Friday, May 21, 2010

Notes: Friday, May 21, 2010

A nice response to yesterday's Herald letter on stealing

Brand of faith

With all due respect to Donald Howard, if I wanted an unbiased analysis of Catholic theology, Moore College is the last place I would go (Letters, May 20).

Stephen Magee Epping

Upcoming Compass episode on the Australian experience of Vatican II and its aftermath

From Yesterday's CathNews:

This episode of Compass explores the Catholic Church in Australia during one of the most dynamic periods in its recent history, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Vatican II challenged elements of Catholicism unquestioned since the 16th century. Pope John XXIII wanted to bring the church 'up to date' in a dynamic and fast changing world.

Almost 50 years later this film explores how Vatican II changed Catholic practice, identity and faith through the personal stories of eminent and ordinary Australians.

It also examines how the reforms of the Second Vatican Council are faring today in a time of rising conservatism in the church.

Challenge, Change, Faith: Catholic Australia and the Second Vatican Council - Compass, 10.05pm ABC- TV1, May 23


Russian Orthodox prelate on relations between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church

Archbishop Hilarion [Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate] went on to note that in both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church "the awareness has grown of not being in competition, but of being allies." The rivalries of the past, he added, "must stay there, in the past."

He noted that cultural changes, particularly the "de-Christianization of our countries," is calling for "greater collaboration."

Other cultural changes call increasingly for an open dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, the prelate said: "Today there are many mixed marriages. We often find an Orthodox person next to a Catholic."

[...] Archbishop Hilarion affirmed that for many Orthodox, "the election of Benedict XVI was received positively," especially because of "his position on moral questions."

"There is a commitment [among the Orthodox] to observe and promote traditional values," he said.

In regard to the theological dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics, the archbishop projected that it will last for many years.

"Each stage of the dialogue ends with a text where Catholics and Orthodox say something together," he explained. "What is important is that these texts are received not only by theologians but also by the faithful."

From another report on the same web-page:

"I think the atmospere of dialogue has improved and without a doubt relations improve along with the theological dialogue. But I think the theological dialogue still has a long way to go," [Metropolitian Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Moscow Patriarchate's office for external relations] said.

[... Regarding the prospects for a meeting between the respective heads of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church:] "An encounter between a pope and a patriarch should be a historic event, not just because it is the first meeting between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church but especially because such a meeting must be sign of the intention to move our relations forward, which is why is must be prepared for well," he said.

"I hope there could be an encounter not between just any pope of Rome and patriarch of Moscow, but between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Benedict XVI," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

Pressed on the question, he said, "By mentioning these two concrete people, I tried to indicate somewhat a desired deadline."

He told reporters that most of the Russian Orthodox clergy and faithful have a very favorable opinion of Pope Benedict and particularly appreciate his efforts to promote traditional moral values and to strengthen the Christian culture of Europe.

Blog comments from me:

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:07 am

Thanks, Peregrinus. (Also, you might be interested to read the comment I’m about to post at the bottom of the main thread, on the origin of the symbol.)

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:16 am

I wonder how the convention of prelates using the plus sign originated? I seem to recall reading somewhere some time ago that Bishops used to write ‘sinner’ before their respective names when signing something, and this evolved into the plus sign, which, as Peregrinus rightly noted, represents a cross. But if, as I think, it is for Ordinaries only, not just anyone consecrated Bishop, perhaps it’s meant to signify the heavy burden–the cross–of exercising Ordinary jurisdiction? The care of a single soul, let alone the souls of thousands, is a weighty enough responsibility, and they say that Hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops.


Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:37 am

“what is the Catholic view on the priesthood of believers,given that St Paul clearly talks about it?”

For what it’s worth (I’m no expert either!):

Any priesthood is the power to offer sacrifice. As a living member of the Body of Christ, the Christian has the power–and is required–to offer up spiritual sacrifices ‘on the altar of his heart’, as they say. By offering up good works, performed from a motive of Faith while in the state of grace, the Christian merits increase of grace and glory and makes satisfaction for his sins and the sins of others. This is the priesthood of all believers.

The ministerial priesthood, on the other hand, is the power to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which (Sacrifice) is a true, propitiatory sacrifice, one and the same as that offered on Mt. Calvary, differing only in the manner of offering (unbloody rather than bloody), by which the Sacrifice of Calvary is renewed and represented and its fruits received.

Cardinal Pole
May 21, 2010 at 4:58 am
Is that “masters and magistrates” as in civic officers, or as in ecclesiastical officers (‘pastors and doctors’)? (From the contrast to following “individual intuition and authority” I expect the latter, but I might be mistaken.)
Two blog comments by others which I wish to save for future reference:

From Mr. Schütz's blog:

May 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

The difference between Calvinists/Lutherans and the Anabaptists is often described (and well) as the difference between a “magisterial” reformation and a “radical” reformation. “Magisterial” in this sense means that they followed the authority of the “masters and magistrates”, rather than individual intuition and authority.

Mark Henderson
May 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Yes, quite a valid and helpful distinction, David. Lutherans and Reformed also gained official toleration from the Holy Roman Empire, which the Anabaptists didn’t ever do, to my knowledge. By the way, I note that the Anabaptist presence in Australia has been growing over the last two decades; they now have their own association with a website (I mean true Anabaptist groups like the Mennonites, not just run-of-the-mill Baptists).


Reginaldvs Cantvar

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