So far as the first is concerned, you may recognise its importance by the fact that the Roman Church to-day receives every Greek Christian, nay, at once effects a “union” with every Greek ecclesiastical community, without more ado, as soon as the Pope is acknowledged and submission is made to his apostolic supremacy. Any other condition that may be exacted from the Greek Christians is of absolutely no moment; they are even allowed to retain divine worship in their mother tongue, and married priests. If we consider what a “purification” Protestants have to undergo before they can be received into the bosom of the Roman Church, the difference is obvious. Now a Church cannot make so great a mistake about itself as to omit any essential condition in taking up new members, especially if they come from another confession. The element which the Roman Church shares with the Greek must, then, be of significant and critical importance, when it is sufficient to make union possible on the condition that the papal supremacy is recognised. As a matter of fact, the main points characteristic of Greek Catholicism are all to be found in Roman as well, and are, on occasion, just as energetically maintained here as they are there. Traditionalism, orthodoxy, and ritualism play just the same part here as they do there, so far as “higher considerations” do not step in; and the same is true of monasticism also.
So far as “higher considerations” do not step in—• here we have already passed to the examination of the second element, namely, the Latin Spirit in the sense of the Roman World- dominion. In the Western half of Christendom the Latin spirit, the spirit of Rome, very soon effected certain distinct modifications in the general Catholic idea. As early as the beginning of the third century we see the thought emerging in the Latin Fathers that salvation, however effected and whatever its nature, is bestowed in the form of a contract under definite conditions, and only to the extent to which they are observed; it is salus legitima; in fixing these conditions the Deity manifested its mercy and indulgence, but it guards their observance all the more jealously. Further, the whole contents of revelation are lex, the Bible as well as tradition. Again, this tradition is. attached to a class of officials and to their correct succession. The “mysteries,” however, are “sacraments”; that is to say, on the one hand, they are binding acts; on the other, they contain definite gifts of grace in a carefully limited form and with a specific application. Again, the discipline of penance is a procedure laid down by law and akin to the process adopted in a civil action or a suit in defence of honour. Lastly, the Church is a legal institution; and it is so, not side by side with its function of preserving and distributing salvation, but it is a legal institution for the sake of this very function.