Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/18/2011 (2 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 (2 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Europe

Spiritual Ecumenism: Pope Francis Visits Evangelical/Pentecostal Church in Caserta Italy Watch

Image of Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis took a trip to Caserta, Italy on Monday, June 28, 2014. He visited with a friend named Giovanni Traettino who pastors an evangelical, charismatic/Pentecostal protestant Church. This friend of Francis oversees the growing evangelical Church of the ... continue reading


Spanish priest packs them into church - by dancing the flamenco Watch

Image of Father Pepe danced in front of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1997. He says w he will retire this coming September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jose Planas Moreno, known as "Father Pepe," has revived interest in his church in Malaga, Spain. The priest has brought parishioners flocking back to the Nuestra SeƱora Del Carmen church in Campanilla, a district of Malaga, with his unusual style of worship. ... continue reading


LUNCH SURPRISE: Pope Francis eats with Vatican employees in surprise visit Watch

Image of The Pope spent about an hour dining at a table with around 10 other people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "lunch surprise" usually means an item that's not on the menu offered at a lower price. At the Vatican, employees got quite a "lunch surprise" on Friday when their "boss" and bishop, Pope Francis, turned up at their cafeteria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop! - Pope Urges End to Wars in Ukraine, Iraq and Gaza

Image of Brothers and sisters: never war.My thoughts go especially to the children, from whom we take away the hope for a decent life: dead children, injured children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have war relics for toys, children who do not know how to smile.- Pope Francis

By Asia News

He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak ... continue reading


Meriam Ibraham is Free! The Living God Has Heard the Cry of His People! Jesus Christ is Lord! Watch

Image of Meriam receives the blessing and the gratitude of the successor of Peter, Francis.- What should be front and center in every Christian news report on this remarkable story is that God intervened on behalf of Meriam and her family. The God whom we profess is real and His power is greater than any regime or any form of opposition. Yes, He used men and women, and even government leaders, to accomplish His deliverance. He often does. But it was His Love and Mercy which broke the shackles of evil. He deserves all the praise.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The photo of Pope Francis blessing Meriam Ibrahim and her little daughter Maya in the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, July 24, 2014, reciving a blessing from a smiling Pope Francis, made millions of hearts leap for joy. The God of love answers the prayers of His ... continue reading


'A negative act necessarily must be condemned:' Vatican revising law on abuse penalties Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In regards to canonical law regarding acts of sexual misconduct, according to law ended up being too vague, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta says, church sanctions were being applied so haphazardly that the church appeared to be divided. In response, the Vatican is ... continue reading


VILE: Somali girl smuggled into United Kingdom for organ harvesting Watch

Image of In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for transplant.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There has been a noticeable uptick of cases of human trafficking in the United Kingdom. In perhaps the most horrific recent case, law enforcement learned that a Somali girl had been brought to England for the express purpose of harvesting her organs for ... continue reading


HORRIFIC ABUSE: 18-year-old girl coerced into group sex while being recorded on cell phone Watch

Image of The incident is being called an example of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An 18-year-old girl performed explicit sex acts on 24 men on a dance floor with the promise of a holiday - which never arrived. Presented with a mixed drink for her acts of indecency, the sordid episode was recorded on a cell phone camera - for the world to ... continue reading


Female genital mutilation threatens young females in England, Wales Watch

Image of The Department of Health has ordered hospitals to report signs of genital mutilation. The first statistics aren't due until September.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Far away from Africa and parts of Asia, girls and young women are still at risk for female genital mutilation, or FGM within the United Kingdom. The barbaric practice, FGM, is still carried out among various immigrant females in both Great Britain and Wales. ... continue reading


Putin vs. the World: One plane crash may spell the end for Russian president's ambitious plan of conquest Watch

Image of Russian backed separatists stand around wreckage from the downed Malaysian Airlines plane.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

World opinion continues to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine being the most notable and recent example of Russian interference in Ukraine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Time and evidence ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2014 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... 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