A meme that has popped up in recent years on Protestant sites is this “quote” attributed to St. Augustine: “The Church is a whore, but she’s my mother.”
I’m sorry, but I call BS. I don’t believe, for one nanosecond, that Augustine ever said any such thing. I don’t believe he ever so much as thought any such thing. I don’t believe he would have been anything other than utterly horrified at saying any such thing.
So, my challenge: Document where Augustine ever said this. My pledge and promise to you: you will fail, because this is just about the most unAugustinian thing you could possibly attribute to Augustine. It’s an utterly Protestant sentiment, and a deeply modern one. I can believe anybody from Luther to Nancy Pelosi saying it. But the attribution to Augustine is, I am absolutely certain, an urban legend born either of ignorance or a dishonest need to have Augustinian Authority backing up a sentiment of contempt for the Church.
I’m so certain I’m right on this, that I’m tempted to attach a $100 bet, payable to me in one week, if a challenger claims he can find the Augustine cite, because I know he will fail. But I will refrain and simply content myself with the fact no one will find the cite, because Augustine would *never* say this.