Saturday, 29 June 2013

United in Our Differences

'In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. This should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: this is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome and with the universal church, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion. To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian. May the holy Mother of God guide us and accompany us always with her intercession. Queen of Apostles, pray for us! Amen.'

'Dear Metropolitan Archbishops, the Pallium that I have conferred on you will always remind you that you have been constituted in and for the great mystery of communion that is the Church, the spiritual edifice built upon Christ as the cornerstone, while in its earthly and historical dimension, it is built on the rock of Peter. Inspired by this conviction, we know that together we are all cooperators of the truth, which as we know is one and “symphonic”, and requires from each of us and from our communities a constant commitment to conversion to the one Lord in the grace of the one Spirit. May the Holy Mother of God guide and accompany us always along the path of faith and charity. Queen of Apostles, pray for us!'
 ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of SS Peter and Paul, 2012

"No, Laurence, its your round, I bought the last four..."
Does anyone detect a shift in emphasis?

"Where is Bobby Mickens? Ah, there you are. After this one the next pint is on me, Bobby. Your round, yeah? Thought so..."

Bobby and I are working on a new blog together. It's called 'Protect the Bishop'. It's been set up to protect Bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, from nasty divisive Catholics, especially from the evil traddie Catholics at 'Rorate Caeli'. 

Bobby and I are encouraging Deacon Nick Donnelly to pack up and go home now that the Pope has no proper enemies anymore and is near universally popular. Despite what Bobby thinks about the Catholic Faith and my own view on it which is informed by the Magisterium, our disagreements about a whole range of Catholic issues (almost all of them actually) have been put to bed because we are united in our differences. We bonded in a pub recently having admitted to each other that there are times when Popes are granted the heavenly gift of making us cry.

Here is what the Lord Jesus said about unity:

'As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.'

Of course, it is most likely that the Holy Father was reserving his striking comment for the Orthodox and I'm not going to put the cart before the horse and say that it was for anyone else. It seems to me to be obvious that someone who campaigns for a change in the Church's teaching on any number of issues such as homosexuality, artificial contraception, clerical celibacy and an end to the 'policy' on women priests will find it difficult to be 'at one' with someone who adheres to the Magisterium of Holy Church guarded by the Successor of St Peter, defender of the Deposit of Faith.

In the light of this, I'm 99% certain the Successor of St Peter was talking directly to the Orthodox and that His Holiness desires only that the Eastern Churches may once more breathe with 'both lungs' in full and visible Communion with the Successor of St Peter. When that happens, the Latin Church and the Orthodox Church will be united despite some visible differences in liturgy. Oh what a glorious day that will be!

In which case, "Buy your own drinks, Bobby, I'm off. The only religious body around at the moment that are truly united in their differences are the Freemasons. I can't be doing hanging around with schismatics within the Bride of Christ. It's like banging your head against a brick wall."


umblepie said...

I think you are putting your own interpretation on the Pope's words, in line with your clearly increasing criticisms of the Holy Father. 'Variety' could mean different peoples and cultures, eg. European, South American, Oriental, et al. which essentially share the same Catholic faith, but express their beliefs in perhaps different ways. Also this could be a request for 'tradition' and the 'post-conciliar Church' to co-exist in a spirit of charity - 'variety ... grounded in the harmony of unity' - 'united in our differences: this is the way of Jesus!' The Pope is clearly not suggesting unity in heresy or falsehoods! I'm sorry, but sarcasm and facetiousness can be overdone and becomes rather tiresome. It may be me just growing old and senile, with little or no sense of humour, indeed of an age with the Holy Father! Perhaps it's a case of us 'oldies' sticking together!

The Bones said...

I took a look at what the Holy Father said and thought the worst.

Then I looked again and put a better construction on it, as you have.

Then I realised what The Tablet would make of those words.

Then I blogged about it.

It is too ambiguous at these times when the Call to Action brigade is on standby to say something like 'united in our differences' and not mention the Magisterium and the Truth.

Does the Holy Father not realise just how many differences there are in Catholic belief in this age?

The Bones said...

I would agree with your comment, but for the fact that there are movements seeking validation within the Church of which 'Call to Action' are just one.

umblepie said...

I take your point Laurence. The Pope's words often do seem ambiguous, and it may be that he does not fully realise the threat from dissident 'Catholic' movements who seize on any ambiguities to distort the truth. He comes from South America and has only held office for three months - these are early days. May Our Lady of Good Counsel guide and protect our Holy Father.

Robert said...

It will be good to have further clarification of what the Pope meant. Meanwhile, keep uip the good work. I have only discovered your blog recently. You might like to have it reviewed on this site. you can ask yourself:

N.D. said...

That which divides us is what keeps us from being in communion, which is why united in our differences is consistent with freemasonary. There is only One Word of God, and thus only One Spirit of Love Between The Father and The Son as affirmed by The Filioque.

Pope Francis supports same-sex sexual relationships as long as they are private, do not involve children, and are not called marriage. In order to become a pope, one must be in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The election of pope Francis is not valid.

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