Tag Archives: ecumenism

Truly an ecumenical approach born from the good news of Christianity

The head of the Communion and Liberation Movement, Father Julián Carrón wrote an editorial for tomorrow’s (July 14, 2011) edition of the L’Osservatore Romano about the forthcoming Day of Prayer in Assisi on October 27, recognizing the theme of peace and justice. 

Day of Prayer in Assisi.jpg

The Day for
Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, convoked in
Assisi next October 27 by Benedict XVI is an audacious gesture, just as Blessed
John Paul II’s initiative was, 25 years ago.

“In the name of what can (Pope
Wojtyla) call exponents of all religions together to pray in Assisi?” asked Don
Luigi Giussani twenty-five years ago. He answered, “If one understands the
nature of man, the heart of man, it is his religious sense, it is in the
religious sense that all men find equality and identity
. The most profound
meaning in the human heart is religious sentiment, destiny on the one hand and
the usefulness of the present on the other
. If we want to use the right terms,
a sense of religion is the only sense which is truly catholic, which means
suitable for everyone and belonging to everyone.”

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Reciprocal festal gestures for Sts Peter & Paul feast: Pope and an Ecumenical delegation meet

It’s like having your favorite but not too seen aunt Gretchen over the house for coffee to remember what she looks like and to keep up some appearances of genuine love. I shouldn’t make light of such encounters; they are important. It’s tradition and tradition is a very good thing. On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul a delegation is sent to Rome to meet the Pope, to exchange fraternal greetings, to listen to a brief discourse that’s on the mind of the Pope, to hear what the Patriarch of Constantinople has to say, etc. The whole thing is repeated on November 30 when Rome sends a delegation to Constantinople for the feast of Saint Andrew. The trouble is, does anything concrete result from these yearly meetings? What are the implications of this type of high level meeting?  Note the Pope’s perspective and his hope. There is an important rhythm of dialogue that happens in coming to understand human and ecclesial complexities which have an end in mind. Two of the Pope’s paragraphs are noted below. 

The Orthodox delegation included: His Eminence, Emmanuel, metropolitan of France and Director of the Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union, Bishop Athenagoras, Bishop of Sinope and auxiliary to the metropolitan of Belgium and Archimandrite Maximus Pothos, vicar general of the metropolitan of Switerland.

Watch the video report from H2O News.

Orthodox rchbishop with Pope June 28 2011.jpg

We follow with great attention the work of the Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole. From a purely human point of view, one might have the impression that the theological dialogue is having trouble in progressing. In reality, the rhythm of dialogue is linked to the complexity of the themes being discussed, which call for an extraordinary effort of study, of reflection and of reciprocal openness. We are called to continue this course together in charity, invoking light and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, in the certainty that He wishes to lead us to the full accomplishment of the will of Christ: that they may all be one (John 17:21). I am particularly grateful to all the members of the Mixed Commission and in particular to the co-Presidents, His Eminence the Metropolitan of Pergamum Ioannis and His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, for their tireless dedication, their patience and their competence.

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Opportunities for continuing dialogue with the Orthodox Church, Farrell says

In the middle of
the annual exercise of  prayer and
study for Christian Unity, the Vatican’s daily news paper,
L’Osservatore Romano,
interviewed Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, secretary of the Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity. The interviewer asked Bishop Farrell about problems
in the ecumenical quest with the Orthodox Church, and his answer is below.

are examining the crucial point of our differences on the Church’s structure
and way of being and operating: the question of the role of the Bishop of Rome
in the Church communion of the first millennium, when the Church in the West
and East was still united. After profound studies and discussions, the members
of the Theological Commission have come to realize the enormous difference
between the lived, assimilated, and narrated historical experience in Western
culture and the historical experience perceived in the Eastern vision of
. Every historical event is open to different interpretations. The
discussion has not led to a real convergence.

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Jerusalem Patriarch: Being bearers of peace means sharing the cross of Christ

Fouad Twal.jpgThe address of January 11th delivered by the Latin
Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude, Fouad Twal at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to bishops from around the world wasn’t
that new and substantive but he talked about the tragic spilling of blood of many Christians in recent months, then he made a plea for a common and more deeper communion in the Lord with the hope of sharing the Eucharistic Table on earth. For
several years there’s been annual meeting of bishops from the various ecclesial
communions called the
Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the
Church of the Holy Land and another, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the
Holy Land. Basically, these bishops are meeting this week to discuss their philanthropic work in Jerusalem
Some of the address is excerpted here:

Now, more than ever, we see the
truth of what the Synod Fathers wrote in their propositions to the Holy Father,
that our calling to be bearers of peace, “means sharing the cross of Christ.”
We also wrote: “Amidst a world marked by division and extreme positions, we are
called to live communion in the Church staying open to everyone
.” Clearly this
is a calling beyond our human strength at times. It is only the grace of God
present in our communion with Him and between us that can help us embrace this
mission as a precious gift.

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Saint Andrew: the Ecumenical agenda

Constantinople & Rome.JPGSaint Andrew is the first of the 12 Apostles called by Jesus to follow Him. Today is his feast day, the day traditionally remembered as the day of his death.

Official delegations of prayer and fraternal exchange happen for the June feast of Saints Peter and Paul (in Rome) and for today’s feast of Saint Andrew (in Constantinople). The protocol followed is that Patriarch Bartholomew I sends a message and a group to Rome in June and the Pope does the same on November 30 for today’s feast. Often there’s a series of meetings, discussions, academic exchanges, and a festive meal. Kurt Cardinal Koch and Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, (president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity) represented the Holy Father today.

The meeting was covered by Vatican Radio. Visit here.
The Catholic News Agency reports that the Pope is urging greater efforts to realize unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
The Pope’s message to the Patriarch: Benedict XVI to Bartholomew I Nov 30 2010.pdf

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]yahoo.com.
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