Society of Pius X Responds Positively to Overture From the Vatican
indeed the Great Unifier." Meichtry claimed in that article that "Few expected Pope Benedict to reach out to other Christian churches aggressively when he was elected in April 2005".
However, anyone aware of the writings, history and ecclesiology (theology of the Church) of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, knew this would happen. I, along with many other observers of this extraordinary Christian leader, were not surprised. What I wrote back then I reaffirm today, this Pope is only warming up. This is his mission.
Another Wall Street Journal article written in October of 2009 by Francis X. Rocca entitled "The Pope Lets a Thousand Liturgies Bloom" is now unavailable online. It offers another way of understanding the specific way in which Pope Benedict XVI views this mission - and views the Church over which he presides in Christ, who is the Head of His Body. The Vatican correspondent for the Religious news Service wrote:
"It may seem ironic that Pope Benedict should be presiding over such diversification of worship. After all, as head of the Vatican's doctrinal office for more than two decades prior to his 2005 election as pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger built a reputation as the church's most vigilant guardian of orthodoxy, receiving the nickname "God's Rottweiler." Benedict is hardly permissive when it comes to liturgy."
"Though even most Catholics are not aware of it, many sanctioned modes of worship have co-existed within the church over its 2,000-year history. The Ambrosian Rite, celebrated only in certain parts of northern Italy, with its own special prayers, vestments and type of chant, is one of the most ancient, dating back at least to the fourth century. Not to speak of the many Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome, which share a rich liturgical heritage with Eastern Orthodoxy."
Pope Benedict's 'Impelling Duty' is to rebuild the full and visible unity of this Church. It will be forged through orthodoxy (right teaching) and orthopraxy (right practice) - but it will be lived within a legitimate diversity of expression within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. That is the context within which this happy news of a possible restored communion with the SSPX should be received. It is a sign of the coming full communion of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: SSPX, Society of St Pius X, Marcel Lefebvre, Anglican Ordinariate, Tradition, Traditionalist, Unity, Full communion, Archbishop Bernard Fellay, Ecclesia Dei, Deacon Keith Fournier
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