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, December 17, 2010

The Holy Spirit, the Pastoral Provision and Christian unity

On Dec. 3, I had the privilege of ordaining Dennis Garrou, a married former Episcopal priest, to the sacred order of deacons for the Archdiocese of Denver. God willing, Deacon Garrou will be ordained a Catholic priest in May.

All this is made possible by a “Pastoral Provision” implemented by Pope John Paul II in 1980. In its own small way this special occasion fulfills one of the main goals of Vatican II—Christian unity. As the first sentence in the Decree on Ecumenism says, “The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.”

The importance of Christian unity cannot be emphasized enough, because Jesus Christ founded one Church and one Church only. This is not just a matter of faith, but of historical fact. The divisions that have occurred over the centuries are a sad testimony to the Fall and the effects of original sin. The separation of Christians from each other is contrary to God’s will, a wound to Christ’s body and a scandal to the outside world. It is like the amputation of limbs from a body, or divorce and the breakup of a family...

Read the rest at the Denver Catholic Register.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller

No comments:

Post a Comment