21 January 2016

Intolerance of minorities (1)

In 1966, a former Conciliar peritus, Fr Ratzinger, wrote some very far-sighted words about Ecumenism: "The Catholic has to recognise that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself towards this reality ... the Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled  to ..."

It is important to realise that this idea, of preparing a place for separated ecclesial bodies, does not exclude an 'Ecclesiology of Return'. Those who have wandered from the Unity of S Peter need to return, and return must imply a full acceptance of everything that the the Catholic Church has dogmatically defined as to be accepted as of Divine Faith: everything defined both before and after the original separations. But that being said, the Church should indeed 'prepare places' in which those who have been separated can flourish with their own charisms.

Anybody who denies this is denying the propriety of the processes employed by the Holy See for many centuries in welcoming 'uniate' communities.

But, even when it is a matter of the re-integration of groups within the family of Western Catholic Christianity, there has been the problem of the differences between these groups and the ethos of what we might call the 'mainstream' Latin Church. Just as the Popes, for centuries, had needed to work and to legislate and to exhort in order to prevent the Eastern Catholic sui iuris Churches from being 'Latinised', so there remains a persistent tendency for the 'mainstream' of the post-Conciliar Western Church to be uneasy about the very existence in its midst of groups which are different from the Novus Ordo ethos which has taken over much of the Western Church.

In theory, especially among 'liberals', diversity is a trendy in-thing. In reality, among management circles generally within the Latin Church, diversity is about as truly popular as a Rumanian Beggar at a Mayfair Wedding. There are those who have a deep visceral suspicion of any others whose expression of Catholicism is at all different from their own. Readers will remember the uproar among 'liberal' prelates, the Trautmanns and the Wuerls and the Murphy O'Connors, about Summorum Pontificum. Someone should put together a jolly little anthology of the various 'guidelines' dreamed up by some such gentry in order to impede and evade the plain meaning of that piece of papal legislation.

'Tolerance' is fine as a mantra as long as it doesn't dare to take itself seriously.

I can think of three example: the FSSP, the FFI, and the Ordinariates.

To be continued.


Anonymous said...

Father, beautifully if disappointingly stated.
Fr Ken Bolin
Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

philipjohnson said...

God Bless the Ordinariate.They infuse The Church with good sound orthodox Priests and lay people.The more the better i say.

ChrisB said...

As a plain vanilla Catholic in the USA, forced to accept the rejection of tradition and the suppression of the Roman Canon and seeing my family deprived of the cultural and theological riches of the Roman Catholic Mass, I am glad to know that the Ordinariate is here fighting to stand its ground.

Lepanto said...

I understand that the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires was among those whose prelates took steps to frustrate the plain meaning of Summorum Pontificum. As I understand it, one TLM per week in the whole archdiocese was permitted, this was celebrated midweek in a small subterranean chapel without being publicised. It was apparently soon abandoned for 'lack of interest'. Quelle surprise!.

Anonymous said...

An Ordinariate for former Lutherans should also be created so that "Catholic Lutherans" also can find a place within the Catholic Church, where they can maintain their specific liturgical tradition and music. 2017 would be a great opportunity for this work.

jeff said...

Rome have already said they are open to such a gesture but groups of Lutherans must request it. I'm not aware of this ever happening.

From what I understand of high Lutheranism (never having attended their services you see) any who swim the Tiber would be pretty much at home in an Anglican Ordinariate setting. Plus the married priests dispensation applies to their clergy too. So the question is would Lutheran Ordinariates be even necessary???

Anonymous said...


Yes, they are necessary, because the Lutheran liturgy, tradition and especially the music (first of all the hymns, but also the organ and choir music tradition) is so much different from the Anglican Tradition, which is so closely related to the English traditions. In case of Germany, f.i., the Lutheran tradition has nothing to do with Anglicanism. It is an own tradition of 500 years of worship. However, I do not think that the Caholic Church has to wait until groups of Lutherans request a framework for them. It would be sufficient just to offer it and invite them to join, then several groups would think of and some for sure will join. There are very "catholic" minded groups within the Lutheran world, which are deeply disappointed with the direction into which the Lutheran denominations moved.

jeff said...

Well Rome made the offer back when AC was published. It would seem no Lutherans have come forward. Rome would look quite silly at this juncture...

High Lutheran seminarians already study at Nashotah House (as, happily, are members of the Anglican Ordinariate) showing the closeness of high Lutheranism to high Anglicanism. If a parish sought entry to the Ordinariate now, Rome would most likely expedite the creation of a Lutheran Ordinariate. Even if they came into the Anglican Ordinariate they would be free to use whatever music they want.