Pope Francis: Ecumenism

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Catholic converts to Catholicism from other Christian denominations?  After reading the following you may wonder why you went through the bother:


On Thursday, Pope Francis spoke about Christian unity and ecumenism, specifically what they are not. Namely, they aren’t about uniformity or the total absorption of one religion by another, but instead consist of a common communion in Christ.

“Ecumenism is true when Christians are able to shift the focus from themselves, from their arguments and formulations, to the Word of God who demands to be heard, accepted and witnessed in the world,” the Pope said Nov. 10.

“Because of this, the various Christian communities are called not to ‘compete,’ but to cooperate.”

Pope Francis addressed members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity gathered in Rome for their plenary assembly at the Vatican.

Go here to read the rest.  Thank God that the Pope was not in office during the Reformation.  If he had been, would there now be any Catholic Church?

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  1. It is fascinating how skilled some people can be at tip-toeing around truth and certainty, yet always leave a convenient escape hatch nearby.

    I wonder, if I hear this stuff correctly, if the shepherd’s flock is now also free to leave and join the neighbor’s–for unity, cooperation, and accompaniment purposes?

  2. “So what is our role? What must we do to promote unity among Christians?”
    Cling the Truth. Jesus is the Head of the Catholic Church. I’m with Him.

  3. Focus on what we have in common, not on our differences. I have used this method in Jail and Nursing Home ministries.

    Never have one of the Catholics tell me that they were going to leave the Church because of this approach, yet I have been privileged to witness and sponsor Protestant faithful who, after years of praying together, wanted to receive Jesus fully, henceforth became Catholic.

    Honey does work better than vinegar, in my experience, but your post reflects the fear of loosing Catholics via ecumenical dialogue.

    I may have read it incorrectly however.

    I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, but in a short 15 years I’m not aware of it happening in our ministry efforts.

    In competing for future parishioners vs cooperation with brothers and sisters, the later is successful because they come to want what we have. If competing is proselytising methods used by some to convince others that they are lacking in the true faith, then yes, the Pope is right in my opinion.


  4. Truly brainless. Any denomination that permits real divorce is hurting e.g. children in the millions worldwide. He’s like a Greek oracle that can’t stop talking. Tomorrow it will be another faulty revelation.

  5. Pope Francis seems to be denying the relevance of truth when it comes to ecumenicism. He is substituting cordiality for courage in dealing with the Protestant heresy. It seems to me the entire idea of ecumenicism should be abandoned as compromise is impossible and on-going discussions create a false optimism.

    The Catholic Church should declare it’s beliefs in no uncertain terms and expel all Catholics who, after sufficient warnings and counseling, fail to adhere to these doctrines. A wish-washy Catholic Church, as Pope Francis seems to prefer, is lukewarm, worthless and a scandal to all orthodox believers.

  6. Eastern Rite Catholics would be in full agreement with that statement.

    No they would not. The Eastern rites have a different liturgical calendar, different rites, different disciplines, and a distinct set of episcopal authorities. They’re not theologically distinct and they all recognize papal authority.

  7. Catholic converts to Catholicism from other Christian denominations? After reading the following you may wonder why you went through the bother:
    I wonder that w.a.y. too often.
    As for Eastern Catholic having the same theology, or not being “theologically distinct,” I’m not sure that is true. They don’t have adoration in the Eastern Church. When they say the Nicece Creed, they say the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father” (the filioque being optional in an Eastern Church, or at least the Byzantine Churches.). I believe there is a bit of a difference in the Immaculate Conception idea as well, but I’d have to talk to our priest about that. Perhaps these are minor points.
    I doubt Pope Francis was talking about the Eastern Rite Catholics, however.

  8. DJH is correct, Art. Also you wrote “The Eastern rites have a different liturgical calendar, different rites, different disciplines, and a distinct set of episcopal authorities.” All of which constitute “arguments and formulations”. So Francis is right on that.

    DJH is also correct when he wrote “I doubt Pope Francis was talking about the Eastern Rite Catholics”. But that really does not matter. The current configuration of Latin and Eastern Rite Catholics is a good and holy symbol of ecumenism. It is certainly not the end-point (even Benedict XVI said so), but it is a good beginning.

  9. It should be further pointed out that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger made at least two major theological breakthroughs with the Eastern Churches before he was elevated to the papacy:

    1) He admitted that the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed is heretical if spoken in Greek. Latin has a different meaning, and so in Latin it is not heretical.

    2) He countermanded centuries of Catholic teaching regarding the consecration of the Eucharist. The Holy Qurbana, the Eucharistic celebration of the Church of the East (and thus the oldest celebration of the Chaldean Catholic Church) does not say the words of instiution: “this is My Body, this is My Blood”. For centuries it has been Catholic teaching that those words must be said for the consecration to be valid. Cardinal Ratzinger admitted that the words are implied and that since the Holy Qurbana dates to apostolic times it must be valid despite the absence the words of institution.

    Again, when it comes to issues like this Francis is correct.

  10. No, I don’t wonder… I became Catholic because of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity. I became Catholic because it is the one True Church, and founded by Jesus Christ himself.

    I’m coming up on my five year anniversary of becoming Catholic. I am still glad I became Catholic, despite all the trouble in the Church today, and I pray I have the grace to remain Catholic to by dying breath!

    We do have a spiritual battle on our hands though! All hands to praying required, and all voices lifted in speaking the truth of the faith.
    (Long time reader, infrequent commenter)

  11. Good for you and God bless you too Clara.
    My last sponsorship of a Protestant wanted exactly the same…To be able to partake of the Eucharist. As we consume Him, He consumes us. He takes our brokenness and gives us His wholeness. Fisherman are far and few between, but He chose the unlearned, the hated, the nothing’s of society to fish for men.
    He knows what He is about, and all of us together help each other to mend nets by mending hearts.

  12. The Pontiff again praises Communism. From One Peter Five: “It is the Communists who think like Christians”.

    Make up your own minds. He bad mouths traditionalists. He celebrates teh Reformation. He wants Catholics living in a state of sin to receive Communion, in line with the German hierarchy. He praises Communism.

    I will not use the words here that I am thinking of. Over one hundred million dead at the hands of Communism, and this man with the intellectual ability that is less than a house fly is the Supreme Pontiff.

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