Truces are good things. Right?
I mean, "Blessed are the peacemakers" and all that.
Well, while peace is desirable and to be worked toward–as the Church has pointed out so often in recent times–a mere absence of conflict is not sufficient for the kind of peace that is worth having.
Said another way: Some truces are wrong.
Like "the Truce of 1968," in which Pope Paul VI attempted to settle things down after numerous theologians rebelled against the teaching of Humanae Vitae. Rather than disciplining the malefactors, he let them get away with their dissent, and we have been suffering from the effects of that ever since.
Who know? He may have signed Europe’s death warrant by confirming it in its downward population growth death spiral.
Now Fr. Richard John Neuhaus worries that we may be facing a new, equally disastrous truce–the "Truce of 2005."
He sees this truce as potentially as decisive for Benedict XVI’s papacy as the Truce of 1968 was for Paul VI’s papacy.
And so it is that we are faced with what may be a defining test of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. As all who know him can attest, he is in personal relations a gentle man and averse to unpleasantness. He cannot relish the prospect of a direct confrontation with major institutions such as the Society of Jesus. Early on in his pontificate, John Paul II made an effort to bring the Jesuits into closer alignment with church teaching and authority, and ended up with little to show for it. As is his custom, the father general of the society, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, remains publicly aloof.
With this pope, as with all popes, there is the fear of schism. That was a great fear in 1968. . . .
In 1968, an effort was made to hold accountable those who are solemnly vowed to the service of the Church. And then Rome caved. We are still living with the unhappy consequences of the Truce of 1968. Of course the Church will survive. We have Our Lord’s promise on that. But no one who cares about this pontificate and the integrity of the Church’s ministry can contemplate with equanimity the consequences of a Truce of 2005.
What is this prospective, fearful Truce of 2005?