24 January 2009

A Great Day for the Church (and for the SSPX)

Today, by a Decree of the Congregation for Bishops, the excommunications incurred latae sententiae by the bishops of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X have been remitted! Rorate Caeli, the New Liturgical Movement, and Fr. Z all have plenty of coverage.

I second the hope expressed in the decree: 

"It is hoped that this step is followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of St. Pius X, thereby demonstrating true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and the authority of the Pope by the proof of visible unity."

Thank you, Holy Father!

What an excellent way to conclude the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18 to 25). Speaking of this Octave of Prayer, the dates chosen by the Church themselves admirably express the Church's understanding of what ecumenism is all about. Jan 18. is the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, while Jan. 25 is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Thus the Christian Unity for which we pray is unity with the Church of Rome (the Church of the holy apostles Peter and Paul), which entails both submission to the authority of the Holy Father (symbolized by the chair, the cathedra), and conversion to the true faith (as exemplified by St. Paul).

Mandatory reading for an appreciation of the Catholic Church's magisterial teaching on ecumenism, by the way, must include: 

Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Satis cognitum (On the Unity of the Church), 1896.

Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Mortalium animus (On Religious Unity), 1928.

Council of Vatican II, Session V, Decree Unitatis redintegratio (On Ecumenism), 1964.

Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (On Commitment to Ecumenism), 1995.

For further reading, one might add these (certainly not a complete list):

Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Letter to the Bishops of Italy Quanto conficiamur moerore (On Promotion of False Doctrines), 1863.

Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter to all Protestants and other non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council Iam vos omnes, 1868.

Pope St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter to the French Bishops Notre Charge Apostolique (Our Apostolic Mandate), 1910. [A great line from this one: "Indeed, the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries, nor innovators: they are traditionalists."]

Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Mystici Corporis Christi (On the Mystical Body of Christ), 1943.

The Holy Office, Instruction On the Ecumenical Movement, 1949.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note On Some Aspects of Evangelization, 2007.


Will said...

With a headline like that I thought you were prophesying the sainthood of your newborn baby. I'm still waiting for that headline, but this is good news indeed.

John said...

I further specified the headline for you, Will.

Speaking of waiting... we're still waiting, too.