Liberals are beginning to twit.
They are just warming up, but soon it will be a grand mal twit.
They are panicking about Pope Benedict and his provisions for Anglicans who, after their long nightmare with liberal on their side of the Tiber, may want unity in the Catholic Church.
The liberal Catholics will try to pull a sleight of hand. They will attempt to get you to believe that what Pope Benedict is doing is not true ecumenism.
They will claim to be the sole arbiters of true ecumenism.
They will claim that conservative Catholics, traditional Catholics are not interested in true ecumenism.
Do not accept their definition or their premises.
I want to invite all you readers into a project.
My idea is that we should start to refer to Pope Benedict XVI as …
It becomes clearer each year that Benedict goes beyond his immediate predecessors, but always in continuity with them, in promoting Christian unity.
His efforts in this direction can be seen on several fronts:
1) with the Orthodox in general, and the Russian Orthodox in particular;
2) with the SSPX;
3) with the Anglicans.
I can hear it now.
"But Father! But Father!", my liberal readers will say, squirming. "Pope Benedict’s efforts with the SSPX and with the Anglican trads are not really about ‘Christian unity’! They aren’t even endorsed by many high-ranking Catholic prelates or conspicuous newspaper theologians!"
That is precisely why Pope Benedict is preeminently the Pope of Christian Unity.
Pope Benedict has been struggling against forces within his own fold to achieve Christian unity.
His is decidedly not the unity that liberals (Richard McBrien, Gerald O’Collins) have in mind when they think of Christian unity, with its watered-down version of Roman primacy, liturgy, catechesis, sexual ethics and church discipline. In other words, a Christian unity without a Christian identity (christian with a small ‘c’).
No, Benedict’s unity is real unity, true unity that costs something, that stretches people, but that does not compromise what is essential to the Church.
This is not Rahner’s "world church" where anything and anyone goes. It is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ Jesus.
Benedict’s true ecumenism is consonant with everything we are as a Church.
People are going to be stretched, but absolutely nothing essential will be given away.
You see where I am going with this.
Liberals want ecumenism only with those whom they want in their sort of church.
They want ecumenical dialogue with those who agree with the manifestos of, for example, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
But true ecumenism is not about compromise on essentials, giving away fundamental elements of our Catholic identity.
True ecumenism requires that we be stretched, to be sure, but that we submit. We stretch, but we give nothing essential away.
The liberal model of ecumenism gives nearly anything for the sake of bringing in their sort of compromised Christian.
Pope Benedict is the true ecumenist.
He is the Pope of Christian Unity.