Category Archives: Ecumenism

The condition of our Catholicism is unity among Christians

Lord, pour out upon us the fullness of your mercy, and
by the power of your Spirit remove divisions among Christians. Let your
Church rise more clearly as a sign for all the nations that the world may be
filled with the light of your Spirit and believe in Jesus Christ whom you have
sent, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and
   (from the Mass for Unity of Christians)

The work of bringing about the unity among Christians is a supreme priority for all Catholics, indeed, all Christians. In the 26+ year ministry of Pope John Paul II we saw this work unfold and advance in many unimaginable ways, as we did with previous popes, but John Paul recognized Christian unity as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. We were reminded the Church’s priority for Christian unity at the beginning of Benedict’s pontificate. The month of January 2010 we are asked by the Pope to keep this work in our sacrifice of prayer not because it is a “nice thing to do,” but because it is a condition, that is, a premise, a stipulation, a prerequisite for Catholic faith and life. Let’s recall a portion of what Benedict said at his inaugural Mass as Supreme Pontiff:

…image of the shepherd and that of the fisherman issue
an explicit call to unity. “I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I
must lead them too, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock,
one shepherd” (Jn 10:16); these are the words of Jesus at the end of his
discourse on the Good Shepherd. And the account of the 153 large fish ends with
the joyful statement: “although there were so many, the net was not torn” (Jn
21:11). Alas, beloved Lord, with sorrow we must now acknowledge that it has
been torn! But no – we must not be sad! Let us rejoice because of your promise,
which does not disappoint, and let us do all we can to pursue the path towards
the unity you have promised. Let us remember it in our prayer to the Lord, as
we plead with him: yes, Lord, remember your promise. Grant that we may be one
flock and one shepherd! Do not allow your net to be torn, help us to be
servants of unity! (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for the Beginning of the Petrine
Ministry, 2005)

Turkey can’t be trusted

The same old problems can’t be resolved in Turkey between the Turkish government and the Orthodox Church. Since 1971 the Halki Orthodox School of Theology (which operated within the guidelines of the Turkish department of education in the running of a high school and college/seminary) has been closed under specious claims.

Asia News reports today that problems persist and reciprocity is not an adequate avenue for a peaceful end to the Muslim-Orthodox Christian problem.
The head of the Turkish government and his ministers can’t be trusted. Their words are not matched by their actions, and certainly they don’t perceive facts in the same way as reasonable do. In short, they are duplicitous. Why is religious freedom for Christians in a Muslim country such as Turkey or Saudi Arabia  is impossible and Muslim religious freedom in Christian countries (USA, Greece, Italy) is possible, even with the extraordinary fanaticism that exists in many Islamic quarters?

Archbishop of Canterbury to deliver annual Schmemann Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

Rowan Williams.jpgThe Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury will be lecturing in Yonkers, NY, on  Saturday, 30 January 2010, 12:30 p.m.

Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is hosting the event at which the archbishop will speak and receive an honorary doctorate.

The Archbishop will speak on the topic “Theology and the Contemplative
Calling: The Image of Humanity in the Philokalia.” 

Dr. Williams is the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, elected, confirmed and enthroned in 2002.

For more information visit the seminary website

Cardinal Walter Kasper speaks on Anglicanorum Coetibus

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register penned a piece “Cardinal Kasper on Anglicanorum Coetibus” which dispels much of the misinformation found in both the secular and Catholic media, including certain blogs, about the recent events between Canterbury and Rome. Hopefully, L’Osservatore Romano will provide an English translation of the article they published as a referenced by Mr. Pentin; I am curious to know more. One thing to remember is to interpret these things with charity and understanding. Pray, too, for a profitable meeting between Archbishop Williams and Pope Benedict on Saturday.

Moscow & Rome to meet soon?

Patriarch & Pope.jpgDo you read the Interfax news agency from Moscow. Every now-and-again you should just to keep up with news not seemingly connected with own. Today, Interfax is reporting that Archbishop Hilarion has indicated that a meeting between Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill and Pope Benedict XVI is on the table. No definite plans appear to have been made but there seem to be significant discussions pointing to a meeting. Interesting that this announcement is on the liturgical memorial of Saint Josaphat, brutally martyred by the Ordthodx (on the Latin calendar).

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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