The devil’s great triumph in Western Christianity was to divide the community of the word into those zealous for the word and those zealous for the community. Catholics were wounded by relating to scriptural devotion as somehow protestant; protestants were wounded by seeing any attempt to situate the divine word within a visible, historical community as degrading it to “the traditions of men.” Again, Catholicism came to stress its visible historical power more and more as time went on, concentrating more and more power in Rome even as Rome’s actual authority diminished to almost nothing; protestantism stressed the divine character of scripture to such an extent that any demonstration that it was spoken within a properly human community was practically a refutation. At the end of this all we get a pope as international celebrity-oracle who should fix everything and a protestantism that takes scripture as refuted by its redaction history and by the diverse traditions of, say, Christ’s infancy narratives, the Synoptic vs. Johannine Christ, the details of the passion and resurrection, etc. The last word on all this is one that all sides should agree on: only God can save us.


Source: The devil’s triumph | Just Thomism