The first time I used the phrase “Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity“, which is starting to get around, liberals were in grand-twit: they are losing control of what “ecumenism” means and how it is pursued. Benedict is redirecting ecumenism.
Ecumenism is a necessary part of our Catholic thing. We must pursue it. And yet it is so hard a project, so fraught with obstacles that in the final analysis I believe only God can make it happen. We are caught between giving up not even one essential inch, iota or item of what we believe as Catholics we as we must be engaged with people who hold strikingly different or only slightly different views. We cannot sacrifice anything essential to “get along” in ecumenical efforts. But the Lord prayed ut unum sint, and we have to do something about that.
Pope Benedict is doing something about that. After decades of work which at best paved the way by changing how we talk with other groups, making it possible to have a conversation, the Holy Father is finding creative ways to engage in a true ecumenism. This is the ecumenism in continuity with both Mortalium animos as well as Unitatis redintegratio whereby, eventually, all are one in the Catholic Church.
I read this on ZENIT:
Vatican Aide: Ordinariate Very Important to Pope
Says Unity Is Built on Love and Truth
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A priest at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is affirming that the newly established Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is “very important” to Benedict XVI. [That Ordinariate is, of course, for Anglicans who want unity with Peter.]
Members of the ordinariate, established for former Anglicans wishing to enter full communion with the Catholic Church, recently visited Rome and met with staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including the prefect, Cardinal William Levada.
Father Hermann Geissler, head of the dicastery’s doctrinal office, gave an interview to The Portal, an independent review of the ordinariate.
He affirmed that “the ordinariate is very important to the Holy Father.” [You can also bet that Summorum Pontificum and the talks with the SSPX are also very important to the Holy Father. Think about it. Summorum Pontificum has more enemies, however.]
“In the area of ecumenism it strengthens the Catholic Church’s approach in two ways,” the priest noted. “It promotes sincere dialogue with a Christian defense of life and the promotion of peace.”
[READ THIS SLOWLY AND SAVOR IT:] He stated: “The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together.” [What else can it be?]
Father Geissler affirmed that the Pope is called to promote unity in the Church and world. “He is the chief shepherd, he cannot do otherwise.”
“Unity is built on two pillars, love and truth,” the priest added.
He reported that 50-60 clergy and some 1,000 laity are already planning to join the ordinariate, and “every soul is precious.”
The priest added that there are also groups interested in following a similar model in the United States, Canada and Australia. He noted his dicastery is “watching events carefully” in Africa as well.
“We are not to give in to difficulties,” Father Geissler said. “We are to be generous and welcoming.”
He continued: “The issue is the whole question of unity and of mission. When God plants a beautiful tree, he cares for it.”
The priest concluded: “We pray for you that the ordinariate goes well. Priests are already ordained.
“We must be faithful to unity.
“We will do all we can to help you together with the bishops of England and Wales. Be encouraged by the words of Jesus Christ, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be given you.’ There will be suffering, but God will guide us.”
Let us review: “The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together.”
With that in mind.
Also from Geissler’s interview with The Portal:
The Portal also reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has begun to receive requests from Lutherans to establish a similar canonical structure that would allow them to enter the Catholic Church while retaining aspects of the Lutheran heritage. “The Holy Father will do all he can to bring other Christians into unity,” Father Geissler commented.
SSPX? Hello? SSPX? Anyone there?