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http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/e...o/ecumenismo-ecumenism-ecumenismo-35400/

“Francis wants to achieve unity also by reforming the papacy”

Francis has nominated the Prior of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, as the consultor of the ecumenical dicastery. He speaks of “synodality and supremacy”, the martyrs of the Middle East and the intelligence of the various denominations in Ukraine

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

“The Pope plans to reform the papacy and this will benefit relations with the Orthodox,” says the Prior of the monastic community of Bose, Enzo Bianchi. Yesterday Pope Francis appointed Bianchi as one of the new consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican dicastery led by Cardinal Kurt Koch who is in charge of ecumenical matters. The newly appointed cleric welcomed his nomination with surprise (“I didn’t expect it, he hadn’t told me anything”), predicting a synodal evolution of the Catholic Church; he urged Christians around the world not to leave their brothers and sisters in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria, alone and emphasized the fact that the various Christian denominations that exist in Ukraine have managed to avoid a “political immersion”.

“I didn’t expect this nomination, it caught me by surprise,” Enzo Bianchi says. “The Pope received me in audience last 2 July. It was the third time I saw him since the start of the pontificate and I was delighted; we spoke about Church unity and about what needs to be done to promote this unity. But he didn’t speak to me about this nomination.”

Speaking about ecumenism, the Prior of Bose said: “I think the Pope has one main concern: unity is not created with the spirituality of unity, it is a command we must follow as it is Christ’s command. It is a commitment, which he sees as a priority. He sees unity with the Orthodox Church as an urgent goal. I think the Pope wants to achieve unity also through the reform of the papacy. A papacy which his no longer feared, said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with whom Francis shares a friendship.” A reform of the papacy means “a new balance between synodality and supremacy. The Orthodox Church exercise synodality not supremacy, we Catholics have papal supremacy but we lack synodality. There can be no synodality without supremacy and there can be no supremacy without synodality. This would help create a new style of papal primacy and episcopal government.” A change like this would be practical: the Synod of Bishops has been around since the Second Vatican Council” and the 9-member Council of Cardinals that advise the Pope on Curia reform was the Pope’s idea. In the future, however, there is the possibility of creating “an episcopal organization that assists the Pope in leading the Church without calling papal primacy into question.”

Enzo Bianchi, who has dedicated his life to ecumenism, drew attention to “the delicate situation” in Ukraine, where Christian communities are fragmented: “It must be said, however, that all Churches, the various Orthodox Churches, Latin Catholics and Greek Catholics have been intelligent enough not to immerse themselves in politics; this demonstrates a better ecclesial awareness than expected.” In terms of the dramatic situation faced by Christians in the Middle East, Enzo Bianchi said “they need to feel the fraternity and solidarity of fellow Christians.” The Prior of Bose reiterated the importance of an ecumenism of the blood, which Pope Francis had stressed: “I am thinking of the Christians in Iraq and Syria: never before have there been as many martyrs as today and they are Christians of all denominations. The blood of all Christians is united beyond theological and dogmatic decisions.”

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I read this article and can't make up my mind on it. Pope Francis is someone I can't figure out. Some days he comes across as wise. Other days I am sure he is hopelessly naïve and doesn't realize he is not still in a place in South America most of North America and Europe are not so much aware of.

Unity? Now there's a topic! We could have instant unity if we tossed out all our beliefs and traditions. Would it be worth it? Some would think it is, others not. I am in the "not" camp.

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Actually, Pope Francis has a keen sense of history which we in our times tend to overlook.

Dogmas and doctrines also have a cultural context which means that what Protestants and others derided yesterday could be seen in a different light today.

Bl. John Henry Newman said as much in his commentaries on the history of Anglicanism.

Fr. Meyendorff (+ memory eternal!) once wrote about how certain Orthodox theologians in the 17th century turned the other way to the Filioque (would you believe) when there was an agreeable, peace-loving pope in Rome.

There is much truth to the argument that theology must always be accompanied by a social science perspective (history, politics and sociology) in order to move forward on these issues.

This is not introducing relativism, it is only the acknowledgement that people must take into account their own limitations across historical eras.

Alex

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Originally Posted by byzanTN

Unity? Now there's a topic! We could have instant unity if we tossed out all our beliefs and traditions. Would it be worth it? Some would think it is, others not. I am in the "not" camp.


Unity, not uniformity.

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Here is the problem: "a new balance between synodality and supremacy." Supremacy?

Supremacy is a corruption of primacy. Primacy does not involve power over others, but instead involves a position of guidance among equals. Only the dissolution of the papacy, i.e., as it has existed throughout most of the second millennium, will allow for the restoration of communion.

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However, any changes to the Papacy should never be undertaken unilaterally by Rome.

They should only be done in conjunction with Orthodoxy.

Fr. John Meyendorff for one believed that certain RC dogmas could actually be accepted in varied forms by Orthodoxy - but only within the context of their re-presentation at a union council.

Please don't shoot the messenger.

Alex

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
I read this article and can't make up my mind on it.

Personally I thought it very good, provided that the reader understands that things are not always as simple as they appear. (For example, does "unity ... is Christ’s command" mean that non-Catholics are commanded to become Catholic?)

Originally Posted by byzanTN
Pope Francis is someone I can't figure out. Some days he comes across as wise. Other days I am sure he is hopelessly naïve and doesn't realize he is not still in a place in South America most of North America and Europe are not so much aware of.

Unity? Now there's a topic! We could have instant unity if we tossed out all our beliefs and traditions. Would it be worth it? Some would think it is, others not. I am in the "not" camp.

Even then, it would be unity only among like-minded people.

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
However, any changes to the Papacy should never be undertaken unilaterally by Rome.

They should only be done in conjunction with Orthodoxy.

Fr. John Meyendorff for one believed that certain RC dogmas could actually be accepted in varied forms by Orthodoxy - but only within the context of their re-presentation at a union council.

Please don't shoot the messenger.

Alex


I can go for this

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Orthodox would agree that the papacy needs changing but probably not the Church!

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Christ is in our midst!!

I think that Rome is tone deaf when it comes to this topic. I think Fr. Robert Taft's article about what we can realistically achieve should be mandatory reading for anyone who wants to approach this idea. Father said that all we can realistically expect or achieve is "communion" again--something that is not administrative unity as Rome would understand it. I think it would be somewhat along the lines that I've stated in other threads and something that bewilders most Catholics.

Bob

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Within Orthodoxy, we have been squabbling for centuries post schism as to the meaning of primacy within Orthodoxy itself. Regular dust ups occur between the "second and third Romes as they vie for Orthodoxy' s "first chair", so thinking the east would ever consent to even a "watered down" concept of"supremacy" or "universal jurisdiction" is hopelessly naive. Union would never mean one church "coming under" another....

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Originally Posted by DMD
thinking the east would ever consent to even a "watered down" concept of"supremacy" or "universal jurisdiction" is hopelessly naive.

True. I've also noticed a consistent pattern among the Catholics in question: Usually they will start with the idea that all non-Catholic Christians are basically the same (their non-Catholicness is their primary attribute, right? wink ); then after whatever length of time, they come to see that Orthodox are different than protestants, at which point they will do a complete 180 (or so it would appear to be on the surface) and convince themselves that the Orthodox Churches are right on the verge of coming into union with Rome; then after whatever length of time, they come to see that that isn't likely to happen in days, years, or even decades -- after which they are all about railing against the pride/stubbornness/disobedience/whatever that supposedly keep the Orthodox from Catholicism. (I could be mistaken, but I believe I've even seen one such Catholics assert that Orthodox love the schism.)

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Actually, Pope Francis has a keen sense of history which we in our times tend to overlook.


Do you think? I'd like to hear more. I'm not seeing this at all.

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Originally Posted by Peter J
I've even seen one such Catholics assert that Orthodox love the schism.)


Do you mean you've never seen any Orthodox assert this? Obviously the world is full of fools and blowhards who mustn't be taken too seriously, but there is a very vocal strain of Orthodoxy that is very concerned with being the biggest fish in a tiny pond.

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Dear JDC,

Yes, I do think.

His understanding of the role the great historic saints he has canonized thus far, as one example, tells me he lives history in contemporary times e.g. St Pierre Favre, St Francois Laval, St Marie of the Incarnation.

However, I'd like to know momre about what you are or are not seeing in this regard.

Alex

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