unitatis redintegratio reflection

By such common worship, separated Christians may share in the graces of the Church, including that of unity, albeit imperfectly. They profess their Christian faith individually and as corporate bodies. In 2009 there was a large demonstration of faith in Stockholm called the “Jesus Manifestation.” On the last day, believers from various churches, each coming from a different street, processed toward the center of the city. The Council, on the contrary, instead of prescribing vagueness, says, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, in such a way and in such terms as our separated brethren can also really understand. . Rather, it recognizes that not all error is culpable, and that there is much of the true Christian faith to be found outside the visible Catholic Church. They are often not aware of any disobedience to Christ’s Church. The dissenters, in their act of separation, lose the unity which remains in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose. Modern hermeneutics has familiarized us with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s principle of the “history of effects” (Wirkungsgeschichte). This is a path the ecumenical movement tried at the beginning, but it was soon shown to be insufficient. This was confirmed in Unitatis Redintegratio §1: Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day the movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. Before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father continued his reflections on the documents of the Second Vatican Council with a meditation on the Decree Unitatis redintegratio. Chapter I – Catholic Principles on Ecumenism The second point, ecumenical dialogue among experts, is hardly less public, but it only involves relatively few members of the Churches or communities involved. How can we not see in that a sign that he is urging us to welcome and acknowledge them as brothers and sisters even if we are still on the journey to more complete unity on the visible level? It is in this sense that Catholic triumphalism has been abandoned, in favor of a more perfect emulation of the humility and service shown by Christ and the apostles. The Catholic hope for the eventual union of all Christians does not imply that ecumenism is just another word for conversion: …when individuals wish for full Catholic communion, their preparation and reconciliation is an undertaking which of its nature is distinct from ecumenical action. The teachings in these documents reshaped Catholic ecclesiology and serve as a firm foundation for the elaboration of seven criteria of my original interpretative system that emanates from the letter and spirit of Vatican II. The “systems of values already blasted at the root” are of course religious systems. As an example of scandal, surely none is greater than that occasioned by the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by Crusaders and Venetians. 9.See G. L. Prestige, God in Patristic Thought (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), especially Chapter 13, “The Triumph of Formalism,” pp. Note that the Council says only that our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body. It is subordinate to the aim of restoring Christian unity, and thus should only be used when it helps and does not hinder this aim. According to this method, to understand a text we need to take into account the effects it produced in history, placing oneself within that history and dialoguing with it. Since the whole point of ecumenism is to remove needless obstacles to unity in faith, its purpose is defeated if Catholic doctrine is misrepresented. The first point, suppression of certain expressions, judgments and actions that complicate ecumenical relations, is perhaps the most visibly implemented in the modern Church. In the post-Conciliar era, we have seen too much of false ecumenical theology, which has become practically synonymous with fuzzy thinking and obscuring traditional Catholic dogma. Now, for the first time, the Council describes what sort of imperfect communion with the Church is attained by separated Christians through baptism. (UR, 10) This ecumenizing of theology and ecclesiastical history does not entail falsification for the sake of diplomacy. The analyses of the idea of hierarchia veritatum (UR 11) are aimed at demonstrating how the Council’s most decisive contribution to the renewal of theology consisted of proposing a hermeneutics that was rethought in the light of the Trinitarian Revelation of God Love. UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO 313 The Document In his Opening Address to the Council, Pope John XXIII included a reflection that was to be of special importance in the theological dialogue that would follow the Council. The one flock is not something that ceased to exist, but continues even today. While the Church is the one flock, nonetheless, the Council will expound how other Christians still remain in imperfect communion with this one Church founded by Christ upon Peter. On the one hand, catholicity is proper to the Catholic Church, as expressed in her name and as indicated in the marks of the Church of the Creed, which Lumen Gentium identifies with the Catholic Church. . It tells us that we cannot fully understand the Old Testament except in the light of its fulfillment in the New, and we cannot fully understand the New Testament except by the fruit that it has produced in the life of the Church. Rather, it is a call to engage others on the basis of their equal human dignity. Tutti i diritti riservati. Sacrament of charity, sacrament of unity. Add to Wish List. These differ not only from the Church’s constitution, but even from each other in fundamental points of ecclesiology, discipline, and doctrine. Nonetheless, the fact that Anglican priests are admitted directly to Holy Orders, even being dispensed from the law of celibacy, implies that the Church recognizes something more than ordinary laymen in the Anglican priesthood. (UR, 21). This is not Catholicism, but a Protestantism so homogenized that most devout Protestants would reject it, being faithful to their particular traditions. Our Evangelical Neighbours: A Catholic Reflection on Evangelical Christianity (2016) A Church in Dialogue: Catholic Ecumenical Commitment. At this time I would like to turn our attention to the relationship with the other great partner in the ecumenical dialogue, the Protestant world, not to enter into historical and doctrinal questions but to show how everything is impelling us to move forward in the effort to restore the unity of Western Christianity. In the Latin text, it is clear that ‘unity’ and not ‘Catholic Church’ is the antecedent of that which is to be increased. All rights reserved. Summary. 18 to 39 are acceptable. Here we are speaking of ties among the Easterns, so the expression sister Churches is applied only to the Easterns in relation to each other. Instead of making Catholic dogma intelligible to other Christians, however, many modern theologians have succeeded only in making it unintelligible to Catholics. UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO . For the first time, the Church explicitly teaches that Christians born in separated Churches or communities are not thereby guilty of the sin of separation. Whoever ignores or misrepresents that document will likely end up in confused error when interpreting this one. The world has forgotten, or have never known, its Savior, the one who is the light of the world, the way, the truth, and the life, so how can we waste time arguing among ourselves? In this regard some famous meetings stand out that have marked the ecumenical journey during these fifty years: the meeting of Paul VI with the Patriarch Athenagoras, the innumerable meetings of John Paul II and of Benedict XVI with various leaders of Christian churches, the meeting of Pope Francis with the Patriarch Bartholomew in 2014, and finally, a few weeks ago, the meeting in Cuba with Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow, that opened up a new horizon for the ecumenism. (UR, 11) Note the term ‘also’; the intent is to make Catholic dogma as intelligible to other Christians as it already is to Catholics. On the doctrinal and institutional level, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has been established. Since baptism is a sacrament of initiation into the life of faith, one may only reap its full benefits if one persists in faithful participation in the system of salvation, administered sacramentally by the Church. Unitatis redintegratio Histoire du décret • L’objectif œcuménique est explicite chez le pape Jean XXIII. Real ecumenism does not mean whitewashing over our differences in order to proclaim a superficial unity. He led Peter to the home of the centurion Cornelius and made him witness the coming of the Spirit on those in attendance with the same manifestations that the apostles had experienced at Pentecost: they spoke in tongues and glorified God with loud voices. In that case, we are worse off than when we started, for the other Christians are denied even the opportunity to know what the Catholic doctrine is, much less come to a better understanding of it. This is not to deny the objective superiority of the Catholic Church’s ecclesiastical status or the truth of her doctrine. This Church, the Council has said in Lumen Gentium, is the Catholic Church. It is not a generic term for good relations with people of other religions, which are to be discussed later in Nostra Aetate. When administered with the proper form and intent, baptism truly incorporates a person into Christ. 9:38) All good works, great or small, done in Christ’s name, are in favor of Christ and His Church. It says that justification brings about a genuine renewal in the life of a baptized person—even if that righteousness never becomes an acquired possession on which a human being could base his or her relationship with God and is always dependent on the action of the Holy Spirit. This is consistent with the Council’s emphasis on the Pope’s role as universal pastor, rather than as Latin patriarch. © 2012 Daniel J. Castellano. 12.See Augustine, “Sermon 269,” 4, in Sermons (230-272B) on Liturgical Seasons, trans. 20, The Works of Saint Augustine, ed. Recognizing that there are authentic works of the Holy Spirit among non-Catholic Christians, the Council adds: A Catholic should not reject any part of the Church’s spiritual treasury simply because it arose among separated Christians. (UR, 2) Christ also promised his followers that he would send forth his Spirit, and this Spirit gathered all believers into one Church, with one faith and one baptism. No longer in opposition to “good works”—an issue that has been dealt with and resolved—but in opposition, rather, to the claim by the secularized world that it can save itself through science and technology or through spiritual techniques people invented. I am convinced that the role played by formulas slows down and weighs on the ecumenical dialogue with the Protestant churches. That was the point at which the final outcome of the battle was determined. [14] Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 14.1. If we follow the decree’s starting point of toward the end of the Middle Ages, we find that several early schismatic groups retained the constitution of Churches. Every phrase acquires a new and relevant meaning if it is applied to love among the members of the various Christian churches, to our ecumenical relationships: Love is patient and kind; The Council now turns to the separated Churches and ecclesial Communities of the West, which began to split from the Apostolic See from the late Middle Ages onward. Unitatis redintegratio (Latin for "Restoration of unity") is the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism.It was passed by a vote of 2,137 to 11 of the bishops assembled at the Council, and was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964.. One year from the fifth centenary of the Protestant Reformation (1517) Most importantly, we must recognize that the gifts of the Church are ordered not so that we may lord them over others, but to dispose us for the service of others. The principle that whatever is done truly in Christ’s name is not opposed to the faith can be found in the Gospel of Mark, where John tells Jesus of another exorcist: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him. If I remember correctly, he expressed this thought: the time has come to stop making the doctrine of justification by faith a topic of fighting and dispute among theologians and seek instead to help all baptized people have a personal and liberating experience of this truth. Already we see many liberal Catholics who would remake the Church into a big tent left-center political party, as if the Church’s catholicity was measured by an embrace of all doctrines. . 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