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Rome in 'almost full communion' with Antioch

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  • kosovo_au
    An interesting, but disturbing, comment from a leading RC Cardinal on Rome s relationship with the Church of Antioch. See particularly the fifth to last
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2002
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      An interesting, but disturbing, comment from a leading RC Cardinal on
      Rome's relationship with the Church of Antioch. See particularly the
      fifth to last paragraph.
      Vatican disinformation? - or........


      ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome




      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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      Code: ZE02030721

      Date: 2002-03-07

      The Crisis of Ecumenism, According to Cardinal Kasper

      A Delicate Project "Totally Different from Relativism"

      ROME, MARCH 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The ecumenical movement risks
      losing young people unless it can produce a vision for the future,
      says the cardinal who oversees the cause.

      Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for
      Promoting Christian Unity, recently delivered an address evaluating
      ecumenism. The address appears in the latest edition of the Italian
      biweekly Il Regno.

      "To a certain degree, the crisis of the ecumenical movement is the
      consequence of its success," the German cardinal writes.

      "The more we come closer to one another, the more painful is the
      experience of not yet being in full communion among ourselves, which
      creates a certain dissatisfaction and frustration," he states.

      Moreover, "the new generation of faithful and priests has not lived
      through the council and does not understand how things have changed,"
      Cardinal Kasper observes.

      In this context, he mentions three key challenges:

      --"In the first place, we must promote ecumenical formation and the
      reception of ecumenical results. The results of ecumenical progress
      have yet to penetrate the heart and flesh of our Church and of the
      other Churches."

      --"In the second place, we must clarify and renew the ecumenical
      vision. We need a new ecumenical language and impulse. We run the
      risk of losing a whole generation of youths if we are not capable of
      giving them a vision."

      --Third, Cardinal Kasper appealed for the harmonizing of dialogue and
      identity. In this context, he emphasizes, "One can see what the
      problem and advantages of ´Dominus Iesus´ are, which highlighted the
      question of identity."

      "Dominus Iesus" was the August 2000 declaration by the Congregation
      for the Doctrine of the Faith on the uniqueness and salvific
      universality of Jesus and the Church. Though criticized for sounding
      less than ecumenical, it basically reiterated magisterial teaching on
      the nature of the Catholic Church.

      "We must underline clearly that serious ecumenism is something
      totally different from confessional indifference and relativism; it
      tends to gravitate around the highest common denominator," Cardinal
      Kasper states.

      The cardinal then reviews the situation of relations between
      Catholics and other Christian confessions.

      "We are increasingly conscious of the fact that an Orthodox Church
      does not really exist," he contends. "At the present stage, it does
      not seem that Constantinople is yet capable of integrating the
      different autocephalous Orthodox Churches; there are doubts about its
      primacy of honor, especially in Moscow."

      He continues: "With Moscow, dialogue at the universal level at
      present is very difficult; the situation is improving with Greece; in
      the Middle East, in the territory of the ancient See of Antioch, the
      situation is completely different and there already is almost full
      communion."

      Cardinal Kasper points out the tensions within the Lutheran world on
      the question of ministries as well as tensions in the realm of the
      Anglican Communion.

      Given the above, he believes that over the next few years, ecumenism
      must progress "at two, or even more, speeds."

      However, he cautions, "we must avoid giving the impression of ´divide
      et impera.´ We would engage in bad ecumenism if we created new
      divisions in the other Churches or confessional families, or if we
      tended to a new form of ´Uniatism.´" The latter -- considered a
      pejorative term in the East -- signifies the Eastern Christians who
      left the Orthodox Church to join Rome.

      "A two-speed ecumenism is something very delicate. However, in the
      present situation there is no realistic alternative," Cardinal Kasper
      concludes.
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