THE letter of Stuart J. Blackwood (CL 17/12/00) made the point that unity between religions needs love, and both need to be based on truth.
Agreed. In fact we said as much in our letter when we wrote: ” The ecumenical movement seems to be a series of endless meetings between theologians or bishops discussing their different credos. We have no doubt that this is necessary, but at times it looks like children arguing about whose parent is the best, or biggest, or who has what rights to a particular patch”.
The assertion that at Vatican II “some of the council fathers” asked if they were going to “teach Catholics or placate Protestants” is very vague. Of course ultra conservatives such as Ottaviani and Lefebvre may have said something like that, but there were 2400 fathers present and there was bound to be different views.
Who is “watering down or subtracting from truth”? The Catholic Church won all the arguments long ago. There are endless libraries to show just how right we were/are, but so what? Does this bring us any closer to our separated brethren, our sister Churches? Does this spread the Good News to all peoples? We seem to have had limited success over the last 2000 years.
Truth is not found only in the Catholic Church. We can’t claim exclusive right to the Holy Spirit. No, the Spirit breathes where it wills and that includes all humanity, without exception. Whether humans, including Catholics, listen to the Spirit or not is quite another matter. We have to listen to one another. But most important we cannot listen unless we love. Jesus had quite a bit to say about love, especially when he spoke about the Great Commandment.
Mr Blackwood quotes Ratzinger as saying, “suppression of the Church’s traditional liturgy did ‘extremely serious damage’ to the Church”. This of course is his view, one of many in the Church. Since Mr Blackwood seems to agree with him, is he advocating a return to the Tridentine liturgy? If so, it is hardly the traditional liturgy as it is a mere 300 years old. Read the Christian Scriptures for the oldest/traditional liturgies.
In today’s Church you can use the Tridentine liturgy if you wish. And since that is allowed, then why not allow a wider variety of liturgies? On this topic we recommend a close reading of Eucharist by Frank Anderson which is available in local bookshops. It does not advocate new liturgies, but better use of the existing one.
PAT and LOIS O’SHEA Virginia, Qld