The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Citation of Books Detail

Click here to return to the main list

Author QuotedKarl Rahner
Title QuotedFree Speech in the Church
Date (Year/Month/Day)1961/07/07
ImprintNew York : Sheed & Ward. 1959
QuotationWhat I wrote above, though not quite what I wanted, I still stick to in principle in spite of what K[arl] Rahner says in The Prospect for Christianity. He holds it not only unlikely but impossible for the world as a whole to become irreligious, and states that since "Christianity has no serious rival," it is in effect impossible for the world to cease to be Christian. He assumes that it has been Christian at one time or other, and still is so. Of course he has to preserve a semblance of sanity by admitting we are going through a crisis, but it is just an "adolescent crisis" like that of a boy with a new bicycle who "rides his bicycle rather than going to church on Sunday." Such statements annoy and confound me. I have hitherto respected the wisdom of people like Rahner. I certainly do not deny that it is a matter of faith that the church will not be destroyed by her enemies-but it is quite another thing to assert that the world will always be "Christian."
Quotation SourceTurning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 4, 1960-1963.; Edited by Victor A. Kramer. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 138
Letter to 
Link to Merton's Copy  

(If there is a link above showing up as a number, click it to open another window with a full text version.)