Sunday, January 20, 2008

Christian Unity Week

I`m afraid it has been a rather uneventful Christian Unity week this year even if it is the centenary of the first one. As I have mentioned before my last experience of it was in 2005 when I went to the service in Gateshead at the C of E Christ church where the bishop of Durham was the preacher. I was the only Catholic priest present as far as I could tell but there was no shortage of Anglican clergy and a lady vicar in choir dress led the service.

How strange to be back in the very same church on Saturday as I popped in to see bishop Fellay`s blessing of that church for the use of the Society of St Pius X. I thought that, given that he is the head of that organisation it might be interesting to hear what he had to say. So after the blessing of the church he stood in that same pulpit where I had seen bishop Tom Wright of Durham preach and he talked for about an hour. The first half offered reflections on the symbolism of the rite of blessing a church and the place of the sacraments in Catholic life. In the second he gave us his reflections on the Motu proprio. Having heard what he had to say I must say my thought was that reconciliation with the Holy See and the SSPX looks as unlikely as ever.

Whereas Pope Benedict in his accompanying letter to the Motu Proprio wrote: There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal, bishop Fellay appears to see the two forms of the Roman rite as being mutually exclusive which is ironically quite similar to the outlook of `liberal` Catholics who oppose the Motu Proprio or make it difficult to be implemented as they too see the two forms as being opposed to each other.

I stayed for some of the Mass which was beautifully done except that the choir had not made it because of trouble with the trains and so the music wasn`t what had been intended. I said a prayer for reconciliation and pray that this division may not harden as Pope Benedict mentioned in the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum when he wrote:

Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew.


Unknown said...


I hope this will be of interest to you:

You can take a small step towards Christian Unity by signing the petition to unite the Dates of Easter at that Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox would celebrate this Feast of Feasts all on One Date.

Why Vote to Celebrate Easter all in one date?
Simply, because as one Christian family we are divided on this matter and our division is a sin. When we cannot agree to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection on the same day, how can we hope to be a sign of Peace and Unity to the world?

Anonymous said...


I read through your page, and I am wondering what is your view on "Communicatio in Sacris," a very Hot Topic, so to say? I heard the SSPX-Prelate Monsignor Bernard Fellay is Open to Intercommunion of Christian Unity with Rome and the Eastern Orthodox, is this true?

Well, this controversy has recently received a special treatment my a very scholarly author, Dr. William DeTucci (I think from the Pontificio Istituto Orientale in Rome). I bought the book "Communicatio in Sacris: The Roman Catholic Church against Intercommunion of non-Catholics" recently on Lulu MarketPlace:

In case your are browsing for it at Barnes & Noble, try looking up:

ISBN: 978-1-4357-0388-9

However, I must be honest and confess that I originally was full of skepticism, but after talking to some Catholic Priests, Theologians, and Apologists, I realized from their wisdom to give Mr. DeTucci a fair shake, and so I decided to buy the book, and I found out how important this topic really is.

Mr. DeTucci holds nothing back. He fills the book with Plentiful Documentation of Catholic Popes, Saints, Doctors, Cardinals, Bishops, Theologians, etc. who all pronounced the Catholic Dogma on Communicatio in Sacris. It is true, read it yourself! All the Popes, Saints, Doctors, etc. taught that it is objectively a mortal sin to communicate in sacred with non-Catholics. So, this book is a real Bombshell to the Ecumenist Movement, and I think Benedict XVI may even want to read this book, and reflect on the Spirit of Vatican II.

At the same time, I must say--Mr. DeTucci is fair to John Paul "the Great", Benedict XVI (and Paul VI) for he does not try to pick on them (as some hypocritical Traditionalists do), rather he tries to fairly present their viewpoint that has been accepted since Vatican II. Yet, he does do something that was very surprising, and very original, he examines the current situation of the Traditionalist Movement (both Orthodox and Latin Mass sides) and tries to understand how many of them have been caught up into the Ecumenical Movement Theology which they say they condemn, but actually are also part of at the same time. Simply amazing!

I thank God for allowing me to find this great author and his work, we are really indebted to his scholarship and good work, so I invite others to consider the value of this book, and share this with friends, family, and clergy. As I intend to do. Again here is the link to the book Communicatio in Sacris:

Thanks for sharing your Ecumenical Experiences, maybe you could write a review from your open-minded stance?

May God bless you all.

Sincerely yours,

Unknown said...

I just wanted to point out that the organization behind the "One Date" petition is "True Life in God" which promotes the writings of Vassula Ryden, a Greek-Orthodox seer that claims to receive messages from Jesus through the unvoluntary movement of her hand (experts have identified this as automatic writing). The Orthodox and Catholic Churches have warned about Mrs Ryden's writings and activities, and do not recognize her as an authentic seer. The One Date petition, even if it promotes a positive action towards more unity between the Orthodox, the Protestant and the Catholic, has as its main purpose to find a way into Christian communities.

For more information on Mrs Ryden and True Life in God (from a critical point of view), you might want to check my website:

Maria Laura Pio