The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Missionary Martyr Spirit

Fr. Longenecker continues his reflections on Pope Benedict's initiative to Anglicans:
What is going to be required for Benedict XVI's Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans to succeed?

First and foremost, I believe that what is required is a 'paradigm shift' on the part of Anglicans. Very often Rome is perceived as ossified, inflexible, unimaginative and legalistic. Both Pope John Paul II ("Be generous to these men.") and now Pope Benedict XVI have been exactly the opposite. They have put together daring initiatives. They have stepped out in faith and made amazingly generous offers. They've taken risks for the unity of the Church. As the successor of Peter and the focus of unity this is part of their job and they have taken it very seriously.

Now we await the response of Anglicans. There are going to be huge difficulties for many, and this is where the paradigm shift is necessary. There are two seismic shifts in understanding that will be required for many. The first of these is a fresh missionary spirit. Instead of seeing themselves as members of an established, educated and well financed church Anglican clergy and people who hold to the historic faith will need to re-imagine themselves as primarily a missionary people...

Read the rest at his blog Standing on My Head.

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