July 12th, 2004

8-pointed Star

Tangential thoughts


Last week I happened across a review of William X. Kienzle's book The Gathering and learned that the author died in December of 2001. I suspect most folks associate Spring with Easter and flowers, but to me, Spring meant the publication of a new Father Koesler mystery. Even though Spring has arrived twice since Kienzle's death, my faith that it will continue to do so is no longer what it once was.

In any event, discovery of Kienzle's passing also lead to the more cheerful discovery that there were three Father Koseler mysteries I had yet to read. This being the case, I trekked over to the library and checked out copies of the final three books.

Till Death was not one of Kienzle's best, but it did manage to hold my interest. The Sacrifice was more to my liking and contained a quote I'd never run across before:

In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas which can be translated from the Latin as "In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity." Kienzle attributes the quote to Melanchthon by way of Bowles; the Free Dictionary attributes it to the German Lutheran theologian Rupertus Meldenius.

In The Sacrifice, the quote comes up in the context of differences between the Anglican and Roman Catholic church, and is promoted as a way of easing tensions between the faithful. The point being that if Roman Catholics were to reduce the number of things held a necessary i.e., certain or compulsory elements of faith, then the acceptance of Anglican converts into its midst would create far less turmoil.

It seems to me the philosophy behind In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas can be extended to international politics. Particularly in terms of true requirements (which are very seldom as set in stone as politicians seem to want to believe) and the desirability of charity in dealing with one's opposite number.
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