It continues to be my belief that one day Pope Benedict the XVI will be remembered as the great unifier. The Pope who began a process that will eventually lead to one flock and one shepherd. There will likely be much pain between now and then but the day is coming when we will all be one again. When we get there, Pope Benedict will be widely regarded as the beginning.
One of the reasons PB will be regarded as the Father of Unity is that he has finally rejected the fruitless ecumenism of the past decades. Oh sure, much lip service has been given by the Vatican and Nichols and Williams to the ecumenical process, but the truth is that it had nothing to do with it. In fact, in order to get this done Pope Benedict has to avoid all the usual channels. Archbishop Nichols and Rowan Williams didn’t learn about it until about ten minutes before we did. But the most glaring evidence that the old ecumenism is dead is that Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (our head ecumenist) was not allowed within 1000 yards of any microphone during this process. If had been up to the old ecumenical guard this never would have happened. So the Pope just bypassed them all. Sometimes its good to be Pope.
On the Press
As usual, the bulk of the press managed to misrepresent the whole thing. As usual, they are entirely focused on the married priests bit and about the politics of the whole thing and with anti-gay misogyny underlying the whole thing. That said, there were some bright spots.
One of those spots is a headline used by Ruth Gledhill. While unfair and inaccurate it did make me laugh. “Rome parks tanks on Rowan’s lawn.” Nice! And of course Damian Thompson continues to delight lovers of snark everywhere!
Liberals in the Church are rightfully beside themselves. They have always pretended to be for ecumenism so they try to maintain the pretense that this is a good thing. But, as we all know, ecumenism in their minds meant that we become more like them, not the other way around. This has gotta hurt. Fr. Rutler rightly says that this is “total repudiation of the ordination of women, homosexual marriage and the general neglect of doctrine in Anglicanism” And liberal Catholicism I might add. As a result we see some of the predictable whinings of the Catholic left, but this is merely the snorts and grunts of dinosaurs as they watch the giant asteroid come throught the atmosphere.
My one problem with this whole thing is the term “personal ordinariates.” I am sorry, this just won’t do. I simply cannot say this term three times in a row with a blood alcohol level of .04 or above. We have to come up with a better term than this. I would even prefer non-geographical flying dioceses. NGFDs for short.
Why is it that the same people who love diversity in all its other shapes and forms, detest it when it applies to anyone or anything orthodox? You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
From New Advent: Prophecy of St. Edward the Confessor
‘The extreme corruption and wickedness of the English nation has provoked the just anger of God. When malice shall have reached the fullness of its measure, God will, in His wrath, send to the English people wicked spirits, who will punish and afflict them with great severity, by separating the green tree from its parent stem the length of three furlongs. But at last this same tree, through the compassionate mercy of God, and without any national (governmental) assistance, shall return to its original root, reflourish and bear abundant fruit.’
I think those furlongs are almost over.