Ecumenical Pilgrimage

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Ecumenical Pilgrimage

1John5918
Fev 5, 2023, 11:43 pm

Worth noting, perhaps, that the Catholic Pope, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of Scotland Moderator have just travelled together on an ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan. This is the first time in history that leaders of the Catholic, Anglican and Reformed communities have done such a thing, truly historic.

The main focus of their visit was peace in that troubled country, and a number of articles about their visit have been posted elsewhere on LT if anyone wants to look. Their calls for peace and forgiveness are robust but hardly controversial.

Here I post one which has less to do with South Sudan, but where they took the opportunity of being together to reinforce calls for tolerance and justice in a different sphere:

Pope and protestant leaders denounce anti-gay laws (BBC)

Pope Francis and the leaders of protestant churches in England and Scotland have denounced the criminalisation of homosexuality. Speaking to reporters after visiting South Sudan, the Pope said such laws were a sin and "an injustice". He added people with "homosexual tendencies" are children of God and should be welcomed by their churches. His comments were backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland. Archbishop Justin Welby and Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, travelled with the Pope to South Sudan where they jointly called for peace in the war-torn country. It is the first time the leaders of the three traditions have come together for such a journey in 500 years. Archbishop Welby and Dr Greenshields praised the Pope's comments during a news conference with reporters on board the papal plane as they travelled from Juba to Rome. "I entirely agree with every word he said there," said Archbishop Welby, noting that the Anglican church had its own internal divisions over gay rights... Expressing his own support, Dr Greenshields referred to the Bible, saying: "There is nowhere in the four Gospels that I see anything other than Jesus expressing love to whoever he meets, and as Christians that is the only expression that we can give to any human being in any circumstance"...

2John5918
Fev 7, 2023, 10:04 am

Here are links to some of the key speeches and homilies made by the three ecumenical leaders during their pilgrimage to South Sudan.

From Pope Francis:

- MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS, 03/02/23 (https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2023/february/documents/20230203-autorita-sudsudan.html)

- MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS, 04/02/23
(https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2023/february/documents/20230204-clero-sudsudan.html)

- MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS, 04/02/23
(https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2023/february/documents/20230204-sfollati-sudsudan.html)

- ECUMENICAL PRAYER, 04/02/23
(https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2023/february/documents/20230204-preghieraecumenica-sudsudan.html)

- HOLY MASS - HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS, 05/02/23
(https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2023/documents/20230205-omelia-sudsudan.html)

From Archbishop Justin Welby:

https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/archbishop-urge...

https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/archbishop-justin-preach...

https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/archbishop-just...

Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields' homily is at
https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/news-and-events/news/2023/articles/moderator...

3John5918
Fev 7, 2023, 11:02 pm

Archbishop Welby: ‘Our pilgrimage together is a sign for the world’ (Vatican News)

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, shares his thoughts at the end of the ecumenical pilgrimage with Pope Francis to South Sudan, and says Christians have grown accustomed to living apart, but it is rather the norm for the Church to work as one...

4brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:46 am

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5John5918
Editado: Abr 28, 2023, 1:05 am

>4 brone:

I think you're posting this in the wrong topic. The Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Peace to South Sudan was precisely that - ecumenical, ie different Christian denominations. It was not inter-faith dialogue nor inculturation, which seems to be what you are talking about here. Not sure where Marxists come in - as far as I know, the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland are, er, Christians, not Marxists.

adversary

Adversary? Surely not. Rather say fellow Catholic, brother in Christ, a pilgrim on the same journey seeking a deeper understanding of the same mysteries, a missionary who would dearly love to see you find unity with the Holy Father and the rest of the Church, recognising legitimate diversity within that unity. Adversaries sow division and dissent rather than unity and love.

6brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:46 am

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7brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:46 am

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8John5918
Maio 23, 2023, 12:32 am

“Hands off Africa!” – Pope’s new book hits stores (Vatican News)

“Hands off Africa! Stop choking Africa: it is not a mine to be exploited, or a land to be plundered. May Africa be the protagonist of its own destiny!” These were the words of Pope Francis on his first day in the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year. Today, the Vatican Publishing House announced the release of a new book – written in Italian and entitled Hands off Africa! – collecting all the Pope’s speeches during that trip, as well as those from his visit to South Sudan immediately afterwards. Crucially, however, the book does not contain only the Pope’s voice, but also those of those he met during his journey. In both the DRC and South Sudan – two countries torn by vicious conflict – Pope Francis listened to the testimonies of war victims, and their stories, too, are included in the volume. The preface, meanwhile, is written by the Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who said that the book “brings me a small sliver of hope for Congo, and for the beloved and broken-hearted continent that I call home.”

Pope Francis visited the DRC and South Sudan from the 31st of January to the 5th February of this year. The week-long visit, which he referred to as a ‘Pilgrimage of Peace’, aimed at promoting reconciliation in the conflict-ridden countries, as well as promoting their independence from foreign interference... In her preface, Adichie focuses in particular on the Pope's trip to the DRC, "a country whose resources have long been exploited, a country exhausted by pillage and conflict, a country desperate to be made whole again." The greatest tragedy of the situation, she says, is "not the internecine conflicts but the silence of the world", which "speaks to the continued devaluing of African humanity by a world that nevertheless eagerly consumes African resources." In this context, she says, Pope Francis' visit to the DRC, and his "potent" messages there, read as "a necessary rebuke" to wealthy nations. "His message", she continues, "is not merely that Congo – and, by extension, Africa – matters but that it matters for one reason only. Not for its resources, which the global North depends on, not for fear that the continent could become again the scene of Western proxy battles as happened during the Cold War, but simply because of the people. Africa matters because Africans matter"...


Worth noting the Holy Father's concern and outspokenness about extractive industries, particularly in DRC, and his focus on the human dignity of all.

9brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:46 am

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10John5918
Maio 26, 2023, 4:31 am

“Hands off Africa”: Pope Francis Revisits Key Moments of Recent Trip to Africa in New Book (ACI Africa)

“Hands off Africa”, Pope Francis’ new book that was released May 22 features key moments of his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Ecumenical Pilgrimage of Peace in South Sudan from 31 January to 5 February 2023. The 152-page book written in Italian, compiles the Holy Father's speeches during his trip to the two African nations earlier this year. The title of the new book stems from the Holy Father’s first speech in DRC on January 31, where he urged the international community to give the Central African country its autonomy while not turning a blind eye to exploitation and violence. Pope Francis’ speech noted DRC’s endurance of political exploitation in what he called “economic colonialism,” child labor, and violence...

11MarthaJeanne
Maio 26, 2023, 7:47 am

Will it also come out in other languages?

12John5918
Editado: Maio 26, 2023, 9:10 am

>11 MarthaJeanne:

Don't know, but I hope so. I think the Pauline sisters in Nairobi are putting together his South Sudan talks, but I don't know if this includes his DRC ones. I'll follow up.

Edited to add: I've just confirmed that Pauline Publications Africa have already published an English language collection of his talks entitled "Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to Africa". It's not the same book, and lacks the preface by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the voices of the people whom he met.

13brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:45 am

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14John5918
Jun 3, 2023, 7:37 am

The Churches must seize this moment of ecumenical opportunity (Tablet)

Is it time for a game changer in relations between the Churches? There are already signs of the times pointing to a better way forward. The joint mission of the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to South Sudan was a powerful symbol of what church leaders can achieve when they work together. The visit of the Archbishop of York to Pope Francis in Rome was another indication that ecumenism still has plenty of potential. Archbishop Stephen Cottrell said afterwards that one of the biggest mistakes that Christians have made is to talk, write and confer about church unity “rather than seeing it as something that we must do”...

15brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:45 am

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16John5918
Jun 5, 2023, 12:13 pm

>15 brone:

Just for the record, none of that tallies with ecumenism as I have experienced it over the last thirty years. I'm truly sorry if your experience of ecumenism has been different. Churches in Sudan and South Sudan worked together, both for their very survival under an oppressive Islamist military dictatorship, and to work for peace and justice amidst civil war and autocratic governance. Likewise in northern Uganda, where churches worked together with Muslims and traditional cultural leaders to try to bring peace in a brutal civil war between the government and the Lord's Resistance Army. None of these faith communities had to compromise their own particular beliefs and practices, although they did discover how much they have in common. And to return to an accusation that you frequently make, none of them were Marxists.

17MarthaJeanne
Jun 5, 2023, 12:47 pm

A friend of mine, an episcopal priest, was invited to participate in a radio show many years ago, back when female clergy were few and far between. Another guest was a Wicca witch, and the hostess of the show was looking forward to some drama between them. The two of them, however found themselves bonding together as it became clear that they were the two people in the studio who believed that there was something more to life and the world than what is obvious on the surface.

18brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:45 am

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19John5918
Editado: Jun 7, 2023, 2:50 am

>18 brone: Marxist progressives

For you, "Marxist" is apparently just a label that you apply to anyone who disagrees with your worldview. In fact it's a term which has an actual defined meaning in the real world, a meaning which has little to do with your use of it as a pejorative label. Here's an interesting reflection on Pope Saint John Paul II and Marxism, from the Tablet.

One of the most interesting friendships between Catholic thinkers in the last century is also one of the most enigmatic. Karol Wojtyla – later known as Pope John Paul II, and even later known as Pope Saint John Paul II – had, the bare facts of biography kept in mind, much in common with Leszek Kolakowski... both were famously intransigent critics of Soviet Communism: Leszek in his three-volume Main Currents of Marxism; John Paul II in, well, his entire pontificate. You can stop there, if you like: lots of people, including those generally called neo-conservatives, do. In this reading Leszek and Karol are a kind of double act in the demolition of Marxism as a world-historic force; the Batman and Robin of the late Cold War. Communism bad; capitalism good. Biff, Bash, Wallop. End scene. It’s a straightforward story, which is a good reason not to take it at face value...

John Paul II, back when he was Wojtyla, a priest and Bishop in Krakow... became known for breaking the rules... What is unexpected – and understudied, at least in the Anglophone world – was the extent to which Karol Wojtyla, in the same period, was moving towards Marxism. The dialogue Kolakowski opened up was being monitored, from a distance, by Wojtyla. The Polish Pope owed his elevation to auxiliary Bishop of Krakow in no small part to the Communist Party’s endorsement: on {Archbishop} Wyszyński’s list of candidates he came seventh. Even when he was a Cardinal Archbishop, he was thought of as more politically pinkish than his fellow bishops: the “Red Cardinal” to Wyszyński's “Black”. When General Jaruzelski, the Communist leader of Poland during the first decade of John Paul II’s pontificate and the last decade of his regime, was asked about this in an interview before his death, he laughed. “My Communist colleagues decided that the bishops ahead of Karol Wojtyla on the list of candidates were not good for the state, so they pushed Karol Wojtyla. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways”...

20brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:45 am

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21brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:44 am

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22John5918
Editado: Jun 8, 2023, 11:39 pm

>21 brone: teaching of 2000 years is in diapers

Church teaching on just about everything has constantly developed over those 2,000 years, and is still doing so. What is 2,000 years in the eyes of an eternal God? If we want it all done and dusted in a mere two millennia, we'll find that God has rather more patience than us! Theology is often described as "faith seeking understanding"; why are we surprised and/or unhappy that our understanding of our faith has deepened as we have lived longer with it? "When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways. Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known" (1 Corinthians 13:11-12). We as a Church or as a human race haven't yet reached that stage of full and perfect understanding, and most of us are unlikely to do so this side of the grave, but we are on the journey; unless we choose to sit down and complacently say, "I like where I am now. I think I'll stay here and not continue this rather challenging journey!"

The basics of our faith don't change. "'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too'" (Matthew 22:36-40). But the last 2,000 years, and the next however many millennia the human race survives, are spent deepening our understanding of this very simple and yet very deep teaching, and deepening our understanding of how to put it into practice, and then going out and actually putting it into practice in an ever-changing environment.

When Jesus associated with the marginalised, the vulnerable, the "different", the "others" in his own society - women, children, lepers, disabled, mentally disturbed, sinners, the poor, the sick, criminals, prostitutes, corrupt government officials, foreign "enemies", representatives of the hated occupying power, etc - the "good" religious people made the same sort of comments which some good religious people now make about those in our own societies who are "different". We need to recognise that Jesus' commitment to these people was not a quaint antiquity but something which we have to put into practice in our own societies, in our own time and place.

23brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:44 am

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24John5918
Jun 10, 2023, 2:14 am

>21 brone: The love the ordinary Tudors had for their sovereign was astounding

Indeed. The martyr St Thomas More is reported to have said before his execution, "I die the King's good servant, and God's first".

25brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:44 am

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26John5918
Editado: Ago 17, 2023, 1:54 am

>25 brone:

Permit me to correct a few of the misapprehensions in this post. Once again you conflate ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, but both are in fact part of Catholic doctrine, as expressed in the teaching documents Nostra aetate and Unitatis redintegratio.

The last ecumenical conference I attended a few months back was not in a 4-star hotel, it was in a Catholic pastoral centre, and indeed most of the many ecumenical events which I have attended over the last few decades have been in pastoral centres and retreat houses belonging to various churches. I have attended ecumenical meetings in grass thatched mud churches and houses deep in the bush, and under fire in the war zone. And since this thread is about the ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan made by the Holy Father, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, it might be worth noting that they didn't stay in hotels in Juba, 4-star or otherwise, but in the nunciature and the British Ambassador's residence, neither of which are particularly luxurious. I wouldn't exactly call Juba an "exotic place" either.

None of the dialogues I have been involved with have been "exhibitions of double talk", although many have indeed been "fascinating", precisely because of the honesty which is exhibited, which is often very challenging. Neither have they been a "colossal waste of time". I think of all the ecumenical and inter-faith dialogues which have led to peace processes in Sudan, Uganda and elsewhere. The ecumenical pilgrimage by the Pope, the Archbishop and the Moderator may or may not lead to peace in South Sudan, but it has certainly given a huge morale boost to the suffering people of that nation, and the statements of the three leaders have provided material for peacebuilders in the local churches to use as they struggle for a nonviolent resolution of the conflict.

Maybe your personal experience of ecumenical dialogue has been different? I'd love to hear about the 4-star hotel. Maybe I can get invited to that one next time? Or maybe you just have no actual experience of what you are talking about?

27brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:44 am

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28John5918
Editado: Ago 17, 2023, 10:44 am

>27 brone: tired of being Catholics

Out of 1.3 billion Catholics it would be surprising if there weren't a few who were "tired of being Catholics", just as there are no doubt a few people who are tired of being Anglicans, Methodists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, even atheists. But most of them presumably just leave rather than seeking to "debate everything". If you are trying to suggest that people who diligently follow Catholic teaching by entering into ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue are "tired of being Catholics", then methinks you are setting up another straw person which doesn't exist in reality.

You've put the text of that post in quotation marks so I presume it is a quote from someone, somewhere. I've googled and can't find it. Could you cite a source, please, so that we can know who said it and in what context? Apart from anything else the author and publisher deserve credit for it, and the website owner deserves the money they get every time someone clicks on their site.

29brone
Ago 17, 2023, 11:35 am

PVl, 1967

30John5918
Editado: Ago 17, 2023, 12:32 pm

>29 brone:

Ah, thanks. Now I've found it. As far as I can see those opening words, "what matters most to the ecumenical council is … that the sacred deposit of the Christian faith be safeguarded…” were first spoken by Pope John XXIII at the opening of Vatican II, and were quoted/repeated by Paul VI in 1966, but maybe he said it again in 1967. The good pope is right of course in that "weariness of being Catholic" does not derive from the Council, but as far as I can see this piece of text has nothing to do with ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue. I can remember my own feelings, and those of almost all the Catholics I knew, after the Council were anything but "weariness". We found it inspiring, exciting and lifegiving, and any weariness that has crept in over the ensuing sixty years is due to the slow pace of implementation of the Council's reforms, and the tedious complaints by a very small group of Catholics who oppose reform.

31brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:43 am

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32John5918
Editado: Ago 19, 2023, 12:42 am

>31 brone:

Most of that really is nonsense. Nobody is trying to change the Catholic Church into a "state-controlled entity" - where does that fantasy come from? "Moaning" about equal rights does not come from "Marxists" but from oppressed people, and indeed it is not "moaning", it is simply claiming the human rights and human dignity which are recognised by both secular society (eg the UN declarations on human rights) and by Catholic Social Doctrine, but which are denied them. To post on a Christianity group that the priests, whether male of female, of many major Christian denominations are not priests is hardly likely to go down well. And for what it's worth, the Episcopal Church, whether in the USA or South Sudan or anywhere else where the church uses that name, is not "state-controlled". Once again you conflate the Church of England (which is a state-established church) with the wider Anglican communion (which isn't).

As to how much the state actually "controls" the Church of England, one can argue that at least in the last half century or so it has been a thorn in the side of successive UK governments, often challenging them on moral issues. Currently the Archbishop of Canterbury is giving the right wing government a hard time over its barbaric immigration policies, for example, and the recently retired Archbishop of York was outspoken on racism. I think back to the end of the Falklands/Malvinas conflict in 1982 when the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster (Anglican and Catholic respectively) infuriated Margaret Thatcher by jointly refusing to hold a "victory celebration" and instead insisting on a memorial service, remembering the dead rather than glorifying the violence.

33John5918
Ago 21, 2023, 12:27 am

>31 brone:

When I read this article I recalled your mention of mafias.

‘All the way in love’: Pope Francis praises example of Mafia-slain priest (CNA)

Blessed Giuseppe “Don Pino” Puglisi “went all the way in love,” Pope Francis said in a letter published ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Sicilian priest’s death at the hands of the Mafia. The blessed was shot and martyred by hitmen under the direction of the Sicilian Mafia group Cosa Nostra on Sept. 15, 1993, his 53rd birthday. Despite threats to his life, for years the priest had quietly fought organized crime through the education of young people in his parish’s poor Palermo neighborhood. “Following the example of Jesus, Don Pino went all the way in love,” Pope Francis wrote in a letter to Archbishop Corrado Lorefice of Palermo, published Aug. 20...


The pope, to whom you refer dismissively as "the Argentinian" and elsewhere even "the dictator", is against the mafia, as you well know. And if there is any mafia-like cabal within the Vatican, he is the one trying to root it out.

34brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:43 am

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35brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:43 am

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36John5918
Editado: Ago 23, 2023, 12:50 am

>35 brone:

On the contrary, I suspect it is one of the things that you will hear in Chicago, as the theme of the Parliament of the World’s Religions' meeting this month is “A Call to Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights”, and transforming conflict between religions is one of the fruits of inter-faith dialogue. Muslims are well aware of the violence carried out by their extremist minority, actually probably more aware than Christians are of the violence carried out by our extremist minority. I recall accompanying a delegation of Sudanese Christians to meet a prominent Islamic imam in South Africa twenty years ago whose first words to them were, "I'd like to apologise for what some of my people have done to some of your people". Most ordinary Muslims repudiate such religious violence, but it's that which "you won't hear about" in the western media. And your disparagement of attempts to understand and resolve these issues certainly doesn't help to resolve them and if anything just contributes to inflaming the situation.

Speaking of Pakistan, I think we have to thank God for the safe rescue of the children trapped in the damaged cable car (link).

37brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:42 am

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38John5918
Editado: Ago 26, 2023, 2:00 pm

>37 brone:

It's very difficult to know how to react to a post such as this. In order to bolster your rather vitriolic anti-papal narrative you appear to resort to using very selective quotes, while refusing to cite the sources so that we can read the whole thing in context and at the same time ignoring things that he says which do not fit your narrative. Let me at least respond to a few points.

As far as I am aware, the pope has spoken out in defence of all refugees and migrants, including but not limited to Muslims. His statements on migrants are readily available online.

It is ironic that some of the poorest countries in the world (eg Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, DRC, Jordan, Lebanon, etc) host millions of refugees and asylum seekers without complaint while the richest countries in the world turn them away and constantly whinge about them. As Jesus says, "I was a stranger and you made me welcome... in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers {and sisters} of mine, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:31-46).

The pope is critical of European governments because of their policies on migrants. As you say, many migrants are rescued by brave sailors who follow the ancient mariners' code of rescuing "those in peril on the sea" (quoting a well known Christian hymn). But their governments try to impede them in this noble endeavour. The Italian government has impounded rescue boats (link). In my own native land, sea rescue is carried out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a charity crewed by volunteers and mainly funded by donations from the public. After a leading right wing figure in the UK accused them two years ago of operating a “migrant taxi service” by rescuing people at risk of dying in the water, donations rose by three thousand per cent, showing that the ordinary people of Britain do not share extreme right wing views on migrants (link). RNLI itself says it has a moral and legal duty under international maritime law to rescue anyone in distress and to save lives on the seas.

I'm somewhat surprised that you are so intolerant towards migrants, as in many posts you make much of the fact that you are the descendant of immigrants to your own country. What's more, your immigrant ancestors were of a different religion and culture to the dominant WASP culture of the country at that time. Thank God that your country was not as intolerant of foreign migrants then as it is now.

The pope is not "indifferent to the plight of Sub Saharan Christians". He has given great support to the Church in areas of conflict in Africa, as his recent visits to DRC and South Sudan testify, while leaving it to the African bishops who understand their local situation to speak out about what is needed. They generally promote the need for dialogue and a resolution to the underlying drivers of conflict, which usually involve injustice and poor governance. All of this is in the public domain and can be found online, although whether it attracts mainstream western media attention I don't know.

You criticise European governments for not doing more within the countries from which migrants originate, and there is some justification in that criticism, as the west has shored up autocratic and unjust governments and exploited Africa's natural resources while at the same time paying only lip service to the need for development aid and fair business practices to improve the conditions of the people. The right wing government in UK has drastically cut overseas aid. But do you propose any concrete solutions? Just a few years ago European countries invested a great deal of money in trying to stop refugees who passed through Sudan into Libya en route to Europe. They did so by supporting a militia known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), formerly the janjawiid, often translated as "devils on horseback", which was notorious for its brutality and which was actually making money out of the refugees themselves. Not only did it not stop the flow of migrants, although it did increase the brutality meted out to them, but the increased revenue bolstered the RSF which is now fighting a brutal conflict with Sudan's no-less brutal military regime, in which as usual civilians are the ones suffering, and which is generating more refugees, most of whom are being welcomed by impoverished neighbouring countries, not by the rich Global North.

As far as I am aware, the pope condemns violence everywhere, whether it be in Ukraine or the African countries that you mention. Conflicts have many roots, some of which are religious and ethnic, as well as social, economic, political, geographical, ideological, etc. Most conflicts are complex, and conflict transformation is also complex and nuanced. Statements condemning one group or another are not always helpful, and there is no reason why a pastoral pope should make politicised and polarising statements about every single conflict in the world. Even in conflicts were he has taken a particular personal interest, such as Ukraine or South Sudan, he speaks carefully, not burning bridges, seeking to reach out to all sides, promoting dialogue, trying to be helpful rather than inflammatory.

On a Christian rather than Catholic forum it might be worth remembering that there were 45 Uganda martyrs, not only the 22 Catholics. To the great delight of Ugandans, Pope Francis emphasised this during his 2015 visit to Uganda. I wasn't aware that their canonisation was the last time the Tridentine rite was used for a canonisation, but it could be. They were canonised in 1964 when this was still the universal rite of the Church, and it wasn't until 1969 that Paul VI promulgated the new universal rite, with the new Roman Missal being published in 1970. Were there no canonisations between 1964 and 1970?

I'm not sure to what incident you are referring when you speak of "recovering bodies" at mass celebrated according to the antecedent Latin rite. Could you elaborate or provide a link, please?

The issue of free speech and inflammatory (or inciteful or hate) speech is too big to address in detail here. You are free to shout "fire!" in a crowded theatre or "bomb!" at an airport, but you will be arrested for doing so, and indeed innocent people might die as a result of you exercising your right. Free speech has consequences. Catholic doctrine teaches that rights must be balanced by responsibilities, and it is often the case that a person should choose to temper their speech for the common good. That's not the same as suppressing information, ideas and beliefs. I'm not sure what it has to do with marxists, although I'm aware that you simply use "marxist" as a pejorative against anyone with whom you disagree, with no attempt to use it according to its actual definition.

Edited to add: A couple of hours after posting this I saw the following article on an African Catholic newsletter. It's just one of many examples of the Church praying for persecuted Christians. It's also something I hear prayed for frequently in the prayers of intercession in many Christian churches. Far from being ignored or sidelined as you suggest, it's a live issue both within Africa and internationally, with groups such as Aid to the Church in Need ensuring that it remains visible. Note that the cardinal-elect refers to forgiveness of the persecutors.

South African Catholic Archdiocese Organizes Weekend of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (ACI Africa)

The leadership of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town in South Africa has organized a weekend of prayer for persecuted Christians around the world. In a Friday, August 25 statement, the Local Ordinary of Cape Town Archdiocese directs all Catholic Parishes in his Metropolitan See to organize the celebration of Holy Mass for “Christians who are suffering persecution” during the August 26-27 weekend. “Conscious that as members of the Body of Christ, we rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, we express our solidarity and concern for our brothers and sisters around the world who suffer for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ,” the South African Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Stephen Brislin, says. Archbishop Brislin adds, “We pray for perseverance and courage for them as they imitate Christ”... “For those suffering because of their Christian faith, that the Holy Spirit may fortify them with the courage to remain strong in faith, as well as with the charity to forgive their persecutors,” he directs... In June, a report on Christian Persecution painted a grim picture of Africa. Published on June 22 by the Catholic pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, the report listed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Somalia, Eritrea, Libya, as some of the African countries where Christians are persecuted the most in Africa. Other African countries listed in the persecution category included Mozambique, Cameroon, Chad, and Sudan.

39brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:42 am

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40John5918
Editado: Ago 28, 2023, 1:09 pm

>39 brone:

In reality, the things "we firmly believe" are in fact complex and nuanced. You can't get much simpler that our firm belief in "Love God and love your neighbour", yet millions of pages have been written over two millennia exploring what that actually means in practice. If you want to see nuanced theology, read Thomas Aquinas!

As for non-Catholic Christian denominations, in fact the Catholic Church officially refers to them as "Christian communions" (Unitatis redintegratio #1) "separated Churches and Communities" or "our separated brethren" (#3), or "Separated Churches and Ecclesial Communities" (#19). These terms are quite a mouthful so in common parlance (eg that of a bus driver or train driver like you or I respectively) we often just use "church" to refer to all. And as UR #3 says, "Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect". Presumably it also includes women and children, although that first usage of term "men" is probably correct as in fact men dominated church and society and it was mainly men who were to blame for the splits.

UR #7 also reminds us of our own responsibility, "There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from renewal of the inner life of our minds, from self-denial and an unstinted love that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. We should therefore pray to the Holy Spirit for the grace to be genuinely self-denying, humble, gentle in the service of others, and to have an attitude of brotherly generosity towards them." A challenge indeed.

41brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:42 am

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42John5918
Editado: Ago 28, 2023, 2:59 pm

>41 brone: The Catholic Church does not exist to redefine matters of faith already defined but to safeguard these Deposits of Faith.

True. A further quote from Unitatis redintegratio, #6: "Every renewal of the Church is essentially grounded in an increase of fidelity to her own calling. Undoubtedly this is the basis of the movement toward unity. Christ summons the Church to continual reformation as she sojourns here on earth. The Church is always in need of this, in so far as she is an institution of men {sic} here on earth. Thus if, in various times and circumstances, there have been deficiencies in moral conduct or in church discipline, or even in the way that church teaching has been formulated - to be carefully distinguished from the deposit of faith itself - these can and should be set right at the opportune moment" (my italics). The Church deepens our understanding and knowledge of the deposit of faith, which includes formulating it in ways which can be well understood by different cultures in different eras.

I have not come across the term "3rd rail" except in the context of electric railways, and I know St Paul was not speaking about those. Could you explain your understanding of that term?

43brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:41 am

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44brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:41 am

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45John5918
Editado: Set 3, 2023, 12:50 am

>44 brone: Are we confusing the current idea of ecumenism with the assumptions of our contemporary society?

There's a simple answer to that question: no, we're not.

The impulse towards ecumenism stems from the words of Jesus, "May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you... With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me" (John 17:21, 23). For you and me as Catholics it is reinforced and guided by the doctrine of our Church expressed in Unitatis redintegratio and other teaching documents.

It has nothing to do with "riot, pillage and rape", nor with "Socialism, Communism, progressivism, fascism, Nazism" and other secular political ideologies (also including capitalism, militarism and so-called "Christian nationalism"), nor with "UN policies" and "globalism", nor with nicking Beemers (although there was a fair bit of that around in east London when I was growing up there), and last time I looked Christianity does not hold that "majority equals morality". The Church is very much focused on "the image of the crucified Jesus on the Cross", and Pope Francis speaks often of the redemptive power of suffering. Just in the last week he has warned us about turning away from the suffering of marginalised people (link), extolled Saint Kateri Tekakwitha as an example of patience in suffering (link), and reminded us that the culmination of Jesus' identification with the poor and suffering occurs in the Passion, "so that the cross of Christ becomes the sign par excellence of God’s solidarity with us and, at the same time, the possibility for us to unite with him in the saving work (Col 1:24)” and “Thus in Christ even suffering is transformed into love and the end of the things of this world becomes hope of resurrection and salvation” (link).

Edited to add: And in Mongolia the pope has just reminded us "that Jesus is the Good News whom the Church must proclaim to all peoples, saying that God frequently speaks to us in a 'low whisper that takes its time'" (link). Worth remembering also how critical the pope has been of secular political ideologies, eg when he warns of the encroachment of excessive worldliness into religious life, and of compromising core values with the allure of worldly ideologies. He speaks of people who "instead of living by doctrine, by the true doctrine that always develops and bears fruit, they live by ideologies. But when you abandon doctrine in life to replace it with an ideology, you have lost, you have lost as in war". There are articles on it here and here, in case anyone is interested.

46brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:41 am

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47John5918
Editado: Set 3, 2023, 2:30 am

>46 brone:

We are all aware that you don't like the present pope, but do you really think that post after post constantly disparaging and attacking a major Christian leader, indeed the leader of your own church, on often dubious grounds is consistent with the purpose and the ethos of the Christianity group? It does get rather tedious.

48MarthaJeanne
Set 3, 2023, 4:04 am

I wonder how many people actually read these rants. And of those few, whether they don't turn people off from the views expressed. I suspect that the main effect is to turn people away from this group.

49brone
Editado: Set 4, 2023, 2:28 am

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50John5918
Set 24, 2023, 9:22 am

Vatican, Lutheran officials call for joint study of Augsburg Confession (NCR)

During an ecumenical prayer service at the assembly of the Lutheran World Federation, the Vatican's chief ecumenist and the federation's general secretary formally called for a joint reflection on the Augsburg Confession, a fundamental statement of Lutheran faith. "A common reflection could lead to another 'milestone' on the way from conflict to communion," said Cardinal Kurt Koch, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Rev. Anne Burghardt, the federation's general secretary, as they read a "Common Word" declaration to the assembly Sept. 19... The Augsburg Confession was drafted in 1530 in an attempt "to bear witness to the faith of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church," the declaration said. "At the time of its writing, ecclesial unity was probably endangered, but ecclesial separation was not yet finally accomplished." Because the statement of faith was meant to witness to the unity of the church before the final ruptures of the Protestant Reformation, the declaration said, it is "not only of historical interest; rather, it holds an ecumenical potential of lasting relevance." The declaration acknowledged both theological and practical obstacles on the path to full unity... dialogue, the two leaders said, allows Lutherans and Catholics "to discern areas of consensus where our predecessors only saw insurmountable oppositions. We are able to recognize that the journey toward full communion is far greater than the contingencies of a particular epoch"...

51John5918
Nov 8, 2023, 5:58 am

AMECEA’s PIHD Evaluates Impact of Pope Francis’ Visit to South Sudan (AMECEA)

The Association of Members Episcopal Conference in Eastern Africa (AMECEA’s) Department for Promotion of Integral Human Development (PIHD) paid a Solidarity visit to evaluate the Impact of the Pope’s visit to South Sudan early this year in February. The aim of the delegation from AMECEA to Sudan and the South Sudan Bishops’ Conference, was to follow up on the positive impact of the ecumenical visit and how the South Sudan Church is prepared for the upcoming General elections planned to be held by December 2024...

52brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:12 am

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53John5918
Editado: Dez 11, 2023, 1:32 pm

>52 brone:

For the record, and for those who like to read quotes in context, I think your headline quote from Pope Francis is from his address to participants at the plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on 6th May 2022.

Many of us will recall the cry in 1940s Europe that theology can never be the same again after the Holocaust, or in 1990s Africa that theology can never be the same again after the Rwandan genocide. I think this particular address by the pope is likewise referring to life during and after key global turning point events of today, including COVID, the climate crisis and the war in Ukraine, which has since been followed by wars in Sudan and Gaza, and which he has referred to as World War III in instalments. In this context, "I would like to emphasise that today, for a Christian, it is not possible or feasible to go about alone with one’s own denomination. Either we go together, all the fraternal denominations, or we do not go ahead at all" makes perfect sense. It's a sentiment which the Christian churches in Sudan realised as early as 1965 (ie even before the circulation of the the Second Vatican Council's teaching on ecumenism) when the Catholic and Anglican churches, led by visionary missionary bishops, formed the Sudan Council of Churches, recognising that in the context of their time and place (the year after all Christian missionaries had been expelled from the southern part of the country as part of the Arabisation and Islamisation policies of a miltary dictatorship) their survival depended on cooperation and solidarity, and that for a Christian in their context, it was indeed not possible or feasible to go about alone with one’s own denomination; either they would go together, or not go ahead at all.

It's worth noting also that this address was in the context of the 1700th anniverary (in 2025) of the Council of Nicaea, which gave us the Nicene Creed, shared by most Christian denominations. It produced the first uniform Christian doctrine through a synodal methodology, and one of its main purposes was to resolve disagreements between different churches.

Francis is the personification of the failed logic of ecumenism

In light of the above, I wonder what you think the "failed logic" of ecumenism actually is? It seems to me that it is perfectly logical and has not failed. Of course we all speak from our own experience, and maybe from the USA it looks different to how it is seen in much of the rest of the Catholic and Christian world, although I am also aware of many excellent ecumenical (and inter-faith) initiatives in the USA. Incidentally, I'm also wondering why, following a quote from Pope Francis on Christian ecumenism, you then offer only examples from inter-faith dialogue which have no connection to Christian ecumenism?

Edited to add: A lot of the phrases that you use can be found word for word in this article in the Boston Catholic Journal, which also makes the same mistake as you in conflating ecumenism with inter-faith dialogue when it erroneously claims "that Ecumenism is the unreserved affirmation of all religions" and "the ecumenical project {is} perhaps best understood as religious neutrality". This demonstrates either extreme ignorance on the part of the author, or a deliberate attempt to mislead. The article then goes on to attack the Catholic Church in other areas not relevant to this thread, and effectively to deny the teaching authority of the Church as expressed in the Second Vatican Council and the papacy.

54brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:11 am

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55John5918
Editado: Dez 16, 2023, 9:11 am

>54 brone: Contrary to revisionist history so popular today guiding the native people into Chistianity was difficult

Not sure what "revisionist history" you are referring to (could you cite a reference?), but I'm not aware of anyone who thinks missionary work was/is easy. I'm currently writing the history of a particular diocese in Sudan, and records reveal that it took decades for the number of Christians to grow from a handful to a few dozen to a few hundred to a few thousand, and more than a century for it to grow to the tens of thousands we have today. I'm really not sure what "DEI, margins, peripheries" have to do with the work of evangelisation; maybe you could enlighten us? Since the Second Vatican Council re-emphasised evangelisaion in the document Lumen gentium (Light of the Nations), successive popes have taken it forwards. John Paul II coined the phrase "new evangelisation", and this has been a consistent theme throughout the papacy of Francis. The first major document he issued was the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), and earlier this year he said that sharing the faith is the "oxygen" that "invigorates and purifies" Christian life (link). But you're right that the example of local saints can be important. In Sudan we have two, the visionary Italian missionary Bishop St Daniel Comboni, and the former slave who became a nun, St Josephine Bakhita. The example of the 45 Catholic and Anglican martyrs in Uganda has also had an impact in many African countries.

Edited to add: Might be worth rereading no. 27 of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium: “I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself. As John Paul II once said to the Bishops of Oceania: ‘All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal if it is not to fall prey to a kind of ecclesial introversion’”. This text is quoted in the latest document on the Synod on Synodality, Towards October 2024, which can be found here. The evangelisation of today's world - now there's a challenge for all faithful Christians.

56John5918
Jan 19, 4:41 am

Dozens of Women in Nigeria Complete Training to Foster Religious Tolerance (ACI Africa)

A group of at least 100 Christian and Muslim women drawn from Nigeria’s Plateau State have completed a financial literacy training that the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria (GPFN) organized to foster religious tolerance in the region... “Seeing each other from the lenses of our shared ancestral roots would no doubt influence our actions and inactions toward one another, irrespective of tribe, creed, or religion”... the motivation behind the training initiative goes beyond the mere act of charity as it seeks to unite the community thereby enhancing working relationships by fortifying the fabric of social cohesion that unites the people. Over the years, Nigeria’s Plateau State has been experiencing attacks by gunmen and terrorists and even clashes between farmers and herders, leading to the death of people in communities. Most of these attacks are attributed to religious divisions...


This is about inter-faith relations rather than ecumenism, but inter-faith issues have been raised in this thread so I think it is not out of place.

57John5918
Jan 28, 4:19 am

Archbishop of Canterbury Celebrates Anglican Liturgy in a Catholic Basilica in Rome (ACI Africa)

Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby celebrated an Anglican liturgy this morning in the Catholic Basilica of St. Bartholomew, located on Tiber Island in Rome’s Tiber River. At the beginning of the ceremony, the current archbishop of Canterbury thanked Pope Francis for allowing him to hold the service in this Catholic church. The ceremony was included on the official calendar of activities held in Rome during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that was published on the website of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity... Father Angelo Romano, rector of St. Bartholomew Basilica in Rome, explained that the prefect for the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, requested for the Anglican liturgy to be held there. “We simply welcomed this liturgy by the archbishop of Canterbury,” he said, pointing out that no Catholic faithful participated in the celebration and that “it’s not blasphemy” but rather a gesture of “fraternity with this church so close to ours.” Welby is in Rome as part of the ecumenical week and also to participate in the summit titled “Growing Together” organized by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission for Unity and Mission. Yesterday, Jan. 25, in Rome, the leader of the Anglican Church celebrated an ecumenical second vespers with Pope Francis for the solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls...

58MarthaJeanne
Editado: Jan 28, 5:57 am

I have many times been at Anglican liturgies held in Roman Catholic churches. At one point while the Anglican church here was being repaired, we 'borrowed' a close by church for several weeks. Also our annual retreats were always held at a monastery, and both our priests (one female) were welcomed to preside in their chapel.

It only becomes news when done at this level.

59brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:11 am

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60John5918
Editado: Fev 3, 4:18 am

South Sudan to Mark Anniversary of First-ever Papal Visit with Vatican Cardinal Trip (ACI Africa)

The people of God in South are set to commemorate one year since the first-ever Papal visit to the country with the pastoral trip of the Prefect for the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), Michael Cardinal Czerny... The Holy Father realized the Ecumenical Pilgrimage to South Sudan from February 3-5, undertaking it alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields. Organized under the theme, "I pray that all may be one", Pope Francis had audiences with South Sudanese authorities, civil society, members of the diplomatic corps, Bishops, members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, Seminarians, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The Holy Father also participated in an ecumenical prayer service and presided over Holy Mass at the John Garang Mausoleum on February 3 {2023}...


I've just got home from facilitating an ecumenical meeting of the South Sudanese Church with some of its international ecumenical partners, and I can attest that last year's Ecumenical Pilgrimage and the unequivocal message of peace and nonviolence delivered by the three global Christian leaders is still very much in the minds of the people of South Sudan.

Edited to add: Vatican Cardinal “to renew” Pope’s Peace Message in Pastoral Trip to South Sudan (ACI Africa)

The Prefect for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) is “to renew” the Holy Father’s peace message during his eight-day pastoral visit to South Sudan scheduled to begin on Friday, February 2... “I'll just be bringing the solidarity and the prayers and the support of the Holy Father to South Sudan and to Sudan,” Cardinal Czerny said... the Cardinal will share the message of peace, which he said will aim “to renew the message of peace of the Holy Father, to express our solidarity and concern about the vulnerable migrants or returnees, our devotion to St. Bakhita and all that she represents for the church in South Sudan and Sudan and really, around the world.” The Holy Father is “sending me (to South Sudan) so as to give the path to peace a boost,” the Vatican-based Cardinal said, adding that the pastoral trip is a demonstration of the “great concern” for the people of God in South Sudan amid political and humanitarian challenges... also scheduled to visit Renk, one of the entry points for those fleeing violence in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum. At the “outreach point” in the Northeastern part of South Sudan, Cardinal Czerny is to “bless a boat”, which Caritas South Sudan “will use to transport migrants and refugees along the Nile River from Renk to Malakal." On February 8, the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, he is scheduled to preside over the Eucharistic celebration at a Malakal Catholic Church dedicated in honor of the Sudanese-born saint, who is the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. During the February 8 Holy Mass, the Prefect of the DPIHD is to lead the people of God at St. Josephine Bakhita Church in Malakal in marking the tenth annual World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, whose theme is, “Journeying in Dignity. Listen. Dream. Act”... the trip will be characterized by a listening attitude...


61John5918
Editado: Fev 3, 3:47 am

>59 brone:

If I understand you correctly, then I agree with you on the origins of the New Testament. There was a Christian community (Church) before there was a New Testament. The oral tradition is older than the written one. The NT was written by the Christian community, ie it was part of the Tradition of the Church; a product of the Church which presuppose the Church, to use your words. Christianity came before the NT; the NT is a result of Christianity, not vice versa. And it was the Church which determined the Canon of Scripture, formalising in the 4th century CE which writings were to be included and which to be omitted (the latter including a number of "gospels"). There is still minor disagreement about the inclusion of a small number of Old Testament books (the aprocrypha or deuterocanonical books) but there is agreement within the mainstream churches on the New Testament and virtually all of the Old.

Catholic apologetics is often mentioned in other topics as more of a gaslighting technique than a catechis tool

Not sure what you mean by that. Could you give examples? While the term "apologetics" is not used much these days, nevertheless the process of explaining and, if necessary, defending Catholic teaching is alive and well, from the Pope and the Vatican right down to the grassroots, even amongst we humble members here on LT. A great many of the posts here are attempts at explaining Church teaching, and defending the papacy and the Church's magisterial authority against those who divide, denigrate, disparage, ridicule and misunderstand the Church. They fit in to the genre called apologetics.

62John5918
Fev 3, 11:20 pm

Anglican and Catholic Bishops unite in call for unity and mission (Vatican News)

Anglican and Catholic Bishops emphasize the fruitful ecumenical journey towards reconciliation at the conclusion of the IARCCUM summit, expressing their desire to work toward Christian unity while addressing global challenges...

63John5918
Editado: Fev 5, 9:12 am

One Year On, Apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan Highlights “fruits” of First-ever Papal Visit (ACI Africa)

One year since the first-ever Papal visit to South Sudan, the representative of the Holy Father in the East-Central African nation has highlighted the benefits of the 3-5 February 2023 Ecumenical Visit, which Pope Francis undertook alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields. The Ecumenical Pilgrimage for peace to South Sudan by the three church leaders was organized and realized under the theme, “I pray that all may be one”, taken from John 17. In his Saturday, February 3 homily at St. Theresa’s Kator Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Juba, the venue of Pope Francis’ 4 February 2023 meeting with members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and Seminarians, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen challenged the people of God in South Sudan to be “salt of the earth”, living honest lives founded on Gospel values. “The Holy Father, after his visit to Juba, gave us the gift of a Cardinal, His Eminence Stephen Ameyu, as a recognition of the importance of the Church of South Sudan,” Archbishop van Megen said...


Edited to add a couple more from ACI Africa on this follow-up visit to last year's Ecumenical Pilgrimage.

My Visit “another sign” of Church’s Solidarity in South Sudan’s Quest for Peace: Cardinal

The Prefect for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), who arrived in South Sudan on Saturday, February 3 for his eight-day pastoral trip has described his visit as an additional demonstration of the solidarity of the Catholic Church, and that of the Holy Father, with South Sudanese in their search for lasting peace...


“Be faithful to peace agreement”: Vatican Cardinal to South Sudanese ahead of Elections

The people of God in South Sudan are at a “critical moment” in their political life as the world’s newest and youngest nation prepares for general elections currently scheduled for December 2024, a Vatican-based Cardinal visiting the country has said. Michael Cardinal Czerny, who arrived in South Sudan on Saturday, February 3 for his eight-day pastoral trip has emphasized the need for citizens and all the stakeholders in the ongoing peace negotiations to “be faithful” to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). Signed in September 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, R-ARCSS provides a framework for ending the country’s civil war... To deliver credible elections, the Prefect for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), underscored the need for “groundwork”, which he said entails “putting into place needed infrastructures in the political sphere, preparing your minds and hearts for possible transition”... “I therefore urge you to be faithful to the peace agreement, not just you but also members of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), and all signers of the peace agreement”...

64brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:11 am

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65brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:11 am

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66John5918
Fev 25, 11:22 pm

>65 brone:

Worth mentioning I think that this is not the first liturgical form that has been "suppressed" during two millennia of Church history, and probably won't be the last. The Church develops and moves on, building on what has gone before but not preserving it as if it were a museum piece. Nobody seriously suggests that the Church should revert to the earliest languages and forms of the liturgy of the first couple of centuries CE, before Latin came into common use and even longer before the 16th century Council of Trent.

67John5918
Mar 1, 11:11 pm

Cardinal Sarah Calls for Interfaith Synergy and Vigilance in Addressing Entrenched Religious Challenges in Africa (AMECEA)

His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS), had called for urgent interreligious synergy and communal discernment as an antidote to the lingering wounds of division and present a cohesive witness to the Gospel. Cardinal Sarah, a prominent figure in the Catholic Church, delivered a compelling keynote address centered on the ‘Missionary Mandate of Christ about Non-Catholic Christian denominations, traditional religions, and Islam’, drawing on his personal experiences and theological insights to highlight the key challenges posed by Christian divisions, the spread of “toxic spiritual refuse,” and the barriers to evangelization presented by Islam. The 79-year-old Catholic prelate from the village of Ourous in French Guinea, began his address with a backdrop of divisions among Christians which stemmed from the Protestant Reformation, lamenting the enduring schisms within Christianity and emphasizing the need for concerted efforts toward reconciliation and unity as they navigate the complex religious landscape of Africa. “If we are not one if we are divided, then our witness to Christ will be divided, and the world will not believe the Gospel,” stated the prelate... Addressing Africa’s diverse Christian denominations, Cardinal Sarah urged dialogue and collaboration while cautioning against syncretism, encouraging independent Christian communities to seek unity based on Christ’s word and to avoid building on foundations other than those laid by Christ himself... the catholic leader advised that believers can still strike a positive interplay between religion and constructive indigenous culture without total erosion of either saying, “Evangelization did not destroy our traditional way of life but elevated and purified it in the light of the Gospel and this is how evangelization ought to work.” He goes on to say, “We discern in the people and the cultures what is good and what is evil, what is evil we discard, and what is good remains and becomes rooted, assimilated, and integrated into the life of the Church”...

68brone
Editado: Mar 27, 11:10 am

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69brone
Editado: Abr 3, 2:02 pm

It seems to me that ordinary Catholics here want too keep the old traditions for to long we have been sold an anti Catholic style of ecumenism by the media and by Rome. If we don't wake up soon to the danger, it can be for the next generation a case of one religion being as good as another and for the generation after that why worry about belonging to any religion at all....JMJ....

70John5918
Abr 3, 2:03 pm

>69 brone:

I presume by "ordinary Catholics here" you refer to a small group of Catholics in the USA? There are 1.2 billion other Catholics in the world who might feel differently.

71John5918
Editado: Abr 4, 12:20 am

While I again note that ecumenism and inter-faith relations are two different animals, nevertheless relations with other faiths comes up from time to time in this thread, so I post this interesting article here.

‘Some were extremely hostile’: how Dutch far-right figure turned to Islam (Guardian)

He was once Geert Wilders’ right-hand man, crafting Freedom party (PVV) messaging that described Islam as a “lie” and pushed for the Qur’an and mosques to be banned in the Netherlands. One decade on, Joram van Klaveren is a Muslim convert – the second politician from the far-right PVV to convert – and actively working to dismantle the myths he once peddled. “The things that I helped them develop are still there; they’re still using the tools I gave them,” he told the Guardian. “I literally hear them say things that I made up”... “I was in anti-Islam politics for altogether 12 years, so I have to counter this narrative for at least 12 years to make it even, so to speak,” said the 45-year-old... He rose swiftly up the ranks. “I did everything. I tried to ban mosques; I tried to ban the Qur’an, shut down Islamic schools, forbid the Arabic language in public,” he said. “Back then, I thought it was a good thing because we were fighting Islam.” Van Klaveren broke with Wilders in 2014 after a rally in which the PVV leader asked supporters if they wanted “fewer Moroccans” in the country. For Van Klaveren, it seemed a step too far. “I thought, well, I must leave because now it’s becoming an ethnic thing”... He quit politics, instead setting his sights on writing a book, envisioning it as an academic tome that would lay bare the threat posed by Islam. He threw himself into the task but as he learned more about Islam he said he found himself becoming increasingly intrigued... In 2019 he went public with his conversion, urged on by a local imam who explained that it was an opportunity to set the record straight. “He said you have a responsibility as well. Because you incited hate, in a way,” said Van Klaveren... “Some people were extremely hostile. I got over 2,000 death threats,” he said. “It was really extreme. People saying they were going to rape my wife, kill my children, and they sent the address of the school to me, so as to intimidate me”... In 2020 he joined several others in launching a Muslim-led foundation in the Netherlands to introduce people to the faith and history of Islam. After visiting more than 200 schools the foundation opened a museum in Rotterdam in June called the Islam Experience Centre. “The main goal is to take away misconceptions and promote empathy,” he said. “When I was in the Freedom party, we always said Islam is alien to us; Islam has nothing to do with Europe. And of course, when you look at Spain, for example, at Andalucía, it is nonsense.” Asked whether he felt guilt or regret over his actions during his time with the PVV, Van Klaveren said: “Of course I feel ashamed because of what I said. I had plans, but Allah is the best of planners and my life took another direction”...


A true conversion experience, not in the narrow sense of conversion to a particular faith, but conversion from hate to something more constructive, the biblical metanoia.

72brone
Editado: Abr 4, 2:16 pm

Today the Modernist Vatican in pursuit of ecumenism and global ideology are a determined to stamp out the Latin Mass. Faithful priests have been resisting this from the sixties. A 1973 movie which is relevant today called "the Catholics" (in public domain) starring Trevor Howard and Martin Sheen after a book by Brian Moore. highlights the struggle still fermenting today....JMJ....

73John5918
Abr 5, 12:19 am

>71 John5918: ‘We stand together’: Bradford Muslim and Jewish leaders join forces for Ramadan event (Guardian)

As politicians continue to argue and the war in Gaza rages on, leaders from the Muslim and Jewish communities in Bradford held an interfaith iftar on Wednesday evening, to celebrate the diversity of this part of West Yorkshire. Laurence Saffer, the president of the Leeds Jewish representative council, described the similarities between practising Islam and Judaism and said it was important to attend the iftar – the evening meal held by Muslims observing Ramadan – because “it’s what we do”... “I talk about the elephant in the room, which is Israel and the Palestinians. We have to talk about what we believe. Because when the Jewish community talks and somebody asks me, ‘does the Jewish community believe that the Palestinians have the right to self determination?’, the answer is a resounding yes. We do. We fully support that. “When members continue to ask, ‘do you believe that the Jewish people are entitled to self determination?’, the answer invariably is yes, we do. We respect your rights. “Then we say: actually, what do we disagree about as people living here in the United Kingdom? It’s often things like borders or the status of Jerusalem – which, in reality, I don’t have any influence over and neither do our Muslim friends. So when we break it down and say the things that we don’t agree on, surely there’s very little”... Safina Aziz, chair of the Professional Muslims Institute, urged people of all backgrounds to call out every form of hate, emphasising the long history of partnership between the Muslim and Jewish community...

74John5918
Editado: Abr 6, 12:34 am

>72 brone:

Your mention of a film about Catholics reminds me of a 1941 novel by A J Cronin entitled The Keys of the Kingdom, which I believe was also made into a film in 1944, starring Gregory Peck and Vincent Price. The Wikipedia summary says, "Spanning six decades, it tells the story of Father Francis Chisholm, an unconventional Scottish Catholic priest who struggles to establish a mission in China. Beset by tragedy in his youth, as a missionary Chisholm endures many years of hardship, punctuated by famine, plague and war in the Chinese province to which he is assigned. Through a life guided by compassion and tolerance, Chisholm earns the respect of the Chinese—and of fellow clergy who would mistrust him—with his kindly, high-minded and courageous ways". A sub-theme of the story is how he is constantly frustrated by an ambitious fellow priest who stays at home and follows a "conventional" path and becomes a bishop, but who at the end sees the error of his ways and comes to understand and respect Chisholm, who has always responded with humility, charity and love. Well worth reading. I see it is available free on Kindle.

75John5918
Abr 5, 4:22 am

>71 John5918: “Profound opportunity”: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria Calls for Interfaith Dialogue as Easter Coincides with Ramadan (ACI Africa)

Christians celebrating Easter and Muslims living the Holy Month of Ramadan in Nigeria have been urged to embrace the season as a “profound opportunity” to set aside their differences and realize “greater harmony and cooperation”. In his 2024 Easter Message, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Nigeria’s Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja says that the season of fasting and celebration challenges both Muslims and Christians, respectively, “to extend a hand of compassion to all.” “This year, Easter coincides with a unique alignment of faiths as Christian Lent intersects with Muslim Ramadan. This happy coincidence offers a profound opportunity for interfaith dialogue, solidarity and mutual understanding,” Archbishop Kaigama says. He adds, “In a country as diverse as Nigeria, characterized by a rich tapestry of cultures and religions, let us seize this moment to foster greater harmony and cooperation among all communities. Together, we can transcend boundaries and so celebrate our shared humanity.” “Just as we fast, abstain and pray during Lent, Christians must see it as a call of duty in the spirit of Christ, to empathize with our Muslim neighbors as they observe Ramadan with devotion and self-discipline that we are all very familiar with. Muslims are equally encouraged to do likewise to all people of goodwill,” he further says...

76John5918
Abr 11, 4:53 am

Eid al-Fitr “a moment to reflect on values of love, compassion”: Cardinal in South Sudan to Muslims (ACI Africa)

Eid al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, is a moment to reflect on values of love and compassion, Stephen Cardinal Ameyu Mulla has said. In his goodwill message to the Muslims in the East-Central African nation, the Local Ordinary of South Sudan’s Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, who doubles as the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) wishes Muslims a “glorious conclusion of Ramadan.” “Eid al-Fitr represents the time of celebration, unity and gratitude. It is a moment to not only rejoice in the end of fasting, but also to reflect on the values of love, compassion and generosity that Ramadan instils in our hearts,” the South Sudanese Cardinal says in his message issued Monday, April 8. He adds, “As you come together with loved ones, may your homes be filled with laughter, love and happiness”... “In today's world where division and hardships persist, your commitment to faith, community and pursuit of peace serves as a shining example." “Your spirit of togetherness and inclusiveness in celebrating Eid Fitr helps foster harmony and strengthens the bonds of unity among neighbours, friends and family members of all walks of life,” the President of SCBC that brings together Catholic Church leaders at the helm of Dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan says. He continues, “As we stand in solidarity sharing this joyous occasion with you, let us remember those who are less fortunate.” Cardinal Ameyu goes on to invite Muslims in South Sudan to “extend their hands to the needy and demonstrate the true essence of compassion and kindness that Ramadan teaches us”... “Throughout Ramadan you have exhibited remarkable discipline, devotion and resilience in observing your fast and engaging in acts of worship,” he says, and adds, “Your dedication to spiritual reflection, prayers and charitable giving has been truly inspiring for us all”... “May this auspicious day marking the end of the blessed month of fasting bring you abundant joy, peace and blessing.” “May the blessings of Eid al-Fitr fill your hearts with happiness, bring prosperity to your households, and inspire you to be agents of positive change in our society,” Cardinal Ameyu says.

77John5918
Abr 13, 12:47 am

Vatican Official Says Interreligious Dialogue is a Pastoral Concern (AMECEA)

A Vatican official at a conference aimed to bring together believers of different religious backgrounds to mutual conversations, has expressed that Interreligious Dialogue is a pastoral concern that religious leaders need to address. In an address read on behalf of the Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, a member of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ), dialogue between Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religion (ATR) goes beyond intellectual exercise and is “a pastoral concern”...

78brone
Abr 14, 12:33 pm

"going beyond the intellectual exercise and is now a pastoral concern" I hope Guixot pastoral is not ecumaniac as most of the mutual youse guys are as relevant as us guys. The concern I hope this Prince of the Church conveys to Muslims and African pagans is to present the towering figure which fills the Gospels as above all other thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. Tell them how He never concealed his tears like the modern and ancient stoics. Powerful men are pround of concealing their anger and true feelings. He never restrained His anger. Tell them how He threw their furniture out of the front door of the temple. Tell them how at times He did retrain something dare I say almost with shyness. He never tells us what he did when He went up the mountain He was silent about his impetuous isolation. Will the Cardinal tell them that possibly there was something too great to tell us. I like to think in terms of Christian simplicity that He in those moments of isolation was full of mirth pondering His own creation. Will the Prelate talk about Jesus to these unbelievers that is the real ecumenical possibility here....JMJ....

79John5918
Editado: Abr 17, 1:52 am

>78 brone:

As it happens this particular prelate is a missionary who served in Egypt and Sudan for many years before he was chosen as a cardinal, so I think you'll find he has plenty of experience of talking about Jesus to non-Christians.

Edited to add: Talking about "talking about Jesus to non-Christians", I can highly recommend a book by a US missionary priest, Spiritan Fr Vincent Donovan, entitled Christianity Rediscovered, in which he writes about his years of experience with the Maasai people in East Africa. Written in 1978 it's a little dated now, but its influence was felt by a whole generation of missionaries.