Fr Longenecker on ten things to remember if you hate ecumenism

All are good, but I especially like this one:

10. Church unity is the work of a lifetime and the work of a moment – It’s the work of a moment in that when we work and pray with other Christians we may have an “Aha” moment when we begin to understand things from a new perspective and our own faith grows through the transaction. They might experience that too, and that’s when the hard work of ecumenism pays off. It is also the work of a lifetime…the lifetime of the church that is…because unity is not going to happen anytime soon. Here there will be a little bit of progress. There a little move forward. Over here it is two steps back after one step forward. Achieving church unity will not happen in our lifetime, but we don’t give up because it is in these small steps forward that we do actually make progress. The Catholic Church thinks in centuries. We must remember that. A new way of thought in one era and a little gesture towards unity might bear much fruit later. Here’s an example: In 1959 Pius XII made an exception to the rule of celibacy allowing a handful of married Lutheran pastor converts to be ordained. In the next papacy the Anglican Archbishop visited the Pope. Just a little step forward. Talks started between Anglicans and Catholics. Obstacles arose, but out of these problems and the precedent set by Pius XII the Pastoral Provision became possible along with the Anglican Use and out of that came the Ordinariate and who knows what future lies in store for the Ordinariate? Maybe wonderful things will happen and many of our separated brothers and sisters will be united. If that does take place why will it have happened? Because Catholics were not cynical about ecumenism and were willing to work on it even though it seemed hopeless.

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1 Response to Fr Longenecker on ten things to remember if you hate ecumenism

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: All are good…

    I agree completely — even those in the first half of the article!

    Norm.

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