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Archbishop of Canterbury and Orthodox patriarch to join Vatican II celebration

By on Monday, 17 September 2012

Dr Williams and Patriarch Bartholomew (Photo: CNS)

Dr Williams and Patriarch Bartholomew (Photo: CNS)

The Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Canterbury will join Pope Benedict XVI’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, it was announced today.

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Dr Rowan Williams will attend the Mass that Pope Benedict will celebrate at the Vatican to mark the anniversary of the opening of the council on October 11, 1962, Vatican officials said.

Representatives from the Orthodox Church and Anglican Communion were observers at the 1962-65 council, which officially embraced and promoted Catholic involvement in the ecumenical movement.

During the January celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Benedict said the Second Vatican Council placed the search for Christian unity “at the center of the life and work of the Church,” because it was Christ’s desire that his followers be united.

In addition, the Pope said, “the lack of unity among Christians impedes a more effective proclamation of Christ because it puts our credibility in danger … How can we give a convincing witness if we are divided?”

Ecumenical cooperation in proclaiming the Christian message is expected to be a key topic at the world Synod of Bishops on new evangelisation on October 7-28.

  • teigitur

    V2 “officially embraced Catholic involvement in the ecumenical movement”. Now how is that working out? Oh, there has been movement indeed. With the Anglican Communion moving further and futher away from Rome.
     V2 in terms of or own Church? Hardly a runaway success.The Church in the UK and in most of Europe about 25% of what it was in 1969. Not entirely the fault of the Council, but it certainly has not helped.

  • Charles

    Catholics are supposed to confess their mistakes not celebrate them. VII was a managerial disaster because it failed to address current church problems and actually made them worse while adding new problems as well. How is our church better with priests that don’t even wear cassocks or have churches that look like churches? How about celebrating the beauty of the Mass that existed for 1500 years rather than the Protestant like Novus Ordo meant to dilute Catholic ritual.

  • Nat_ons

    The only soul I’d rejoice over, if he were to attend, would be Bishop Fellay – with the good will of any in the SSPX who might be able to show such charity – after all, the stated concern of the Council was:

    The major interest of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and expounded with greater efficacy. 

    How this might be achieved with the Archbishop of Canterbury, other than as friendly observation, is beyond the remit of Oecumenism; now the Patriarch of New Rome, Constantinople, that is different.

  • Patrickhowes

    What has happened in the UK is that we have been rebranded as “Roman Anglicans” and in Europe they are “Roman protestants”

  • Basil Loftus

    Bishop Fellay is far worse than Martin Luther or any of the Protestant reformers because he does not doubt the authority of the Church as they did. Instead Fellay is openly disobedient to the Church and leads others in descension and rebellion.

  • Johannes

    I do wonder about these statistics. I mean, ultimately, a quarter drop in Church members in ~45 years isn’t as bad as some might assume it be, especially if one considers that the changes that have taken place in that time are, taken as a whole, about as bad as they could have been re: the secular cultural onslaught and all that went with it.

    It makes me think that, if, as we hope, there will be a resurgence, a New Evangelization, of the faith, and further to this a recapitalization of Church numbers, then things could easily look a lot healthier in the future. 

    Perhaps I’m being too naive, I don’t know?

  • Pallenfamily

    Can you qualify where you think his dissension and rebellion to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church actually exists? 

  • Benedict Carter

    Vatican II! Vatican II!
    Dem fruits of dat Vatican II!
    De Holy Spirit how He wows us
    Like a whippet down my trousers
    Holy Whippet! Holy Whippet!
    Dem fruits of dat Vatican II!

  • Benedict Carter

    Didn’t do any safeguarding nor it do much expounding, did it? 

    The whole thing’s been the greatest catastrophe since the “reformation”, of which Vatican II is Round Two. But this time from inside the Church. So many books to suggest, but a recent one read which I can recommend is the excellently-documented “The Devil’s Final Battle” by Father Kramer. 

  • Benedict Carter

    A deliberately-falsely elucidated set of lies from start to finish.

    You are a disgrace to the priesthood. 

  • Benedict Carter

    It was a DOCTRINAL disaster for the Church and for the Salvation of souls. That’s far worse than “managerial”.  

  • Benedict Carter

    No, not a quarter drop. 

    A 75% drop in ALL statistics. baptisms, marriages, vocations, religious orders, belief in the Real Presence. 

    Whole generations of children lost to the Faith. The destruction of Christian civilisation and the paganisation of the world. The triumph of “cultural Marxism” throughout the West. 

    Our Lady told Sr. Lucia of Fatima that the loss of faith “would start at the top”. We are living through the Great Apostasy and Vatican II was its triumph.

    The “New Evangelisation” is a joke, designed to slow the apostasy of whoever is left, not to make new converts. That’s forbidden by the New Theology which has given us so-called ecumenism.

  • teigitur

    Indeed. You would have sympathy with the people in the far north of Scotland.

  • teigitur

    A three-quarters drop. Almost fatal. But there is always hope, green shoots are showing. We must pray.

  • JabbaPapa

    Ecumenism is not a heresy, dear Benedict.

    Abuses of it are self-evidently abusive, but Ecumenism is defined by both Mortalium Animos and by Unitatis Redintegratio, rather than the one contradicting the other – except insofar as the latter document defines those cases and conditions when and where the Magisterium of the Church may authorise Catholics to engage in ecumenical action, which Mortalium Animos does not provide us with.

    Mortalium Animos does not condemn ecumenism, it condemns any and all practice of ecumenism that is an abandonment of Catholicism.

    Of course, ecumenism should NEVER be confused with inter-religious dialogue.

  • JabbaPapa

    Relationships between the Holy See and the SSPX have nothing whatsoever to do with Ecumenism.

  • JabbaPapa

    There is in fact no dissension and rebellion to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church at all — the ordination of the four SSPX Bishops was an act of disciplinary not doctrinal rebellion, whatever the internal doctrinal reasons of SSPX behind that rebellion may have been.

    They disobeyed, and SSPX continues to disobey, the discipline, the Ordo, that the Sacrament of Holy Orders requires of all of the priesthood.

    The SSPX is in a state of doctrinal *error* in its appreciation of the relative Authority of Vatican II as a Council and that of the contents of the documents that were published by the Church from that Council. But this Error (whilst real) is abstract, not concrete — the specific objections of SSPX to some specific Vatican II teachings are perfectly licit and permissible, rather than being rebellious. The Error does not amount to a heresy, because it denies something that is of a disciplinary nature, even though this discipline is of an infallible nature.

    The *only* doctrinal error provided by the SSPX teachings resides in the notion that a disagreement with this or that detail of the Vatican II teachings can in any way “justify” a rejection of the Council itself in toto. Wrong.

  • JabbaPapa

    You really should not generalise the situations in the UK, Germany, Austria, etc to Europe as a whole.

    I belong to a diocese on the Mediterranean Coast, attached to a territory where Catholicism is the State Religion, and where a Traditional Latin Mass is offered every Sunday by proper application of Summorum Pontificum.

    Ecumenism is a very tame beast indeed in this diocese.

  • LocutusOP

    It’s not pleasant seeing the sort of hostility a lot of people have towards Vatican II. Most of the mistakes committed in the church after all have nothing to do with Vatican II and are in most cases in direct contradiction of it.

    My take on Vatican II is that the Pope who called it and the bishops who attended it had good intentions, coupled with an extreme naivety about human nature. The result is that though what they wrote was sound, it was left room for gross misrepresentation. It didn’t help that the leaders of the flock following Vatican II were not of the strongest character either.

    I don’t know how much Vatican II has helped in terms of ecumenism – by which I mean bringing people into the Catholic fold – but I have read statements from people who claim they would not have joined the church before. Natually, that has to be weighed against those who felt encouraged to leave because of the indifferentism that followed the council.

    Of course, the less said about the changing of the Mass the better. I’ve never been to a Tridentine mass – although that’s partly because it’s difficult to find one where I live – but having read some bits of the order of the old Mass, and comparing it with the new rite, it’s quite clear to me that the old one puts the battle for the salvation of our souls very much at the forefront, whereas it’s not very certain what the theme of the Novus Ordo is all about. But since Vatican II didn’t call for the Novus Ordo, it’s difficult to lay the blame at the council either.

    In short, let’s commemmorate the good intentions of the council, while being vigilant both the naive view of human nature underlying the council documents and the misinterpretations that followed…

  • Luke

    Haha – so funny to read comments from Catholic fundamentalists.

  • awkwardcustomer

    You said, ‘But since Vatican II didn’t call for the Novus Ordo, it’s difficult to lay the blame at the council either.’

    Vatican II called for a reform of the liturgy and the Novus Ordo was the result.  You only have to read the Introduction to the Council’s ‘Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy’ to realise this.  Also, the revolutionary nature of the Novus Ordo Mass was recognised from the start.  In his General Audience of November 26, 1969, Pope Pius VI had no hesitation in emplying the terms ‘innovation’ and ‘novelty’ and ‘new’ in his description of the Novus Ordo Mass, as in:

    para 1, ‘We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of
    the new rite of the Mass.’

    para 2, ‘A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on
    for centuries.’

    5. ‘This novelty is no small thing. We should not let
    ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior
    forms. As intelligent persons and conscientious faithful we should find out as
    much as we can about this innovation …. As We said on
    another occasion, we shall do well to take into account the motives for this
    grave change.’ 

  • Cafeteria R.C.

    This is a celebration of turning the RCC clock back to dark age standard time that JP2 and BEN16  want but the winds of change are in the air that will blow the old fig leafs away for good as a new honest pope of the likes of John XXIII bring the last words of the good honest cardinal that just past to light by Vatican III that will bring correct need change to the RCC and enhance the teachings of Christ and do away with the pompous image of the RCC that the administration has shown since the dark age to date. Today most RCs are cafeteria RCs or non practicing RC in the developed world. Did you ever wonder why? Mean while, the old fig leafs will have their last who rah. Now the nobody old fig leafs can comment on this comment as well as look into a mirror. Time waits for no one and changes all.

  • Cafeteira R.C.

    Basil, the winds of change are blowing at your faulty towers. 

  • nytor

    It has certainly moved us further from the “other lung” of the Church – the Orthodox.

  • nytor

    Even in the UK, the Church isn’t doing too badly compared to some countries. No shortage of priests (whatever the trendies claim, so they can foist their “lay-led” paradigm on us – yes, I’m talking to you Archbishop Kelly), and the new priests coming out of seminary far more orthodox than their predecessors, as well as increasing access to the EF.

  • celtictaff

    Good picture, shows the two opposite poles of Christianity, The true faith in black and the invented in red.

  • paulpriest

    …which is why it was always absurd of the SSPX not to recognise that a dogmatic constitution has nothing to do with dogma except in pastoral expression of that which it cannot alter, that the only directly doctrinal mandate is in the innocuous Dei Verbum and despite the Council’s laxities, misrepresentations, perfidies,ignorances, insensitivities and indignities the easiest way to have found a resolution would be to have rewritten the entire compendium of documents appealing to the dogmatic positions and their previous doctrinal expressions and presented them to His Holiness and they would have been accepted with joy…

    instead we had a fifty year farce..and shame on all involved.

  • Gelsatius

    Of course these two schisnatics and one of them , a heretic would celebrate this modernistic and syncretic disaster. It gave the enemies within and without To breach and undermine the Holy Faith.

  • gabriel_syme

    Surely it is now innappropriate for the AoC to attend any kind of meetings with the Vatican etc?

    With their women priests and their openly gay bishops, Anglicanism will NEVER be reconcilled with the true faith.  It is a dead duck, so why entertain them, or dignifiy them by including them?  The only reason Anglicanism has any kind of future at all, is because it will survive as a hollow service-provider to the British Royal Family.

    I feel it is just patronising for anyone, who is in control of their faculties, to suggest any kind of reconciliation is even remotely possible.

    The Orthodox are, of course, a completely different ball game.

  • Cjkeeffe

    ML established his own church denounced his vows, re wrote the bible to his design. Bishop Fellay has done none of these things.
    The trouble is that VCII groupies like to select what paassages of VCII they promote and disguard those they don’t like.

  • Benedict Carter

    Exactly right.

  • Benedict Carter

    And you win the prize for the number of metaphors mixed in one paragraph. Well done!

  • Benedict Carter

    It would be easy to post here various statements and quotations from many past Popes that would force you Jabba to retract your first sentence. But I truly cannot be bothered. It’s like discussing things with a (very pleasant, mind) lump of cement.

  • Benedict Carter

    Mgr Loftus is described on one of the many internet links about him as a “senior Modernist”.

    Nuff said.

  • Benedict Carter

    Two of them heretics. The Orthodox position on re-marriage in Church and (some Orthodox Churches) on artificial contraception are heretical. 

  • Gildaswiseman

    There are three excellent books I can recommend you if you want to attain an authoritative view of the Council. Dr. Deitrich von Hildebrand , The Trojan Horse, Micheal Davies, Pope John’s Council and The  Rhine flow into the Tiber. These writings will demonstrate how the 72 original schemas drawn up by the preparatory commission were binned and new ones drawn up by the progressives.  

  • JabbaPapa

    There is a great deal of truth in what you say. (liked BTW)

    But not the full truth — Anglicans remain Christians.

    And the purpose of ecumenism is NOT to water down the orthodoxy — the purpose of it is to evangelise the orthodoxy.

  • JabbaPapa

    Very ecumenical of you, dear Benedict, and in the proper spirit of ecumenism in esse and in posse :-)

  • Alan

    According to Caholic teaching. Remember that the 1054 schism was a mutual excommunication, and, to the Orthodox, we are the schismatics (or heretics).  In some ways (e.g. keeping the original Nicene Creed without filioque) they are more orthodox. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Except that the proper attitude to heretics is not just to denounce their heresies — but also to invite them back into the orthodoxy.

  • JabbaPapa

    ha ha ha !!! :-)

  • JabbaPapa

    Ecumenical Councils continue to enjoy greater Authority than declarations in the ordinary Magisterium of the Bishop of Rome.

    Only that Bishop’s *extraordinary* Magisterium is higher than that of those Councils.

    Oh, and you’re a brick, dear Benedict !!! :-)

  • JabbaPapa

    The trouble is that VCII groupies like to select what paassages of VCII they promote and disguard those they don’t like.

    The trouble with Vatican II critics is that they do exactly the same.

    Otherwise, there are VERY few doctrines newly promoted by Vatican II that are required of us de fide.

    Of course, few people really understand the difference between de fide and infallible … :-(

  • JabbaPapa

    No you’re wrong — but your objection has finally helped me understand why this is so, and so I am gratefully thankful for your disagreement.

    A dogmatic constitution of the Faith is NOT required to state any new dogmas.

    The dogmatic constitutions of Vatican II have restated the relevant dogmata of the Tradition in a more contemporary, hence a less linguistically confusing manner.

    Revelation is NOT defined by words — It is defined by meaning.

  • judethom

    Celebrate Vatican II? Vatican II set the Catholic Church on a path of self destruction. There was the wholesale dismantling of tradition in the Catholic liturgy, and the creation of the Protestant-Catholic hybrid Mass known as the Novus Ordo. Nuns shed their religious habits and went “secular.” Priests began to add and subtract from the liturgy in a fever of experimentation. Church architecture was changed, high altars were demolished, communion rails ripped out, and communion in hand was instituted. Why is the Orthodox patriarch taking part in this? The Orthodox have a dim view of the Catholic Mass since Vatican II, and the Orthodox Church is filled with former Catholics who became Orthodox because of what the Council did to the Catholic Church. Vatican II was a sham.

  • judethom

    My friend, the Orthodox patriarch is the one who adheres to Holy Tradition. The Orthodox CHurch did not tamper with and modernize its Liturgy–it was the Catholic Church that created the Novus Ordo Protestat-Catholic hybrid Mass with lay ministers, communion in hand, and Protestant hymns. Orthodoxy is holy! It does not change.  

  • judethom

    God bless the Orthodox–they do not modernize, they do not change, they do not dance with the times. They are the true Church.

  • judethom

    You are correct–talk to any Orthodox priest and they will tell you how from the very beginning, the Western Church set about changing everything, from the Filoque, to the sign of the cross, to the form of bread used in the Liturgy, right up to Vatican II with lay ministers, communion in hand, the new Protestant Mass, on and on. God bless the Orthodox Church.

  • judethom

    The fruits of Vatican II:

    Dismantled, Protestant Mass
    Empty convents and seminaries
    Clergy sex abuse
    Cafeteria CAtholics
    Modern church architecture where Catholic churches resemble meeting halls
    lay ministers, Protestant hymns, bad vestments, reversal of tradition
    empty churches, closed parishes
    more clergy sex abuse

    Ah yes, the fruits of Vatican II!!!

  • Cafeteria R.C.

    Thanks Ben. May the wind be at your back as well as Ben16′s back. God Bless. One of many, a Cafeteria R.C.