26 June 2008

Ecumenism

Have I got this right? The Holy Father will have His All-Holiness Pariarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and New Rome with him in the liturgy in S Peter's this coming Sunday, the Solemnity of S Peter; and among those on whom he will on this occasion confer the pallium is a Byzantine Rite ('uniate') Archbishop? If this is so, is it not an important shift in the attitude of the Phanar to 'uniates'? Two more of the honorands are Latin Rite Archbishops within what has been termed the Canonical Territory of the Moskow Patriarchate. Will this have any bearing on the trifocal relationship between Rome, Constantinople, and Moskow?

NLM calls, as I did in an earlier post, for much prayer for SSPX. At S Thomas's this morning we had a Votive for Christian Unity. Whenever I say this wonderful old Votive the years fall away and I remember how it felt back in the 1960s, when Unity seemed to all of us both a divine imperative and a real possibility; when it seemed that the old divisions were crumbling; when we all believed it was inconceivable that anyone could be so wicked as to introduce new divisions; before the dark days came and foolish people were persuaded by the Evil One that not only are genderist deformations in Holy Order and in Liturgy right in themselves, but that they are so urgently right that their necessity transcends God's call to Unity.

3 comments:

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Beware the Dark Side of the Force!
It was a more Civilized time.... before the Feminist Empire.

The young fogey said...

As you know, Father, the Patriarch of Constantinople does not speak for the Orthodox communion like the Pope does for the Roman. Perhaps he realises that the Pope ministering to his own people doesn't threaten the Orthodox. The 'Uniates' are no longer used to try to convert born Orthodox. I understand that this policy of the Holy See as well as Russian law mean the RC bishops in Russia are scrupulous about that. A few Russians join but they're Soviet-bred unchurched, not Orthodox.

The spanner in the works of Roman-Orthodox relations is although, unlike Protestants, the two believe in an infallible church they differ on how exactly it works. Is the papacy divinely instituted or is only the episcopate so with the papacy a man-made rank of it for the good order of the church? I don't see reunion without one side giving in.

Regarding your second paragraph, indeed.

Because Catholics believe in an infallible church we believe we can't change certain things already received by the church: 'I can't; I'm only the Pope' as Pius IX said when some wanted to add St Joseph to the Roman Canon. (Which John XXIII did but the story shows the proper approach of authority to tradition.)

Protestants don't so they think their power is unlimited, hence 'genderist' changes and so on.

This principle - infallible or not? - is what distinguishes us from Protestants when all else seems the same (there are Anglican women clergy who believe the same things about the creeds and the Mass that we do). That's what one should focus on in ecumenical talks both formal and friendly: no need to get bogged down in arguments about surface Controversial Issues™ such as women's ordination or gay weddings. Those are only presenting symptoms of the big difference.

One reunion we may see in our lifetime is between the Orthodox and the Lesser Eastern Churches whom it turns out weren't really heretics after all. Many people assume the latter are Orthodox anyway and they may happen to be right.

ebed melech said...

Father,

My understanding is that the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II of blessed memory ceased conferring the pallium upon Eastern Catholic hierarchs, but rather only required concelebration of the Eucharist.

Are you positive that the pallium was conferred?

But I agree with you that there is a shift in the attitude of the Phanar towards Eastern Catholics. It was not that long ago when he had some fairly scathing words for Orthodox Christians in union with Rome.

It appears that good Patriarch Lubomyr and the situation in Ukraine has softened things up a bit... (not to mention the Holy Spirit and Pope Benedict, of course!)

In ICXC,

Fr. Deacon Daniel