27 June 2015

Catholic Ecumenism

Whooppee!!! A fascinating post on the Eponymous Flower about an attempt to reconstitute a united Church of the East, in communion with the See of S Peter, out of the three fragments into which it is currently broken. I hope and most devoutly pray that this may be true, and may lead to the desired goal. Rome has already prepared the way for this by its Christological agreement with the Assyrians; and its acceptance of the adequacy of the rite of Addai and Mari.

And the Society of S Pius X tells us that, after the June ordinations, it will have a priesthood of over 600.

My own view is that Separated Brethren should be viewed differently depending on whether they are officially set on a course of convergence towards, or divergence from, Catholic Unity. For example: the worldwide Anglican establishment increasingly distances itself from Catholic teaching on Holy Order and Sexual Morality. Since the latter is the main point currently at issue between the Church and the World, we must, surely, take seriously the plain fact that our 'partners in dialogue' are now increasingly committed to assisting the Devil's work, in opposition to the Body of Christ. Can anyone doubt that they are becoming more and more part of the Enemy's plan? Of course, we should not decline to talk to them; but that dialogue, as Walter Kasper made clear when he addressed the English Anglican bishops, must, realistically, be on the basis of a changed understanding of what they are and what they want.

Christians, however, who are on a course of convergence with Catholicism, should surely be treated differently. I hope that the authorities in Rome will not make an issue of details which, in a situation of restored unity and amity, would settle themselves. And, to put it crudely, our Christian brethren in the Arab world could do with a bit of a break from bad news and bloody death.

One final point. There are still some good Catholic folk in exsilio within the Anglican Communion. I think there should be a renewed openness towards Anglican clergy who are considering their position. I am far from being part of the inner counsels of the Church, but the rumours we all hear suggest that, somewhere deep in the machinery, there may be a more grudging spirit with regard to the integration of such excellent men into Catholic Unity and Catholic priesthood. We hear talk of age-limits; of delaying ordination until after a period of formation. I would be so very relieved to be proved wrong ...

Unity matters. We should actively discern the places where the Holy Spirit is actively and manifestly at work bringing schism to an end and we should actively and generously collaborate with Him.

2 comments:

Raider Fan said...

Dear Father. In the comment section at Eponymous, some write-backers are questioning the validity of the Addai and Mari Rites and so this link may be useful.

O, and it also recommends a book you frequently reference :)

http://theradtrad.blogspot.com/2013/12/dialogue-on-validity-form-and-intention.html

fr. Thomas said...

The document that claimed that that particular anaphora was valid was published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and so (since this is not a magisterial body), we do not owe it even obsequium religiosum. The document itself claims that its decision was approved by the CDF, but it doesn't include any reference to an official statement of the CDF.