Monday, January 18, 2010
TLM: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
What is the way forward for Christian Unity for us Catholics?
Five years ago a "Unity Service" in a Catholic church might have consisted of the Sally Army band playing, the local Vicar preaching, a Methodist or Baptist doing a few prayers.
This morning at coffee with some of parishioners I frivolously suggested that next year our Friday evening Traditional Latin Mass would be our "Unity Service", and maybe I would invite a SSPX priest to preach and possibly if it was a High Mass get a Greek Orthodox to sing the Gospel in Greek before the sermon. Anglican's who were considering union could sit in choir and a Coptic friend could sing a hymn about the sanctification of the altar before the Introit and a Mel kite could sing a hymn to Our Lady during the Last Gospel!
It would cause a bit of kafuffle in the diocese, so maybe it won't happen - at least not the SSPX preacher- but I was trying to illustrate how ecumenism has changed in the pontificate of the "Pope of Christian Unity". We have moved on, full unity with the SSPX is likely to happen; unity with "Catholic" Anglicans is going to happen. Maybe unity with the major Orthodox Churches is still further off, but maybe not so far off with the minor ones that are uncomfortable being in the orbit of Moscow, Constantinople and Athens.
Unity with the Protestant "Churches" is a dead duck. In fact, with the ordination of women and gay ordination they are moving further away from us than they have ever been. We can still build friendly relations but sacramental and theological unity is impossible.
One of the exciting things about this Pontificate is that dream of the Vatican Council for real tangible unity and reconciliation is becoming a reality, rather than a pipe dream.
What fascinates me is that for the SSPX, “Catholic” Anglicans, the Orthodox the Traditional Latin Mass far from being a source of division, it is a factor in the search for unity!
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