Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Giving new meaning to "ecumenism"

Speaking of mice and cookies (see previous posts), the Vatican has unloaded its second barrel against Vatican II, this time by basically restating the elements of its 2000 document Dominus Iesus in relation to other Christian communions in a new missive from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In short, the Orthodox are "wounded" because they lack a proper relationship (of submission?) with the bishop of Rome, and the Protestants aren't churches at all because they lack apostolic succession.

Two documents in two days aimed at two crucial elements of Vatican II, the liturgical reform and ecumenism. Both seemed geared toward appeasing the extreme right wing of Catholicism (and alienating the broad middle?). What's next, a document repudiating religious freedom--another complaint against Vatican II leveled by the Lefebvrites? What about the document on Judaism?

Then comes this spin from Father Augustine Di Noia, Under-Secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as reported by the Washington Post:

"The Church is not backtracking on ecumenical commitment. But, as you know, it is fundamental to any kind of dialogue that the participants are clear about their own identity. That is, dialogue cannot be an occasion to accommodate or soften what you actually understand yourself to be." So just what is our "ecumenical commitment"? Repeating over and over that everyone else is wrong, and all they need to do is be just like us?

No matter what his intentions, Pope Benedict has just made incredible concessions to those who oppose Vatican II and claiming major power--reinterpreting an ecumenical council--for the bishop of Rome.

Bad news indeed.



At 8:24 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

The Pope isn't attacking Vatican II just your misunderstood interpretation of it. The Catholic Church has always taught that she has the fullness of truth.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger Counselor in Process said...

I know. Bad news indeed! If he keeps going at this rate, we should be in 1959 by next Thursday.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger YoungCatholicSTL said...

The Orthodox are a wounded Church in the eyes of Catholicism for many reasons beyond their refusal to submit to the Bishop of Rome. They refuse to accept the Filioque in the Creed, and there are numerous other theological differences.

As for the Jews, I wish we prayed that prayer everyday in every parish. I say that because I sure hope they are praying the same prayer for me. If they truly believe Christ has not come yet, then I am worshipping a false idol, and am injuring my relationship with God. If they are correct, I would sure want them to pray for my conversion. I would think something like that should go both ways. We're not praying for harm for them, just for them to find truth (and if they already have it, then I hope they're praying for me to find truth).


At 10:45 AM, Blogger CtotheL said...

Thanks for the great comments, folks!

The church may have always claimed the "fullness of truth," but it clearly hasn't always fully apprehended that truth. There's a difference. And if my interpretation of Vatican II is misguided, I am in very good company. The pope alone does not make the church, and he doesn't have the authority to singlehandedly reinterpret the council 40 years later.

Actually, STL, the filioque is no longer the subject of dispute between us and the Orthodox, who are correct in claiming that the Romans unilaterally inserted it into the Creed. Theological commissions have agreed that it is a theological question that can remain in dispute without endangering full communion, like the human knowledge of Jesus, for example. The issue is the Petrine ministry and nothing else.

As for the Jews, Catholic teaching recognizes that the First Covenant endures, so there's no need to pray for their "conversion." Besides, I'm not sure apprehension of the truth is the key to salvation anyway. I'll pick charity over truth any day.


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