Archive for category: Opinion

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A Response to Every Possibility of Communion

Here is a translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave Wednesday evening at Vespers on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The celebration closed the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
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Posted: January 26, 2012 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2223
Categories: OpinionIn this article: 2012, Benedict XVI, communion ecclesiology, WPCU
Transmis : 26 janvier 2012 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2223
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : 2012, Benedict XVI, communion ecclesiology, WPCU


The Unity We Seek: Exploring Hopes and Challenges for Ecumenism Today

“Unity” belongs to the concepts that should be constantly discussed. Life is changing, also the life of the churches and their life together. So are their understanding of unity, their challenges to unity and their contributions to it.

Images can stimulate our reflections, without saying everything or being exclusive, they can nurture our imagination and our ability to be creative. Images from nature can give us a sense of reality, and a deeper sense of how we are a part of a living reality. I have been reflecting on an image, actually a photo, that give me some new insights, deepening my reflections on this topic that I have been discussing and striving for during the last 20 years of study and work. The photo is of some lichen, growing in a circle, across the deep crevice in the rock on which they grow. It seems to be challenged by the split in the rock, but nevertheless grows across it. This striking image has encouraged me to look at unity as something of a double reality. It is growing life, yet still making a structure. It belongs to the essential nature of this lichen to grow in circles, to become part of a unity. I am told by my dear colleague from Tanzania that the same is true for banana trees, they also grow like families in circles. The photo taken just outside our small summer house at the coast of Norway last summer, is from a bare rock next to the sea on a small island, out in the big sea that unites Norway with the continent of Europe and further more with the whole globe. I wonder what images in Canadian nature might inspire you to these kinds of reflections.

Thus, I believe that «Unity» is a concept that requires complementary perspectives. I have brought my reflections together in 10 pairs of perspectives, describing unity, to offer you here for your consideration today.
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Posted: March 14, 2012 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9702
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC
Transmis : 14 mars 2012 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9702
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC


The anguish of imperfect communion

by Julia Smucker

For about the past five years, I have been a participant in the Mennonite/Catholic ecumenical movement known as Bridgefolk – first as a Mennonite drawn toward communion with the Catholic Church but also strongly connected to my ecclesial heritage, and now as a Catholic seeking to maintain that connection with the church that formed me. I had agonized over the choice I was presented with in the unavoidable reality that joining with one communion would mean breaking with another, and wondered whether I could do so without it being tantamount to a rejection, a cutting off of my roots. And then I discovered a group of people who had been agonizing over this division for years before me. In the many honest and in-depth discussions I’ve been a part of since, it’s been clear that these people who are doing their best to bridge two Christian traditions share a deep longing for a fuller communion than we are as yet able to have, as well as an acute awareness that what we long for cannot be attained quickly or easily.
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Posted: July 16, 2012 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=2212
Categories: OpinionIn this article: eucharist, sacramental sharing
Transmis : 16 juillet 2012 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=2212
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : eucharist, sacramental sharing


Ecumenical reflections on a papal resignation

I invite you to contribute your own reflections to the ‘Ecumenism in Canada” website. A little more than a week has passed since the surprising news that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to resign at the end of February. Now that the initial flurry of news reports have reported the details of his resignation and the expected process of the conclave in March, I invite you to join in a more reflective moment to consider the ecumenical significance of the papal resignation.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II issued his encyclical on commitment to ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint, in which he invited discussion and dialogue about ways in which the petrine ministry might be reformed to more effectively serve as a universal ministry of unity. The resignation of Pope Benedict is one of the most visible reforms of the papacy in recent memory. What is it’s ecumenical significance?

I invite you to write short reflections, 100-300 words, and send them to me at editor [at] ecumenism [dot] net. I will select appropriate reflections to publish on the “Ecumenism in Canada” website. I cannot promise to publish every response, but I will endeavour to publish responses that are focused on the question at hand: What is the ecumenical significance of the papal resignation? I reserve the right to edit responses. Please include your full name, address, and occupation.

Please send your responses by February 28.
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Posted: February 19, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=3042
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Benedict XVI, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry, Ut Unum Sint
Transmis : 19 février 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=3042
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Benedict XVI, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry, Ut Unum Sint


Reflections

Last week I invited reflections from the readers of Ecumenism in Canada on the ecumenical significance of the papal resignation. Here are the first of the reflections received:

John H. Armstrong, ACT3 Network, Carol Stream, IL (USA) — While the media discusses what they think about a pope resigning office ecumenical Christians should ask deeper questions rooted in faith, hope and love. I believe Pope Benedict XVI made a courageous decision that demonstrates deep humility. In this decision he has opened the door to deeper conversations about the unity of the whole church. The fuller implications of his decision will not be understood for decades. Historians will likely see this as a significant step into a new world shaped by global realities. Will the papacy be the same in 2050? I doubt it. I have no idea what this means but I do believe history was made by the decision of this humble man, a decision that showed us what serving Christ looks like in a time when true peacemaking and humility could not be more important.
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Posted: February 28, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=3036
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Benedict XVI, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry, Ut Unum Sint
Transmis : 28 février 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=3036
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Benedict XVI, Christian unity, dialogue, ecumenism, papacy, petrine ministry, Ut Unum Sint


A Pope for All Christians

When the new pope is consecrated, he will inherit a troubled global church. Internal scandal and unaddressed external problems pose great risks to the vitality of Catholicism. But the consequences of success or failure are huge for the church universal, the world’s 2.1 billion Christians of every denomination.This is more than a butterfly effect. Rome is not Las Vegas—what happens in Rome will not stay within the borders of Vatican City. One consequence of globalization is that the walls that have long divided Catholics from Orthodox, mainline Protestants, evangelicals, and Pentecostals are eroding.

Brian Stiller,a global ambassador for the World Evangelical Alliance, commenting about Catholic and evangelical relations, wrote on his blog recently, “Not in 500 years have the two sides been so close and friendly.”
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Posted: March 13, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6552
Categories: Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, ecumenism, Evangelicals, papacy
Transmis : 13 mars 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6552
Catégorie : Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, ecumenism, Evangelicals, papacy


My brother Andrew: Relations between the Churches of East and West

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, greet each other at the inaugural Mass for Pope FrancisPope Francis’ reference to himself as the ‘Bishop of Rome’ was music to the ears of Orthodox leaders for whom the question of papal primacy has long been a problem for reunion. Their attendance at the new Pope’s inaugural Mass was a sign of their hopes for closer communion. A statement from the patriarchate explained Bartholomew’s decision to attend Pope Francis’ inauguration personally: the need for “a profoundly bold step … that could have lasting significance”. It is the first time the Bishop of Constantinople has attended the inauguration of the Bishop of Rome ever, let alone since the great schism of 1054. According to the patriarchate ­website: “after such a long division … authentic reunion will require courage, leadership and humility. Given Pope Francis’ well-­documented work for social justice and his insistence that globalisation is detrimental to the poor … the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic traditions have a renewed opportunity to work collectively on issues of mutual concern … But such work requires a first step and it would appear as though Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is willing to take such a step.” In one of those seemingly informal but resonant gestures that we are beginning to expect from Francis, the response was immediate and commensurate. The successor of Peter greeted the successor of the other Galilean fisherman as “my brother Andrew”.
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Posted: March 28, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=3515
Categories: Opinion, The TabletIn this article: Bartholomew I, Christian unity, dialogue, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, ecumenism, Orthodox, patriarch
Transmis : 28 mars 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=3515
Catégorie : Opinion, The TabletDans cet article : Bartholomew I, Christian unity, dialogue, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, ecumenism, Orthodox, patriarch


Rabbi Dow Marmur on the limits of interfaith dialogue

Interfaith is going global. For a long time it had been primarily about Christian-Jewish relations in western countries with occasional attempts to include Muslims and local representatives of other religions.

Eighty per cent of all Christians once lived in Europe and North America. Today, two-thirds live in Latin America, Africa and Asia where they only rarely encounter Jews but interact with many other faiths. And some 600 million Muslims live nowadays in non-Muslim countries.

This demographic transformation — complicated by pockets of Muslim militancy on the one hand and, especially after Sept. 11, western Islamophobia on the other — has shifted the focus of interreligious dialogue. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has also become a factor.
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Posted: May 13, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6496
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Christian, Christianity, dialogue, interfaith, Islam, Judaism
Transmis : 13 mai 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6496
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Christian, Christianity, dialogue, interfaith, Islam, Judaism


Christian Faith Requires Accepting Evolution

Recently, Jonathan Dudley has argued that Creationists have “abandoned a central commitment of orthodox Christianity.” Dudley’s argument is simple. Until the modern controversy among Fundamentalist Evangelicals over creation and evolution, Christianity has always held to a belief that the natural world is a revelation of God. Implicit in the doctrine of creation is the understanding that God is revealed by God’s works. Good science is that which seeks knowledge from the natural world encountered by humanity. As Dudley reminds us: “Augustine castigated those who made the Bible teach bad science, John Calvin argued that Genesis reflects a commoner’s view of the physical world, and the Belgic confession likened scripture and nature to two books written by the same author.”
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Posted: May 21, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=4579
Categories: OpinionIn this article: creation, evolution, science
Transmis : 21 mai 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=4579
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : creation, evolution, science


Comprehending the nature of the theology in number thirty-six

The new encyclical, issued by Pope Francis, Lumen fidei, is a splendid document that deserves to be pondered prayerfully. Its clarity and depth will repay multiple readings by all in the Church – indeed, by all who are seeking the meaning and truth of human existence.

However, one section will prove of particular interest to theologians. Number thirty-six of the encyclical sets forth briefly, but in a remarkably rich way, an understanding of the task of theology. From one perspective, of course, it is a traditional view (as the footnote reference to Bonaventure and Aquinas shows). But it places that traditional understanding into an intersubjective context that brings out, in a new and deeper way, its significance and implications.

The Pope writes: “God is a subject who makes himself known and perceived in an interpersonal relationship.” Thus the theologian cannot approach the theological task in a distant, neutral manner, as would a scientist or a mere observer. Theology flourishes through participatory knowledge in which reason, will, and affections are all engaged. The encyclical appeals to the biblical notion of the “heart” and insists that, as Blessed John Henry Newman expresses it: cor ad cor loquitur — heart speaks to heart. Theology reflects upon the Word of God, fully revealed, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, as abiding Love. The heart of God speaks to our heart his Word of Love in interpersonal encounter.
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Posted: July 13, 2013 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6602
Categories: OpinionIn this article: encyclicals, Pope Francis, theology
Transmis : 13 juillet 2013 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6602
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : encyclicals, Pope Francis, theology


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