Thursday, May 8, 2014

GRASSROOTS ECUMENISM, THE BEST KIND NO WORKSHOP CAN BUY OR RIVAL

We have a Wednesday night supper each Wednesday in our church's social hall. Last night we had it in our new Msgr. John Cuddy Hall (gym) and invited our next door good neighbors, First Baptist Church of Christ to join us for our supper.

We wanted to thank them for allowing our school teachers to use their parking lot during the school day all year long and allowing us to use their parking lot for staging the construction of our new gym.

We had about 150 all total and our school children sang three songs as entertainment. It was a lovely evening!

50 comments:

Anon friend said...

Good ecumenism, Father, and you didn't have to travel west of the Mississippi to do it!

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father, I applaud your grassroots ecumenical efforts! This is a fine example of what Christians of different denominations can accomplish on social levels.

I would remind you, again, that such "tea and crumpets" gatherings could not have taken place had not the "elites," as you describe them, done the demanding work of dialogue in places east and west of the Mississippi, even east and west of the Prime Meridian, even north and south of (gasp!) the equator.

Your experience, while locally somewhat noteworthy, does not, however, encompass the experience of the Church universal. Nor does it address the substantial questions that underlie the on-going divisions in the Body of Christ. Men and women, clergy and lay alike, who are far more capable in dealing with things ecumenical than you or I are continuing to do the work that will, as Christ wills it, restore unity to the Church.

Maybe you would like to make this Catholic-Baptist gathering a yearly event, bringing in scholars to speak to the people of both congregations about the dialogue that continues in the movement toward unity...?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, the Anglican Ordinariate and maybe one day a Lutheran one--all these will bring about the unity in the Church the Lord desires, plus our on-going RCIA process inviting the world to join the full communion of the Catholic Church. The Harvard graduate pastor of First Baptist is scholar enough.

qwikness said...

Orthodox too. I don't ever remember doing anything with them. If we are going to do any healing with them, I don't think it will be top down but grass roots. It seems some of their Episcopacy are harder nuts to crack but their local presbyters are more amiable.

JBS said...

Since the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, it makes perfect since to bring everyone as close as possible to her, even when this in-gathering is simply a display of gratitude for use of a parking lot/car park.

qwikness said...

I don't get the Mississippi reference.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

That is from another thread where PI crossed the Mississippi to go to a conference on ecumenism of all things in Arizona. The post was on living Gospel simplicity as Pope Francis now encourages priests to do and that our former bishop, Raymond Lessard did not allow anyone in the diocese under his reign to go to conventions or workshops west of the Mississippi! I think it is a ban that should be revived in our diocese once again, given all the crossing of the Mississippi that PI does for superfluous reasons at diocesan expense.

Pater Ignotus said...

Regarding the desire to be reunited with the Orthodox Churches:

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/orthodox/index.cfm

While there are many places where "grassroots" work is done with Orthodox Christians, the "top down" work is as essential as any "tea and crumpet," as Good Father McDonald would style it, encounter.

qwikness said...

"many places where "grassroots" work is done with Orthodox Christians" but not in Macon.
Pater Ignotus, Does Holy Spirit do any ecumenical events in Macon? Or do you leave it up to Saint Joseph's?

Gene said...

China is west of the Mississippi…maybe we could send Ignotus there…or North Korea so he can lecture their president about racism for calling Obama a monkey…LOL!

Catholic said...

The Orthodox still believe it is improper to pray with non-Orthodox (like Catholics believed formerly).

Hierarchs can still depose other hierarchs, even patriarchs, when they fall into heresy (which ecumenism is, according to the last Orthodox council).

This is partly the reason why there is little "ecumenism" with the Orthodox. Also, they distrust the Roman Church for many historical reasons.

Even though John Paul II said they are a "sister church", the Orthodox believe they are THE Church. Following St. Cyprian's ecclesiology, theologically, they don't see Roman sacraments as "valid" since there can be no sacraments outside the Church. And the Roman Church is outside and has lost apostolic succession because the succession for the Orthodox is a succession of the laying on of hands as well as a succession of the True Faith, which of course Rome lost when it fell into heresy sometime around 900-1200.

JBS said...

With the Orthodox, their Churches are led by genuine successors of the apostles, and so ecumenism with the Orthodox necessarily focuses on dialogue with the Orthodox bishops. The communities descended from the Reformation, however, lack apostolic succession, so ecumenism with them naturally needs to focus on dialogue with their respective congregations of laymen.

Anonymous said...

JBS...."the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation."

Catholics make up about 17% of the earth's population.

The other 83% will some day sign up for RCIA? The other 83% are damned to eternal Hell fire.

Help me out please?

Gene said...

The Catholic Church is necessary for salvation for a HOST of reasons...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If the world is saved it is saved through Jesus Christ, who by the way, is present currently in the world through His Church, with is His Body and He is her Head.
The Church has always taught and with authority, if through no fault of one's own, they do not know Christ through His Church, meaning the Catholic Church headed by the Vicar of Christ (Bishop of Rome) and the other bishops in union with him, that they can still be saved, but through the very same Church which is the Catholic Church and visible sign of the presence of Christ in the world redeeming it.

Anonymous said...

" Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ." (UR 3)

"......the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church." (UR3)

JBS said...

Anonymous,

I'm not certain what you're trying to say, and your question seems perhaps intentionally provocative.

Number 14 of VCII's "Lumen Gentium" explains clearly enough that the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, as the Church has always taught: "Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved."

Gene said...

UR is a Vat II document and is neither persuasive nor infallible nor doctrine.

Anonymous 2 said...

Discussions of this topic always intrigue me because invariably it is pointed out how some other Christian denomination or religious faith regards Roman Catholics as heretics. In my teaching, early on in the relevant courses (Comparative Law and Islamic Law in Comparative Perspective) I raise the interesting and perplexing fact that that many of the vast number of competing and conflicting worldviews in the world today, especially (but not only) those rooted in monotheism, regard theirs as the only correct one and all the others as false and in error to a greater or lesser degree.

I observe, too, that historically people have been willing to kill one another over such differences and in some parts of the world they still do. But, I then point out, as a matter of simple logic, to the extent their adherents claim exclusive truth and regard everyone else as in error, at most only one of these worldview positions can be correct. Indeed, also as a matter of simple logic, it is quite conceivable that none of them is. Of course, as a matter of faith, things are different and, as a believing Catholic, I adhere to the Church’s view as set out in her teaching regarding non-Catholics.

Given the vast fracturing of humanity into these competing worldview camps, both religious and non-religious, I would have thought that ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue and interaction, at as many levels and in as many contexts as possible, is something desirable, whether it is east or west of the Mississippi. That way we maximize the prospects for discovering common ground as well as a common humanity in which we can see ourselves as the children of a common Creator. Moreover, if it is conducted in the proper spirit (or should I say Spirit), such dialogue will enable Catholics to preach the Faith with maximum effect, sometimes with words and sometimes without, and we can trust that God will reveal the Truth to all in His own good time.

In this respect, perhaps we should see Pope Francis as “dialoguing with the world.” I was talking with a close Baptist friend the other day about all these divisions. I suggested they could all be overcome if everyone would become Catholic. He replied that, with Pope Francis, it was certainly tempting. Many a true word spoken in jest perhaps?


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gene it contains the highest authoritative teaching of the church and includes Catholic doctrine and dogma. I was taught by progressives the theology of dissent in the. 70's. I despised it them and enem despise it more from neo conservatives.

Gene said...

Fr, I am not dissenting and I am not a neo-conservative…whatever that is. I do not disagree with the statement of UR, I was making a point based upon the discussion above. However, since you mention it, I believe Vat II to have done more damage to the Church than Martin Luther ever dreamed of doing.

Gene said...

Fr, you also must consider my perspective…a hard core Calvinist, lifelong student of theology and doctrine, who left the protestant church because of it caving in to modernism and secularism, only to find that the Catholic Church wants to make the same mistakes. That is troubling…I would like to stand in the road the Church seems to be traveling and frantically wave my arms and scream, "Go back, go back, you are making a terrible mistake!!!! So, forgive me if my crap detector is tuned to high and m BS-o-meter pegs a lot.

Anonymous said...

Things I'm REALLY tired of:

1. Gene incessantly saying LOL.
2. Hearing about Gene
being a Calvinist.
3. Hearing about Gene's many
advanced degrees.

Gene said...

Anonymous, I did not mention any degrees in my post or in any post recently. They are in my profile, however.

I can replace LOL with ROTFLMAO, if you like, but it takes longer to write.

If you had ever read a theology book or anything at all about Church history, you might appreciate the contrast in perspective that Calvin provides for Catholicism. But, you need a pretty good appreciation for Augustine in order to understand Calvin. I actually doubt if you could understand either one.

Anon friend said...

Gene, if you were the designee assigned by God to be in charge, I would be first in line to wave the green flag to send you to the head of the line to lead us into battle, believe me! You have stoically and bravely fought the good fight to cooperate with God's grace in your life.
The reality is that our ultimate leader, Jesus Christ, while powerful, was the most humble of men and submitted to death to prove His power. He is our example par excellence. It is hard to take that in, especially for a "reformed" Calvinist; believe me, I know a few!
You are gonna make it, my friend, despite the huge pitfalls in this life on earth, because you love God so much. Just once in awhile, rest in that truth...

Anonymous said...

You have read a THEOLOGY BOOK? Wow.

Are you talking about the Augustine that they named Augusta GA after....where Fr. McDonald used to live?

You must be the smartest person in the world.

I read most of a Harry Potter book.

Gene said...

Ecumenicism

If you believe that the Catholic Church is the true Church and that Catholic doctrine is the purest Christian doctrine and that the Holy Eucharist is the truest form of worship, then what can ecumenicism be other than to attempt to bring all Christians into the Catholic Church…without compromise because to compromise is to become less than the true Church.

If you do not agree with this, then what would you have Catholicism give up or add? Seriously, list the things you would give up or add…that have not already been given up or added.

Oh, and getting together with other denominations in order to cry and tear your hair over the poor, or moan about nuclear weapons, or spit and stomp about CEO salaries, or belly ache about being mean to homos and lezzies, or to whine "ain't it awful" about most anything is not ecumenicism. That is called social action and mostly just p***es normal hard working citizens off.

Gene said...

Anonymous, I am not the smartest person, but I do know to place a comma between city and state.

The movies were better...

Gene said...

I want one of you progressivist ecumenicists to answer my question. There are insurmountable obstacles to compromise with the protestant churches…Papal authority, Infallibility, the Real Presence, every article of TULIP (the basis for most of protestant theology), the fundamental/Sacramental basis for the Priesthood, the seven Sacraments, the Mass as Sacrifice, and on and on. I seriously want to know from one of you which of these things you would alter or give up in order to "unify" the denominations…or are you really only concerned with social work and the spread of socialist programs using the Church as a tool?

Socrates said...

I second Gene. I would honestly like to see two lists: the Catholic doctrines the Church would ideally have to give up (or could less than ideally give up if necessary for union), and the non-Catholic doctrines that the Church would ideally have to accept (or could less than ideally accept if necessary for union).

Furthermore, let's dispense with non-doctrinal stuff. That's just quibbling. Let's get to the heart of matters.

I'd like the list, furthermore, to be as comprehensive as possible, as opposed to ("Well, it would be a start if the Church . . ."). I'm not interested in starting the process. I'm interested in a comprehensive list, aware that each contributor might have a somewhat different list. Once we have one or more such lists, then we can have a thorough debate.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene and Socrates - Not that long ago, the differences between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Communion regarding the Doctrine of Justification would have been called an "insurmountable obstacle to compromise."

However, what was discovered, after many years of work by the ecumenical theological scholars - the "elites" that Good Father McDonald likes to denigrate - our Church and the World Lutheran Federation were able to sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

The JDDJ was a recognition that our understandings of Justification are not "church-separating."

It is easy for you to stand on the sidelines and throw stones, suggesting that the way to the organic unity of the Church can be accomplished only by the Catholic Church "giving up" certain doctrines.

The JDDJ is only one of numerous examples that your vision of the path of ecumenism is simply wrong. The Catholic Church gave up exactly nothing in this process.

Gene said...

I remember and took great interest in the so-called rapproachement between Lutherans and Catholics. Actually, I may be wrong, but wasn't that only with the LCA? Anyway, not long after, two professors and 19 seminarians at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago left Lutheranism and joined the Catholic Church. Among them was Carl Braaten, perhaps the premiere Lutheran theologian of our day. No, Ignotus, I am far from on the sidelines and have often taken part in theology seminars and even some so-called ecumenical seminars that I quickly decided were BS and never attended another. BTW, the Church has never lifted the excommunication of Luther, for which Lutherans have appealed on several occasions.
Now, again in typical fashion, you have not answered Socrates or my question. Where is the list? Come on, you tough old progressive, put your money where your mega mouth is.

Gene said...

Ah, just checked my folder of articles…the so-called agreement only covered the article on good works and only re-affirmed what Trent and Lutheransim always taught…that good works are a consequence of
salvation and not a cause. It addressed no other aspects of the Doctrione of Justification (including the nature of the atonement about which there is much disagreement). Neither group gave up anything or compromised anything as, indeed, it was only a clarification responding to protestant misinterpretations of Catholic doctrine. Nothing to see here, move along.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes the Lutheran agreement with Catholics, which was only with the Lutheran Worldwide Federation broke no new ground whatsoever and the fine print of the agreement points out the differences that remain. It simply clarified misunderstandings that each had about the other.
Nice try PI, but as usual academics make up things to justify their flying all over the world to meet when they should instead heed Pope Francis' call to not spend so much money on these silly endeavors and simply stay at home and do grassroots ecumenism like tea and crumpets with the Baptists.

Gene said...

I'll give you some help: Probably the most pervasive protestant doctrine that will cause trouble is Total Depravity. This is a view held by Presbyterians, Baptists, and Lutherans (at least), and virtually all congregationalists. Fallen man has no faculty for the reception or understanding of Revelation. The Image of God was completely broken in the Fall such that it can only be restored by Christ through election. Left to himself, man will ALWAYS choose sin. This is also called Christological totalitarianism, supra-lapsarianism, and radical grace. Protestants believe that the blackness and hopelessness of our sin makes the wonders and majesty of Christ's grace even more amazing.
Following from this very closely comes: Irresistable Grace. How can man, hopelessly helpless in the abyss of sin and without even the hint of free will, resist the power of God for salvation? This pitiful creature, mired in Darkness, cannot determine the Divine Will. Once God has chosen you, you can do nothing to remove yourself from his Hand. If you fall, He permits it.

There. That should be enough. So what of this should the Church adopt or how should the Church change her teachings to accommodate it?

Socrates said...

Pater: What stone have I thrown here? I asked a serious question. I genuinely meant it. The goal of ecumenism is, presumably, that we all may be one doctrinally. That means that someone's doctrines will have to change. I asked ecumenists to name the ways in which Catholic doctrine would need to change to achieve this. So I ask you again: Where is the stone?

The JDDJ is a statement of the Church and a single Protestant sect on a single aspect of the faith and has long since been achieved. Citing it in no way answers the question I asked about prospective Catholic doctrinal change necessary to reunite _all_ traditions claiming the mantle of Christian.

On that point, why can you never, ever, EVER answer the question that I have asked? What are you so afraid of? Why does the idea of honest dialogue with me so unnerve you? My guess is that it is a sign that you are aware of the weakness of your position and that you must therefore derail the conversation with straw men in the hopes that people will quit thinking about the points I raise.

The only thing I can hope for is that people are on to you, or will catch on, and see that while some of us here are willing to put their positions to the test of open debate, others are afraid to, presumably because they know that those latter positions will be proved erroneous. That's the only reason i post here at all these days, as a matter of fact.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - No such list exists. No one, except you and Socrates, is proposing that there must be a list of things we are willing to "give up" if we want to restore unity to the Church. So you can stop thumping your chest in a most unbecoming, self-congratulatory way, thinking that you have bettered me on this.

The JDDJ is an example of movement toward the restoration of unity that did not require "give ups" on either side of the question.

I'm glad that "total depravity" is one of your concerns. It comes, I must say, as no surprise. I suspect it is being discussed by the "elites" as we speak. We shall have to await the outcome of those discussions.

Good Father McDonald - No, the JDDJ did not only point out areas of continued disagreement. It also pointed out the areas in which we and the Lutheran World Federation agree, not only those areas over which disagreement continues. (You really ought to reconsider making statements about things you don't understand or have never looked into.)

The Lutheran World Federation represents 72.9 million members, the Missouri Synod 2.3 million, and the Wisconsin Synod, 460,000.

Yes, the JDDJ was "only" an agreement between the Catholic Church and the WLF, but the WLF represents the vast. vast majority of Lutherans.

Catholic said...

Can we take a practical example and evaluate what steps an ecumenist would take to create unity?

For instance, the Church teaches the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This doctrine is inextricably intertwined with the position that the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice, the very re-presentation of the Sacrifice at Calvary.

The Protestants reject the Real Presence and the doctrines surrounding the Mass. The Orthodox have a very different soteriological position altogether that rejects the Anselmian substitutionary ideas that form at least part of the theology underlying the theology of the Mass.

Here you have three very different positions: the Catholic, the Protestant, and the Orthodox. How would an ecumenist suggest resolving this? Is it possible to do that without any side giving up anything?

Gene said...

Ignotus, again, you are possibly the most intellectually dishonest person I have ever encountered. Of course there is no list, I want you to make one of your own. Since you parade yourself as such an ecumenicist, surely you have some ideas as to areas of compromise. Let's hear some.

Pater Ignotus said...

Socrates - No one, except you and Pin/Gene, are suggesting that there is some list of necessary changes in Catholic doctrine that must take place is unity is to be restored to the Body of Christ.

Suggesting that there is some list or there has to be such a list is a "stone" you chunk from nowhere into the work that is being done to restore that unity.

Citing the JDDJ shows you and Pin/Gene that we don't have to change a thing in this regard to find agreement with the LWF on the Doctrine of Justification.

I am not the least unnerved by honest dialogue with you or anyone else. The dishonesty comes in when you and Pin/Gene start suggesting that this List of Changes" is needed for the work of ecumenism to proceed.

The "List of Changes" is the straw man, meant to distract from the real work of ecumenism that has been and continues to be done.

Anonymous 2 said...

The exchanges today reminded me of some earlier exchanges on this subject. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the thread because I did not keep a record of the title and date (is there a Search facility to locate comments in an earlier thread?). I do have my own comments in my documents, however, and it may be worth repeating some of them here. Everything that follows below responded to comments by Gene and someone called Ostro, about two years ago as best I recall and tries to make the point, as I would state it now, that ecumenical dialogue involves both the mind and the heart:

Thank you, Ostro and Gene, for those very interesting and informative comments that strike this observer at least as wise, balanced, and fair in their respective characterizations of the two sides involved in the tragic episode of the Reformation and its aftermath.


Is it also fair to observe that, in the dialectic of history, if I may be permitted a nod towards Hegel, the Reformation finally precipitated much needed reform in the Catholic Church in the form of the Catholic Counter-Reformation and the reforms instituted by the Council of Trent (which also, of course, condemned Protestant heresies)?


Is it further fair to say that the Reformers were, therefore, not just whiners and troublemakers but that they had legitimate grievances and valid criticisms against those human weaknesses that had betrayed Holy Mother Church and that, before the Reformation, the Church seemed unable or unwilling to address in an effective manner?


And if those two points are fairly made, then is it not also fair to say that Catholics and Protestants must share responsibility for this particular tragic division in the Body of the Faithful, as well as responsibility for taking the necessary steps to heal it, a healing which, as Gene observes, will not be accomplished so easily if we demonize those on the other side of the divide?


But – and here we go again – while full communion between Catholics and Protestants may only be possible on the terms Gene suggests, are we not then obligated to engage in an ecumenical dialogue that seeks common ground in belief and action where such common ground may legitimately be found, while of course preserving, without compromise, essential identity? And, arguably, is the same not also true for inter-faith dialogue, where the divisions among faiths are rooted in their own historical narratives also involving sin and human frailty on both sides?


In fact, isn’t seeking common ground through dialogue, and thus reducing points of contention to those that really matter, just a good general principle in any context, religious, political, social, and personal? Moreover, doesn’t such an effort, where we actually talk to one another, bring the added benefit of humanizing rather than demonizing or de-humanizing the other? Of course, those participating in any effort to find common ground have to observe certain ground rules and bring certain virtues to the effort or it will be doomed to fail.


Am I being controversial here in asking these rhetorical questions or just stating the obvious?



I am the walrus said...

Pater:

I've refrained thus far from referring to you as Screwtape, but your literal nonsense veiled as teaching moves me to do so now. I genuinely want to know what people would have the Church do in doctrinal terms in order to bring about unity and you tell me by asking that question I am attempting to interfere with the process of achieving unity.

You are truly impossible, as well as mean-spirited. Good day.

Gene said...

There is no straw man. Try this: Do you accept my premise above that the only true form of ecumenicism is bringing other denominations into the Catholic church? If you believe that the Catholic Church possesses the fullest Truth and that the Eucharist and the Mass are the truest form of worship, then what else can true ecumenicism be? If you do not accept it, then tell us where you would start. You, Ignotus, what would you do to bring others into the church? How about a straight answer, something you have never given.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I think your questions are fair and accurate. I do not hold out much hope for the kind of ecumenicism that most people envision, which is largely, "Hey, let's all get together and demand money from the rich," or "hey, let's all be nice to gays and lezzies," or "hey, let's demand women's ordination in the Catholic Church." Most ecumenicism today is social action agenda and is usually Left leaning politically.

Gene said...

The reasons for ecumenicism are theological and not social. The primary reason for ecumenicism is to bring all Christians together in true worship and belief so that more souls can be saved through a uniform preaching of the true Faith. It is also to bring ecclessial communities under the full umbrella of the Catholic Church so that they may participate in the true worship of God through the Holy Eucharist, thus avoiding protracted penance, Purgatorial chastisement or, in the worst case, the fires of Hell. Anything else is secondary and non-essential. It is all about the saving off souls.

Gene said...

Anon 2, RE: where to start. How about with the Creed. Most major protestant denominations accept all the articles of the Creed. Many recite the Apostle's Creed.
We can start there and explain how these articles were hammered out, tested, contested, and fought for. Then we might point out that the Catholic Church has treasured and protected these Creeds, even unto death, for all Christians. We might show, through this doctrinal history, the necessity for Papal infallibility, the Magisterium, and why so-called sola scripture is an impossible construct. Then, using these same texts and this same history, along with explicit texts from Holy Scripture (something protestants love), explain the necessity and logic of the Real Presence. This is basically what we do in RCIA. We get some really good questions and discussions, but we don't lose that many. Incidentally, Jerry Schmitt, Fr. MacDonald and a number of Vicars, Sister Elizabeth, and laity have, through the work of the Holy Spirit brought in several hundred protestants over the last five or six years I have been involved. Now, THAT is ecumenicism and (to paraphrase Huck Finn) if it ain't, then I'm Obama!

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - When you say "compromise" regarding doctrine, I understand you to mean "give up" something. For example, you would think that a compromise regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary would mean that Catholics would give up our belief that Mary was always a virgin, that she was a virgin before the conception and birth of Jesus, but that she and Joseph engaged in intercourse afterwards.

Is that how you use "compromise" here? If not, I would ask you to explain what you mean by "compromise."

Now, if the Church were to make such a compromise, we would be denying an element of Divinely revealed Truth. The Church, however, cannot do this.

So when you ask for a list of compromises as I understand you to mean it, I respond that, if that is your meaning of "compromise," then there can be no list, there is no list. And I cannot propose a list of such compromises because rejecting Divinely revealed Truth is not an option.

Do I understand your use of "compromise" as you mean it?

Walrus - If you truly want has to be done to restore unity to the Church, you will begin reading. Start with Unitatis Redentigratio, and then use the links available at the USCCB website, under the Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs, to learn about the work that has been done and is being done. If you want other references, I will be happy to provide them.


Gene said...

Ok, Ignotus. very good. I agree with you regarding compromise. Now, given that, does my first premise not follow..regarding my definition of ecumenciism?

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - I think we ought to look at the ways in which "compromise" does not mean "giving up" something - ways in which the Church can, and should, compromise in order to move toward restoring unity to the Body of Christ.

In ecumenical dialogues, one doesn't start with the end point - restoring full, organic unity - but with those areas in which 1) there is already agreement, 2) there can be agreement, 3) there will be great difficulty in finding agreement.

We might take up Pope St. John Paul II's request in Ut Unum Sint that theologians of the various Christian denominations work together to find a way to make the primacy of the Bishop of Rome serve as or function as a source of unity for all Christians.

After acknowledging and asking pardon for the role the Catholic Church played in bringing about the divisions (UUS #88), he then requested the assistance of others. " In this way the primacy exercised its office of unity. When addressing the Ecumenical Patriarch His Holiness Dimitrios I, I acknowledged my awareness that "for a great variety of reasons, and against the will of all concerned, what should have been a service sometimes manifested itself in a very different light. But ... it is out of a desire to obey the will of Christ truly that I recognize that as Bishop of Rome I am called to exercise that ministry ... I insistently pray the Holy Spirit to shine his light upon us, enlightening all the Pastors and theologians of our Churches, that we may seek- together, of course-the forms in which this ministry may accomplish a service of love recognized by all concerned".(UUS #95)

Gene said...

Ignotus, I was asking if you agreed with my premise regarding ecumenicism.