Douglas Farrow on “the Church’s one foundation”

The Church’s One Foundation was one of my favorite hymns in the run up to our community’s becoming Catholic in 2012.

Now I see it’s the basis of a response in an ongoing conversation that Douglas Farrow, professor of Christian Thought at McGill University has been having with Roberto de Mattei, a formidable Catholic historian and traditional Catholic.  Farrow writes at Catholic World Report:

Of the Church we must always say with St. Paul that her one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. Moreover, we must recall and acknowledge that her Lord promised to build his Church on the petra of Peter confessing Christ. Yet today we must also say, as the nineteenth-century Anglican hymnist, Samuel John Stone, said, that we “see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” Indeed, we must confess that once again, in the words of the fourth-century saint, Basil the Great, her “distresses are notorious,” that “their sound has gone out into all the world,” that “the apostolic traditions are set at naught [and] the devices of innovators are in vogue” (Ep. 90). Doctrinally, liturgically, and morally much of the Catholic Church – to say nothing of the Orthodox churches or of Anglicanism and the ecclesial communities of the Protestant world – seems to be in the hands of innovators.

I look forward to reading the whole conversation.

Here are some links Farrow provides for those wanting to read from the start.

Author’s Note to the reader: This essay belongs to a conversation that includes Roberto de Mattei’s Tu es Petrus: True Devotion to the Chair of Peter, my own The Conversion of the Papacy and the Present Church Crisis, and Professor de Mattei’s generous response, Defending ‘True Devotion to the Chair of Peter’, for which I thank him and his translator. I will offer some rejoinders here, pari passu, while pursuing matters germane to the wider conversation in which we are both interested. – Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, AD 2019

I wish we could claim Douglas Farrow as one of ours in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, because he is a former Anglican now Catholic.

I consider his writings and scholarship prophetic.  So, I was delighted to find he has been in dialogue with Professor de Mattei, who is most interesting.

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