How can we reconcile this with the modern interfaith religious service ?
I would say include all the Apostolic Churches, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and the Assyraians, since we share the Liturgies with them.
But Protestants? I would say in a limited way, but then it wouldn’t quantify into “true worship”. I always feel that Protestants do a few things very well, but miss the entire picture. My cousin belongs to the Evangelical Alliance Church, and they are very good with charity and mission work. Its amazing when she talks about how much money they raise and how much contribution the members give in. And this is just one church, they don’t really work together with their other communities in the same sense that parishes within a Catholic Archdiocese or Eparcy would.
But, the also miss out on the other important aspects of spiritual life. They got one thing right and they do it very well, but they don’t have many other things.
Of course the 20-something Catholic Churches are included.
I see this as an example of both/and not either/or.
Just as there are different kinds of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication) – not all of which have to be included each time we pray – there are different kinds of worship (Mass/Divine Liturgy which fulfills the Sunday obligation, and “modern interfaith religious service” which does not).
I would think the answer is that this:
(I)t is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it . . .
is not a statement of the faith but a merely prudential opinion which can be superseded in light of the subsequent realization that there are additional things we can do to promote the union of Christians. I don’t recall hearing about big waves of conversions from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1928, but I definitely recall hearing about virulent anti-Catholicism. Maybe it was decided that yelling, “You heretics! Submit!”, while true, is not in reality the “only” way of promoting unity or the return of Protestants to the Church, and can in fact be counter-productive by contributing to mutual hatreds.
And now we just have religious indifference. You can not honour God by worshipping in a manner contrary to how He has revealed. It’s simple. The Liturgy is for His glory not for us to hold hands and make friends. I understand that good will is needed before doctrinal talks commence, but this is certainly not the way to do it.
Maybe our modern notion and these awful ecumenical services - which are usually merely protestant as all distinctive Catholic teachings are ignored - will be ‘superseded’ once we realise how foolish we have been.
It seems to me that there is no need to reconcile this statement with modern Catholic ecumenical sensitivities. As has been pointed out, this was not a dogmatic statement, but the pastoral opinion of that Pope. As a pastoral opinion it cannot be binding on that Pope’s successors and can also be overruled by an Ecumenical Council (or even a general synod of the Latin bishops).
We must also be careful when we speak of modern ecumenism, in the same way that we must be careful when we speak of the “modern” Mass. When we say ecumenism, are we speaking of ecumenism as was envisioned by Vatican II and the clarifications that came from the various Roman Congregations as well as the Magisterium after the Council? Or are we speaking of the abuses in ecumenism that have gone on in the Church in the name of the Council?
My apologies. You said “modern inter-faith religious services” not ecumenism.
I’d say you have to distinguish between the various Eastern and Oriental Orthodox services and Protestant services. Catholics are, of course, permitted to attend and participate in the Orthodox services, and even to receive Communion there in cases of necessity and provided the parish priest will allow them. This is because the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches are seen as “churches” in the fullest sense of the word by the Catholic Church. The Orthodox are not heretics, and it’s hardly fair to call them schismatics. They share with us the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Sadly, however, we exist in a state of schism from one another, not them from us.
I can’t really speak to the issue of the Protestant denominations without repeating what has already been said by others.
But we are called witness our Faith, and we were told we would be hated by Christ.
With parishes closing and merging, I don’t think the new ecumenical effort is working. What Christian group is most attacked in the media ? Anti-Catholicism is as rampant today as ever.
I’m talking about praying with heretics and pagans.
It’s tied in with ecumenism. But, instead of ecumenism of return, it seems the new efforts have been one sided, and it seems it’s fruit is appeasement.
I’m not saying the Church sees this as acceptable, or there is ill will. Nor do I propose the Church has caved. I just don’t think it’s working. It is the gathering of laity with non-Catholics that seems the danger, imo.
There is a history of reaching out though
Perhaps you’re right… :shrug: Personally I think ecumenism in and of itself has little if anything to do with Catholics falling away from the Faith. In my experience this “mass exodus” as I’ve heard it called is the result of the baby-boomer generation not being raised to fully live and appreciate their faith. This lukewarmness they then passed on to the next generation. The fact of the matter is that we live in a society, as you well know, that is hostile to Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular (I’m sure they’d be just as hostile to Orthodoxy if Orthodoxy was as prominent in the West as it is in the East). Throughout the history of the Church any time the state was hostile to the Church the lukewarm and those ignorant of the Faith are always the first to jump ship. Really I see nothing new going on today that hasn’t also been a huge problem in the past. The Apostolic, post-Apostolic and Patristic periods of the Church saw as many if not more heresies, schisms and apostasies as we are seeing today. We must also not limit our view of the modern Catholic Church to post-babyboomer America. Remember that in such countries as Africa Catholicism is not only alive and well, but it is very much on the rise. Do we have a crisis of faith in the U.S. and Western European countries? Yes, of course. But this crisis is not necessarily world-wide. There are pockets of hope.
This attitude seems to espouse the idea (which is false) that our Protestant brethren are not Christian. Provided that they have been baptized in the Trinitarian formula with the intent to baptize, Protestants are indeed in the Body of Christ. Ecumenism and inter-faith services (though not truly worship in the strictest sense) can be used to build bridges in order to repait the damage of 500 years of mistrust and animosity. Would you suggest we return to the days of not even speaking to Protestants unless the purpose is to evangelize? I was brought into the Church by a friend who is a faithful Catholic. Had she not extended the hand of friendship, but merely tried to evangelize, I may have never entered the Church. It is alsoi not correct to call a Protestant a “Heretic.” Heretics must first be in the institutional Church and then obstinately embrace a false teaching. I do not see why Catholics ans other people of good will cannot work together, regardless of their belief systems, for the common good.
since liturgy, the public prayer of the Church, is not a “modern interfaith religious service” to what can you be referring?
Gatherings with those of other faiths where the Mass is not prayed, but rather a general prayer service.
I mean that I think even the non-Catholic Apostolic Churches do have the truth because they carry the same deposit of faith passed down by the Apostles.
Since the Catholic Church has the sure dispository on Truth it will be good to attend these interfaith services so that people who have not the fullness of Truth as contained in the Catholic Church can meet someone like you. We are not to keep the Truth to ourselves. These interfaith meetings can give witness and contacts. Remember John Paul II and the Assisi gatherings which he initiated. This is what every Catholic and even us Orthodox can do. We can imitate the Holy Father and bridge people together so that they can trust themselves to what the Truth has revealed to us. Contacts are very important and His Holiness John Paul II has given us the example to imitate.
I think you’re onto something.
If leading souls toward eternal salvation is still a goal of the Body of Christ on Earth, the Catholic Church will do well to resolve its differences with the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches before putting one more rebel-Christian-with-an-ax-to-grind through an RCIA program - or heaven forbid - a Catholic seminary.
Authentic Christian communities of both Eastern and Western patrimony should immediately find common ground and present a unified front on as many theological issues as possible. Full political unification is not necessary or even desirable. Nor is a common liturgy. Forcing a Modernized or otherwise Protestantized liturgy on an established community with documented apostolic succession - is a grave sin - and should be declared anathema from the start.
Only when genuine Christians can stand shoulder-to-shoulder for Christ - and against Satan - should we go about the critical task of catechizing and converting [in that order] members of other “faith communities” who wish to be admitted to the one, holy, catholic, apostolic church - established by Christ - here on earth.
Great post. Foolish is the right word here. I just dont know how we got where we are today. Mixed faith, of course they are going to create a whole new faith, one that they all can agree on. they reject everything else that stands on the way of their friendship.
I will never take protestantism for granted. they are in error and will lead anyone who adheres to them in the same path. I have witness Catholics being hatefull towards other Catholics to defend protestants. Very sad indeed.