The institutional survival of the Roman Catholic Church often depends on it not being so Roman Catholic all the time. If their canon laws were vigorously enforced to the letter, there would not be enough Roman Catholics left to fill a village.

If indeed the Roman Church has prospered and endured, it is thanks to the inefficiency of their ecclesiastical machinery, the Machiavellian pragmatism of their ecclesiastical officials, the willingness of their priests to turn a blind eye and the proficiency of their theologians to wallpaper inconsistencies over under a mountain of theological verbiage.

St Augustine is perhaps the perfect exemplar of this attitude. The good saint with willful unrepentance, choose to abandon his concubine and bastardise his own son by refusing to marry her. If the Romans truly believed in their “Theology of the Body”, “St” Augustine would never have made it to the priesthood, even less have ascended into the company of the saints. Yet in so canonising Augustine and permanently enshrining him (quite literally!) into the Roman Church, they are merely testifying ┬áto the secret of the Roman endurance: a capacity to accommodate hypocrisy. One should not be too harsh on the Roman’s foibles, for perhaps such inconsistencies is the best that we can hope for on this side of the eschaton, and that any institution bold enough to cover a broad and wide range of peoples necessarily must learn to be as inconsistent as the cacophony of contradictory personalities they bring under their wing.

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