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philipmarus

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More Ecumenism
« on: September 28, 2005, 04:44:PM »

Catholic Church must be more conciliar, ecumenists say

By Jerry Filteau
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- If the papacy is to be exercised in a way that serves Christian unity better, the Catholic Church must become more conciliar, with broader participation at all levels in church governance, several ecumenists said at forum Sept. 26 at Georgetown University.

"Hierarchy without conciliarity is tyranny. ... Conciliarity without hierarchy is anarchy," said Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, a veteran ecumenist and dean emeritus of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y.

The forum, convened by the Woodstock Theological Center to mark the 30th anniversary of its founding at Georgetown, was titled "Re-envisioning the Papacy."

The ecumenical scholars were responding to the 1995 invitation of the late Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical on Christian unity, asking church leaders and theologians to "engage in a patient and fraternal dialogue" about new ways papal primacy could be exercised that would make the pope's ministry more effective in advancing Christian unity.

Episcopal Bishop Mark Dyer, a theology professor at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., and former bishop of Bethlehem, Pa., stressed the fundamental notion of the church as koinonia, or communion, reflecting in the life of the church the divine communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Viewed that way, "each member of the church is gifted by God's spirit," he said, and he would see the pope as one who "intentionally lifts up all people's gifts."

"Lay people should have a place at the table" in all levels of church decision-making, he said, and the papacy should "respect synodical life at every level" -- parish, diocese, regional or national and global.

"A universal primacy requires universal synodality at every level," he said.

Participants used conciliarity and synodality interchangeably to express various forms of councils in which laity, deacons and priests as well as bishops would have a say in church affairs.

The Rev. Scott Ickert, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, Va., and a member of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, said the fundamental Lutheran position is summarized in one sentence in the 1974 U.S. Lutheran-Catholic joint statement on papal primacy: "The one thing necessary, from the Lutheran point of view, is that papal primacy be so structured and interpreted that it clearly serve the Gospel and the unity of the church of Christ, and that its exercise of power not subvert Christian freedom."

Lutherans have a problem with "the extent of papal jurisdiction, the reach of the papacy" because they see it undermining the Christian freedom of local churches, he said.

Putting it in terms of the Second Vatican Council's discussion of the authority of the college of bishops in union with the pope, Rev. Ickert asked, "To what degree does collegiality exist in the Catholic Church in reality?"

He said that papal primacy would be less of an obstacle to unity, for example, if local churches had "greater freedom in the selection of bishops."

Protopresbyter Hopko said, "The pope is the de facto leader of the Christian world. He is the Dalai Lama of Christianity."

He said the Orthodox today "would affirm more than ever" the need for a single leader of world Christianity," but in Orthodox thinking "there is no bishop of bishops. Every bishop is 'servus servorum Dei' (the servant of the servants of God, one of the titles held by the pope)."

Conventual Franciscan Father John J. Burkhard, a theology professor and acting president of Washington Theological Union presented a list of "practical suggestions" that could advance ecumenical relations and make the exercise of the papacy less an obstacle to Christian unity. They included:

-- Regular meetings of the pope with the patriarchs of the Orthodox world.

-- Inserting the names of the bishop of Rome and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople in the eucharistic prayers.

-- "A broader process of electing the bishop of Rome."

-- Reform of the process of selecting bishops.

-- Abolishing the "ad limina" visits, trips that bishops who head a diocese must make to Rome every five years to give the pope and Vatican officials detailed reports on the state of their diocese.

-- Strengthening the teaching authority of bishops' conferences and giving them authority over things such as the adaptation of the liturgy to their culture.

Ann K. Riggs, director of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches, spoke to the forum not from her personal stance as a Quaker but as a theologian articulating the faith perspectives that Pentecostals, Baptists, evangelicals and others outside the mainline ecumenical churches bring to questions of papal primacy.

"The conceptual traditions of the Catholic Church are almost incomprehensible" to members of those churches, she said. She noted, for example, that while the Orthodox and mainline Protestants can understand the notion of "the sacramentlike quality of the church," that language is alien to Baptists and Reformed Christians, who refer even to baptism and Eucharist as "ordinances," not sacraments.

One problem facing those who approach the notion of church in terms of the local congregation, she said, is finding ways for those congregations to do mission together. If the bishop of Rome can act in ways that help the churches talk about and do mission together, it would mean something to those churches, she said.

Moderating the forum was theologian Monika K. Hellwig, who taught at Georgetown for more than 30 years and is now a research fellow at Woodstock Theological Center.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0505465.htm

 

I am in the process of read The Great Facade and many things in this article trouble me greatly especially what I highlighted in Red. As someone who whose extended family is almost exclusively Dispensational Fundamentalist, the Idea of giving ground on Sacraments to these groups is unthinkable to me.

Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything in the U.S.S.A

DominusTecum

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2005, 04:56:PM »

Q: When did the Catholic Church institute the concept of adaptation, reform, and ecumenical activity to foster 'Christian unity?'

 

A: The Church began these reforms after the Second Vatican Council, so that, by diluting her faith, she might participate in the heresies of the liberal protestant sects, and Her divine light might be extinguished, if that were possible.


InquisitorGeneralis

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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2005, 05:00:PM »
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- If the papacy is to be exercised in a way that  serves Christian unity better, the Catholic Church must become more  conciliar, with broader participation at all levels in church  governance, several ecumenists said at forum Sept. 26 at Georgetown  University.
 


"Hierarchy  without conciliarity is tyranny. ... Conciliarity without hierarchy is  anarchy," said Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, a veteran ecumenist and  dean emeritus of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in  Crestwood, N.Y.

 


 

 

Quote from: Inquisitor  Generalis
He has somewhat of a point. The only problem in regard to  ecumenism w/the Orthodox is that the papacy is a double edged sword. On  the one hand, the official magisterium is a lot closer to what the  Orthodox believe than what most Catholics believe. On the other hand,  b/c the Orthodox object so strongly to the papacy, cracking down on  dissidents would turn the Orthodox against us, too. So we're kinda in  between a rock and a hard place there, sparky!
 

 


  The forum, convened by the Woodstock Theological Center to mark the  30th anniversary of its founding at Georgetown, was titled "Re-envisioning the Papacy."

The  ecumenical scholars were responding to the 1995 invitation of the late  Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical on Christian unity, asking church  leaders and theologians to "engage in a patient and fraternal dialogue"  about new ways papal primacy could be exercised that would make the  pope's ministry more effective in advancing Christian unity.

Episcopal  Bishop Mark Dyer, a theology professor at Virginia Theological Seminary  in Alexandria, Va., and former bishop of Bethlehem, Pa., stressed the  fundamental notion of the church as koinonia, or communion, reflecting  in the life of the church the divine communion of the Father, Son and  Holy Spirit.

Viewed that way, "each member of the church is  gifted by God's spirit," he said, and he would see the pope as one who  "intentionally lifts up all people's gifts."

"Lay  people should have a place at the table" in all levels of church  decision-making, he said, and the papacy should "respect synodical life  at every level" -- parish, diocese, regional or national and global.

"A universal primacy requires universal synodality at every level," he said.

Participants  used conciliarity and synodality interchangeably to express various  forms of councils in which laity, deacons and priests as well as  bishops would have a say in church affairs.

The Rev. Scott  Ickert, pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, Va., and a  member of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, said the fundamental  Lutheran position is summarized in one sentence in the 1974 U.S.  Lutheran-Catholic joint statement on papal primacy: "The one thing  necessary, from the Lutheran point of view, is that papal primacy be so  structured and interpreted that it clearly serve the Gospel and the  unity of the church of Christ, and that its exercise of power not  subvert Christian freedom."

Lutherans have a problem with "the  extent of papal jurisdiction, the reach of the papacy" because they see  it undermining the Christian freedom of local churches, he said.

Putting  it in terms of the Second Vatican Council's discussion of the authority  of the college of bishops in union with the pope, Rev. Ickert asked,  "To what degree does collegiality exist in the Catholic Church in  reality?"

He said that papal primacy would be less of an  obstacle to unity, for example, if local churches had "greater freedom  in the selection of bishops."

Protopresbyter Hopko said, "The pope is the de facto leader of the Christian world. He is the Dalai Lama of Christianity."

He  said the Orthodox today "would affirm more than ever" the need for a  single leader of world Christianity," but in Orthodox thinking "there  is no bishop of bishops. Every bishop is 'servus servorum Dei' (the  servant of the servants of God, one of the titles held by the pope)."

Conventual  Franciscan Father John J. Burkhard, a theology professor and acting  president of Washington Theological Union presented a list of  "practical suggestions" that could advance ecumenical relations and  make the exercise of the papacy less an obstacle to Christian unity.  They included:

-- Regular meetings of the pope with the patriarchs of the Orthodox world.

-- Inserting the names of the bishop of Rome and the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople in the eucharistic prayers.

-- "A broader process of electing the bishop of Rome."

-- Reform of the process of selecting bishops.

-- Abolishing  the "ad limina" visits, trips that bishops who head a diocese must make  to Rome every five years to give the pope and Vatican officials  detailed reports on the state of their diocese.

-- Strengthening  the teaching authority of bishops' conferences and giving them  authority over things such as the adaptation of the liturgy to their  culture.

Ann K. Riggs, director of the Faith and Order  Commission of the National Council of Churches, spoke to the forum not  from her personal stance as a Quaker but as a theologian articulating  the faith perspectives that Pentecostals, Baptists, evangelicals and  others outside the mainline ecumenical churches bring to questions of  papal primacy.

"The conceptual traditions  of the Catholic Church are almost incomprehensible" to members of those  churches, she said. She noted, for example, that while the Orthodox and  mainline Protestants can understand the notion of "the sacramentlike  quality of the church," that language is alien to Baptists and Reformed  Christians, who refer even to baptism and Eucharist as "ordinances,"  not sacraments.

 

 
 
Quote from: Inquisitor Generalis
Most of these sects, especially the Baptist  ones, have been around all of two days! And none of the Deformed sects  go back any more than 500 years. If the language is "alien" to them,  it's of their own doing. It's their own fault for not looking into the  history of the Church and looking at how Christianity has been  practiced in other times and other places. These ppl have put their  brains in a box.


 
 

 

One  problem facing those who approach the notion of church in terms of the  local congregation, she said, is finding ways for those congregations  to do mission together. If the bishop of Rome can act in ways that help  the churches talk about and do mission together, it would mean  something to those churches, she said.

Moderating the forum was  theologian Monika K. Hellwig, who taught at Georgetown for more than 30  years and is now a research fellow at Woodstock Theological Center.


DominusTecum

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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2005, 05:03:PM »

You said what I was thinking. They went there, not us. When one rescues somebody from a pool of quicksand, they do it by helping the other climb out, not by diving in with them so they can drown together.

 

 


kjvail

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More Ecumenism
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2005, 05:10:PM »

Quote
"Lay people should have a place at the table" in all levels of church decision-making, he said, and the papacy should "respect synodical life at every level" -- parish, diocese, regional or national and global.

 

The day the Church becomes a demcracy is the day before Christ returns because it's over folks.... our goose is cooked.

 

Pax Tecum,
Kevin V.

"I am a converted pagan living among apostate puritans"
- C.S. Lewis

"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing,