Saturday, August 18, 2007

Louis Bouyer: The Catholic Principles of the Reformation

Some time ago, Paul T. McCain left a comment on my post "A Cardinal in the Car":
Dave, your comments about the JDDJ are proof positive that you never understood either Lutheranism's or Romanism's doctrine of justification.At no point has Rome ever taught that justification is anything other than by "grace alone." The issue is not "grace alone" but if it received by means of faith alone.I suspect you know that, but you must ignore that point in order to reconcile your decision to abandon ship on the Biblical doctrine of justification
As always, Paul does not mince words--but I wonder if he is right? I don't mean right about the bit about me never understanding "either Lutheranism's or Romanism's doctrine of justification"--personally I think I have a pretty good grip on both--but rather whether he is right when he says that the issue is "not "grace alone" but if it [grace? Christ? salvation?] is received by means of faith alone."

Now he is indeed right that that "faith alone" has become the point of contention between Catholics and Lutherans over the centuries--BUT I wonder if "faith alone" was in fact the primary "sola" of the Reformation. That is, I wonder if the Reformers really regarded "justification by faith alone" as "the article upon which the Church stands or falls". I understand that it was of the "doctrine of justification" as such (and not specifically that justification was "by faith alone") that Luther said "When this article stands, the church stands, when it falls, the church falls." (WA 40 III, 352, 3).

My thesis is that the Reformer's primary concern was "Grace Alone", and not "Faith Alone". Luther emphasised "faith alone" (not a scriptural formulation) because of his agreement with St Paul that justification cannot be earned or merited by works, but rather comes BY grace, IN Christ, THROUGH faith (the exact prepositions used in Romans 3:24-25). That is, Luther wanted to emphasise our justification is by Christ's merit and God's unmerited grace rather than by our works. That faith was the means through which one is justified, Luther takes directly from St Paul. Yet faith is not the opposite of works--for saving faith is no less a gift of God's grace than good works. To argue that faith saves APART FROM GRACE would simply be to make faith into a good work that merits salvation. Luther did not intend this.

Therefore the primary concern of the Reformation was not that salvation was by FAITH alone, but that salvation was by GRACE alone. Indeed it is possible to teach a doctrine of "Faith Alone" which denies "Grace Alone"--ie. when my faith is made my work by which I merit justification. To put it another way, the article upon which the Church stands or falls is NOT the doctrine of justification by "Faith Alone", but the doctrine of justification "by Grace, in Christ, through faith". This is the biblical doctrine of justification, and it is in total accord with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

A few weeks ago, Fraser Pearce gave me a second hand copy of Louis Bouyer's "The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism". I haven't read it yet. But I have read the excellent summary of this work by Mark Brumley "Why Only Catholicism Can Make Protestantism Work". You might want to take a look at this.

Brumley argues that the three "solas" (Gratia, Fide, Scriptura) are solidly Catholic doctrines, but that these solas lose their meaning when separated from the Catholic faith. At one point Brumley makes the following assertion, which by now you will see that I fully agree:
According to Bouyer, the main thrust of the doctrine of sola fide was to affirm that justification was wholly the work of God and to deny any positive human contribution apart from grace. Faith was understood as man's grace-enabled, grace-inspired, grace-completed response to God's saving initiative in Jesus Christ. What the Reformation initially sought to affirm, says Bouyer, was that such a response is purely God's gift to man, with man contributing nothing of his own to receive salvation...

Thus, Bouyer's point is that the doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola fide) was initially seen by the Reformers as a way of upholding justification by grace alone (sola gratia), which is also a fundamental Catholic truth. Only later, as a result of controversy, did the Reformers insist on identifying justification by faith alone with a negative principle that denied any form of cooperation, even grace-enabled cooperation.
The whole article is worth reading--especially if you think you might be wavering on the edge of jumping into the Tiber for a swim. If you read it and find yourself agreeing with Brumley, you might be surprised to find that you are nearer the far bank than you realise. If you find yourself violently disagreeing with him... --well, stick with Pastor McCain.

18 Comments:

At Saturday, August 18, 2007 8:22:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Perhaps Pastor McCain or Weedon will address this better than I can, but until then, as they used to say around the abbey (I think it was the motto, from St Paul, of one of the abbots) non recuso laborem.

When I was a Catholic, I used to hold a very similar view of Luther in particular and Protestantism in general. We were taught, yes, in those dark days from which the conciliar church has so wonderfully renewed us, that the fault of the Reformation lay primarily with us Catholics, who had allowed moral abuse to become so bad that those who wished to correct it could themselves not free themselves from its effects and consequently mistook abuse for norm and corrupt theology for correct theology, thereby taking moral reform into doctrinal error.

In working on my dissertation on the Boethian concept of musica as a viable concept for our time, I came to see Luther, the pillar on whom the loss of musica divina rests, as having two fatal flaws. One was his mistake, not on his own but as the effect of the Nominalist teaching prevalent in his day, of corrupt scholastic theology for scholastic theology itself. It is precisely to this that Brumley contends Bouyer ascribes what he terms the negative elements of the Reformation that obscured its positive ones. The other flaw derives from this. Having a flawed theological formation, Luther quite simply never learned to make a good Confession, and with it never understood both that and the other sacraments, in the end rejecting them and therefore the church which carries them. All the while, then, the real Catholic faith goes misunderstood not only by Protestants seeking to address real concerns but by "bad" Caholics seeking to address Protestants.

Ill trained priests trying to correct the effects of other ill trained priests uncorrected by lax bishops. What was needed was not Protestantism, but a protest of authentic Catholicism.

Bouyer, in Brumley's summary, identifies extrinsic justification and rejection of Magisterium and Tradition as negative Reformation, and "by grace alone" (I insist on the Latin phrases being understood as ablatives absolute of means -- by grace alone, not grace alone, agency being essetial to the phrase) and if not sola scriptura the supremacy of Scripture as positive Reformation. Are the former necessary to maintain the latter, and indeed are the former (negative Reformation) not based on Catholicism but Nominalism, therefore only in the Catholic Church can the latter (positive Reformation) truly happen since they are of the essence of the Catholic Church?

Or to put it in more homespun language, had Luther had a proper theological and spiritual formation at seminary might the energy have been spent in a reform of the Church, which must happen IN the Church, but things being as they were, instead a tragic and unnecessary split ensued? Or as I used to put it to myself, Lutherans get an E for effort but there is no way to be Catholic without being Catholic.

How I got out of that is more autobiography, and getting out of it, or not getting into it, does not depend on replication of my story. But for those contemplating a swim in the Tiber, as one who swam it in the other direction, out, I suggest three maybe four things to consider.

Re extrinsic justification, consider and pray on simul peccator simul justus, at once sinner and justified. That is where the answer to fides caritate formata is. What is formed by love is the work of God too. What happens is, one begins to focus on whether one is formed by love which results in a loss of focus on that which is formed by love, faith. Hence the dark nights of the soul, and the efforts to produce evidence of being formed by love as evidence of having saving faith. In this life, I am both a new creation and the old man. Simul justus et peccator. Christ took on my sins, though sinless and still sinless, so that I may take on his righteousness, though a sinner and still a sinner. That is the mysterium fidei, the mystery of faith, or if one takes mysterium to translate the Greek mysterion, the sacrament of faith. It is entirely God's action. Intellectual assent, the work of God, needs to be completed by entrusting oneself to God in hope and love, which entrusting is also the work of God. Brumley contends that Bouyer contends that by faith alone was really meant to support by grace alone, therefore, it is argued, if you believe by grace alone why are you not still Catholic. Because the point is, as Pastor McCain pointed out, not by grace alone, or rather, observing the ablative absolute, justification by grace alone, but whether that grace is by faith alone. Rome would seem to be saying, or seem to seem to be saying, yes it is. Or is it saying the faith to be fully faith must include the human acts of hope and love made possible by grace if it is saving faith?

We teach our (Lutheran) children that we do good works not in order to be saved but because we are saved. Which is also to say that works apart from being saved are of no avail toward being saved, contra the whole world's idea that the whole point is, to use the current phrase, to be a good person, from which it is a short step to saying that as long as one is trying to be a good person it is not a essential matter whether that proceeds from this, that, or no faith at all. But what works most specifically are the fides caritate formata, works which are not an independent human contribution to salvation but a free co-operation resulting from grace? The elephant in the room: the sacramental system of the Catholic Church, nowhere more confused than in the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass" be it the Mass of Luther's time, the Tridentine Rite or the watered down and cosmetically redesigned novus ordo of Vatican II.

Sola fide does not deny fides caritate formata. It simply refuses to lose the focus on faith, and to locate what is caritate formata in the sacramental system of the Catholic Church thereby making the Catholic Church and inclusion in it necessary.

The real tragedy of the Reformation is the loss of this, so that works as the sacramental system of the Catholic Church is replaced by other codes of works in the Reformed basis of Protestantism and even among us (Lutherans) in Pietism, both its past forms and its present attempt to graft Reformed worship on to Lutheran doctrine. Or to use the common terms, to confuse justification and sanctification, which are not two different terms for the same process but terms for different aspects of the same process which are not co-extensive any more than they are conflicting. Sanctification is not justification, and cannot happen apart from it, before it, or without it, not does it effect it -- grace is received by means of faith. To lose sight of that is to lose sight of what the process is, which sight is not recovered by calling it different terms for the same process.

I stick with Pastor McCain. (And if I don't but only think I do I'm sure he'll let me know.)

Am Ende, suppose I am completely wrong here. What then? Well, I'd better get myself back into the Catholic Church, and on the way quit complaining that the council turned it into somethng else. (Which it bloody well did, which is why even as a Catholic I left, but that is another issue for another time, not relevant here, as the points apply to the Catholic Church in any of its incarnations.) Is that not what this is all about -- the Catholic Church and the need to be in it? Brumley's conclusion itself. Which itself expresses in another way the whole problem: Romanism ultimately is a faith about itself, in itself, and while no doubt at the heavenly table I will recline (one reclines, not sits, at a Seder) with many who passed their earthly lives in it, I will pass the rest of mine in the catholic, as distinct from Catholic, church.

Sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura.

Terry Maher, posting as Past Elder.

 
At Saturday, August 18, 2007 9:53:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Its a funny thing, but every now and again, Past Elder receeds and Terry Maher comes to the fore... A little schizophrenic, but hey, who am I to throw stones?

A very thoughtful response, Terry, and shows close reading of Brumley's text.

I don't know if I agree about all that about Luther's theological education and not being able to make a good confession--although I do think Nominalism had something to do with it. So I'm not going to argue one way or the other about that.

Of course forensic (which is the more common word for Brumley/Bouyer's "extrinsic") justification is a real problem--and the simul justus et peccator doesn't help much here. The first doesn't take "me" seriously as the real object of justification, and the second seems to invent another "me", a justified "me", that exists alongside the sinner "me". Simul justus et peccator has some credibility because it seems to explain something of our daily experience--but I wonder if we are reading that experience entirely rightly here? Especially as there is a fair amount of scripture which militates against it as a general anthropological dogma.

I find it hard to understand why love and hope are treated as "works" in a sense different from "faith". Faith, hope and love are all "theological virtues", rather than natural virtues. They are all gifts of grace, and all have the one object, namely God in Christ. To be sure, St Paul contrasts "works of the Law" with "faith", but might he not just as easily have contrasted it with "love" (which fulfills the Law, in Jesus' own words) or hope (which Hebrews 11 shows is very closely related to faith)?

I have no difficulty with the doctrine of justification by faith. But I guess that I have some difficulty with reducing the entire soteriological message of the gospel down to this, in fact, even further down to "justification by faith alone". For instance, instead of talking in terms of being made "righteous" (justification) we could talk about being made "holy" (sanctification). Sanctification carries with it another whole matrix of ideas and terms to describe the way in which Christ's work of redemption (the "Mysterion of faith", "The Paschal Mystery") has its effect upon us. Why is it that we do not hear Lutherans preaching sanctification by grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, when our salvation can as easily be described in terms of being made holy as in terms of being made righteous?

Far from being "biblical" in their insistance upon "justification by faith alone" as the article upon which the Church stands or falls, Lutheranism narrows the amazingly broad witness of scripture to the many ways in which Christ's saving work is experienced down to "justification" alone.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 3:50:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

It's a screen name, nothing more or less. Great Caesar's Ghost.

On this blog, as I have tried to say several times, I do not post as a Lutheran, but as one who was Catholic against the parody Catholicism hawked by Rome these days. However my earlier post on this thread is an exception, writing as a Lutheran, not as an ex Catholic, hence the use of my name to underscore that. (Well, that and if Pastor McCain does have to take me to task, it will only be about an inadequate formulation of Lutheransim and not also about screen names, of which he disapproves.)

Now I have just come from a breakfast meeting and am quite full in the heat, so I'll postpone a fuller repsonse until later.

Zwei fragen: why does forensic justification not seem to take "me" seriously as the object of justification; why does simul peccator et justus invent a justified "me" existing alongside a sinner "me"? Ever been hauled up on charges -- of which you are guilty as hell? Some forensic justification takes "me" absolutely seriously, who has no plea but guilty, whose only hope is the holy, innocent and bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ -- my sinfulness imputed to him, his righteousness imputed to me, so that upon my confession the grace of God may be announced to me and in the stead and by the command of that same Jesus Christ my sins forgiven. The confiteor, either the real one or the toned down leave out most of the saint stuff novus ordo one, misses that altogether; our liturgy does not, ad you may recall. Simul is not two mes. Simul is one me, both justified and sinner. That's the mystery, just like how bread and the fruit of the vine can also be the Body and Blood of Christ.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 5:53:00 am , Blogger Andrew said...

Being an inveterate pedant, especially as regards Latin grammar, I feel obliged to point out that the ablatives in "sola fide, sola gratia" are not ablatives absolute. They are plain old ablatives of means; being related to a verb such as "is justified" in the statement "a man is justified by faith alone" they are not grammatically "absolute".

As to your remarks, Past Elder, on Brumley on Bouyer, I just don't see to what precisely you object in the Catholic doctrine of justification. You say that too much emphasis upon fides caritate formata can draw one's attention away from faith to one's own works. But the errors that result from misunderstanding of the doctrine by individuals are not the same as a refutation of the doctrine itself. Indeed, Bouyer/Brumley emphasizes the importance for Catholics of always keeping the authentic teaching of the Church before their minds, namely, that salvation is entirely gratuitous.

Also, I don't understand your critique of the Catholic Church's sacramental system. Is it that reception of the sacraments is viewed as personal works which merit salvation? But if so, this is just another misunderstanding of the authentic teaching.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 8:08:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

andrew, you are completely right, ablatives absolute and ablatives of means are not the same and these are ablatives of means, not absolute. That doesn't strike me as being a pedant at all -- you're simply pointing out a fact. I can only plead that I wrote at about 0430 without benefit of coffee.

If salvation is entirely gratuitous, then what do you object to in sola fide, sola gratia, sola scriptura? As to the Catholic sacramental system, perhaps you could elaborate on what is the authentic teaching. I may have missed it in 16 years of Catholic education.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 12:30:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

Heh. I remember back in my Lutheran days reading a quip by Martin Marty (who always said that if he weren't Lutheran he'd either want to be Mennonite or Roman Catholic) relating a story of a Lutheran pastor who sternly told his congregation that they should never try to impress God by their good works.

He looked around at the half sleeping congregants and asked himself, "Who's trying??"

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:26:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

and while no doubt at the heavenly table I will recline (one reclines, not sits, at a Seder)

Thank you so much for pointing that out to those of us who might, I say just might, have picked that up in our Scripture/commentary readings. (sarcasm off)

Remember what my husband said about Catholics not reading the Bible in the "good old days?"

He wasn't joking on that one.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:18:00 pm , Blogger Andrew said...

Past Elder, I know well the dangers of writing without the benefit of coffee at 0430; for me, writing at nearly any time without the benefit of coffee is dangerous.

As for objections to the solas, well, when understood as "positive principles" in Bouyer's sense, I don't have any.

On the sacramental system, I just don't see why it must be understood as works that detract from faith. The Catechism defines sacrament as "An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us through the work of the Holy Spirit". By receiving a sacrament, one doesn't do a work but receives a gift.

 
At Sunday, August 19, 2007 9:59:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

The parenthetical comment about reclining, not sitting, at a Seder was not by way of anyone's information but coming from the fact that at any Seder to which I have been, or seen, one sat.

Bless us and save us, Mrs O'Davis.

I read something once by a Reform rabbi (something which does not exist according the rabbis I listen to) that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are similar to Temple Biblical Judaism, and Protestantism similar to post Temple rebbinic Judaism. On the one hand you have a priesthood and a sacrificial system along with scriptures that attest to it but the main thing is the divinely instituted system not the Scriptures. On the other you have something that exists in the absence of such a system poring over its Scriptures, which are now the main thing, for preaching and guidance. In short, Catholicism and Orthodoxy as Temple Biblical Judaism, Protestantism as rabbinic post Temple Judaism. Hence the different function of Scripture in each.

For many Catholics, reading the Bible was associated with Protestantism and with the many divisions resulting from everyone thinking his is straight from the Bible, so since one has the authentic teaching voice in the Church, which Protestants deny, it is more important to listen to that.

I do not recall ever seeing either my Mom, a lifelong Catholic to whom the Council changed nothing of essence, or my Dad, a 1941 convert from Methodism who stayed though he often said the Council turned the church into just another Protestant church but with a pope, ever reading the Bible.

On the other hand, in 1958, well before anyone suspected there would be the miserable John XXIII or the wretched council, a priest for whom I often served gave me and the other boy Bibles one morning before Mass with the encouragement to read it, which I did.

I still have it. It was a hybrid, what was done to date of the first versions of what is now the NAB, with the customary Challoner filling in the rest. Included inside was a pamphlet entitled "The Bible Made Me A Catholic" by a former Protestant minister. Still have that too.

Some of the rest of my response spilled over into the posts re Fr Godfrey.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 6:47:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

For many Catholic immigrants, some of who were barely literate, reading the Bible was not an option at all. Catholics founded parochial schools in order to avoid the Protestant slant that was given in the public schools of those days.

My point about the Seder comment relates to the fact that many mainstream congregations are invited to share a Seder with local synagogues. I'm sure that most of us here are aware of the "reclining" aspect.

Things have changed considerably. The Abbot from St. Andrew Abbey who celebrates Mass once a month at my parish holds weekly Bible studies for parishioners.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:24:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

that Catholicism and Orthodoxy are similar to Temple Biblical Judaism, and Protestantism similar to post Temple rebbinic Judaism.

I meant to further chew on this in my prior post. Lorraine Boettner made the same observations in his denunciations of Roman Catholicism (a few more steps and he would have made a great partner to Jack Chick).

Of the Catholicism my father grew up in I would almost agree with him, and Orthodox churches still refer to their buildings and "temples".

There is a much stronger balance between Word and Sacrament in the Mass since Vatican II and it is something I am glad to see, especially with the three readings.

Past Elder, of course, will totally disagree with me on this.

Whew, what a day its been. The hummingbirds in my area are beginning to migrate and I'm running outside regularly to keep the feeder full, the neighborhood feral cat is cleaning me out of cat food and then my husband tells me in the late evening the neighborhood woodchuck is following behind and helping himself to the cat food the cat didn't eat.

I would have made a great keeper in the Garden.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:29:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

My first Seder was not really a Seder. The pastor of my home parish in which I grew up had one before Holy Thursday service one year. It was a complete seder however, but the pastor pointed out the parts at which the words of institution were spoken. Ever since then, it has struck me what a stunning experience it must have been for the Apostles to gather for Seder, and when the point came instead of the even then traditional words here "This is my body" and "This is my blood".

Most of human history is pre-literate. It's not like the 15th century Bavarian was denied the opportunity to pick up a copy of the Bible at the inspirational literature rack at the supermarket.

I STILL like Passover candy!

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:35:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

You still like Passover candy? Do you also spin the Dreidel well? Are you a baker of Hamantaschen?

That's the great thing about speaking (although I don't do it half as well as I used to -- time to make another trip home) German. Yiddish is just about a breeze.

it has struck me what a stunning experience it must have been for the Apostles to gather for Seder, and when the point came instead of the even then traditional words here "This is my body" and "This is my blood".

On that, we are surely agreed.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:44:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Well, take the comparison a little further. It is true that rabbinic Judaism is not the religion of the Bible but something that grew up alongside it, and when the Temple religion of the Bible became impossible, replaced it as all the was possible in its absence. Orthodox Jews still regularly pray for the restoration of the priesthood and the sacrifices in the Temple. So the Messianic fulfillment of the worship of the Old Covenant would follow Temple, not rabbinic, lines, with a similar role for Scripture too, zand Protestantism, in the absence of that system, would focus more on Scripture.

Personally, I think Bible reading is, or was, for Catholics something like making the sign of the cross for Lutherans -- an excellent practice not used or even looked at because of its association with the other guys.

We make the sign of the cross at home all the time. It's right in the Little Catechism!

Can't spin or bake anything worth a dam. I meant "hear" not "here" sorry.

Although I would not at all desctibe myself as fluent in German, and some Germans might wonder how German the German is, I too find Yiddish not too far of a stretch, except for the words which do derive from Hebrew.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:45:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

And for the love of Sadie let me clarify that I was speaking of Chanukah and Purim, lest Past Elder chastise me :)

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 12:54:00 pm , Anonymous Christine said...

Ah, more to digest. Let's continue tomorrow, now the dog needs to go out.

Sigh.

 
At Monday, August 20, 2007 3:14:00 pm , Blogger Peter said...

I'm not sure I would want to be insisting on "faith alone" being the big difference between Catholics and Lutherans if I were Paul McCain.

Especially given that Lutherans are so keen on that other 'sola' ... Scripture alone!

The only reference to "faith alone' is in James, where he says we are NOT saved by faith alone.

 
At Tuesday, August 21, 2007 12:45:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

Orthodox Jews still regularly pray for the restoration of the priesthood and the sacrifices in the Temple. So the Messianic fulfillment of the worship of the Old Covenant would follow Temple, not rabbinic, lines, with a similar role for Scripture too, zand Protestantism, in the absence of that system, would focus more on Scripture.

I've always pondered on the fact that almost all ancient civilizations used animal sacrifice as part of their worship, from the earliest hunters who returned a portion of the kill to the "gods" in order to honor them and the spirit of the animal whose life they took.

There are new rumblings that some Jewish sects want to reestablish it on the Temple Mount but the Muslims are certainly not going to go along with that. Also, it is my understanding that those sacrifices were forbidden after the destruction of the Second Temple.

Some of the more wacky corners of Evangelicalism with its millenial tendencies are very much for it.

Certainly the lessons taught about the meaning of sacrifice in the Old Testament are very valuable in tying in to the one and all sufficient sacrifice of Christ in the New, but most Reform Jews, of course, want no part of it.

I've also encountered some Jewish writings that predict the Messianic era will be one of peace and a restoration of the oeaceful vegetarian state of Eden.

Animal sacrifice seems so unnecessary in light of the New Covenant but of course that would not be the view of Orthodox Jews. It makes me glad that the Lord chose the humble and earthly forms of bread and wine with which to impart Himself to us, notwithstanding that bread and wine were also used in Jewish rituals.

Personally, I think Bible reading is, or was, for Catholics something like making the sign of the cross for Lutherans -- an excellent practice not used or even looked at because of its association with the other guys.

No doubt about that. I'm glad that's changing.

We make the sign of the cross at home all the time. It's right in the Little Catechism!

Good for you and for your boys! I still cherish my copies of Luther's Catechism (small and large). My mom told me that she was never comfortable with making the sign of the cross because they never did it at her Prussian Lutheran church, but then I've related before that I think they were still in the grips of the aftermath of the Prussian Union. She was certainly exposed to the Catechism, I'm sure.

 

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