Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
The term ‘black and white’ is often used in a derogatory manner to describe a narrow way of thinking frequently ascribed to a conservative, traditional, and supposedly ‘Pharisaic’ way of thinking. Then again, it can be equally ascribed to a progressive, liberal, ‘pagan’ way of thinking. Many people, including many shades of Catholics (political and ideological), have artificially created a divide in the Catholic Church, ascribing Pope Francis with the moniker of liberalism; simultaneously, they have heralded Cardinal Sarah as the champion of orthodoxy. Equally common is the heralding of Pope Francis as the savior-reformer in a ‘progressive’ revolution, with simultaneous cheering at the so-called downfall of the conservative Pope Benedict XVI, while maintaining a continued resistance to the last remnant of his conservatism in Cardinals such as Sarah and Burke.
‘Black and White’ has been hijacked of its proper, powerful Catholic signification.
‘Black and White’ would be in better service to the Truth if it was utilized in better metaphors. The printed page would be one example. The white page and the black ink need each other because they help to express the same Truth in significantly different manners. The white page sacrifices itself so that the black ink can proclaim the Truth. But without the background of the white page, the message from the black ink would be unrecognizable. Furthermore, the white page absorbs and preserves the message of the black ink; the black ink, moreover, makes rational sense of the white page.
Likewise, Catholicism has a black and a white that need not quarrel. Jesus was both black and white, both justice and mercy, both forgiveness and judgment, both worship and service, and both Temple-table-turner and Suffering Servant-Lamb of God. Equally true, Pope Francis is the gentle, compassionate Minister of Mercy, while Cardinal Sarah is the strong protector of Tradition and Truth.
Both are needed.
But, then again, to think that Francis is not a champion of orthodoxy/Tradition is to reveal either a disingenuous anti-Church ideology, or a naivete which needs to be freed from internet misinformation. Furthermore, to think that Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sarah, or Cardinal Burke, champions of orthodoxy, don’t believe in, or practice, compassion and mercy is to display an immature spiritual perspective regarding the Truth of Shepherding Christ’s flock.
For Jesus Himself, as displayed in the snippet of the Beatitudes above, Shepherded the lost sheep with mercy while, simultaneously, in the Perfection of His Love, defended the Truth against ravenous wolves.
Consequently, there is a place in the Church for both ‘black and white.’ Truthfully, there is a dire need for the communion of hearts and minds, in the one gospel, between the so-called conservative and liberal. And this is true as long as we understand what those words should really mean. Conservative, meaning those who would willingly die to protect God’s liberating Truth of Divine Mercy. Liberal, meaning those seeking to liberate prisoners of sin through the conserved Tradition of Jesus Christ.
Only then would ‘black and white’ be synonymous with Communion.