Thursday, June 26, 2008
A New Ecclesiology?
Damian Thompson has an interesting piece on the prospect of an Anglican bishop seeking Unity with the Holy See, there are rumours of a large group of Episcopalians in the States and Anglicans from elsewhere "coming over". As Prefect of the CDF Cardinal Ratzinger was responsible for creating a way for Episcopalians/Anglicans to be part of the Church, yet retaining there Rites etc. The same structures were apparently offered in England but rejected by Cardinal Hume and our heirarchy.
In Constantinople the Patriarch has suggested a sort of unity with Catholic Byzantine bishops, who will still remain in communion with Rome, I have not seen much detail but it seems unlikely to have been postulated without Papal involvement.
There is also the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church and its reconcilliation with Rome.
The speculations regarding the SSPX's proposed reconcilliation, "along the lines", said Bishop Fellay, "of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church", all suggest the Pope doing something quite exciting and forming a new ecclessiology. One which gives a greater plurality to Churches, bishops and even priests.
It seems as if we are returning to the first millenium's less monolithic concept of the Church, one that respects diversity in liturgy, and even a certain diversity in theology; note the SSPX seem to be being asked not to affirm Vatican II, merely not to deny it. There is a new and exciting ecumenism afoot, one that springs from the Tradition of the Church and has the Papacy at its centre, rather than seeing it as problem. As in the New Testament Peter underpins both unity and diversity.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake