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Author Topic: Cardinal Kasper's Ecumenism: Truth Above All  (Read 2926 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 04, 2007, 06:31:32 AM »

Cardinal Kasper's Ecumenism: Truth Above All

The complete text of the address delivered at the consistory by the president of the pontifical council for Christian unity. Good progress with the Orthodox, bad with the mainline Protestants, so-so with the "evangelicals" and Pentecostals.

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http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/180181?eng=y
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 08:35:01 AM »

I think I finally understand ecumenism.

It is not a watering down or hiding of our Catholic faith, but the only possible movement we can have towards Christians who have left our Communion.

And I think the way it is being done is pretty much spot on.

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

p.s On my reading of the article, it seemed to be - so-so with mainline protestants, bad with pentecostals -, rather than the other way round.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2007, 05:00:29 AM »

If you are interested as an individual to take a step towards Christian Unity you can sign the petition to unite the dates of Easter at (link deleted)

The link placed in this original post showed that the site was closely tied to the Vassula Ryden nonsense. Here is one of the pages on the site (bolded text is mine):

Quote
In the history of the church there have been many revelations of this type, such as Theresa of Avila, Catherine of Sienna, continuing through writings, given in our own day. Amongst these is True Life in God, from Vassula Ryden, the publication of which started in 1990.

The Spirituality of True Life in God, adds nothing new to God"s Revelation contained in the Bible, it is a reminder of God"s revelation contained in the Bible. As it says in the published book that contains the writings of the spirituality of True Life in God, pages 839-840, December 10 1995:

“this Message adds nothing new to Scriptures; everything I have said in this Message is written in Scriptures, but you have not understood yet fully what is written; you heard Me say: I will send you the Parakletos to be with you for ever and in those who love Me to teach you everything; My Spirit will be your Counsellor and your Educator; without Him even My Disciples never fully understood Me nor My teachings; but on that day I returned to the Father, I sent the Parakletos to them so that He reminds them of everything I had said to them while I was with them;”

Vassula has been called to a mission of a call to conversion, unity and reconciliation. One of the strong points of the writings given to this generation through Vassula, concerns itself with Christian unity. In her many visits to hundreds of countries, societies and communities around the world Vassula lets us know that Christ"s greatest desire concerning unity, and one which will also be the key to unity, is the unification of the date of Easter, done in humility and with love. This is echoed in the message of the 24th of October 1994 “My Spirit will bring you together; have you not heard that the East and West will be one kingdom? have you not heard that I shall settle for one date?”

When Vassula gives testimony before crowds, she first calls for a conversion of our hearts, because we can not unite if we do not love. With love we can arrive at reconciliation and forgiveness. We can base everything on love. Love is the foundation on which reconciliation and unity are built.

Through the writings we are informed that we “need intense poverty of the spirit and an overflow of wealth of generosity, and not until you understand that you will have to bend, will you be able to unite”.(True Life in God, September 23 1991).

Christ suffers mystically from our division and He becomes very stern when He sees lack of sincerity. Here is what He says:

“Brothers have you done everything you can to preserve the unity of My Body?” (March 10, 1990)

“Every Easter season I must drink of the cup of your division since this cup is forced on Me…..the more time passes for them to unite the dates of Easter, the more severe their sentence this generation will receive.” (May 31, 1994)

By remaining divided, we do not allow the Holy Spirit to blow on us and we will remain spiritually dead. If we allow the Holy Spirit to blow on us, we will come to life, being revived by the Holy Spirit and standing upright. In this way, God will be glorified.

The inspiration for this website comes from these writings and the call from God for us to Be One.

If anyone wants to work towards unity of Christianity and the celebration of a common date for Pascha, my suggestion is to review the history and canons of the Church, and then present this information to your church leaders to help them understand the importance of celebrating Pascha on the same date as the Orthodox.

Or, even better, just enter the Orthodox Church, and have your leaders wonder where everyone is going.

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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2007, 06:35:06 PM »

I have some issues with "Ecumenism." I'm not so sure where the Catholic Church is anymore to be honest. With hierarchs attending the worship services of other religions, kissing Qur'ans, and venerating Buddhist shrines, I'm very disturbed. The CCC even contains the assage on Muslims being part of the plan of salvation...What is that supposed to mean? Add to that "Invincible Ignorance" and you have just as good a chance of entering heaven as an animist in the middle of nowhere Africa than you do as a knowledgable Catholic. Perhaps it is not so easy today, but it is certainly possible. Does this go to the fact that Rome finds the need to need to figure out every mystery? I'm sure if one were to go to a Pope of the middle ages and propose these ideas, that person would be called a heretic. Look at the idea of Limbo (I know it was never official) and the uncertainty of the salvation of infants who are indeed born innocent. One can only "hope" for their salvation...It used to be that unless one was baptized as a Catholic (whether by water, blood or special circumstance) there would be no salvation. It is one thing to be open to talking to other religious leaders, it is another to accept them as possible roads to heaven...Undecided
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 11:52:19 PM »

It is one thing to be open to talking to other religious leaders, it is another to accept them as possible roads to heaven...Undecided

That is heresy. Just this past week the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (not exactly a poster child for telling it like it is) condemned a book written by a priest who advocated this.

Many of your other statements here are also very questionable. "As good a chance of entering heaven as an animist. . ." Where do you find that in magisterial documents? Nowhere. Have you read Dominus Iesus?

Salvation is possible (not probable) for adherents of other religions not because of their religions but because of Christ and His Church. The "mystery of salvation" is, after all, a mystery.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 12:05:01 AM »

Salvation is possible (not probable) for adherents of other religions not because of their religions but because of Christ and His Church. The "mystery of salvation" is, after all, a mystery.
Quite true. As I say it, the only way to the Father is through the Son, but there are many ways to get to the Son.
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 04:37:39 AM »

That is heresy. Just this past week the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (not exactly a poster child for telling it like it is) condemned a book written by a priest who advocated this.

Many of your other statements here are also very questionable. "As good a chance of entering heaven as an animist. . ." Where do you find that in magisterial documents? Nowhere. Have you read Dominus Iesus?

Salvation is possible (not probable) for adherents of other religions not because of their religions but because of Christ and His Church. The "mystery of salvation" is, after all, a mystery.

I have heard from several priests now that ALL practicing Christians, Jews and Muslims will go to heaven. I realize that most Catholics do not agree, but I fear this is becoming all to common. As for the entree in the CCC, I question why the Muslims needed to be spoken of at all. They are not Christians and definitely not Catholics. The statement about them being "part of the plan of salvation" is nonsense, unless it means if they accept Christ and His Church. Such broad statements only cause confusion, IMHO. Did not one of the recent Popes kiss the Qur'an? It is an interesting read, but so is Romeo and Juliet and I dare not kiss that. I think it was Pope John Paul II and though he is my role model, he was overly ecumenical. As for the statement I made regarding animists, I know this is not in the encyclicals, but I am merely making a point. A Catholic, being within truth and being taught everything necessary for salvation, has no excuse for messing up before God. On the other hand, an animist who lives in central Africa and has never heard the Gospel, has a better chance of heaven given his "invincible ignorance" of not hearing the truth and receiving the sacraments. I think that such a doctrine is nonsense as we understand God is the judge and works within others and grants eternal life to whom He wills. Together with the Muslim entree, these broad statements are not necessary at all...Finally, is your statement about salvation being more "difficult" found in the encyclicals? I think it is left more broad than that...
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2007, 10:01:00 AM »

You misunderstand "invincible ignorance." Only God can peer into their hearts and determine that they would have received Christ had they known about him. It is not at all the "easy way" in.

There is much else that you misunderstand. It means absolutely nothing that you've met a few priests who have said such a heresy. They defy the magisterial teaching of the Church when they say it. If 90% of the clergy believed that, it would not change the teaching of the Catholic Church. Blessedly, that opinion is growing less and less common than it was 30 years ago.

As for the photo appearing to show John Paul II kissing the Qu'ran given to him as a gift . . . many Catholics thought it imprudent---I did. But in his defense, there IS some truth in that book. It was a sign of respect and gratitude. John Paul II, out of the goodness of his heart, frequently went out of his way to show his love and respect for other people. Sometimes I think he took it too far. But these gestures still were only gestures---John Paul was also the Pope responsible for Dominus Iesus.

And besides, I don't know why you bring this up, unless you believe the misconception that the dogma of papal infallibility means the Pope doesn't make mistakes. That the Pope may have kissed the Qu'ran does not change the teaching of the Catholic Church. Does the Ecumenical Patriarch's (figurative) kissing of Paul Sarbanes's feet change EO teaching on abortion?

As for the other thing, all human beings are part of the plan of salvation. I certainly would hope that Muslims, being human beings themselves, would be included in that. Their Abrahamic monotheism and admiration for Jesus and Mary show that at least some of the light of truth is in them.

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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 01:33:07 PM »

You misunderstand "invincible ignorance." Only God can peer into their hearts and determine that they would have received Christ had they known about him. It is not at all the "easy way" in.

There is much else that you misunderstand. It means absolutely nothing that you've met a few priests who have said such a heresy. They defy the magisterial teaching of the Church when they say it. If 90% of the clergy believed that, it would not change the teaching of the Catholic Church. Blessedly, that opinion is growing less and less common than it was 30 years ago.

As for the photo appearing to show John Paul II kissing the Qu'ran given to him as a gift . . . many Catholics thought it imprudent---I did. But in his defense, there IS some truth in that book. It was a sign of respect and gratitude. John Paul II, out of the goodness of his heart, frequently went out of his way to show his love and respect for other people. Sometimes I think he took it too far. But these gestures still were only gestures---John Paul was also the Pope responsible for Dominus Iesus.

And besides, I don't know why you bring this up, unless you believe the misconception that the dogma of papal infallibility means the Pope doesn't make mistakes. That the Pope may have kissed the Qu'ran does not change the teaching of the Catholic Church. Does the Ecumenical Patriarch's (figurative) kissing of Paul Sarbanes's feet change EO teaching on abortion?

As for the other thing, all human beings are part of the plan of salvation. I certainly would hope that Muslims, being human beings themselves, would be included in that. Their Abrahamic monotheism and admiration for Jesus and Mary show that at least some of the light of truth is in them.



Thank you for the clarification...Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2007, 01:43:54 PM »

Thank you for the clarification...Smiley

You're welcome, and thanks for asking.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2007, 02:33:25 PM »

but there are many ways to get to the Son.

Wrong!  There is nothing within the fathers to argue such a position.
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2007, 06:15:15 PM »

While I make no claim to be a theologian, it seems to me that's up to God to decide. Who is or is not saved is not ours to judge. I found Orthodoxy through the Assemblies of God; others found her through Islam, or through Catholicism. Still others have been practising Orthodoxy all their lives and have never entered the doors of an Orthodox parish. So my way to the Son is different from others'; yet it is paradoxically the same: all come to Christ by way of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the method the Spirit uses, the destination is the same, and therefore it can be said that there is only one way. Yet it can also be said that the ways are as varied as the experiences of individual people.

So, then, all roads have the same end result: the Spirit leads us to Christ, who then leads us to the Father, who grants us salvation. The work we do is to travel that road, whichever one it may be.
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2007, 06:30:13 PM »

While I make no claim to be a theologian, it seems to me that's up to God to decide. So, then, all roads have the same end result: the Spirit leads us to Christ, who then leads us to the Father, who grants us salvation. The work we do is to travel that road, whichever one it may be.

I do actually agree with this in that God decides who is saved and I do not. However, the very openendedness of your statement is what left me baffled and, to me, encourages any number of paths apart from what Christ revealed to His Church.  Though the salvation of each is left between God and the individual, we should not encourage beliefs and heresies contrary to what our Lord taught.
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2007, 06:32:24 PM »

I agree completely. I realized after your response that my post was rather vague and could easily be misinterpreted. Hence the clarification above.
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2007, 06:38:59 PM »

I agree completely. I realized after your response that my post was rather vague and could easily be misinterpreted. Hence the clarification above.

Thanks, y!  Merry Christmas to you and yours.
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« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2007, 06:47:02 PM »

Same to you.
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2007, 01:02:48 PM »

As for the photo appearing to show John Paul II kissing the Qu'ran given to him as a gift . . . many Catholics thought it imprudent---I did. But in his defense, there IS some truth in that book. It was a sign of respect and gratitude. John Paul II, out of the goodness of his heart, frequently went out of his way to show his love and respect for other people. Sometimes I think he took it too far.


Actually, for me,that specific incident was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back as far as my respect for John Paul was concerned. 

That "book" to which you ascribe "some truth" denies the Holy Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, and reduces Jesus to the level of a prophet. A prophet, hierarchically, beneath Mohammad. 

Now I'm all for showing personal and individual respect to Muslims but for a man who claimed to be the "Vicar of Christ on Earth" to venerate a book that denies Christ is nothing short of blasphemy.

Far from defending John Paul's motives, Christians should unequivocally condemn the act.

But these gestures still were only gestures

Venerating a non/anti-Christian text can honestly be reduced to a mere gesture?

---John Paul was also the Pope responsible for Dominus Iesus.

And that's the problem. A woeful inconsistency and a pontificate heavy laden with contradictions.
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2007, 01:41:09 PM »


Actually, for me,that specific incident was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back as far as my respect for John Paul was concerned. 

That "book" to which you ascribe "some truth" denies the Holy Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, and reduces Jesus to the level of a prophet. A prophet, hierarchically, beneath Mohammad. 

Now I'm all for showing personal and individual respect to Muslims but for a man who claimed to be the "Vicar of Christ on Earth" to venerate a book that denies Christ is nothing short of blasphemy.

Far from defending John Paul's motives, Christians should unequivocally condemn the act.

Venerating a non/anti-Christian text can honestly be reduced to a mere gesture?


How do you know he venerated it? Veneration, like adoration, is an interior act. Do you have a window into John Paul's soul? That is like accusing Benedict XVI of praying to the Muslim Allah when he closed his eyes in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul last year. Or accusing John Paul of venerating the ground when he would kiss the tarmac after disembarking from the plane on his apostolic journeys.

Kissing is not always an act of veneration---it is also a common gesture of respect and greeting.

A good summary of the possible circumstance surrounding this incident is worth reading here: http://www.jimmyakin.org/2006/04/jp2_and_the_qur.html

The worst you can say is that he imprudently caused confusion and scandal by that exterior gesture. You are in no position to judge his intentions.
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2007, 02:22:46 PM »

How do you know he venerated it? Veneration, like adoration, is an interior act.

No it's not. Veneration is a public/outward gesture or an interior action  or both.  But the absence of an interior action doesn't negate the fact that it was a very public act of veneration.

Here's Webster's:

Quote
Pronunciation:
    \ˈve-nə-ˌrāt\
Function:
    transitive verb
Inflected Form(s):
    ven·er·at·ed; ven·er·at·ing
Etymology:
    Latin veneratus, past participle of venerari, from vener-, venus love, charm — more at win
Date:
    circa 1623

1 : to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2 : to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion

One does not ordinarily kiss books of poetry or gifts in general. Kissing a book of (pseudo) religious texts is, I really am sorry to say (and I mean that!), veneration.

The worst you can say is that he imprudently caused confusion and scandal by that exterior gesture. You are in no position to judge his intentions.

No, the worst that I can say is that the public actions of the Bishop of Rome (not his interior intent) was an act of blasphemy and a betrayal of Christ.  The best that I can say is that he was brain addled by age and had no idea what he was doing. In which case, a VERY public apology was in order.

John Paul was always good at apologizing for the long dead. He probably could have been persuaded to say "Ooops, we goofed"

But as usual when papal actions were involved, the Vatican was silent and teams of apologists rushed - whistling past the graveyard - to tell us what John Paul REALLY meant. (Facts to the contrary not withstanding)

Stephen
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2007, 02:24:41 PM »

How do you know he venerated it? Veneration, like adoration, is an interior act. Do you have a window into John Paul's soul? That is like accusing Benedict XVI of praying to the Muslim Allah when he closed his eyes in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul last year. Or accusing John Paul of venerating the ground when he would kiss the tarmac after disembarking from the plane on his apostolic journeys.

Kissing is not always an act of veneration---it is also a common gesture of respect and greeting.

A good summary of the possible circumstance surrounding this incident is worth reading here: http://www.jimmyakin.org/2006/04/jp2_and_the_qur.html

The worst you can say is that he imprudently caused confusion and scandal by that exterior gesture. You are in no position to judge his intentions.

The head of the Western church kissing the Koran, a symbol of all that is NOT Christianity, is at least an insult to his believers and at worst a admission that all Muslims are saved as well without the benefit of a Redeemer in Christ. This one act has so many implications. And if he intended to placate the Muslims in the hopes that they would play fair with Christianity as a whole it didnt work.

All in all, if the Pope had it to do over again Im sure, no Im very sure he would not have taken this step to venerate this blasphemous book.

What in the world is the message being sent to all Christianity by this very awkward act?  Its OK to be Muslim. After all dont we all worship the same God?  

And yes, outward signs are a symptom of inward feelings.  They are both important.  
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2007, 02:46:52 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Maybe someone from the Middle-East could help us out but I have always understood "kissing a gift" is a sign of appreciation and thanksgiving toward the gift giver and not a sign of veneration of the gift itself...

If the gift giver gave him a box of kitchen knives he would be inclined to kiss them also. Is this a case where we are looking at the act (kissing something) with our own cultural filters and presuming it as an act of veneration and not as an act of thanksgiving toward the gift giver?
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2007, 03:01:32 PM »

I have to agree with ignatius on this.  Even in southern Europe, a lot of people will kiss a gift.  Be it a book, a bottle of wine, or a scarf.  It is a sign of thanks/appreciation, etc. 

If you look at it from such a contactless society's eyes, sure I can understand it looking like veneration.
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2007, 03:47:05 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Maybe someone from the Middle-East could help us out but I have always understood "kissing a gift" is a sign of appreciation and thanksgiving toward the gift giver and not a sign of veneration of the gift itself...

If the gift giver gave him a box of kitchen knives he would be inclined to kiss them also. Is this a case where we are looking at the act (kissing something) with our own cultural filters and presuming it as an act of veneration and not as an act of thanksgiving toward the gift giver?


Well lets turn the table around a little bit.  Had the Pope presented the Musfti or head Muslim Imam with the Bible, AND if this socalled tradition was in effectly only a visual sign of thankyou do you think he would have kissed the Bible and gotten away with it?  I highly doubt it in light of the narrow focus of Muslim belief system. But what do I know. My vote: He wouldnt.
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2007, 07:01:50 PM »

Well lets turn the table around a little bit.  Had the Pope presented the Musfti or head Muslim Imam with the Bible, AND if this socalled tradition was in effectly only a visual sign of thankyou do you think he would have kissed the Bible and gotten away with it?  I highly doubt it in light of the narrow focus of Muslim belief system. But what do I know. My vote: He wouldnt.

Ah, but our Pope of glorious memory was not a Muslim (and still isn't, as he looks down from heaven).
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« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2007, 07:12:42 PM »

Well lets turn the table around a little bit.  Had the Pope presented the Musfti or head Muslim Imam with the Bible, AND if this socalled tradition was in effectly only a visual sign of thankyou do you think he would have kissed the Bible and gotten away with it?  I highly doubt it in light of the narrow focus of Muslim belief system. But what do I know. My vote: He wouldnt.

Personally, I couldn't say what another might do but I do believe it would have been a real test of charity on his part. Would you agree that Pope John Paul II (of Blessed Memory) pasted the test even if it was at the expense of Christian ire? I'd have to give the gentlemen credit for such a big heart. I have warm feeling for Pope John Paul II. I also have one of the last batch of Rosaries he blessed before his passing.  Cool
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« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2007, 07:18:46 PM »

Ah, but our Pope of glorious memory was not a Muslim (and still isn't, as he looks down from heaven).

Who is saying the Pope is Muslim. Im stating that the Muslims woundnt stoop so low as to kiss our Bible under any circumstances.  Can anyone state if this ever happened?  No. And you wont.
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« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2007, 07:34:13 PM »

Who is saying the Pope is Muslim. Im stating that the Muslims woundnt stoop so low as to kiss our Bible under any circumstances.  Can anyone state if this ever happened?  No. And you wont.

Well, for them it's stooping because they don't believe in a merciful God who would "stoop" to becoming one of us and sacrificing himself at our hands for our salvation. John Paul did and does.
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