Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/18/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In his quest for the authentic Christian unity Pope Benedict XVI is only warming up

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.

Archbishop Bernard Fellay

Archbishop Bernard Fellay

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/18/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: SSPX, Archbishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX, Ordinariate, Schism, healing, Cardinal Levada, Deacon Keith Fournier


ROME, Italy (Catholic Online) - On April 20, 2005 newly elected Pope Benedict XVI gave his first message at the end of a Mass he had concelebrated with the members of the College of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel. He signaled his mission:

"Nourished and sustained by the Eucharist, Catholics cannot but feel encouraged to strive for the full unity for which Christ expressed so ardent a hope in the Upper Room. The Successor of Peter knows that he must make himself especially responsible for his Divine Master's supreme aspiration. Indeed, he is entrusted with the task of strengthening his brethren (cf. Luke 22: 32).

"With full awareness, therefore, at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome which Peter bathed in his blood, Peter's current Successor takes on as his primary task the duty to work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers. This is his ambition, his impelling duty."

However, the announcement on October 20, 2009 that an Apostolic Constitution would establish a "Personal Ordinariate" for Anglican Christians and their Clergy to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church - while retaining elements of their distinctive Anglican identity - seemed to surprise many in both the religious and secular press.

A Wall Street Journal article written by Stacy Meichtry  was originally entitled The Great Unifier? (now entitled "For the  Vatican, New Resolve to Expand the Catholic Fold") prompted my comment in an article I wrote, "Though worth reading, it is the Title which will endure. The question mark will fall away as this historic moment unfolds over the coming years. Pope Benedict XVI is indeed the Great Unifier."

Meichtry claimed "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. I wrote back then and I reaffirm today, he is only warming up.

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. 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."

However, it was the Italian Catholic Journalist who most accurately expressed the continuity in the Pope's prophetic action. In an article entitled "Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You. As Long As It's According to Tradition" he noted that "Today more than ever, with Joseph Ratzinger as pope, the ecumenical journey seems not a pursuit of modernity, but a return to the terrain of tradition."

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 the historic meeting in Rome on September 14, 2011 between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the representatives of the SSPX should be prayerfully considered. Here is the report from Vatican Radio:

*****

"The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada held a meeting on Wednesday with the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St Pius X (SSPX) at the offices of the CDF in the Vatican, during the course of which the Cardinal Prefect presented the Superior General with a statement of principles they are calling a "Doctrinal Preamble" as part of the regularization of the canonical status of the SSPX, as well as some proposals regarding the concrete form a fully reconciled SSPX might take under canon law.

"The Vatican did not give the society a deadline, though the Director of the Holy See's Press Office told reporters that SSPX leaders are expected to study and sign the preamble "within a few months." Regarding the elements of a canonical solution for the society, it was suggested that a plausible solution could be a personal prelature - a church jurisdiction without geographical boundaries designed to carry out particular pastoral initiatives.

"A communique issued by the Vatican on Wednesday retraces the recent history of relations between the SSPX and the Holy See:

"Following the supplication addressed by the SSPX Superior General to Pope Benedict XVI on December 15th, 2008, the Holy Father decided to lift the excommunications against the four bishops consecrated by SSPX founder, Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre, and at the same time to open discussions with the SSPX, for the purpose of clarifying outstanding doctrinal questions and overcoming the existing division.

"Obedient to the will of the Holy Father, a mixed commission of experts was formed to study the questions, drawing members from both the SSPX and the CDF. The commission met eight times in Rome between October 2009 and April 2011. These discussions, which had the purpose of expounding and exploring in depth the essential doctrinal difficulties with controverted themes, have achieved the goal of clarifying the positions of each party, as well as the reasons for those positions.

"Also taking into account the concerns and the issues presented by the SSPX regarding the integrity of the Catholic faith considering the hermeneutic of rupture of the Second Vatican Council with respect to Tradition - mentioned by Pope Benedict XVI in his Address to the Roman Curia of December 22, 2005 - the CDF maintains that a fundamental basis of full reconciliation with the Apostolic See is the acceptance of the Doctrinal Preamble which was delivered during the course of today's (Wed., September 14th, 2011) meeting.

"This preamble enunciates some of the doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and sentire cum Ecclesia (thinking with [the mind of] the Church), while at the same time leaving the theological study and explanation of particular expressions and formulations present in the texts of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium that followed it open to legitimate discussion.

In the course of the same meeting, some elements were proposed regarding a canonical solution for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, which would follow the eventual and hoped-for reconciliation."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Europe

Massive Viking treasure horde discovered HOW?!? Watch

Image of A 47-year-old British man uncovered one of the largest Viking artifact hordes ever discovered, which has over hundreds of artifacts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A British man has found the largest collection of Viking artifacts ever in Scotland, using-of all things--a metal detector. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Derek McLennan found the trove on land belonging to the Church of Scotland in the area of Dumfries and ... continue reading


Pope Francis Makes Another Impassioned Plea for Christian Unity Watch

Image of Divisions among us, but also divisions among the communities: evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, but why divided? We must try to bring about unity. Let me tell you something, today, before leaving home, I spent 40 minutes more or less, half an hour, with an evangelical pastor. And we prayed together, seeking unity. But we Catholics must pray with each other and other Christians. Pray that the Lord gift us unity! Unity among ourselves! How will we ever have unity among Christians if we are not capable of having it among us Catholics, in the family, how many families fight and split up? Seek unity, unity builds the Church and comes from Jesus Christ. He sends us the Holy Spirit to build unity! - Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Dear friends, let us therefore proceed towards full unity! History has separated us, but we are on the path towards reconciliation and communion! And this is true! And we must defend it! We are all on the path toward communion. And when the goal seems too ... continue reading


'Titanic of the Ancient World' yielding priceless, new treasures Watch

Image of In their assessment of the ship's size, the team also brought up several new artifacts including tableware and an enormous bronze spear, pictured below, that's believed to have been part of a giant statue.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ancient Antikythera shipwreck, a Greek vessel that sank more than 2,000 years ago in the Aegean Sea has long captivated archaeologists. Since sponge divers discovered it in 1900, researchers have long referred to it in order to understand a foregone ... continue reading


Belgium strikes back against leaders of national Islamist group Watch

Image of Fouad Belkacem alias Abu Imran, the spokesman for the Sharia4Belgium Islamist group, and one of those put on trial.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belgium has started its largest-ever terrorism trial in the port city of Antwerp. Here, 46 members of the Sharia4Belgium Islamist group are being charged with recruiting scores of young Muslims to fight for the Islamic State. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Catholic Church must use power to protect Christians against radical Islam, bishop says Watch

Image of The Pakistan-born bishop, an outspoken defender of Christian rights in his native land before coming to United Kingdom, says that the time is nigh for Rome to take a stand.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic Church must use its global power to protect Christians threatened by Islamic militancy and secularism. That was the message delivered by prominent Anglican Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. The Pakistan-born bishop, an outspoken defender of Christian ... continue reading


Ebola cases spreading through Europe deemed 'unavoidable' by health official Watch

Image of While European health workers were most at risk of becoming infected, but added that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the news of a Spanish nurse infected with the Ebola virus, World Health Organization European Director Zsuzsanna Jakab has declared that the spread of Ebola across Europe is "quite unavoidable." She assures the world that Europe is still at low risk and ... continue reading


Extraordinary Synod on the Pastoral Care of the Family Begins. Stop Fighting and Start Praying Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Too much of the back and forth online concerning the Extraordinary Synod on the Pastoral care of the family has only fanned the fires of fear among God's people. It has also given those who oppose the Church, and her liberating message of truth, fodder for their ... continue reading


Discovered artwork asks -- Was Jesus Christ clean-shaven? Watch

Image of Throughout history, the Messiah has been depicted in a variety of ways through holy art -- bearded, clean shaven, light skin, olive skin, long hair, short -- each interpretation reflecting the prevalent society's ideas regarding Him.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The popular depiction of Jesus Christ in Western art usually shows him with flowing, long blond hair and beard. This depiction may not necessarily be the case. Archaeologists in Spain say they have found one of the world's earliest known images of Jesus ... continue reading


Euthanasia takes mounting toll in the Netherlands Watch

Image of Euthanasia in the Netherlands is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Since legalizing euthanasia seven years ago, the Netherlands has seen a dramatic spike in the number of people who have elected to medically terminate their lives. Intended to ease the suffering of those with terminal cancer, a growing number of patients ... continue reading


Is Pope Francis a Charismatic? Yes, But In the Fullest Sense of the Word Watch

Image of Pope Francis is a good pastor, who wants to ensure that participants in all of these ecclesial movements not fall prey to the danger which enthusiastic movements often face, turning inward or becoming, to use one of his favorite words of warning to the whole Church, self-referential.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

A charism is a grace, a gift lavished by God the Father, through the action of the Holy Spirit. And it is a gift that is given to someone, not because he is better than others or because he merited it: it is a gift that God makes so that, with the same ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter