Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ut Unum Sint

This is a specific duty of the Bishop of Rome as the Successor of the Apostle Peter. I carry out this duty with the profound conviction that I am obeying the Lord, and with a clear sense of my own human frailty. Indeed, if Christ himself gave Peter this special mission in the Church and exhorted him to strengthen his brethren, he also made clear to him his human weakness and his special need of conversion: "And when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:32). It is precisely in Peter's human weakness that it becomes fully clear that the Pope, in order to carry out this special ministry in the Church, depends totally on the Lord's grace and prayer: "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Lk 22:32). The conversion of Peter and that of his Successors is upheld by the very prayer of the Redeemer, and the Church constantly makes this petition her own. In our ecumenical age, marked by the Second Vatican Council, the mission of the Bishop of Rome is particularly directed to recalling the need for full communion among Christ's disciples.

The Bishop of Rome himself must fervently make his own Christ's prayer for that conversion which is indispensable for "Peter" to be able to serve his brethren. I earnestly invite the faithful of the Catholic Church and all Christians to share in this prayer. May all join me in praying for this conversion!


This is unintentionally comical. On the one hand, Pope John-Paul II says that it’s his duty to take the lead in ecumenism due to unique prerogatives of his papal office.

On the other hand, it doesn’t even occur to him that these pretentious claims are, themselves, an insurmountable obstacle to reunion with Rome.

His very rationale for Catholic ecumenism is one of the major reasons why Catholicism is a standing offence to other Christians.

This is the dilemma of Catholic ecumenism. Progress would only be possible, if at all, were the Pope to recant these pretentious claims. (And, of course, there are many other equally insurmountable obstacles to reunion with Rome.)

I don’t question his sincerity. But his “outreach” merely confirms his utter insularity.

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