My friends are aware I put little stock in the so-called hermeneutic of continuity for its own sake. While I’m not attempting to disrespect one important leader who really adhered to it and believed in it, I’ve been pondering the possibility of putting a series of posts up to take a closer look at continuity.
My premise would be that we tried institutional continuity for four centuries (1570-1962) and it was found wanting by Pope John XXIII and the world’s bishops of the 60’s and 70’s. Continuity can be an excuse for a wide array of things: avoidance, laziness, inertia, acedia, lack of imagination.
On the plus side, continuity is a pastoral value, not a theological one. Continuity is important when people require a broad sense of ritual, a sense of structure, a refuge in trying or troubling times.
Continuity can hamper us when we are asked to take initiative, to explore new options, or when significant change is asked of us. Perhaps a judgment on the Church’s situation informs a continuity or reform stance. Are we satisfied with where we are as Roman Catholics, and there’s little left to do within our ranks? Or do we face serious problems in need of new initiatives? You can guess where I stand on that question. You?