Friday, 23 October 2009

The Pope of Christian Unity

When the Holy Father gave us  Summorum Pontificum, some folk weren't happy. There were mutterings that 'he isn't even a trained liturgist'.
Now that an Apostolic Constitution has been announced, under which, Anglicans who wish to become Catholics will be able to do so, en masse, whilst retaining elements of their Anglican heritage which are consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church, some negative reaction is starting to be voiced. Soon perhaps, we will hear complaints that he isn't even a trained Ecumenist, as if  the Holy Father is a remote figure who doesn't understand the issues, and is  somehow damaging the work of Christian Unity.
But the goal of Christian unity can only lead us in one direction: to Christ and through the Church that He founded on the Rock of Peter. The Church that is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

In a post entitled 'Whose Ecumenism?',      Fr. Z cautions readers to :

"Be alert.

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.

But true ecumenism is not about compromise on essentials, giving away fundamental elements of our Catholic identity."

Fr. Z. has given the Holy Father a new title which he encourages readers to use:

'The Pope of Christian Unity'

How very apt!


  1. I've been a long time genitile member of the Association of Hebrew Catholics. One theme that has come up on a sadly regular basis is that many completed Jews find themselves made unwelcome in parishes because the PP deems it 'unecumenical' (don't start me on how they don't know the difference between inter-faith dialogue and ecumenical dialogue) for a Jew to become Catholic.
    When my husband poped he was welcomed Home. I think we both would have been deeply hurt if our PP had taken the view he should remain protestant for some 'ecumenical' reason.

  2. Mum6kids-Sadly it is true that some non-Catholics are rebuffed in the way you describe. I heard of another recently; an Anglican clergyman, married to a Catholic and wanting to be received into the Church. He, understandably didn't wish to go through the RCIA, so he approached the PP, who talked him out of becoming a Catholic!