Archive for category: Opinion

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Rowan Williams: Violence is an unavoidable part of being human

Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Photo: The TelegraphIt would help if we had a single, clear story we could believe about violence – it’s getting worse because of this or that factor in our world, so we know whom to blame; it’s getting better as we all become more educated and secular, so we don’t have to worry in the long term. But the evidence is profoundly confusing.

Richard Bessel begins his lucid and well-documented book with a round-up of contemporary views, from those who think first of the astronomical statistics of humanly devised injury and death in the 20th century to those (like Steven Pinker in a much-discussed recent book) for whom what matters is the gradual change in sensibility that has made us simply more sensitive to the suffering of others – as well as the relative absence of major international conflict in the past half-century or so. As Bessel observes, Pinker’s statistics will seem a little academic if you happen to live in South Sudan or Syria (or Baltimore or Johannesburg).

The paradox of our era in the modern North Atlantic world is that while we are probably objectively more secure against the casual daily risk of violence than our ancestors, we are more anxious and more outraged by the prospect as well as the reality of violence, and more prone to extend its meaning to forms of offensive or menacing speech and action that would not have registered for those ancestors. We are, in a word, more preoccupied with violence; hence the subtitle, A Modern Obsession.
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Posted: August 6, 2015 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=8919
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Rowan Williams, violence
Transmis : 6 aoüt 2015 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=8919
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Rowan Williams, violence


Women who preach

In Jesus’ times, no one among the poor was poorer than a widow, a woman without a man, hence without either rights or protection. The world and the society in which Jesus lived and moved were basically structured on a patriarchal model; women were invisible in society with the kind of invisibility typical of a legal status of minority, indeed of exclusion. The originality of Christ’s behaviour must be integrated into this historical truth. In fact, Jesus saw, looked, noted and connected his life with the lives of the women who followed him, loved him and accompanied him even to his death.

Whereas the gaze of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36) – as Maria dell’Orto wrote – saw and judged, scrutinized and condemned, excluding people, Christ’s gaze set people on their feet, identified and recognized them. In so doing he invited all, both women and men, to discernment, to asking themselves questions and to communion. In this perspective a panoramic view of Christian history leads one to consider those prophetic and charismatic female figures who, by their personal authority, in turbulent centuries, contributed to evangelizing a still pagan world and/or a Church which was hostile and divided: Saints Genevieve, Clotilda, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena…
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Posted: March 1, 2016 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9064
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Catholic, preaching, women
Transmis : 1 mars 2016 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9064
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, preaching, women


The sweet song of Christian unity

Our Lord and his apostles used many figures of speech to describe the Church. From our beloved St. Paul: “We are God’s fellow labourers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9). “You are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor. 12:27). Or Jesus’ words: “Fear not, little flock” (Luke 12:32a). “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5a).

Many of us have admired a well-ordered cathedral, such as St. Paul’s, London, or All Saints, Nairobi. We recognise — almost unconsciously — the beauty of the human person, of a pastoral scene or vineyard. No wonder they make fitting images for the Church, the heavenly Jerusalem, a city “at unity with itself” (Ps. 122:3).

Our experience of the Church’s unity tends to fall short of these glorious figures. We see “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions” (see Gal. 5:19-21).

In recognition of this, Anglicans have turned to other images over the past 14 years: among them, “walking together in synodality,” “walking apart,” or even “walking at a distance.” This language proves useful, vividly illustrating different degrees or intensities of communion: some choose to be close; some go their own way; some wander onto the wrong path.

Through such images, we see how harmony, order, and unity are gifts received, but also unwrapped and used. A field must be cultivated, a building maintained, a vine pruned.
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Posted: January 18, 2017 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9621
Categories: ACNS, OpinionIn this article: Anglican, WPCU
Transmis : 18 janvier 2017 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9621
Catégorie : ACNS, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, WPCU


The Challenges of Ecumenism

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, in 2014

When we think of Church teachings that are uncomfortable to discuss and difficult to live up to these days our minds tend to go to controversial issues like that of contraception, homosexuality, gender and so forth. Yet, in many ways, the Church’s views on ecumenism are for many even more uncomfortable. On this topic, however, it is all too easy to say yes, yes with one’s lips, while denying and undermining this teaching in practice.

Ecumenism is the attempt to strengthen unity between the diverse Christian Churches through dialogue about doctrine, prayer in common, cooperation in good works and other means that deepen mutual understanding and growth. In the case of the Catholic Church, these endeavours are also motivated by a desire that our Churches may unite in full communion, however remote that hope may seem to our eyes here and now.

A key to the possibility of any ecumenism lies in a few basic realizations. The first is that we are all genuinely Christians, baptized into the body of Christ. This entails that there is always more that unites us than what divides us. The important essentials of the faith: the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the role that baptism plays in drawing us into the participation of the divine life are all unifying features of Christian life. In this respect, we should be grateful for the profound unity that already does exist among the majority of Christian communities (Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3).
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Posted: August 29, 2017 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9742
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Catholic, ecumenism
Transmis : 29 aoüt 2017 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9742
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, ecumenism


Justin Welby: Luther’s historic act did so much to shape the world we live in

A service to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was held at Westminster Abbey, London on 31 October 2017. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby addressed the congregation at the worship led by the Dean of Westminster Rev. Dr John Hall and attended by LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge and PCPCU Secretary Bishop Dr Brian Farrell. Photo: Andrew Dunsmore/Westminster Abbey

You might have heard the story about the German friar who nailed 95 provocative statements to a church door a long time ago, triggering something we now call the Reformation.

If you’re looking for a modern interpretation, 500 years ago next Tuesday, Martin Luther posted a particularly incendiary series of tweets. He wanted to provoke debate about corruption in the Roman Catholic Church. He certainly achieved that.

Sadly, Luther couldn’t take advantage of Twitter — and it’s generally accepted that he didn’t actually hammer his arguments to a church door. Instead he used the then cutting-edge technology of printing. But the impact was no less dramatic. What Luther wrote went around Europe incredibly quickly; it was the viral content of its day.

Within two decades Europe was split between Protestants and Catholics in a process called the Reformation. The conflict that generated (which began in England in the early 1530s) continued for hundreds of years. The first century or so was especially bloody and violent.
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Posted: October 27, 2017 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=9801
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Martin Luther, Reformation
Transmis : 27 octobre 2017 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=9801
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Martin Luther, Reformation


Cardinal Koch: Relations between the Catholic Church and the WCC

An address by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, regarding relations between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches (WCC). At a press conference held Friday 2nd March in the Vatican, the WCC General Secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit and Cardinal Kurt Koch announced that Pope Francis will be travelling to Geneva on June 21st to mark the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches.

The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva during the year of the 70th Anniversary of the foundation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), will be a sign of recognition of a unique contribution of the WCC to the modern ecumenical movement. It will be an expression of the personal commitment of the Holy Father to the goal of Christian unity as expressed in many occasions. In visiting the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Pope Francis will follow the steps of his two predecessors Paul VI, who visited the WCC in 1969 (10 June), and John Paul II who did the same in 1984 (l2 June). The visit will be an occasion to give thanks to God for a longstanding and rich collaboration which the Catholic Church maintains with the WCC for more than half a century. Indeed, our relations began during the preparation of the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II committed the Catholic Church to the modern ecumenical movement and opened a new page in the history of our relations with the World Council of Churches generating a spirit of rapprochement and mutual understanding. Although the Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, various dicasteries of the Roman Curia and different Catholic organizations or religious communities collaborate closely with its different programmatic areas. There is a sustained collaboration in the field of justice and peace, human rights, works of charity and humanitarian aid, especially regarding migrants and refugees, protection of creation, the youth, interreligious dialogue, mission and evangelism. The most developed is the collaboration between the WCC and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), which also takes place through various channels.
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Posted: March 2, 2018 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=10216
Categories: News, OpinionIn this article: Kurt Koch, pope, Pope Francis, WCC
Transmis : 2 mars 2018 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=10216
Catégorie : News, OpinionDans cet article : Kurt Koch, pope, Pope Francis, WCC


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