Monday, May 13, 2013

"The church is a...

whore, but also my mother"
is a quote that perplexed me.

     This quote is often attributed to Saint Augustine, but I wanted to know where he said this or in what context it was used.  No one has yet to provide the original source location.  Many trails lead back to Tony Compolo's "Letters To A Young Evangelical (Art of Mentoring)" where he attributes these words to Augustine.  Here is a link to where he quotes this in a YouTube video:

     This sounds too much like a modern quote and since I cannot find it in an original source from Martin Luther or any other saint or church leader.  I believe this concept comes from The Catholic Worker magazine where in 1967 Dorthy Day wrote, "As to the Church, where else shall we go, except to the Bride of Christ, one flesh with Christ? Though she is a harlot at times, she is our Mother. We should read the book of Hosea, which is a picture of God's steadfast love not only for the Jews, His chosen people, but for His Church, of which we are every one of us members or potential members."  [bold italic emphasis added] (Day, Dorothy. "In Peace Is My Bitterness Most Bitter". The Catholic Worker, January 1967, 1, 2. The Catholic Worker Movement.

   Can you find an earlier direct attribution?  I would love to know what you can find.  Why do you think this statement has taken on a life of its own?  Does this statement resonate with you or repulse you?