Posted in Church of England, Roman Catholic Church

Karl Rahner, prophet

Karl Rahner, in 1974 (!) – some gems from The Shape of the Church to Come. Might it be coming now, in the UK?

The situation of Christians and the Church today is therefore one of transition from a people’s Church (Volkskirche), corresponding to the former homogeneous, secular society and culture, to  Church as that community of believers who critically disassociate themselves, in voter of a personal free decision in every case, from the current opinions and feelings of their social environment (23)

The smaller Christ’s flock becomes in the pluralism of modern society, so much the less can it afford the mentality of the ghetto or the sect, so much more open must it be to the outer world (30)

If in the immediate future we want to choose a capable parish priest or bishop … we ought to ask whether he [sic] has ever succeeded in getting a hearing form the ‘neopagans’ and made at least one or two of them into Christians (33)

… the fact must be accepted in teaching and in practice that in the one Church with her one Spirit there can and must be a variety of charisms whose ultimate harmony … is perceptible only to the one Lord of the Church and history; and he is not identical either with any sort of individual group or with the Church’s office-holders (36-7)

… we are going towards a future of the Church which is still hidden from us … neither a promised land nor a final catastrophe will soon take away from us the burden and the dignity of a continuing pilgrimage through history (45)

a declericalized Church [is] a Church in which the office-holders in joyous humility allow for the fact that the Spirit breathes where he will and that he has not arranged an exclusive and permanent tenancy with them (57)

the authority of office will be an authority of freedom … the Church is a declericalized Church in which the believers gladly concede to the office-holders in free obedience the special functions … which cannot be exercised by all at the same time … [The office-holder] will gain recognition for his office by being genuinely human and a Spirit-filled Christian (57-8)

If we are convinced that much injustice and tyranny prevail in a sinful world … we ought also really to be surprised how seldom the Church comes into conflict with those who hold power (62)

We talk too little about God in the Church … Only when the message of the living God is preached in the churches with all the power of the Spirit, will the impression disappear that the Church is merely an odd relic from the age of a society doomed to decline (87)

The Church of the future will be one built up from below (108)

When living Christian communities are formed by the Christians themselves, when they possess and attain a certain structure, solidity and permanence, they have just as much right as a territorial parish to be recognised as a basic element of the Church. Of course a basic community [has become] a local Church … only when it can really sustain the essential basic functions of the Church (organised proclamation of the gospel, administration of the sacraments, Christian charity and so on) (109)

(of bishops) The pastor should remain a pastor, but this certainly does not mean that he is to treat his flock as if they really were sheep (121)