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THE CHURCH AND JUSTICE: THE MODERN FLIGHT FROM COMMUNITY

by Ted Schmidt

In 1938, Henri de Lubac, a French priest who was to become a theological giant in the shaping of the Vatican II Catholic church, maintained that the church was essentially social, “first and foremost in herself, in the heart of its mystery, in the essence of its dogma.” Did de Lubac sense the shattering of community in the coming devastation we know as World war II? Was he bemoaning the rise of anchorless individualism which had perhaps driven the suddenly disconnected to fascism, nazism and communism? The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm posited this believable thesis three years later in his epic work Escape from Freedom.

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