Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

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 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.

Bishop Bernard Fellay and members of the SSPX in Procession

Bishop Bernard Fellay and members of the SSPX in Procession

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/20/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: SSPX, Society of St Pius X, Marcel Lefebvre, Anglican Ordinariate, Tradition, Traditionalist, Unity, Full communion, Archbishop Bernard Fellay, Ecclesia Dei, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - One day after the celebration of the 85th birthday of the Pope of Christian unity, on the week commemorating seven years of his pontificate, an amazing turn of events may have finally occurred. The rumors have been rampant. However, they they have received mixed reviews from Vatican observers. They have also prompted rampant speculation.

However, on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, the reliable Andrea Tornielli reported that the doctrinal preamble issued by the Vatican has been signed by Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the Society of St. Pius X. The report further indicates there were some minor revisions which should not preclude the long hoped for return to full communion for the SSPX.   

What a birthday gift this would be for the Pope of Christian unity. On April 20, 2005, a 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."

According to Andrea Tornielli of the Vatican Insider, reported in a story translated by my favorite source for these vital issues, the ever reliable Rorate Caeli , "The text of the preamble, with the modifications proposed by Fellay, and signed by him as Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X, will be presented to Benedict XVI, who, on the day following his 85th birthday and on the even of the seventh anniversary of his election, receives a positive response from the Lefebvrists."

"A response long expected and desired by him, who, in the next few weeks, will put an end to the wound opened in 1988 with the illegitimate episcopal ordinations celebrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre."

"It is not ruled out that Fellay's response be examined by the Cardinals of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the next "Feria Quarta" [Wednesday] meeting, which should take place in the first half of May. Meanwhile, some further weeks will be needed so that a canonical arrangement can be established."

"The most probable proposal is that of establishing a "personal prelature", a legal figure introduced in the Code of Canon Law in 1983 and up to now used only by Opus Dei. The prelate depends directly of the Holy See. The Society of Saint Pius X will continue to celebrate Mass according to the ancient Missal, and to form its priests in its seminaries."

This is the same Pope who issued Motu Propio, on his own authority, the historic Apostlic Constitution establishing Anglican ordinariates for former Anglicans seeking to come into full communion within the Catholic Church. Within these Catholic Ordinariates of former Anglicans, elements of the Anglican liturgy are preserved and the Anglican patrimony is respected and preserved as a gift for the whole Church.

Another excellent European journalist, Sandro Magister, in a 2009 article entitled "Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You. As Long As It's According to Tradition" helps us understand the pastoral strategy of Pope Benedict XVI in his apostolic work of restoring the full communion of the Catholic Church. 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."

This Pope of Christian unity is a proponent of legitimate diversity within Orthodoxy (right doctrine) and Orthopraxy (right practice). A Wall Street Journal article written by Stacy Meichtry in 2009 was originally entitled "The Great Unifier?" but is now entitled "For the  Vatican, New Resolve to Expand the Catholic Fold" Why the name was changed I do not know.

It prompted a comment in an article I wrote back then, "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 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.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Pope canonizes first Arabic-speaking saints in church's history Watch

Image of Sister Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1847, opened girls' schools, fought female illiteracy and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was seen as a gesture of goodwill to Christians living in the Middle East. Pope Francis described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an "angel of peace" before canonizing two 19th century nuns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sisters Mariam Bawardy and ... continue reading


Israel incensed as the Vatican recognizes the state of Palestine Watch

Image of Both the United States and Israel oppose recognition, arguing that it undermines U.S.-led efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of Palestinian statehood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The decision is an extremely unpopular one for Israel - the Vatican has recognized the State of Palestine in a new treaty. The treaty concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory. It's a dramatic demonstration of the turnaround in the ... continue reading


Grandfather transforms three-bedroom home into stunning replica of Sistine Chapel Watch

Image of It took Robert Burns three times as long to complete his work as it took painter Michelangelo to complete his masterpiece in Rome.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It took 12 long years, but Robert Burns of Brighton, England has finally completed his dream project of turning his three-bedroom home into a replica of the Sistine Chapel. The 67-year-old former interior decorator was inspired by Renaissance painters and ... continue reading


Is the Holy See taking action against Medjugorje?

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

Catholic Christians who are familiar with the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, might be interested in the following developments. Although a definitive judgment has yet to be announced by the Church-a commission formed by the ... continue reading


Venus de Milo - a prostitute? New evidence offers intriguing new theories Watch

Image of A San Francisco-based designer has recreated the sculpture as a spinner, which was a pursuit popular with idle prostitutes in ancient Greece.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes what is missing fills in an otherwise incomplete story. There is new evidence suggesting that the model for the famous Venus de Milo statue may have been a prostitute. A new 3-D reconstruction suggests that the statue was spinning yarn in the manner ... continue reading


The mystery behind 'the Devil's Bible': Europe's largest surviving manuscript Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europe's largest surviving manuscript, the Codex Gigas, is commonly referred to as "the Devil's Bible' by many who are left baffled by the mysterious text. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The manuscript, held in the National Library of Sweden in Stockholm, is ... continue reading


Fatima prophecies 'lift veil' on anti-Christian persecution today, Vatican cardinal says Watch

Image of The Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, and confided in them three secrets. Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the visionaries, wrote them down years later.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The "secrets" of Our Lady of Fatima tell of today's Christian persecution, in addition to the martyrdom of the past century, Cardinal Angelo Amato of the Vatican has declared. The cardinal had "the privilege" of reading the original manuscripts of the secrets of ... continue reading


Malfunctioned fair ride leaves terrified passengers suspended at 200 feet Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thrill seekers were left hanging upside down on a fairground ride in Holland for almost an hour. The group consisting of seven riders, were riding the "Booster" ride at a spring fair in Didam, Netherlands. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -The local newspaper, ... continue reading


Fears regarding Pope Francis' health resurface after he says he is 'a bit old and sick' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Telling parishioners he is "a bit old and a bit sick," new fears for the health of Pope Francis have resurfaced. The pope asked a group of elderly and disabled people to pray for him, warning that he was also suffering from heath problems. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Queen Elizabeth meets royal baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The royal newborn baby to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, was finally visited by the 89-year-old Queen. She went to Kensington Palace and was introduced to her fifth great-grandchild Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born May 2, 2015. The baby's first ... 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, Sirach 17:19-27
19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:17-27
17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God ... 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