Rorate Caeli

The Pope's latest words on ecumenism

From ZENIT:


"The Unity of Christians Is and Remains Prayer"

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience the participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which ends Friday in Rome. The plenary, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the institution of the dicastery, is considering the theme: "Toward a New Stage of Ecumenical Dialogue."

* * *

Esteemed Cardinals,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!

It is a great joy for me to meet with you on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during which you are reflecting on the theme: "Toward a New Stage of Ecumenical Dialogue." In addressing my cordial greeting to each one of you, I also wish to thank in a particular way the president, Archbishop Kurt Koch, for the warm expressions with which he interpreted your sentiments.

Yesterday, as Archbishop Koch has recalled, you celebrated with a solemn commemorative ceremony, the 50th anniversary of the institution of your dicastery. On June 5, 1960, eve of the Second Vatican Council, which indicated the ecumenical commitment as central for the Church, Blessed John XXIII created the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, called later, in 1988, Pontifical Council. It was an act that constituted a milestone for the ecumenical path of the Catholic Church. In the course of 50 years, it has covered much territory. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have given their service in the pontifical council, remembering first of all the presidents who succeeded one another: Cardinal Augustin Bea, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, and Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy; and I am especially pleased to thank Cardinal Walter Kasper, who led the dicastery, with competence and passion, over the last 11 years.  (There have been rumors in a few blogs that over the weekend, Cardinal-elect Abp. Raymond Burke will, with the Pope's blessing, publicly reprimand Cardinal Kasper for his resistance to the "ecumenism of return". This passage doesn't bode well for the credibility of that prediction. CAP.) I thank the members and consultors, officials and collaborators, those who have contributed to undertake theological dialogues and ecumenical meetings, and all those who have prayed to the Lord for the gift of visible unity between Christians. They are 50 years in which a truer knowledge and greater esteem have been acquired with the Churches and the ecclesial communities, overcoming prejudices cemented by history; there has been growth in the theological dialogue, but also in that of charity; several forms of collaboration have been developed, among which, in addition to those of the defense of life, the safeguarding of creation and the combating of injustice, important and fruitful has been that in the field of the ecumenical translations of sacred Scripture.

In these last years, then, the pontifical council has been committed, among other things, in a wide project, the so-called Harvest Project, to sketch an initial evaluation of the goals achieved in the theological dialogues with the principal ecclesial communities of Vatican II. It is a precious work that has made evident both the areas of convergence, as well as those in which it is necessary to continue and deepen reflection. Thanking God for the fruits already gathered, I encourage you to continue your efforts to promote a correct reception of the results attained and to make known with exactness the present state of theological research at the service of the path to unity. Today some think that this path, especially in the West, has lost its élan; noted now is the urgency to revive ecumenical interest and to give new incisiveness to the dialogues. Unheard of challenges, then, appear: the new anthropological and ethical interpretations, the ecumenical formation of the new generations, the further fragmentation of the ecumenical scene. It is essential to be aware of such changes and to identify the ways to proceed effectively in the light of the will of the Lord: "That they may all be one" (John 17:21).

Also with the Orthodox Churches and the Ancient Eastern Churches, with which "very close bonds" exist ("Unitatis Redintegratio," No. 15), the Catholic Church continues the dialogue with passion, seeking to deepen, in a serious and rigorous way, the common theological, liturgical and spiritual patrimony, and to address with serenity and commitment the elements that still divide us. With the Orthodox we have succeeded in touching a crucial point of encounter and reflection: the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Church. And the ecclesiological question is also at the center of the dialogue with the Ancient Eastern Churches: Despite many centuries of misunderstanding and separation, witnessed with joy is our having kept a precious common patrimony.

Dear friends, despite the presence of new problematic situations or difficult points for the dialogue, the aim of the ecumenical path remains unchanged, as does the firm commitment in pursuing it. It is not, however, a commitment according to political categories, so to speak, in which the ability to negotiate or the greater capacity to find compromises come into play, from which could be expected, as good mediators, that, after a certain time, one will arrive at agreements acceptable to all. Ecumenical action has a twofold movement. On one hand there is the convinced, passionate and tenacious search to find full unity in truth, to excogitate models of unity, to illumine oppositions and dark points in order to reach unity. And this in the necessary theological dialogue, but above all in prayer and in penance, in that spiritual ecumenism which constitutes the throbbing heart of the whole path: The unity of Christians is and remains prayer, it resides in prayer. On the other hand, another operative movement, which arises from the firm awareness that we do not know the hour of the realization of the unity among all the disciples of Christ and we cannot know it, because unity is not "made by us," God "makes" it: it comes from above, from the unity of the Father with the Son in the dialogue of love which is the Holy Spirit; it is a taking part in the divine unity. And this should not make our commitment diminish, rather, it should make us ever more attentive to receive the signs of the times of the Lord, knowing how to recognize with gratitude that which already unites us and working to consolidate it and make it grow. In the end, also in the ecumenical path, it is about leaving to God what is only his and of exploring, with seriousness, constancy and dedication, what is our task, being aware that to our commitment belongs the binomial of acting and suffering, of activity and patience, of effort and joy.

We confidently invoke the Holy Spirit, so that he will guide our way and that each one will feel with renewed vigor the appeal to work for the ecumenical cause. I encourage all of you to continue your work; it is a help that you render to the Bishop of Rome in fulfilling his mission at the service of unity. As a sign of affection and gratitude, I impart to you my heartfelt apostolic blessing.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

"With the Orthodox we have succeeded in touching a crucial point of encounter and reflection: the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Church."

Does the Holy Father speak of "the Orthodox" as though "the Orthodox" speak as one?

A great many Orthodox bishops, priests and laymen are opposed to the ecumenical movement and "reflect" upon the Bishop of Rome in the following manner:

The Bishop of Rome is a heretic, according to a great many "Orthodox."

Pope Benedict XVI is, I'm certain, aware that as the The Wall Street Journal, for example, reported on May 8, 2001, in the days preceding Pope John Paul II's arrival in Greece, "the rank-and-file Orthodox clerical union denounced him as an "arch-heretic" and the "two-horned grotesque monster of Rome."

Anonymous said...

"With the Orthodox we have succeeded in touching a crucial point of encounter and reflection: the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Church."

"...on May 8, 2001, in the days preceding Pope John Paul II's arrival in Greece, "the rank-and-file Orthodox clerical union denounced him as an "arch-heretic" and the "two-horned grotesque monster of Rome."

I guess that certain Orthodox have reflected upon the status of the Bishop of Rome.

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

The phrase about Kasper is key.

If Kasper is rebuked, as he clearly should be this weekend, then this phrase is nothing but politics by the Pope. And good politics, at that.

If he's not rebuked this weekend, or ever, then this is just another example of how our Holy Father, as much as I love him and appreciate much of what he has done, is still a liberal at heart and much too often in practice.

Let us all pray for him and often.

LeonG said...

There is no unity of Christians outside of the Catholic Church. The liberal modernist utopian dream of all uniting under the same banner is totally nonsensical unless you believe there is no Hell. The reality is that protestantism composed of tens of thousands of sects and the schismatic Orthodox have no common will to be in unison "in prayer" with the pipe-dreamimg NO catholic church. As for Kasper, to complement him for competent leadership is absolutely risible. I find it almost impossible to take this posting seriously. It belies reality and the serious state of disunity into which the new catholic church alone has fallen. There is not one positive concrete achievement made by the post-conciliar church in 50 years of trying. Its policies are an abject failure and waste of time and resources. I repeat St Maximilien Kolbe's opinion in calling this genre of behaviour as being at enmity with the Immaculata. The practical expression of this ecumenism resides in the NO liturgy which could not be much more protestant than it is at present with all of its subsequent abuses. Pastoral processes are not very far behind.

Paul Haley said...

"That all may be one"is the goal but only if it means one religion with the same precepts, doctrines, dogma and ecclesiology that bespeak that "oneness". Unfortunately the modernists have coined the phrase "unity in diversity" to cloud the issue so that different religions can all claim to be true. Indeed, it is taking the Rodney King philosophy to an unforgiveable extreme.

The fact remains that the previous magisterium, that before Vatican II, always placed the Catholic Church at the pinnacle of Truth and Orthodoxy, outside of which there was no salvation. Now, we see ever more sugary words and phrases, almost ad nauseam, to justify the modernists' attempt to square the circle. It won't work, of course, and thank God that no infallibilty has been invoked to elevate ecumenism to a matter of doctrine. The Holy Spirit is still guarding the fortress.

As for Cardinal Kasper, well, what I have to say about the man is best left unsaid except to say that IMO either he has been incredibly confused or is actually intent on destroying the Church from within. Of course, either way the damage has been done and we are all at a loss for it.

M. A. said...

"They are 50 years in which a truer knowledge and greater esteem have been acquired with the Churches and the ecclesial communities, overcoming prejudices cemented by history;.... several forms of collaboration have been developed, among which, in addition to those of the defense of life..."
__________________________

In my younger days, I was naive enough to attend an ecumenical pro-life rally. I did that ONCE, BUT NEVER AGAIN. EVER!

The protestant speaker congratulated us in being united for a great cause. He was pleased that the protestants were willing to overlook the fact that Catholics pray to Mary, and that we Catholics must then overlook the fact that they spoke in "tongues". In his slight to our Blessed Mother, the priest present made no protest.

Is this what our Holy Father lauds as "overcoming prejudices", "truer knowledge", "greater esteem"?

I am sick of that word! In its practical applications, all it means is that our Lord and our Lady are being 'sold down the river".

Anonymous said...

Cardinal Kasper will not be publicly rebuked for anything. Tha would make no sense and is a Trad pipe-dream. In Rome, when you have not been doing your job the way the pope wants it done, in the best of cases, you are replaced, removed, reassigned with gracious words of thanks. You are made obsolete with warm handshakes and pats on the back. That is what Kasper is getting here, and that is what I expect Kasper to get. Then, and with the same subtlety, statements will be made by those newly-empowered, perhaps Burke, signalling newer approaches to be taken as a result of the "signs of the times of the Lord." This is Vaticanese for "It's Anglicanorum Coetibus time, so those who don't like it, get out of the way." As for "the Orthodox" the pope is referring to those with whom there is dialogue, not with those who are obstinate in heresy. He is speaking to those of good will. He ignores the rest, as well he should. And the pope does not need to pay any attention to what "the Wall Street Journal" thinks about anything. The pope's job is to look for Anglicans, Lutherans, and Orthodox of good will and upright intentions, and deal with them, because the pope's job is to get them to come into the Catholic Church. He must not, he should not waste his time on condemning dead-wood cardinals, rabid heretics or with correcting secularist newspapers. He would waste all of his time on such nonsense. He must take care of the living, leaving the dead to take care of the dead.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

What the pope said here is not good. This pope needs our prayers most fervently for his conversion. Short of a miracle of grace, it is unlikely that he will turn the tide.

Joe B said...

The statement is fairly consistent with the Holy Father's previous explanation that ecumenism was intended only for those who retained valid Holy Orders and Sacraments. He did not then and does not in this statement include protestants.

It strays a bit from his earlier statement that ecumenism has pretty much run it's course and has failed. This inconsistency probably just means he isn't ready to take on this issue. His plate is rather full with larger issues.

As for Kasper, there is surely political movement going on that we must simply reserve judgment on for now. I think the Holy Father has better judgment on the whole issue of resistance to the rise of tradition than he is willing to blab about. Michael Davies was likely right in cautioning us from criticizing him harshly. The man is walking a swaying tightrope, and if Davies says he knows where the end is supposed to be, that's a pretty good testimony to me.

Anonymous said...

The Pope should sit down and read "Motaliam Animos". It's only 13 pages long and is impossible to misunderstand. Too bad the same cannot be said for "Ut Unum Sint", by JPII, which takes 116 pages to say worse than nothing.

Cruise the Groove. said...

I wonder how much the Holy Fathers words here would match up with "Mortalium Animos"?

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

There is a fundamental moral principle that says "one must do good and avoid evil". What follows from this fundamental principle is that "the end does not justify the means". Therefore, if the Holy Father says or does evil things for political reasons, then his acts are immoral.

Understanding this, we cannot justify his evil words or actions for the sake that he is trying to avoid a greater harm or achieve a greater good.

Jack said...

\\Does the Holy Father speak of "the Orthodox" as though "the Orthodox" speak as one?\\

Since when do Roman Catholics speak as one?

Let's be honest.

Cruise the Groove. said...

From Pope Pius XI Encyclical "Mortalium Animos":

10. "So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."[20] The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills."[21] For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one,[22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head."

That would seem what "ecumenism" is.

wheat4paradise said...

Someone mentioned a "slight to Mary" by a protestant minister at an ecumenical pro-life rally. We should be more concerned by the grave insult to Mary -- and even more to her Divine Son -- by Catholics who spew their acid commentary, day after day in these comboxes, in the direction of Christ's Vicar. Have they no shame?

John McFarland said...

Even if we use ecumenism in the narrow sense, it simply cannot be squared with the doctrine of the Church. That is implicit in the (unspeakably scandalous) call by Pope John Paul the Great in "Unum Sint" for a rethinking of the papacy. In order to have unity with eastern schismatics (and hence, since Vatican I, heretics), the Church would have to give up part of the Faith; and to give up part of the Faith is to give up all of the Faith.

Of course, the whole business has no practical significance at all. One might imagine the Ecumenical Patriarch and his few thousand followers (and just maybe his more numerous franchisees in the Western Hemisphere) buying off on such "unity," but practically nobody else. For 90-plus%percent of schismatic and heretical easterners who take their false religion seriously, they're right and the Catholic Church is dead wrong; and so they are no more going to unite with the Catholic Church than with the devotees of The Great Thumb.

And of course, the dialogue with Protestants, Jews and pagans will go on under different catch phrases than "ecumenism," and continue to encourage Catholics in the solidly Masonic view of religion that they have been catechized in over the last generation.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"We should be more concerned by the grave insult to Mary -- and even more to her Divine Son -- by Catholics who spew their acid commentary, day after day in these comboxes"

Dear wheatforparadise,

I have reread all of the postings in this combox twice, and I am want to find any "acid commentary" on the Almighty God or His Church or against the Blessed Mother, whom we all love.
Rather I only see Catholics who are concerned for the Faith and their eternal salvation.
Please forgive me if I have overlooked an acid commentary that speaks hatred and untruth.
Could you please point them out to us?
God bless.

Anonymous said...

"What follows from this fundamental principle is that "the end does not justify the means". Therefore, if the Holy Father says or does evil things for political reasons, then his acts are immoral."

This is, frankly, an ignorant statement. The writer, as well as all of us on this board, don't know 1/1000th of what is presnted to the Holy Father. There is a whole range of action and words that are in the prudential judgment area, and we need to respect that, even as we can disagree with this move or that.

I repeat, it's an ignorant statement, and therefore a rash judgment, perhaps made out of a spirit of pride.

Exasperated said...

Catholics who spew their acid commentary, day after day in these comboxes, in the direction of Christ's Vicar. Have they no shame?

Yes, there are those who speak in a venomous way about the Holy Father when he doesn't seem to follow their own particular plan for the Church.

However, it is the right of every Catholic to raise their concerns about teachings from the present Magisterium which seem to be contrary to previous teachings. I'll be honest: I am struggling with my faith largely because it seems to me that the Church has indeed changed its infallible teaching on this point. In my own simple mind I cannot reconcile post-Vatican II teachings on the value of ecumenism with the enyclicals of Pius XI and Pius XII (not to mention most popes before them).

Yes, I have tried to work my way through the many apologetic works on the subject - but they seem to me mere sophistry, and little more. If you then persist with this question further you ultimately come up against someone who accuses you of disobedience or who suggests that such matters are for the theologians. Holiness of the laity for them seems to coinsist in shutting up and switching off one's mind.

But surely the question whether there is salvation outside of the Catholic Church is of vital importance to everyone and shouldn't be the reserve of a few gifted theologians like Fr Aidan Nichols OP?

That is why I have sympathy with people who express their confusion and exasperation at statements from the very top of the Church that contradict the infallible teaching of the Church (or, according to a plain reading, appear to contradict it). It is not merely a question of faith but that of reason - it seems we are being asked to believe that truth can and does change (although it is never put in such bold terms).

I cannot believe that truth changes in the same way that I cannot believe that 2 + 2 = 5. I am confused - deeply confused - by post-Vatican II statements suggesting that membership of the Church is not necessary for salvation.

Anonymous said...

"And the pope does not need to pay any attention to what "the Wall Street Journal" thinks about anything."

You failed to comprehend my original post. The Wall Street Journal did not "think about anything."

The Wall Street Journal simply reported what scores of news media outlets reported during Pope John Paul II's visit to Greece.

Official Orthodox groups of priests, which consisted of thousands of members, issued statements which condemned the Pope as an "arch-heretic" and the "two-horned grotesque monster of Rome."

What don't you understand about that?

During the Pope's visit, thousands of police officers were ordered into the streets to prevent tens of thousands of Orthodox "Christians" from shouting "heretic, heretic" and "two-horned monster" at Pope John Paul II.

Again, the widespread hatred of the Papacy among the Orthodox didn't have anything to do with The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal simply reported the facts.

I could have referenced scores of news media outlets who had reported that massive hatred for the Papacy was evident among the Orthodox in Greece.

Examples:

The Guardian - "Out with the two-horned beast, the Pope of Rome 666!" read a banner.

"No to the leader of heresy," read another.

The Telegraph - Pope's visit to Greece infuriates Orthodox Church, April 29, 2001:

The Orthodox priest [Father Chrysostomos of Athens] declared: "He will infect our country,"

A poster outside Fr Chrysostomos's church spells out Orthodox opposition to the visit.

Denouncing the Pope as a "false prophet and the anti-Christ" who adorns his mitre with "666", it announces a demonstration to be held tomorrow against the visit and lists the historical crimes for which successive popes were allegedly responsible.

Anonymous said...

The will be no rebuking of Card. Kasper by Abp. Burke. Don't forget that the HF personally reprimanded Card. Schoenborn for speaking ill of Card. Sodano, insisting that only the Pope may criticize a cardinal.

Anonymous said...

Leon G., Paul Haley and M.A., wonderful posts!

Delphina

Anonymous said...

Exasperated, I am too, especially with the "Wheat for Paradise" types that think they are doing a good thing, but are actually harming the Church by their inability to face reality. I suppose it is less painful for them. Wheat would have taken St. Catherine of Siena to task as well, I am sure.

Delphina

Anonymous said...

"The pope's job is to look for Anglicans, Lutherans, and Orthodox of good will..."

The phrase "of good will" rings hollow.

"Archbishop" Rowan Williams is a man "of good will," according to Rome.

Williams does not believe that the Catholic Church governed by Pope Benedict XVI is the one and only True Church.

Williams has declared his "full support" for the ordination of women to the priesthood.

Orthodox of "good will" met with the Pope, but reject the teaching that God calls them to enter into communion with the Bishop of Rome.

wheat4paradise said...

Cruise the Groove,

I said that Mary and her Divine Son are insulted by the acid commentary spewed upon the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI. Review the combox again and you should very quickly see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

"For 90-plus%percent of schismatic and heretical easterners who take their false religion seriously, they're right and the Catholic Church is dead wrong; and so they are no more going to unite with the Catholic Church than with the devotees of The Great Thumb."

Correct.

With few exceptions, Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and so forth do not have remote intentions to unite with the Catholic Church.

But our Churchmen insist that Catholic involvement with ecumenism is here to stay.

For better or worse, Popes moved past Mortalium Animos decades ago.

John McFarland said...

Dear Exasperated,

Let me offer a cure for the notion that any of the magisterial pronouncements in and since Vatican II (except insofar as they repeat infallible doctrine) are infallible.

Read the definitions of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, and the doctrinal pronouncements of the Council of Trent.

Now read any pronouncement of or since Vatican II.

Does the second look anything like the first?

Anonymous said...

MORTALIUM ANIMOS
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON RELIGIOUS UNITY JANUARY 6, 1928

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11MORTA.HTM

Anonymous said...

I wish that certain brothers and sisters who post here would learn that it's not worth their time and energy to rail against the Ecumenical Movement.

You won't change the Holy Father's mind in regard to ecumenism. The same applies to our bishops.

We need to deal with that reality.

The Church teaches that our participation in the ecumenical movement is irreversible.

Paul Haley said...

Exasperated said:

I cannot believe that truth changes in the same way that I cannot believe that 2 + 2 = 5. I am confused - deeply confused - by post-Vatican II statements suggesting that membership of the Church is not necessary for salvation.

Dear Exasperated,

Don't give up the ship. There are many traditional enclaves throughout the world who hold fast to what Holy Mother Church has always held, taught and professed to be true from apostolic times. They are often ridiculed and minimized by the hierarchy but they continue to exist and, please God, they will one day be vindicated for their Faith and their loyalty. Seek out one of these enclaves, join it and then everything will fall into place.

K Gurries said...

Exasperated, the goal of Catholic unity remains the same (pre and post Vatican II). I think the controversial aspect has to do with the role and procedures of "diologue" in pursuit of this goal. Ultimately, this is not a question about the faith, per se. Rather, this is a practical prudential matter. So, feel free to express your opinion on the relative "value" of ecumenical diologue and how it should or should not be conducted. But don't lose you faith over a merely practical prudential matter.

P.S. there were norms for ecumenical activity issued by the Holy See prior to Vatican II (see link below). Such norms (as with other practical norms) are subject to change from time to time.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFECUM.HTM

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Anonymous,

To condone, promote, and praise ecumenism as it has been taught and practiced for the last 40 years is evil. It is not a matter of prudential action.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"The Church teaches that our participation in the ecumenical movement is irreversible"

Anonymous,
I couldn't agree more.
Pope Pius XI lays out ecumenism as it must always and everywhere be practiced when he spoke in "Mortalium Animos":

"...the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."

wheat4paradise,

I reread the posts here for a third time and still cannot find any "acid comments" directed against God, The Blessed Virgin, The Holy Father, or the Church.
Again, perhaps you can point out one or two?
God bless.

wheat4paradise said...

Oh, Delphina, are you really going to compare yourself to St. Catherine of Siena? Did St. Catherine sit in judgment of the Pope and hold him up for ridicule in the public square, calling his actions evil, "praying" for his conversion (thus implying that he isn't really Catholic), characterizing him as a liberal (which is pretty much as to say that he isn't really Catholic)? This is the sort of thing that '"Delphina" types' do every day in comboxes across the Catholic blogosphere (and actually this particular combox is far from the worst that I've seen). At least St. Catherine of Siena had the guts to tell the Pope her mind straight to his face, quite unlike the cowards who rail at the Pope from behind their computer screens. How Catholic, how "Traditional" you are. Ha. On the contrary, how protestant in attitude and how modern in contempt for authority.

I have no problem facing up to reality, how about you?

Anonymous said...

"It is not a matter of prudential action."

If the Pope acted and spoke like some of the posters on this and other blogs the Church would split into several pieces, and his mission of securing unity would shipwreck. Yes, unity is meaningless without Truth, but there is room for polite words, tact, in other words, that aren't lies but allow changes at a deeper level, slowly, and at God's pace.

To praise a retired person, Cardinal or otherwise, is simply tactful. Strict adherence to the truth of all the facts are not necessary in EVERY instance. It's called discretion, and it is a virtue. +Fellay's account of the Curial obstacles means the wolves are close. We need to pray for the Pope, not attack him.

K Gurries said...

Br. Anthony, you are painting with a very broad brush. I think often times ecumenism was (practiced) in a way that could lead to a PRACTICAL religious indifferentism -- even if these errors were always condemned in PRINCIPLE (pre and post Vatican II). But the PRACTICAL always involves the prudential order to a certain degree. I think here we have seen much improvement (and clarity) in recent years. Basically, the errors (relativism, indifferentism, etc.) condemned prior to Vatican II remain condemned today and always. That is why this is not something that should cause despair or the loss of Faith. The practical deficiencies in connection with ecumenism will be resolved in due time -- even if not soon enough for many of us.

Knight of Malta said...

Anon@14:57

Good points. The culture of the Vatican is to let presumed heretcs die out unless overt heresy dictates intervention is necessary. I think the friendly-ghost is a heretic; but that is not my decision to make. But, I greatly admire BXVI's sua sponte overtures to us Trads.

Anonymous said...

Wheat For Paradise, your true self finally comes out! It's better than the fluff you usually write here.

Show me, dear Wheat, where I have written on Rorate anything like what you have accused me of about Benedict?

I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the Holy Father and talk to him. Can you arrange a meeting for me?

Also, you misread what I wrote. I was not comparing myself to St. Catherine of Siena. I mentioned her because she had quite a bit to say about the popes in her day, and you would have found fault with that too, no doubt.

Keep up the good work Wheat, but work on that charity you are always accusing others of lacking...you could use some yourself young man!!

Delphina

wheat4paradise said...

Cruise the Groove,

I never said that anyone here had directly insulted the Lord, Mary, or the Church, but rather that they had insulted the Pope, and thus indirectly the Lord. That said, I've reviewed the comments on this page again and would agree that my "acid comments" characterization was overstated. However, my response to Delphina highlights some of the impertinent and intemperate comments that I had in mind when posting my remark. Hope this clears things up a bit.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

"To praise a retired person, Cardinal or otherwise, is simply tactful."

To praise a Cardinal who has rejected the return of heretics to the one, true Faith is scandalous.

Rick DeLano said...

Anonymous of Nov 19 14:57:

I rarely post on this blog anymore but your post above is spot on.

If you had a moniker other than Anonymous I should have no choice but to start checking this blog again in order to follow your posts.

Oh well.......

wheat4paradise said...

Delphina,

Pope-bashers often seek to justify their actions by bringing up the example of St. Catherine of Siena, who, let's be clear, didn't "have quite a bit to say about the popes in her day" but rather served humbly as their counselor and ambassador.

As for what you perceive as a personal affront, I merely referred to "Delphina" types, as you referred to "Wheat for Paradise" types. You don't like being type cast? Ah, well, it's a hazard of life in these forums.

It's easy to say that you would sit down and have a chat with the Pope. I just wonder what some people (not you, dear Delphina) would say to the Pope in person, having ridiculed him in the combox.

To the topic of this post, the Holy Father says:

"[T]he aim of the ecumenical path remains unchanged, as does the firm commitment in pursuing it.

The aim of ecumenism is unity, and only the Catholic Church enjoys that unity whose exemplar is the Holy Trinity. Therefore the ecumenical path can lead only to Rome:

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life-that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. (Vatican II, Decree on Ecumenism)

Vatican II affirmed the ecumenism of return (the only ecumenism worthy of the name) and Pope Benedict XVI continues to affirm it, if we are willing to hear it.

Knight of Malta said...

Br Anthony @2:17: True. BXVI is still drinking the coolaid of runaway ecumenism, but he also has a sincere sympathy for Trads; an attribute his predecessor lacked (though his predecessor did sympathize with voodoo priests at Assis 1 And 2--one Assisi just wasn't enough!)

LeonG said...

The current pope has completely fractured the letter and spirit of Mortalium Animos. The fact we have photographic evidence of him like his predecessor, publicly at worship with Lutheran priestesses; buddhist, hindu, mahomaten, jewish and other leaders of false religions reflects a leadership directly at variance with clear and unambiguous pre-conciliar teaching and practice. Liturgically and pastorally they demonstrate to us behaviours which, by their very nature, are simultaneously un-Catholic and scandalous. Such words as we have here are characteristically liberal modernist - they are pregnant with equivocation and ambiuguity. This is just how post-concliar papacies express themselves.

Post-conciliar ecumenism and interreligious policies coupled with the revolutionary NO liturgy which was designed to buttress these, are responsible for decatholicising the Roman Catholic Faith and for the gradual destruction of Christian principles that used to guide once Catholic nations. They are shameful compromising policies that import relativism and syncretism into the church. They are worthy only of condemnation.

Therefore, it is entirely symbolic that the rapid and imperative canonisation of the previous pope was launched in extremis by his successor. And it is similarly symbolic that it is an ill-fated process that stumbles and lurches from problem to problem. If nothing else will stop it the evidence provided by their ecumenical and interreligious excesses will.

Paul Haley said...

We are being led to believe by some misguided souls that criticism of the Pope is analogous to disloyalty and almost an insult to the Savior Himself. We are told that to be courageous we must confront the Pope personally and make our remarks to his face rather than in an internet forum. This is balderdash!

Firstly, criticism has always been around and always will be as long as there are seeming departures from the Faith from those entrusted with defending the Faith whole and entire. Secondly, not very many of us, I presume, have the ability to travel to Rome and confront the Pope personally so we lobby him from afar via the Internet. This is our right as Catholics under canon law and we shall not give up this right.

Now, we always try to make our criticism constructive and if we fail, we humbly ask for forgiveness. That said, one would have to agree on the meaning of "constructive" criticism in order to arrive at a compatible solution. You see there is an enormous chasm of difference around the meaning of phrases between modernists and traditionalists and that is something, dear friends, that is new to the Church since Vatican II. I know this first-hand since I was educated in the pre-Vatican II Church and bear witness to the confusion that erupted following the Council. It does no good at all to whitewash things as if there were no confusion or ambiguousness. The facts speak for themselves.

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

A few points in response:

1. I never said that no criticism of the Pope is justified. You're knocking down a strawman there. Besides, your comments have always been respectful, so you needn't take my remarks personally.

2. Just because we have the right by canon law to criticize the Pope doesn't mean that we should always exercise that right. Prudent judgment should always guide, not only the tone of our criticism, but also its timing, content, and volume. We should especially consider the impact of our words on other Catholics, lest we cause one of Our Lord's little ones to stumble. It is unlikely that the Pope himself will ever read any of our comments on this blog, yet it is almost certain that someday a Catholic who is teetering on the edge of sedevacantism and schism will be pushed on over into the abyss by the sheer volume and seeming intelligence of the criticisms posted here.

3. We can justify our critical stance toward the Holy Father and think ourselves high-minded by reference to canon law, but let's be honest: how much of what goes on here is done in the service of the Pope and how much in the service of our own intellectual vanity?

I'm mindful of my own sins in respect to all of the above.

wheat4paradise said...

True. BXVI is still drinking the coolaid of runaway ecumenism ...

Most certainly not true, and just the sort of "acid" commentary that I've been talking about. Acid corrodes, and acid commentary like the above, when it is repeated again and again throughout the Catholic blogosphere, corrodes both the unity of the Catholic Church and the faith of confused Catholics. You're not helping the Pope or anyone else with that kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

Wheat, if I could get an opportunity to sit down with the Holy Father, I would simply seek to understand the "why" of the things he says and does.

Delphina

Knight of Malta said...

4paradise: I also said he sympathizes with Trads. If you remember, years ago a tiny group (relative to the universal Church) set three conditions for rapproachment: the freeing of the Mass of All Ages, the lifting of the "excmmunications", and doctrinal discussions. He has met each precondition. Remarkable! But a Pope who takes off his shoes and prays in the Blue Mosque sends a signal of syncretism and relativism vis-a-vis the Faith, outside of which there is no salvation. Still, he has a lingering love for the Tradition which produced great Saints like Mother Seton (who converted to Catholicism after hearing the Latin Mass, and realizing it as Sacrifice, and the Real Presence of Christ).

Paul Haley said...

wheat4paradise,

Are you the sole arbitrator of what constitutes valid criticism of the papacy and what constitutes proper "timing, content, and volume"? Your remarks seem to indicate that you feel you are. As for no one in the hierarchy being influenced by what appears in these pages, even the Pope himself, I believe you are quite wrong in your interpretation.

Many of those who post critical comments here are doing so because they believe there is a crisis in the Church today and they are attempting to bring that fact home to the hierarchy. Though I may not always agree with their comments, I will defend their right to speak and give them credit for doing so in a "new springtime" or "Rodney King" kind of world. If the Pope does not want to hear criticism, he's in the wrong occupation IMO.

Actually, I think enough of His Holiness to believe quite the contrary and I believe he knows who prays for him each and every day of their Catholic lives. IMO there's quite enough hero-worship of occupants of the papacy in the last 40 years and it's high time for the criticism to come forward. At the same time the criticism must be constructive and I believe the overwhelming majority of it in these pages is for the right reasons.

wheat4paradise said...

Are you the sole arbitrator [sic] of what constitutes valid criticism of the papacy and what constitutes proper "timing, content, and volume"? Your remarks seem to indicate that you feel you are.

Let me ask you, Paul Haley, are you the sole arbiter of what constitutes the proper way to guide the Church and preserve Catholic Tradition? Your remarks sometimes indicate that you feel that you are.

As for the proper "timing, content, and volume" of your criticisms of the Pope, I'm sure that your wisdom is sufficient and you don't need fraternal correction from anyone, least of all me.

Seems to me, though, that you are eager to exercise your "canonical right" to criticize the Pope, yet not so eager to receive criticism of yourself. Such is human nature, I suppose.

wheat4paradise said...

Knight of Malta,

I know that you give the Pope credit where you feel it is due. I also wish that the Pope hadn't entered the mosque and given the appearance of praying. By the way, no one screamed louder in protest than I did on my own blog (an earlier blog, now defunct) after the Pope's visit to Israel. I have since moderated the tone and volume of my papal criticism, to the point that I now seek to give the Pope the benefit of the doubt every time. I'm not trying to persuade you with my own "conversion" story, but you ought to at least know that I was once upon a time a very vocal and harsh critic of Benedict XVI.

wheat4paradise said...

Wheat, if I could get an opportunity to sit down with the Holy Father, I would simply seek to understand the "why" of the things he says and does.

As all of us probably would, Delphina. Yet unfortunately some of us, given a computer keyboard and some half-baked ideas, are not content with asking "why" and leap straight to a presumed answer, e.g., the Pope is a liberal, he's drank the ecumenical kool-aid, he lacks the true Faith, he cannot be trusted, etc.

wheat4paradise said...

I've just come to a humbling realization. All of the negativity that I once poured into my own miserable pope-bashing posts (some of you might recall the presumptuous rantings of a certain "prodinoscopus"), I've now imparted to my recent round of hypocritical lectures on good posting manners for loyal papists. I'm on the verge of evolving from an arch-trad to an anti-trad, which is not at all what I want to become. So, here's the deal. I'll continue posting and I'll continue to post in a pro-Benedictine vein, but I will henceforth cease and desist from the uninvited "fraternal correction" of my fellow posters. Thanks for your patience and God bless.

Joe B said...

It's a blog, not an ecumenical council. Say what you think, just don't cross that line we all know about.

Did you ever stop to thin that maybe the Holy Father reads this blog? Or maybe one of his surrogates does, and tells him of the interesting ones, including the passionate ones. I don't think it's such a long shot.

They probably get a big kick out of my stuff up there.

Paul Haley said...

Let me ask you, Paul Haley, are you the sole arbiter of what constitutes the proper way to guide the Church and preserve Catholic Tradition? Your remarks sometimes indicate that you feel that you are.

In no way am I the sole arbiter of what constitutes the proper way to guide the Church and preserve Catholic Tradition and you, my friend, know that! I suggest you take some time to consider how your attacks on others in this forum, and now me, are helpful to the cause of Tradition.

Anonymous said...

The prayer of Jesus "That they may all be one" has already been answered in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

wheat4paradise said...

Paul Haley,

Of course you're not the sole arbiter of what constitutes the proper way to guide the Church, any more than I'm the sole arbiter of what constitutes valid criticism of the papacy -- which is the silly label that you tried to pin upon me. I was just illustrating absurdity by being absurd, my friend.

I've already taken time to consider the impact of my attacks upon members of this forum, as you would know if you read my last post.

wheat4paradise said...

Anon 00:00,

Yes and no. The unity for which Our Lord prayed can only be found in the Catholic Church. However, the joy that is found in that unity will not be complete until the last wayward sheep has been brought home upon the Master's shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Cruise the Groove said: "I wonder how much the Holy Father's words here would match up with 'Mortalium Animos'?" Answer: They would not match up at all.