Michael Sean Winters follows up yesterday's piece in his "Distinctly Catholic" column in the National Catholic Reporter with one on the Church. It is interesting and I agree with many of his points - more so than usual. You can read it here http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/fighting-polarization-wit... and read my response below (Read MSW first).
The reason that the Master prayed that we all be one (or that the Gospel writer inserted those words in his mouth) was that he know we would not be - or there was already division in 90 AD. We have actually progressed a bit, but only a bit. We are no longer killing each other within the Church, although we are seperated into various sects in the Western Church - sects that are both ethnic and economic, as well as doctrinal. Ideed, rich pro-life Calvinists often seem closer to the Acton sect with the exception of a different Eucharist. Also, there are times when one side wins. With the exception of the Latin and the orientation and some of the vestments, there is very little difference from the New Order Mass and the Extraordinary Order. Simply compare the translated Latin and the current New Order English and it is hard to believe they are the same thing - which is why there are now splinter groups that use the old translation a friendly priest (my wife goes to one). While we have a difference between the right and left as far as parishes go, the biggest break is between frequent attendees and rare attendees - probably those that are tired of hearing one side or the over bloviate or because their economics or energy level precludes a Sunday Mass.
While we are not (mostly) killing each other in the West, there seems to be a bit of killing between certain Muslim sects and other and between those sects and Christians. Its not just about the oil. Is there hope? Yes - though some of it is from the top (and yes, the Spirit selected Francis). At some Pope a Holy Father will submit to His All Holiness and end the period of Roman Triumphalism that has no justification - as Constantinople became the Imperial See when Constantine built his new city. This act of humility will bring the Protestants back into the main body of the Western Church - since Roman excess is why they originally left. As far as the Muslims and Jews, maybe talking about the Trinity more and in language that shows its necessity would help - although a cease fire is necessary too.
The Spirit of Prophesy is alive and well in the Church, as She has been from the begining (yes, spirit is a feminine noun in ancient Greek, not a masculine). Kim Daniels talking about immigration is an example. It can also come from speaking the truth to the other side. Biden and Pelosi don't seem to have the words to explain abortion law to the bishops, either their own, the Acton sect or the USCCB and staff (some of whom aer Repbulicans first, since overturning Roe is a hopeless cause). The interesting thing will be if a bishop is so convinced, whether he will acknowledge where the pro-choice side is speaking truth. While they are on the slippery slope of promoting abortion - the vast majority of Catholic pro-choicers - indeed most pro-choicers, do not go down that slope. When (not if) will such transformations take place? As with all good things, when the Spirit wills it (and not before) - and that includes people coming back to Church.