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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Europe

Heartbreaking images of drowned Syrian toddler captures the Middle East's refugee crisis Watch

Image of The body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi is found lying on the shore of a Turkish resort town.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Images depicting the body of a drowned toddler lying on the shores of Bodrum have gone viral, showcasing the desperation of fleeing migrants from Syria and the middle East. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Two boats carrying fleeing immigrants capsized on ... continue reading


ISIS fighters caught crossing border disguised as refugees Watch

Image of Europe is experiencing a massive amount of migrant intake.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five ISIS fighters were seized as they attempted to cross the Bulgarian-Macedonian border with gruesome videos and ISIS propaganda on their phones. The terrorist suspects assumed the identities of refugees. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It was reported ... continue reading


Shocking water misters at entrance of Auschwitz museum remind guests of gas chamber Watch

Image of Misters at the Auschwitz Museum in Polond too closely resemble gas chambers.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Water mists were placed at the entrance of the Auschwitz Museum in Poland in an effort to beat the heat but Israeli visitors were far from "cool." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The mist raining down on guests reminded them of gas chambers, bringing back ... continue reading


Not London, New York or Paris: Luanda, Angola the most expensive city on Earth for... Watch

Image of According to Mercer's annual Cost of Living survey, places Luanda as by far the priciest city for foreign workers to live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's nowhere as well known as New York, Paris or London - but Luanda, Angola remains the most expensive city by far for expatriates to live in. Luanda ranked as the most expensive city to live in for the third time in a row. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Discovery of purported 'Nazi gold train' taken seriously in Poland Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The declarations from a German man and Polish man of discovery a long-lost Nazi train filled with gold and other treasures is being taken seriously by Poland's deputy culture minister. He says he is "convinced" the train exists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Abandoned truck holds over 20 dead migrants in Austria Watch

Image of Truck found abandoned carrying the bodies of more than 20 dead migrants

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A police manhunt takes place after the discovery of an abandoned truck containing the bodies of migrants attempting to cross Austria's border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Austrian police report up to 50 migrants suffocated in the back of a refrigerated food ... continue reading


Vatican involvement in Ashley Madison Web site leak disproven Watch

Image of At first glance, the claim seems questionable - why would top Church officials sworn to celibacy sign up for a Web site for married people, and no less one that promotes adultery?

By CNA/EWTN News

Early this week, a leak of personal data from millions of users of Ashley Madison, a Web site designed to arrange extramarital affairs, wreaked havoc on and off the internet. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - At least two suicides have been reported in conjunction ... continue reading


Four-star General reveals horrendous WWII scenes in never-before-seen photographs (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Four-star General Charles Day Palmer detailed the fights in Western Front during World War II by taking snapshots of the bombed-out cities and lifeless bodies. He kept personal photos of the battlefields in Germany and France and is now releasing them to the public for ... continue reading


Brainwashed teenage girl taken away from radical jihadi parents Watch

Image of Judge Anthony Hayden, pictured, today compared the radicalization of the 16-year-old girl, known as B as similar to that as child sex abuse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 16-year-old girl in East London has been removed from her home after a judge ruled that she was being radicalized by her parents with Islamic State propaganda. The straight-A student, known only as "B" was stopped last year when she tried to fly to Syria to ... continue reading


HEROISM - AND EXTREME COWARDICE: American service members disarm terrorist aboard train - as train's staff lock themselves in office, denying help Watch

Image of U.S. serviceman Spencer Stone answering reporters' questions at the U.S. embassy in Paris this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was an example of high heroism - undercut with a despicable act of cowardice and selfishness. As an Islamic militant from Morocco threatened life and limb a high-speed train bound for Paris with a Kalashnikov, American service members with a British man were ... 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, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... 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