Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Ratzinger & Ecumenism

From Light of the East, newsletter of the Youngstown SSJC Chapter for May-June 2012

Much of Ratzinger’s approach to ecumenism evidences a concern to avoid relativist tendencies. Aidan Nichols attributes to Ratzinger the aim of experiencing separated confessions becoming authentic, concrete embodiments of the Church. To be coupled with this is Ratzinger’s clear assertion that theological, liturgical and spiritual uniformity of expression are not his intention, nor the rejection of one’s own faith history. To Ratzinger, an expression of a relativist tendency would be any sort of indifferentism (wherein division appears a practical problem solved by compromise). While indifferentism is to be avoided, so is any sort of confessional chauvinism wherein one’s customs, rather than the truth itself, is given primacy. Wanting to avoid both indifferentism and chauvinism, Ratzinger argues that ecumenism appropriately pursued evidences movement from maximum demands placed on another, towards an exchange of gifts, wherein others make available their riches, and experience Catholicism’s. Maximum demands offer no real hope of unity, and as long as (and to the extent that) maximum demands are regarded as a requirement for unity, Ratzinger observes that "no other recourse [exists] than to simply strive to convert one’s partner in the debate."
While Christian faith excludes relativist tendencies, Ratzinger observes that a consequence of its own definite context is its search for unity, its openness to purification and deepening, and its hope that others experience the same purification and deepening.

Truth is not identical to the various historical developments which manifest it in degrees. Ratzinger’s view is that far from relativizing Catholicism, this contributes to its view that while the Church of Christ subsists only in the Catholicism, nonetheless elements necessary for Catholicism’s flowering may be sought beyond her visible boundaries. 

Ratzinger notes how following Vatican II, hope for division’s speedy end seemed well founded. However, there was disillusion when divisions persisted, and a willingness (on the part of some) to take short-cuts. Of these, one is a false egalitarianism which views neutrally as de facto traditions, any thought or practice, even if it might not necessarily be grounded to much extent in either the Scripture or Tradition.

Citing the division of a thousand years, Ratzinger notes that what once seemed impossible, no longer needs to be. One is to hope. Christianity rests on the victory of improbability. Confidence is to be placed in the Holy Spirit, who motivates hope for the unity of the Church, and the dedication towards ecumenical dialogue.

April 26, 2012
Kelly Wilson is a Seminarian for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg (Manitoba).
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