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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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joel-Pinheiro-da-Fonseca/100001070571681 Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca

    The filioque was widely used in the West prior to the Schism. It is perfectly orthodox formulation of the Faith, as even many Eastern Fathers (St. Maximos, for instance) conceded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joel-Pinheiro-da-Fonseca/100001070571681 Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca

    Judethom, the history of the Church in its first centuries is one of continual change. Do you think the Orthodox sign of the cross was used by the first Christians? The first reference we have of the sign of the cross is in Tertulian, and he says the sign is done on the forehead (a sign that Catholics still do before reading the Gospel in Mass). It was all being developed.

    What the Eastern Orthodox did is fix a certain state of that development and declare it to be the only possible one; the fact that they only have Byzantine liturgy is a further illustration of their absolutization and petrification of things that can change. But with the historical knowledge we now have, that is untenable. It is the Catholic Church that properly preserves the all-encompassing universality and openess to legitimate variation and diversity that should characterize the Christian Church.

    And, in spite of that, even in the Orthodox church a lot of innovation has taken place over the centuries: the mystical/miraculous theories regarding icons, the allowing of contraception (divorce is another matter; since the theology and even the Sacrament of Matrimony developed gradually over time, it did have different uses in the West and the East).

  • awkwardcustomer

    Basil Loftus is also on record as saying:

    ‘I enjoyed the challenge of bringing the reforms of the Vatican Council to small country parishes’.

    http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/archive/2002/06/27/Bradford+District+Archive/8026645.Priest_retires_after_distinguished_career/

  • JudeThom

    The liturgy should not be open to unorganic change just for the sake of change. And this is the problem. You call the liturgical changes in the Catholic liturgy “legitmate variations,” but that is no longer true. Read the works of Michael Davies–Pope Paul’s New Mass and Pope John’s Council–and you will understand that nothing about these changes was “legitmate.” I cannot even attend a Catholic Mass without feeling sick to my stomach–the abuses, the altar girls, the Protestant vestments, the guitars, the communion in hand, the bad architecture. It is horrible. The Orthodox liturgy is an incredible prayer and not a fossilization at all. It enriches and inspires. No comparison. Thank God for Orthodoxy.

  • Basil Loftus

    Yes, you can see where this will lead; mixing with prostitutes and other unclean types.

  • paulpriest

     Think you might have  misread what I said – at present all I’m disagreeing with in your last comment is that they are less linguistically confusing…they most certainly aren’t.

    All I’m suggesting is that the SSPX could have reiterated the dogma in their own way – and got away with it…had they been quick enough – but unfortunately they gave their opposition time to gather force against them and sow dissension…

  • Alan

    The point is not that it is false doctrine. The point is that (as Orthodox see it) it is an unwarranted addition to the Creed, reluctantly accepted by the Vatican to appease the French (who originated it), but never accepted in the East.  Unlke the original Nicene Creed, accepted by the whole Church. But there are other, less attractive, aspects to Orthodoxy, such as its tendency to support the political regimes of their countries.

  • Charles Martel

     Hear hear!

  • Charles Martel

    I’m not sure that they hold any greater weight than the ordinary Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff (I doubt it), but they have great authority when, in union with the Supreme Pontiff, they are saying something of any importance, like condemning heresy or clarifying a contested point of the Faith. Frankly, what one council said about Social Communications 50 years ago is really unimportant to the faith of Catholics; similarly, novel doctrines regarding ecumenism or collegiality are to be treated with great circumspection.

  • JabbaPapa

    Vatican II needs to be properly understood, within a hermeneutic of continuity — which simply means, when in doubt about a teaching of a Vatican II pastoral teaching or other doctrinal emergency, break glass and consult the Tradition of the Church !!!!

  • JabbaPapa

    I’m not sure that they hold any greater weight than the ordinary Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiff

    Yes, they do.

    The Pope enjoys the supreme Authority concerning the interpretation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

    Not its establishment.

    This is in Revelation, and resides with God.

    A Pope *may* overturn the interpretation of a Council, but his own ordinary teachings are obedient to those of the Ecumenical Councils.

  • JabbaPapa

    Did God enjoy them ?

  • teigitur

    Yeah like modernists. Give me a working girl anyday.

  • Jon Brownridge

     Do you really believe clergy sex abuse results from Vatican II? That is indeed a strange notion.

  • Jon Brownridge

    Vatican II was launched with Pope John XXIII’s proclamation: “It’s time to open the windows and let some fresh air into this stuffy old Church”. I lament the stuffy old men, stuck in their ways, who spend all their energy in trying to close those windows again – many of them commenting on this site, I’m afraid.

  • JudeThom

    There is an indirect link as a result of the “relaxed” atmosphere
    in clerical circles after the Council. One article I read: Google Thom Nickels,
    Broad Street Review, Vatican II, to read one of many references to
    this “atmosphere” of libertine clerical behavior.  

  • Dino

    You are certainly confused. 

  • teigitur

    Indeed and gave the Bishops the impression that they could do as they pleased including moving around the perverted Priests.

  • teigitur

    Some of us are not so old and do not remember the old ways but recognise that they threw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • Sweetjae

    Do you also consider the fruits of the Councils of Constance, 5th Lateran and Florence to the biggest and most massive lost of Faith (more than 60% of christendom) at the time of the Great Protestant Reformation? To be consistent with the logic of ‘traditionalist’ movement you must agree.

  • Sweetjae

    False, only the Catholic Church is the true Church! Orthodoc churches have no ability to convene an Ecumenical Council, a must for a Living Church of God, moreso there are some Orthodox churches that already caved-in to Artificial Contraception, a grevious sin in the eyes of Tradition, Scripture and God.

  • JabbaPapa

    I too lament the stuffy old men, stuck in their ways, who keep on trying to close the windows in their house of 1960s ruin to the incoming of the Spirit of God.

  • JabbaPapa

    These restatements of doctrine are less linguistically confusing to the great majority who have no Latin whatsoever.

    Of course, the translations of many of those teachings into the vernacular, and into English particularly, done as it was by 1960s clerics who desired to promote not the teachings of Vatican II but the so-called “spirit of the Council”, are quite confusing indeed.

  • JudeThom

    The true Church does NOT destroy its Liturgy. The True CHurch would never do that. The Orthodox Church is the true Church.

  • Nat_ons

    Unfortunately, no. But one cannot blame the Holy Ghost for the failures of the flesh – which are many and egregious. The Catholic Reformation, not the protest against Catholicism, is the constant concern of those who care for safeguarding the Faith.

    So whether in preliminaries (Lateran V), in dogmatic strife (Trent), or in supplementary rounds (Vatican I and II), the object is not fleshly dispute but perceiving the Spirit. Lateran V, a pastoral Council (including Apostolici regiminis), failed to initiate reform through want of effort, will or purpose. Vatican II – again pastoral in outline – has failed woefully for excess of misguided effort (some malign in spirit).

    Rather than rail against Vatican II or I, or Trent, or Florence etc – as many did, and some still do – the Orthodox Catholic must seek out what the Fathers were actually led to hold in faith by the Holy Ghost (even if not adequately expressed in human terms). Hence, reclaiming the Second Vatican Council, like asserting the First, is a matter of supreme importance to safeguarding the Faith .. not merely a polemical plaything to be bandied about. This is not what the polemicists want – at either extreme – yet it is what Catholics are required to do if they desire to be orthodox .. not least in a hermeneutic of continuity.

  • Cjkeeffe

    Whislt Christ mixed with sex workers and other “unclean” people it is true. To equate AoC with Christ is a bit too far. He has presided over the continual collapse and irrelevancy of the CoE.
    How many Catholics attend the Lambeth Conference and General Synod and what role to do they play? As a former Vatican Diplomat I’m sure yo have an answer to that?

  • Cjkeeffe

    Hi ya Mgr Loftus often writes a lot about VCII you can see articles on the web, he wrote one about the primacy of conscience – but left out totally the fact that VCII said that christians wherer to form theirs in referencde to the teachings of the church. In respect to the liturgy he ignores the fact that VCII said that Latin was to be perserved in the liturgy etc etc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Not so old, either ….

    The huge growth in the number of Traditionalist Catholics is from the YOUNG. 

    Not that you liberals like to hear about reality of course ……

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Not good enough.

    Simply SAYING that Vatican II is in line with all previous teaching is just not good enough. The Magisterium has to SHOW how it is, and this task it studiously refuses to do.

    Because it can’t.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Which Anglicans remain Christians?

    The ones who accept contraception, abortion, the “morality” of homosexual liasions?
    The ones who believe in sola scriptura?
    The ones who fondly imagine themselves to be Catholics?

    Define “Christian” Jabba and then start examining your assumptions more deeply.

  • Jon Brownridge

     This has gone on ‘in eternum’, not just since Vatican II.

  • teigitur

    Perhaps, no way of knowing for sure, but the point about the Bishops stands.

  • Alan

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.  If you are correct in saying VII is irreconcilable with previous teaching, how do you know that it is previous teaching which is correct and VII which is wrong?  Why not the other way round?  Doesn’t it come down to your personal preference?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    No, it doesn’t Alan, which you are simply unable to grasp.

    Scripture, the Fathers, the Saints ALL enjoin us in most solemn and serious terms, when faced with doctrinal innovations, to reject them totally and hold onto what has always been taught, to hold to what has been handed down. 

    The question according to St. Paul and the Fathers is one of the salvation of our own individual souls. 

    We have therefore a sacred DUTY as Catholics to resist the New Theology with all of its errors. 

    This is not a question AT ALL of “nostalgia”, of old people unable to “change”, but of our attainment of ETERNAL LIFE itself. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Sweetjae, the wholly-false distinction you and so many others make is in willfully divorcing Vatican II from its fruits, and ascribing the latter to other things (a false “spirit” of the Council, the secular age in which we live etc.) is a response I do understand. But it is not only blindness, it is culpable ignorance too. 

    This Council was a new beast in the Church’s history, never seen before. All that followed from it is contained in the “time bombs” within its documents. The Council is therefore completely culpable in the destruction that has followed. 

    When enough Catholics understand this, then the Council can be ditched. 

    But rather like the EU nomenclatura reducing its members to poverty and migration rather than give up their vision of a federal Europe, the Hierarchy will reduce the Church to complete meltdown (there’s still a way to go) before they wake up and understanding dawns on them. 

    One doesn’t need evil men to plan evil for great evil to happen: you just need good men with wrong ideas to achieve the same ends.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    The sex-abuse scandal is intimately linked to the invasion of the priesthood by homosexuals. The data from the Church in the US is unequivocal. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    But we don’t ask anything of them at all, Jabba, do we? 

    Ecumenism you see …. . 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Yes, excellent summary. Except that modern Catholic churches are laid out internally as Masonic temples. 

  • JabbaPapa

    OK, I’ll certainly agree that there are some Anglicans who are of fairly dubious Christianity.

  • JabbaPapa

    Anglicanorum Coetibus

    And thge Church is *certainly* asking the Eastern and Greek Orthodox to bring themselves closer to a doctrinal reconciliation…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    The small, country parishes don’t exist anymore. 

    Question answered. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    And a post-script.

    The Council of Constance was at the very beginning of the 15th Century. 
    The Council of Florence was in the 1430′s.

    Luther started his rebellion in 1517. 

    So your attempted linkage doesn’t work. Many decades lay between the Councils and Luther. And by the way, between them came the start of real reform of the undoubted abuses of the Church in those times (although there is no doubt that these have been grossly overstated in the light of 450 years of Protestant myth, which far too many Catholics have accepted as fact). 

    But between Vatican II and the Great Apostasy come what? A month? A week? A day? 

    In fact, it was ALREADY happening even before the Council had closed. 

    Why do you think Our Lady at Fatima gave Lucia a “Secret” which was to be published in 1960; and why then? “Because”, said Sr. Lucia, “it will be clearer then”. 

    The Pope has said in recent months that Fatima is still not played out. That’s one of the few honest things he has said about Fatima. No, it is not played out because the second half of the “Secret” has not yet been released to the world. 

    Why?

    Because all the evidence – and we have a lot – is that it is about the Great Apostasy which “starts at the top”. It is about Vatican II and the New Theology and the destruction of the Mass and the destruction of the Church. 

    Which the perpetrators cannot admit. After all, would any of you go into the street and start shouting to the world about your mortal sins to passers by?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    The Ordinariate is NOT a fruit of ecumenism!!!!!

    It has come about through the FAILURE of ecumenism!

  • Jon Brownridge

     I have to agree with that, though I think homosexuals have hidden in the priesthood since time immemorial. My own seminary experience was in the 1950s and in hindsight, I’d have to say that many of my confreres were clearly homosexual.

  • Alan

    But some doctrinal teachings, suh as Purgatory and the Marian dogmas, are not “what has always been taught”. They may have been implicit from the beginning, but did not become finally formulated for centuries.  Similarly, I would argue that the VII teaching on religious liberty, for example, was a “doctrinal development” as Newman would say.

  • Sweetjae

    How about the whole country of England and more than half of Europe had lost the faith 500 years ago? Do you also blame the past Councils for it, Mr. Carter? You should in order for your logical reasoning to work properly.

  • Sweetjae

    Nonsense! Blame also the the Council who promulgated the doctrinal disaster of Indulgences and Purgatory because that was the battlecry of protestant reformation.

  • Sweetjae

    The same rebellion and pride shown by one of your bishop, Williamson who from what I heard will be expelled from the SSPX soon. Why I’m not surprised at all, in fact there were 2 to 4 groups who already had split from SSPX from tye past, disobedience breeds disobedience.

  • Sweetjae

    The greatest catastrophe was the Reformation, the most liberal and baddest fruit, Martin Luther, do you Benedict want to blame the Councils too?

  • Sweetjae

    Prior ecumenism by the Catholic Church was the act to heal the division and rift between the Western and Eastern Churches shown in the documents of the past 3 Councils. The traditionalist movement doesnt seem to realize that there is false and authentic ecumenism as there is false and true repentance of heart.