Sunday, March 14, 2010

True Ecumenism

Cardinal William Levada gave a brilliant speech a week ago on Anglicanorum Coetibus, the document of Pope Benedict XVI establishing personal ordinariates for Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

In the speech, Cardinal Levada affirmed that "Union with the Catholic Church is the goal of ecumenism."

He went on to explain that entrance into the Catholic Church does not mean throwing away traditional expressions of the One Faith (something the Eastern-rite Catholics already know):

"Visible union with the Catholic Church does not mean absorption into a monolith, with the absorbed body being lost to the greater whole, the way a teaspoon of sugar would be lost if dissolved in a gallon of coffee. Rather, visible union with the Catholic Church can be compared to an orchestral ensemble. Some instruments can play all the notes, like a piano. There is no note that a piano has that a violin or a harp or a flute or a tuba does not have. But when all these instruments play the notes that the piano has, the notes are enriched and enhanced. The result is symphonic, full communion. One can perhaps say that the ecumenical movement wishes to move from cacophony to symphony, with all playing the same notes of doctrinal clarity, the same euphonic chords of sanctifying activity, observing the rhythm of Christian conduct in charity, and filling the world with the beautiful and inviting sound of the Word of God. While the other instruments may tune themselves according to the piano, when playing in concert there is no mistaking them for the piano. It is God’s will that those to whom the Word of God is addressed, the world, that is, should hear one pleasing melody made splendid by the contributions of many different instruments."

For the full text of the speech, click here.

Zenit also has a summary of the speech here.

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