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

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ecumenism and the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Fr Aidan Nichols, in an address to Forward in Faith in 2002, spoke of the Anglican Establishment ("The ecumenical conversations between this Anglicanism and the Catholic Church will inevitably be long and arduous") and added:
" There is another Anglicanism, more restricted in size but at the same time more compact and coherent in doctrinal outlook and sacramental practice. ... This is an Anglicanism which looks to pre-Reformation Christendom, to the apostolic See of the West and, further afield, to those of the East. It is an Anglicanism that has already received much from the Latin Catholic inheritance, liturgically and otherwise. It is an Anglicanism too that has often nurtured the hope of restoring union with the patriarchal church of the West from which it was sundered.

"This, I might add, should be on the understanding that the church of Peter and Paul does not wish the West to breathe without the East, without that 'other lung' in the metaphor of the Dominican ecclesiologist Yves Congar. 'The other lung' is a phrase which [Pope John Paul II] often repeated, and indeed turned into action, not least in the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, much of which, as has been said, reads as if written in Constantinople. With this other Anglicanism the ecumenical journey is, by any reasonable assessment, shorter and more secure"...

Read the rest at Fr. Hunwicke's blog Liturgical Notes.

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