Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pope Benedict on the True Fruits of Ecumenism

From Catholicism-

In October 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI established new procedures through which entire congregations of Anglicans can be reunited to the Catholic Church, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, was none too pleased. Yet in a joint press conference with Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Canterbury all but conceded that the game is over for the Church of England. Those in the Anglican Communion who truly believe that the Church is meant to be one, and to have one visible head, will increasingly make their way to Rome; those who remain in the Anglican Communion will continue to move further away from orthodoxy.

At the time, I wrote that "Despite the attempt to put a good face on the matter, today's announcement makes it clear that the ecumenical dialogue of the past 40 years has failed."

Yet a prominent churchman has now disagreed with my assessment: not Rowan Williams, but Pope Benedict himself, during his September 2010 visit to the United Kingdom.
I based my assessment on the observation that, "At every turn, the Anglican Communion as a whole has moved away from Rome, not toward her." But the Holy Father, in his address to Catholic and Anglican bishops after his fraternal visit to the archbishop of Canterbury, focused on something that I had neglected to consider: "the action of the Holy Spirit, who ceaselessly renews the Church and guides her into the fullness of truth," and who works in the lives of individual Christians as well as church bodies.

More here-


No comments: