CCC,832 to 849 - Is This ECUMENISM?


#1

In at least two other threads Ecumenism was discussed with intense interest. What seemed to be missing at times, was a focus on just what the Vatican has put forth reguarding this activity.

Since we Catholics have no control over nonCatholic Ecumenism could we restrict ourselves to an “educational” thread which describes Catholic Ecumenism? Some questions I have are:

  1. Is Catholic Ecumenism restricted to Catholics, and does it extend to the Eastern Catholics?
  2. On another thread a Protestant said that Protestants think that Catholic Ecumenism actually is to evangelize all nonCatholic and make the entire world Catholic. Is that true?
  3. What effects were the result of Vatican II? Did Vatican II change the Catechism?

#2

[quote=Exporter]In at least two other threads Ecumenism was discussed with intense interest. What seemed to be missing at times, was a focus on just what the Vatican has put forth reguarding this activity.

Since we Catholics have no control over nonCatholic Ecumenism could we restrict ourselves to an “educational” thread which describes Catholic Ecumenism? Some questions I have are:

  1. Is Catholic Ecumenism restricted to Catholics, and does it extend to the Eastern Catholics?
    [/quote]

The answer to this is a most definite yes. The Holy Father has specifically asked the Eastern Catholic Churches to be “bridges” to the Orthodox. So, yes, we are included. BTW, Eastern Catholics are Catholics so you created a false dichotomy (probably unitentionally). What you might have said is “Is Catholic Ecumenism restricted to Roman Catholics, or does it extend to Eastern Catholics?”

  1. On another thread a Protestant said that Protestants think that Catholic Ecumenism actually is to evangelize all nonCatholic and make the entire world Catholic. Is that true?

There are two components to the Catholic understanding of Ecumenism. The first is to establish a common working vocabulary that allows us to dialog about what we hold in common and what separates us. Clearly the goal is reunification of the Protestant Churches or reunion with the Orthodox Churches.

  1. What effects were the result of Vatican II? Did Vatican II change the Catechism?

No, Vatican II did not change the Catechism.

Deacon Ed


#3

That’s not what I said. I said that some Protestants think this. I’m sorry I didn’t make my meaning clearer. If you go back and look at Crusader’s post at the beginning of the now closed thread, you’ll see that he regarded ecumenism as proceeding from the assumption that all religions (let alone all churches) are equal, so that presumably all churches/religions will give up many of their distinctive positions in order to arrive at some kind of syncretistic mish-mash, or alternatively will simply acknowledge one another as fully valid as they are. I was simply trying to say that yes, there are Protestants whose idea of ecumenism is something like this (although the best and most renowned ecumenical theologians have a very different approach and one much more compatible with Catholicism). And these Protestants don’t trust Catholicism. In other words, I was trying to reassure you and Crusader and other concerned Catholics, that from the point of view of those who do maintain the kind of ecumenism Crusader was attacking it certainly does not look like Catholicism is caving in to that kind of ecumenism.

I hope my meaning is a bit clearer now. As I understand it, Catholics do of course want the whole world to become Catholic–but the point of ecumenism is that this can come about through dialogue and understanding, not necessarily just through individual conversion. Both Catholics and non-Catholics must be open to repentance and a deeper conversion to Christ and his truth, but obviously from a Catholic point of view this can’t involve contradicting any of the dogmas of the Church. It may, however, involve a fuller understanding of the truth, just as has occurred numerous times in the course of the development of Catholic doctrine.

That is my understanding of the orthodox Catholic view of ecumenism. Any comments?

In Christ,

Edwin


#4

[quote=Contarini]That is my understanding of the orthodox Catholic view of ecumenism. Any comments?
[/quote]

A very informative article: Vatican II & Ecumenism: What did the Council Really Say? (By Pete Vere, JCL) (entire artticle available at posted link; excerpted below)

The Spirit of Ecumenical Dialogue
"… They believe ecumenical dialogue waters down the Church’s doctrine and must necessarily lead to the heresy of religious indifferentism (the idea that differences in religion are essentially unimportant). A few even argue that ecumenism itself is heresy. They think ecumenism must necessarily entail a watering down of the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching that she alone is the Church founded by Christ — that she alone is the Ark of Salvation under the New Covenant…"

In making such charges, these individuals fail to take into account the Church’s perennial Tradition. Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on reconciliation and penance, both addresses and clarifies where the Church stands concerning ecumenical dialogue. In fact, the Holy Father goes beyond mere ecumenical dialogue to include all dialogue in which the Church presently engages with the purpose of bringing about true reconciliation among people.

"…First of all, Pope John Paul addresses the concern that ecumenical dialogue is being used to propagate religious indifferentism. He reiterates that dialogue “can never begin from an attitude of indifference to the truth.” He reminds Christians never to approach ecumenical dialogue with an indifference towards the truth.

In this way the Holy Father authoritatively closes the door to the possible false usage, or abuse, of ecumenical dialogue. He then reiterates the Second Vatican Council’s Catholic principles governing the Church’s involvement in ecumenical dialogue. He explains that all dialogue in which the Church is engaged, including that with our separated brethren, “must begin from a presentation of truth…”

COUNCIL OF TRENT
If we accept the Council of Trent as an authentic expression of Catholic Tradition (as Catholics are obliged to do), then such objections fail to take into account Catholic Tradition. For in the documents of Trent’s thirteenth session, we read:

The sacred and holy, general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost … grants, as far as regards the holy Synod itself, to all and each one throughout the whole of Germany, whether ecclesiastics or seculars, of whatsoever degree, estate, condition, quality they be, who may wish to repair to this ecumenical and general Council, the public faith and full security, which they call a safe-conduct … so as that they may and shall have it in their power in all liberty to confer, make proposals, and treat on those things which are to be treated of in the said Synod; to come freely and safely to the said ecumenical Council, and there remain and abide, and propose therein, as well in writing as by word of mouth, as many articles as to them shall seem good, and to confer and dispute, without any abuse or contumely, with the Fathers, or with those who may have been selected by the said holy Synod; as also to withdraw whensoever they shall think fit.
We should make several important observations here.
First, the Council of Trent both invited and offered safe passage to Protestants who wished to come and participate at this ecumenical council.

Second, Trent invited Protestants of all social and ecclesiastical rank to share their theological views, propose topics for debate, and generally participate in the daily affairs of this ecumenical council.

Third, Trent allowed Protestants to withdraw at any time.
Finally, Trent invited Protestants to be more than simply observers.
Clearly, at Trent the Church issued an invitation to ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants. And since Lutheranism enveloped most of the German nation around the time of the council, this invitation was much broader than the invitation extended to a handful of Protestant theologians at Vatican II. Trent even permitted the Protestants attending the Council a greater level of participation than was allowed to the Protestant theologians observing Vatican II…"

envoymagazine.com/backissues/article.asp?ID=210


#5

THANK YOU HagiaSophia for posting. I will copy two paragraphs.
The Spirit of Ecumenical Dialogue
"… They believe ecumenical dialogue waters down the Church’s doctrine and must necessarily lead to the heresy of religious indifferentism (the idea that differences in religion are essentially unimportant). A few even argue that ecumenism itself is heresy. They think ecumenism must necessarily entail a watering down of the Catholic Church’s traditional teaching that she alone is the Church founded by Christ — that she alone is the Ark of Salvation under the New Covenant…"

In making such charges, these individuals fail to take into account the Church’s perennial Tradition. Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on reconciliation and penance, both addresses and clarifies where the Church stands concerning ecumenical dialogue. In fact, the Holy Father goes beyond mere ecumenical dialogue to include all dialogue in which the Church presently engages with the purpose of bringing about true reconciliation among people."


The more I learn…the less I know. Sometimes I feel like the proverbial “bump” on the log.

  1. Am I correct in my reading that the Pope was talking to the Cardinals & Bishops AND NOT to the layity?
  2. Is JP II talking to what I percieve as Liberals and Conservatives within the Magesterium? ( Who is in the majority - Liberals or Conservatives?)

Again, the more I think I know, the more I think that I don’t know.


#6

#7

[quote=Exporter]T
Again, the more I think I know, the more I think that I don’t know.
[/quote]

Have you read this?

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=35288


#8

Surely the correct definition of Ecumenism in the Catholic Church should be between the Pope and the Patriarchs of churches in communion with Rome. The definition of who is in the Ecumenae is simply who would be present if the Pope called an Ecumenical Council - i.e. himself as Patriarch of the West and the Patriarchs of the Eastern Rites.

Dialogue with invalid or schismatic churches is certainly allowed, but this is properly understood as inter-religious dialogue, and not Ecumenism per se.

Am I wrong here?


#9

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