Fr. Louis Bouyer was a former Lutheran minister who entered the Catholic Church in 1939. He was a co-founder of the progressivist review Communio and a perito at Vatican II. In 1969 he was chosen by Paul VI to be part of the team of 30 theologians who would initiate the International Theological Commission (ITC).
He wrote a large work on spirituality, ecumenism and liturgy.
In the concluding chapter of his book La Décomposition du Catholicisme [The Decomposition of Catholicism], he anounces the death of Catholicism, which he understands as the militant characteristic of the Catholic Church.
Top right is a facsimile of the book's frontispice; at right, photocopies of the Portuguese text. Below, we present our translation.
"As for what is called 'Catholicism,' a word that only appeared, if I am not mistaken, in the 17th century, if it is understood as the artificial system forged by the Counter Reformation and hardened by the repressive blows against Modernism, then it is very good for this system to die.
"There are even strong probabilities that it is already dead, even though we have not fully realized it."
(A Decomposição do Catolicismo, Lisbon: Sampedro Editora, 1969, pp. 215-16).
Posted on October 15, 2005