Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Church as "Chaste Whore"

"Saint Ambrose called the Church 'whore' precisely to exalt her sanctity," says Sandro Magister, debunking a popular formulsa which is "foreign to the Christian tradition" — Sinner Church? A Myth That Needs to Be Busted. An excerpt starting with a quote from the saint who coined the term:
    "Rahab – who in type was a whore but in mystery is the Church – indicated in her blood the future sign of universal salvation in the midst of the slaughter in the world. She does not reject union with the numerous fugitives, more chaste the more closely she is joined to the greatest number of them; she who is immaculate virgin, without wrinkle, uncontaminated in modesty, public lover, chaste whore, sterile widow, fecund virgin... Chaste whore, because many lovers come to her for the delights of love, but without the contamination of blame" (In Lucam III, 23).

    The passage is very dense, and is worthy of closer analysis. But to limit ourselves to the expression "chaste whore," here is how Cardinal Biffi explains it:

    "The expression 'chaste whore', far from alluding to something sinful and reprehensible, is intended to indicate – not only in the adjective, but also in the substantive – the sanctity of the Church. Sanctity that consists just as much in adhering without wavering and without inconsistency to Christ her spouse ('casta') as in the desire of the Church to reach all in order to bring all to salvation ('meretrix')."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Ratzinger and / or Balthasar wrote extensively on this. I forget where, though.

Doh!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

The Catholic Church should be full of whores!

As any good hospital for sinners should be. =)

7:18 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.