St. Paul Abbey, a Truly Benedictine Monastery
Interview With Abbot Edmund Power
ROME, MAY 20, 2005 (Zenit) - The Abbey of St. Paul Outside the Walls has always been a place of special ecumenical character, says the new abbot of the Roman community.
In this interview with us, Abbot Edmund Power, 52, says that the community in charge of the basilica continues to be Benedictine "as over the past 1,300 years," and explained some of the activities of hospitality and promotion of ecumenism which he hopes to carry out.
Benedict XVI visited the basilica the day after the solemn inauguration of his pontificate.
Q: Has the monastic community of St. Paul Outside the Walls become intercongregational, or is it completely Benedictine?
Abbot Power: Intercongregational has a technical meaning for us Benedictines, because the Order of St. Benedict Confederation is made up of 20 different "OSB congregations," each one a group of monasteries, whether national or international.
In our case, the answer is yes: We have new monks who come from different OSB congregations, but the community remains totally Benedictine, as it has over the past 1,300 years. St. Paul continues to be a Benedictine monastery.
Q: The Pope came right away to the abbey after his election. What does this celebration mean?
Abbot Power: From the beginning, the Church of Rome was founded on the two great apostles, Peter and Paul, not on one or the other, but on both together. At times this is forgotten, given the importance of St. Peter and the Vatican.
The Holy Father decided to acknowledge again the ancient connection, taking possession of the Basilica of St. Paul, at the same time -- in fact, the next day -- as that of St. Peter. The cathedrals of the Bishop of Rome are the four patriarchal basilicas: St. Peter, St. Paul, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major.
The Pope came to St. Paul's, therefore, to venerate the Apostle and to take the chair, not primarily to visit the monks of the abbey. But of course the monastic community, as the basilica's chapter, offered the welcome.
Q: Does the community hope to become a place of ecumenical meeting? What types of activities will it organize?
Abbot Power: The Basilica of St. Paul, apostle of the gentiles, is traditionally the place where the Holy Father's important celebrations of an ecumenical character are held. Monasticism is always a strong point of contact between Catholics and Orthodox, because it expresses an ancient spirituality, wide and common, not the exclusive possession of the West or even of the East.
Our concrete experience is that often the Orthodox, for example, feel quite "comfortable" in our context. Naturally, we do not wish to restrict our relations only to the Orthodox. We also seek contacts with the Anglicans and Protestants.
We are at the beginning of our project, but I would like to see three levels of activity:
One: Periodical meetings at the level of study/discussion;
Two: Sharing of prayer and spiritual as well as social service;
Three: General hospitality: in fact, hospitality is a key element of St. Benedict's Rule.
A small concrete example will be the great Roman feast of Sts. Peter and Paul [June 29]. As every year, we plan different religious and cultural activities in the area surrounding St. Paul, among which is the great procession of St. Paul's chains through the streets. Thousands of people participate. It will be on the evening of June 28.
This year we want to elaborate the image of the chains as symbol of the "chains" of love that link all those who follow Christ. We will invite an ecumenical participation to the celebration.
Q: Personally, what is your dream, now that you begin your service as abbot?
Abbot Power: That our international community grow in fraternal love, seeking always with fervent desire the vision of God's face.
At the same time, we wish to collaborate with the Church's evangelical commitment, in particular, in the context of the basilica which is a great international shrine and contemplative place of encounter with God, as well as a point of reference for so many Romans. We hope that our spiritual quest will be an inspiration to many other people.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Benedictine, Power, Abbey, Ecumenical, Monastery
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Readings for Thursday, April 27, 2017
- St. Athanasius HD Video
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 29th, 2017 HD Video
- Lesbian Nuns?! Hollywood director to create smut film disgracing ...
- Pope Francis refuses bulletproof popemobile during Egyptian papal visit
- St. Zita: Saint of the Day for Thursday, April 27, 2017
- Irish priest's healing prayers offer MIRACLES - But who is he?
- Day 7 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
- Pope Francis surprises with TED Talk appearance and powerful message HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 28th, 2017 HD
- Day 6 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.