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

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Fr. Hunwicke, at his blog Liturgical Notes has begun a series to explore the significance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for the Anglican Ordinariates to be established under Anglicanorum Coetibus. He begins the series:

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus says the the CCC will be the doctrinal standard of the Ordinariates. Nicholas Lash has drawn attention to the unusual nature of this provision; whatever one may think of the gentleman concerned, he has raised a significant question.

I know of no other grouping within the Roman Unity which, apparently, has its own doctrinal standard; not even the 'uniate' Churches with their sense of a distinct theological - as well as liturgical - inheritance. Everybody else is expected to adhere to the doctrine of the Magisterium, in accordance with the the degree of solemnity with which a particular matter has been proposed. For example, decrees of doctrinal Ecumenical Councils and ex cathedra pronouncements of the Roman Pontiff are to accepted as a matter of divine faith; pronouncements of 'pastoral' Councils, and of the Roman Pontiff when not speaking ex cathedra, are to be given lesser degrees of assent or 'religious respect', according to their respective status. I venture to point out that discussions about the authority of documents from Vatican II are happening at the moment between the Holy See and SSPX, and that respectable theologians, not excluding Joseph Ratzinger writing as a private theologian, have detected nuances within this question.

I contend that the status given to CCC in Anglicanorum coetibus is not in fact different from the status it has been declared to have in all the other particular churches in full communion with the See of Peter...

Read the rest of his first posting in The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1) and his followup today in The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2)

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