always that feeling

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 23, 2004

The C of E's Church Times discusses the Pope's recent remarks on the challenge of ecclesial unity:

Referring to ecumenical relations, the Pope said that many misunderstandings of the past had been overcome. But he went on: "Many stumbling-blocks are still scattered along the path." He referred to differences on matters of faith, particularly the nature of the Church and its ministers. In addition, he said, "new problems, especially in the area of ethics", had created new divisions, or at least prevented a common witness. But he urged Christians to continue to work for the unity that Jesus had desired for his disciples.

To my ear, the Pope's remarks read as if, prior to delivery, they'd been sent through the Vatican diplomatic laundry several times, so that the curial ecumenists might remove any language with the remotest chance of giving offense. It didn't work.

Bishop Flack, who is also the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Holy See, said on Wednesday that he had not been at the Saturday-night service. He had, however, heard concern about the Pope's remarks. "The remarks may have been aimed at us, and there is always that feeling that we wish they had not been said. But, generally speaking, the tone of relations with the Roman Catholic Church here is very good, and has been much warmer since the publication of the Windsor report."

So what does this augur for the prospects of reunion? "There is always that feeling that we wish they had not been said." Can't see a lot of openness there.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 23, 2004 2:08 PM ET USA

    You see this is what happens when we're not clear in our speech, when we don't call a spade, a spade - as it were. When we were the One, True, Church (we were, weren't we?) there was no doubt where we - and assorted heretics and schismatics - stood. The faithful and the confused, sheep and goats, right hand and left hand... Now we are all one big persuasion with minor 'differences of opinion'. Mere details. No worries - God can sort it out. Prayers pro perfidis Judaeis anyone..?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 23, 2004 11:38 AM ET USA

    The problem is true unity is based on Truth, who is a person. If you don't know the Truth or don't believe the Truth, then you can't teach It, identify It, or even set a course for It. That means that you never know when you get There, and thus any depression in the sand can be made to suffice. So the modern bishops (that would be most of the existing ones, both Catholic and non-Catholic), who are charged with teaching the Truth don the mantle of politically correct Don Quixotes, religiously.