Can we expect the DUP to be renamed as “Katholikos DUP”?

Posted By: June 04, 2018

Fr. Sean McManus. Letters to Editor. Irish News.Belfast. Published Monday, June 4, 2018


I’m beginning to think that Arlene Foster has, as Trump would say, “tapped my lines” because she has used language from Catholic theology that I recently used to explain the meaning of “Catholic” to a person in the North.

Here’s how I had explained it.

The famous expert on world religions Mircea Eliade has pointed out that the opposite of Catholicism is not Protestantism, but rather sectarianism (Roman Catholicism, The Encyclopedia of Religion).

Catholicism is universal. It does not seek to “come out’’ of this world but rather to transform this world. “Come-outism’” is the very antithesis of Catholicism.

Moreover, “Catholic” means more than “universal,” Let me, ironically and ecumenically, turn to a good Protestant – and a leading expert on Martin Luther – Rev. Martin Marty for perfect explication: “If ‘universal’ is the adequate meaning of ‘catholic’ why did the Latin church, which in its vernacular language had the word universalis, not use this word but rather borrowed from Greek the term katholikos instead? The etymological history of universalis is not, in every, detail clear but it certainly involves the concepts of ‘one’ and vertere, ‘turn’. It suggests using a compass to make a circle around a central point. It is an inclusive concept in the sense that the circle includes everything within it. But by the same token, it also excludes everything outside it. Universalis contains a subtle note of negativity. Katholikos does not. It is more unequivocally positive. It means simply “through-the-whole” or “throughout-the-whole” – kata or kath, or through-or throughout-holos, whole, from the same Indo-European roots as our English ‘whole.’” (October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that changed the World.

Page 35).

So, why do I say Arlene “tapped my lines”? Well, because she is now saying: “Nationalism is by its nature narrow and exclusive. Being a unionist is the opposite. Unionism stands for pluralism and multi-culturism. We are inclusive and welcome all.”

So, can we now expect the DUP to be re-named “Katholikos DUP”?