This wish is both a reality and an aspiration: Although the one Church founded by Christ retains the fullness of unity (as expounded in Lumen Gentium), there are many other communions of Christian believers who live in division, contrary to Christ’s will. Still, this declaration is significant because of its implication for the relation of such Christians to the Catholic Church. Was ist mit der Prophezeiung des Malachias? Council of Florence, Session VIII) These long acknowledged truths are pregnant with paradox, as they imply that those Christians visibly separated from the Catholic Church are nonetheless joined to her in a real way. I am convinced that if Luther and Calvin and the other reformers were alive today, this would be the way they would preach the justification freely given through faith! With this in mind, we can readily understand what the Council means when it says: As evidence of salvific agency in separated churches, the Council notes that some non-Catholics retain many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. 3:27-28). We can, however, forge ahead in charity and already be fully united right now. The Church has always recognized the indelible character of baptism, never allowing it to be repeated, and has also considered it the means by which we are made members Goof the Body of Christ. Unitatis Redintegratio – Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism. In this sense, all the baptized are united to the Church. #Kape'tPandasal #MorningReflections #JescomTV Please support our Mission We cannot “cut corners” on doctrine because there are real differences there that need to be resolved patiently in appropriate settings. After recalling the profound reasons that led Christians to seek unity among themselves again, and after taking note of the spread of a new attitude among Christians of different churches, the Council Fathers express the purpose of the document this way: The ultimate goal of ecumenism is the reunion of all Christians into the unity that the Catholic Church alone possesses: Consistent with what we have said so far, the Council denies any ecclesiology that would claim the Church lost her unity centuries ago and hopes to regain it in the future. But there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God. Possible domains of cooperation include: There are two aspects of Christian social activity listed here: (1) activities which apply specifically Christian principles to the public sphere, and (2) corporal works of mercy. The basis of division is not so much between heresy and schism—for there is heresy among the Churches that rejected Ephesus—but rather between separated bodies that remain organized as particular Churches, and those that are not. The Church of God is a historical entity, as shown by this text placing it in concrete history. In the decree that follows, the Council will set before all Catholics the ways and means by which they too can respond to this grace and to this divine call. In addition bilateral dialogues with almost all the Christian confessions have been initiated with the goal of promoting a better reciprocal understanding in comparing our positions and overcoming prejudices. Indeed, the Catholic Church already possesses the most perfect degree of unity, but she may nevertheless grow in extent, bringing others into communion. It is essential that this be a dialogue, where both parties respectfully hear each other instead of merely asserting what they believe. The heterodox interpretation, explicitly rejected in Article 8 of Lumen Gentium, is that the visible, hierarchical Catholic Church and the heavenly Church of Christ are two distinct entities. (UR, 1), Christ’s desire for unity is expressed explicitly in his prayer: that they all may be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. It retains the original chapter and numbering according to the actual ordered sections of the document.) With the appropriate adjustments, this principle—as we saw in preceding meditations—can also be applied to the texts of Vatican II. The decree never specifies which sects are Churches and which are Communities, yet we may apply the notion of a particular Church, used in Lumen Gentium and Orientalium Ecclesiarum, to make such a distinction. It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood. (UR, 21). Jesus Christ as Lord” (2 Cor 4:5). I believe that all the centuries-old discussion between Catholics and Protestants about faith and works has ended up making us lose the main point of the Pauline message. Unitatis Redintegratio draws out this implication explicitly, and attempts to describe what is meant by such imperfect communion. This is consistent with the Council’s emphasis on the Pope’s role as universal pastor, rather than as Latin patriarch. Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio … 9.See G. L. Prestige, God in Patristic Thought (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008), especially Chapter 13, “The Triumph of Formalism,” pp. While this caution was sound advice when dealing with those who have formally defected from the Church, it is less applicable in circumstances where non-Catholic views are held bona fide, and there is no animus toward the Catholic nor any desire to ruin his faith. W. HENN, The Hierarchy of Truths according to Yves Congar, o.p., Ed. Yet, strikingly, the Council also says the Church has not attained the fullness of catholicity proper to her. 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. Thus such liturgical actions are generally regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation. By analogy with similar expression in Lumen Gentium, we understand this unity subsists in the Catholic Church to mean that the Catholic Church is the concrete subject of the unity that characterizes Christ’s Church. All the blessings of the New Covenant are entrusted to the Apostolic College alone, headed by Peter. Yet, for the separated Christians, it is possible for unity to increase even in degree. The understanding of the doctrine of justification set forth in this Declaration shows that a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification exists between Lutherans and Catholics. Full text of Unitatis Redintegratio. Suluvan, «The Decree on Ecumenism: Presuppositions and Consequences» in One in Christ26 17). The ecumenical path after Vatican II Modern hermeneutics has familiarized us with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s principle of the “history of effects” (Wirkungsgeschichte). The progressive program of today is the embarrassing folly of tomorrow. If the unity of the disciples should be a reflection of the unity between the Father and the Son, it should be above all a unity of love, because that is the unity that reigns in the Trinity. 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. Reflection UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO This outstanding decree of the Second Vatican Council has laid down upon us some most important It makes sense if by “good works” one primarily means (as it unfortunately did in Luther’s time) indulgences, pilgrimages, fasts, votive candles, and so on. All the doctrines are linked in an organic unity, so a denial of one detracts from one’s faith in the whole. It has already declared its teaching on the Church, and now, moved by a desire for the restoration of unity among all the followers of Christ, it wishes to set before all Catholics the ways and means by which they too can respond to this grace and to this divine call. Any attempt to change or disguise traditional Catholic doctrine will only ring false to other Christian groups. The Church therefore does not tie her destiny to any of the cultural fads of the moment, but only to the divine mission permanently entrusted to her. 13.Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars [Terre des hommes], trans. Without such understanding, Catholics will find themselves talking past the other party, as the conventional formulations of belief might not address the concerns specific to a denominational tradition. By this standard, all human formulations of doctrine are deficient, since our concepts are only imperfect images of the realities they represent, and so there may be some aspects of reality that they ignore or de-emphasize. It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right [it does not rejoice in other Churches’ difficulties but rejoices in their spiritual success]. This principle is highly useful when applied to the interpretation of Scripture. The purpose of such dialogue is to gain a greater appreciation of the other’s perspective, so the obstacles to unity are more accurately perceived. 7, ed. The Council does not propose that the separated communities should content themselves with what unifying graces they have. The moral status of an act cannot be separated from intent, and the only way we can grasp the intent of other Christians is to learn something of their psychology, their cultural history, and their spiritual traditions. 1. 22 Ut Unum Sint, 38; Directory, 74; Unitatis Redintegratio, 17. It is therefore impossible for the Church’s missionary activity to be intrinsically opposed to true ecumenism, if we acknowledge that Christ wills for His Church to be one. This event arguably did more to ensure continued Greek hostility and mistrust toward Latin Christendom than any theological or canonical controversy. Since only the Catholic Church possesses this fullness of grace, as discussed above, it follows unequivocally that the Church here is the Catholic Church. 8.See Thomas Aquinas, Summa teologica, II-IIae, q. 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. The ecumenical path after Vatican II. Today I would like to show how it can be applied in particular to the Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, which is the topic of this meditation. Summary. An authentic theological renewal, therefore, would consist not in the denial of the truth of traditionally formulated teaching, but in complementing the traditional formulas with other expressions, which accentuate aspects of divine revelation that have not been fully captured or expressed by the older formulas. (UR, 4) Though such action is to be undertaken with the attentive guidance of their bishops, this is nonetheless a remarkable shift in attitude by the hierarchy. The Council recognizes that, among the diverse sects, not all are agreed that ecumenism is even a desirable endeavor. *** Union of Christians with Christ begets unity among themselves. 11.Augustine, The Answer to Faustus a Manichean, 32, 18, trans. The body of Christ is the Church, so all the baptized are in the Church, even though not all are of the Church. I believe it is well to quote the whole of this … The assertion that this salvation is received by faith and not by works is present in the text and was the most urgent thing to bring to light in Luther’s time, when it was obvious, at least in Europe, that the issue at hand was faith in Christ and the grace of Christ. . Barring some culpable personal act of unjust hostility to the Church, they may be regarded positively as Christian brethren, rather than negatively in terms of the schismatic acts of their ancestors. The new vademecum is based on John Paul’s teaching in Ut unum sint; Vatican II’s decree on ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio; and two documents produced by the Pontifical Council: the Directory for the Application of the Principles and Norms of Ecumenism (1993), and The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation of those Engaged in Pastoral Work. We have seen in the post-Conciliar era many such ill-conceived attempts, which have done nothing to create Christian unity, but on the contrary have occasioned disunity within the visible Catholic Church, as doubts arise as to what the real Catholic teaching is. Any authentic spiritual renewal must begin with an acknowledgement of sin, followed by repentance. A particular Church has a valid episcopate and Eucharist, whereby it possesses a constitution analogous to that of the Catholic Church as a whole. In this way, genuine disagreements can be distinguished from misunderstandings, and each side may explain the reasons for their position, in a fraternal and non-polemical tone. After presenting humanity in its universal state of sin and damnation in the two preceding chapters of Romans, the apostle has the unmitigated courage to proclaim that this situation has now radically changed “through the redemption which is in Christ,” “by one’s man’s obedience” (Rom 3:24, 5:19). 9:37) Jesus replies: Do not forbid him. The reason for this distinction is that virtually none of the Western groups (save the Old Catholics and related sects) have a valid Eucharist or validly ordained clergy. 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. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things [16] Second Vatican Council, Decree Unitatis redintegratio, 15.1. For example, after the Council of Ephesus, John of Antioch was reconciled to the Church by a formula of union using terms distinct from the Ephesian doctrine he had misconstrued. . I collected those meditations in a short book called “Two Lungs, One Breath,” and the title itself indicates what we are striving for and in large part has already come to pass. As an example of scandal, surely none is greater than that occasioned by the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 by Crusaders and Venetians. This practical reason is not enough, however, to bring about unity among Christians. Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) made a careful distinction between spiritual ecumenism, mainly prayer and the practice of virtue, and practical ecumenism, which actively fosters Christian reunion. Only recently, for example, has it been understood that the divisions at the heart of the Christian East between Chalcedonian Churches and the so-called Monophysite or Nestorian Churches were based on formulas and on the different meanings given to the words ousia and hypostasis that do not affect the substance of the doctrine. Instead of boasting of the greater graces they have received, Catholics should humble themselves to engage other Christians as equals. Description: An introduction to the historical context and theology of the ecumenical movement. The community of salvation is the Church, so these salvific liturgical actions are evidence of communion with the one Church and participation in her unique mission of salvation. We also need to take into account the influences the text itself has exercised. Our small group of Catholics led by their local bishop also processed down a street praying. 3.Raniero Cantalamessa, Due polmoni, un unico respiro: Oriente e Occidente di fronte ai grandi misteri della fede [Two Lungs, One Breath: East and West Before the Great Mysteries of Faith] (Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2015). Northampton service; Book Reviews; Books. This consideration can be found in Catholic teaching well before the Council, but only now does it receive the prominence it deserves. In practice, however, many Christians do not acknowledge this jurisdiction, and have broken communion with the Catholic Church to varying degrees. They are extremely opportune days of reflection and prayer to remind Christians that the restoration of full unity among them, according to the will of Jesus, involves every baptized person, both pastors as well as the faithful (see "Unitatis Redintegratio," No. Summary of Unitatis Redintegratio on Shaun McAfee | (The following is a summary of Unitatis Redintegratio, of the Second Vatican Council. In its conclusion it says, 1. The Council hopes that unity will continue to increase, suggesting it has already been increasing. Before praying the Angelus on Sunday, 21 January, the Holy Father continued his reflections on the documents of the Second Vatican Council with a meditation on the Decree. . 23 Cf Unitatis Redintegratio, 11. Let us recall St. Paul’s hymn to charity. On the other hand, the Church is prevented from attaining the fullness of catholicity. Most notably, the Council applies the words of Matthew 18:20, a verse traditionally applied to the Church, to the bond between Catholic and non-Catholic. Go back to The Vatican II Revolution 1. The Council now turns to addressing relations with specific classes of separated Christians, distinguishing two main types of division. Tutti i diritti riservati. (John 17: 21) Through the Eucharist, the unity of His Church is both signified and made a reality. 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. © 2012 Daniel J. Castellano. This obstacle is particularly apparent in relation to the churches of the Reformation. Modern hermeneutics has familiarized us with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s principle of the “history of effects” (Wirkungsgeschichte). This withholding of grace was due to the sin of receiving a sacrament against the Church’s prohibition. (Catechism of Trent, The Creed, Article IX) The Catholic Church is clearly universal in this visible sense, but also in a deeper sense of containing all the faithful who have existed from Adam to the present day, or who shall exist, in the profession of the true faith, to the end of time. This exclusivist claim for the Catholic Church does not come out of nowhere, but is consistent with all previous Catholic teaching, as well as that of Lumen Gentium. The baptized are really incorporated into the Church on some level, and so by the same token the Church has a responsibility for all Christians. 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. deutsche fassung 04 - 03.10.2005. inhalt ♦ erste generalkongregation (montag, 3. oktober 2005, vormittag) ♦ mitteilungen ♦ erste generalkongregation (montag, 3. Even the most Catholic of these communities, that of the Anglicans, is characterized solely as a Communion. 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. (UR, 1), The above account of ecumenism describes the perspective of separated Christians, since the ecumenical movement existed only among Protestants prior to the Council. Obviously they are not identical, yet the official formulas of doctrine are guaranteed to be free from error, so they cannot be deficient in the sense of being erroneous. Unitatis Redintegratio. He sends his Spirit and his charisms, often with the identical external manifestations, on believers of quite different churches, including those whose beliefs we had thought were the furthest from ours. Beide Dokumente des Konzils gehören dabei unlösbar zusammen, wie bereits ein Blick in die Geschichte ihrer Entstehung zeigt. Here the Council undoubtedly has in mind, first and foremost, the valid Eucharist found among the Orthodox, which surely is not without salvific benefit. It is an altogether different operation, consisting of real dialogue on equal terms without predetermined outcomes. Top positive review. Yet at the same time the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. We must keep in mind that being in communion is a much more intimate relation than mere association or similarity. Catholics, or Christians more generally, may disagree as to the most effective or moral means of addressing social problems, but they are not permitted to ignore them as something extraneous to their religious duty. (UR, 19) Nonetheless, the Council hopes to facilitate and encourage ecumenical dialogue by setting forth some considerations. 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. The final outcome of the document is taken from the view of non-Catholics perspectives of other Christians convert. The prominence it deserves steht Papst Benedikt heute zu seiner Entscheidung,?! Extraordinary thing about this PATH to unity among Christians - Reflections on Unitatis Redintegratio 11Mar05 Anglicans, is a entity... 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