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Posted By Eric Sammons On April 29, 2010 @ 8:51 am In Ecumenism,Pope Benedict | Comments Disabled
I have written before  about the new direction that Pope Benedict is taking the ecumenical movement. Gone are the days (so common in the 1970′s and 1980′s) of dialogue for dialogue’s sake. Now the Pope is directing the Church to take concrete steps to make Christ’s prayer that we might be one come true in our world. Fr. Andrew Apostoli notes this as well :
The Pontiff’s thoughts and prayers became expressed in actions. Like Pope John Paul before him, Pope Benedict has stressed the importance of charity in ecumenical dialogue for Christian unity. With the Orthodox, Pope Benedict made great strides. He met with the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox when he visited Istanbul (Constantinople). He has also had very favorable relations with the new Russian Patriarch of Moscow, whom the Pope knew when he was a cardinal.
A great step in the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue was the so-called “Ravenna Document” issued by an international commission of Catholic and Orthodox theologians in October 2007. It reaffirmed the blessings we have in common, such as the holy Eucharist, the sacraments, and an ordained hierarchical priesthood. It also acknowledged some of the problems that needed to be dealt with, particularly viewing the Church on the universal level, where the primacy of the Pope will be a crucial question.
Pope Benedict XVI, responding to those Anglicans who desired full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage, issued a new apostolic constitution that would allow the Anglicans to have “personal ordinariates,” like personal dioceses, which would allow them to be in full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining elements of their Anglican identity.
So favorable was the Pope’s constitution that many Anglicans are considering rejoining the Catholic Church after nearly 500 years of separation! Pope Benedict has also met with the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
The Holy Father has reached out to still other groups in attempts to draw them into the ecumenical dialogue and, God willing, eventually reunion in the one Church Christ founded. They include the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Reformed Churches as well as the World Council of Churches.
His efforts at reunion for other groups that have separated from the Catholic Church over time included lifting the excommunication of four bishops from the Society of St. Pius X who were ordained without proper papal permission by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.
There are no sheep that our German Shepherd does not want united within the visible flock of the Church. Let us pray that his efforts to unite all Christians might be fruitful!
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/04/29/ecumenism-benedict-style/
URLs in this post:
 written before: http://catholicexchange.com/2010/03/19/128344/
 Fr. Andrew Apostoli notes this as well: http://www.ncregister.com/register_exclusives/christian_unifier/
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