Rorate Caeli

Catholics and Ecumenism - considerations by Cardinal Siri

Main leader of the Anglican communion gives
a putative priestly blessing to the Pope. The
leader was blessed in return.
Rome, June 16, 2014

[T]he difference between Catholics and non-Catholics, as much as they desire fraternity, rests on the level of Faith. We need to have the courage to say this and to say it continuously. Using evasive tactics (even if polite), which obscure all the boundaries into a blurry twilight which abolishes the uncomfortable aspects, is not putting ecumenism into practice.

[True ecumenism] is such when, with the exercise of virtue, personal sacrifice, unyielding patience and tender charity, you set out the terms clearly. Would there perhaps be a return to full unity among believers where the path is paved with misunderstandings and half-truths?

Now it is clear that this bridge – [the true understanding and full acceptance of] the primacy of Rome – needs to be crossed and if it is not crossed over consciously, the goal of true ecumenism will not be attained. And here emerges the real danger with such an exciting topic. We have some who represent this danger, by making ecumenism into a mess of hacked-up doctrine. We have writers, abusing the name of theologian or the dignity of scholarship, who undermine, one after the other, the truths of the Catholic Faith, by breaking up and ignoring the Magisterium. They create doubt regarding the knowledge that the truth of God is one and perfect and if this is denied on one point – such is its interior logic and harmony - it is inevitable that all the rest will be denied.

They do not understand that God has entrusted everything to the Magisterium, which is so certain and divinely guaranteed that one can affirm, «quod Ecclesia semel docuit, semper docuit» [That which the Church teaches once, she teaches always.] Perhaps they have also forgotten that the visibility of the Church and of Her human reality does not compromise Her at all, demonstrating the hand of God on the fact that, had she been entrusted to human hands, she would be already dead from time immemorial and would not be standing today.

Our brothers are waiting for us, but they are waiting in the light of day, not amidst the uncertain shadows of the night.
Cardinal Giuseppe Siri
Renovatio, XII (1977), booklet 1, pp. 3-6

[Online Source: Cordialiter Blog, Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. Osservatore Romano images gathered by Mr. Christopher Lamb, of The Tablet.]