always been the case, and it is not only religion that makes it work now. It is also America. These two separate systems, political and spiritual, come together to make real what neither has been able to do alone.

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