Quotation by Karl Jaspers

Looked upon with historical objectivity, the Catholic Church as a religion has far better prospects. Consider its unified, world-wide papal leadership, the methods of Catholic ecclesiastic thought, and the life-pervading sanctification of existence, both in everyday life and at great moments; add the present glory of a thousand years of art, the multitude of religious activities, the impressive power of priests and religious, spiritually rooted celibates whose existence the faith consumes; top it off with Catholic piety, based on the Church but far from its violence and political cunning, and even spreading a touch of philosophy among the populace—compared with all this, Protestantism seems poor. Yet Protestantism, whatever may be held against it, has one virtue that outweighs all flaws. It is the principle of its birth: the chance of breaking through every religious phenomenon to a new original realization. In Catholic eyes, Protestantism is purely negative. It gives up tenet after tenet, ending in what must seem to a Catholic the total disappearance of all religious essentials—the God-man, the Resurrection, the personal God, the sacraments—and it pulverizes itself by endless internal schisms.
Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), German theologian. "After Kierkegaard," Philosophical Faith and Revelation, trans. by E.B. Ashton, Harper (1967).
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