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Unitatis Redintegratio


3DOP

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My five years experience here at MA&DB has left me thinking that I have been way too optimistic about how there can be meetings of the mind by people of different faiths about anything. This is a big issue for a Catholic. The Second Vatican Council endorsed a policy of dialogue as a means to unity in its decree on ecumenism. I don't think this policy is wise anymore. (Policies are not infallible teachings and the faithful have the liberty to deem them imprudent, especially after observing many years without any positive result).

Today, in many parts of the world, under the inspiring grace of the Holy Spirit, many efforts are being made in prayer, word and action to attain that fullness of unity which Jesus Christ desires. The Sacred Council exhorts all the Catholic faithful to recognize the signs of the times and to take an active and intelligent part in the work of ecumenism.
---Unitatis Redintegratio 1:4, Nov. 21, 1964

I believe I have participated in this call of the Council.

When such actions [ecumenical dialogue] are undertaken prudently and patiently by the Catholic faithful, with the attentive guidance of their bishops, they promote justice and truth, concord and collaboration, as well as the spirit of brotherly love and unity. This is the way that, when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.
---ibid.

Forty-five years have passed since this decree was made and relations with the Jews, the Orthodox and other religious communities with whom the Church has sought to establish discussions have had no results to inspire me to think that success is around the corner. They were thinking in 1963 of union with Rome, a "common celebration of the Eucharist". Two generations after the Council, I have not seen the first step in any gradual removal of the obstacles to unity with the Catholic faith.

At this level, and at official levels, "dialogue" appears to me to result in sentimentalist relativism that won't charge nice people of error, or it results in acrimony when both sides insist on truth. I have come to doubt the wishful thinking behind the Council policy and take the position that ecumenical dialogue, where the ultimate goal is everyone receiving the Catholic Eucharist, is folly. I deplore relativism and I deplore acrimony. I deny that discussions between passionate adherents to incompatible beliefs lead to anything good. I probably will not argue, I will try not to dialogue about my conviction borne out of personal observation of the big picture and my own experience in a small way as one who obeyed the exhortation "to take an active and intelligent part in the work of ecumenism." But I would be interested in comments from all parties. I can't believe that my honest evaluation of this Council document is going to be a stumblingblock to people considering the Catholic faith. If I had to believe that every initiative undertaken in 2,000 years of the Catholic Church was wise and prudent, I could never be Catholic. As I understand it, infallibility does not apply to practical policies, and I think it is critical for any student of the Catholic faith to know this. But I thought I might explain why I see no reason to have continued frustrating discussions here.

Rory

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My five years experience here at MA&DB has left me thinking that I have been way too optimistic about how there can be meetings of the mind by people of different faiths about anything. This is a big issue for a Catholic. The Second Vatican Council endorsed a policy of dialogue as a means to unity in its decree on ecumenism. I don't think this policy is wise anymore. (Policies are not infallible teachings and the faithful have the liberty to deem them imprudent, especially after observing many years without any positive result). ---Unitatis Redintegratio 1:4, Nov. 21, 1964

I believe I have participated in this call of the Council.

---ibid.

But I thought I might explain why I see no reason to have continued frustrating discussions here.

Sorry that you feel they are just "frustrating discussions". If the meetings of the minds were easy, then there would not be so many different religions or countries.

As for Catholics combining with Mormons, I don't think that will ever happen the way that the Second Vatican Council wanted in 1964.

I wish I had an exact person to quote, other than Orson F. Whitney. Maybe someone with more knowledge can help...

Orson F. Whitney met with a "great scholar" one day and this is what that scholar said:

You Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don't even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole Christian world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, you are wrong; if you are right we are wrong; and that's all there is to it. The Protestants haven't a leg to stand on. For if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago. If we have the apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there was no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism's attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the Gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the Gospel in latter days.

(Orson F. Whitney, The Strength of the 'Mormon' Position (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1917), 9-10)

(http://mi.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=9&num=2&id=265)

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In "Catholic time", two generations is moving fast. :P

"It isn't necessary to cultivate plans of perfection, but to look Christ in the face." (Father Luigi Giussani)

This encyclical, or any I'd say, are not meant as "plans of perfection".

Veni Sancte Spiritus. Veni per Mariam.

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My five years experience here at MA&DB has left me thinking that I have been way too optimistic about how there can be meetings of the mind by people of different faiths about anything.

Was it your undrestanding that everbody was to abandon their beliefs and live by yours? The LDS church is constantly seeking to build relations with other religions organizations, that Catholic church on the other hand has taken steps to burn these bridges. We can disagree on dogma but still agree to be friends. We don't need to throw mud at each other.

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My five years experience here at MA&DB has left me thinking that I have been way too optimistic about how there can be meetings of the mind by people of different faiths about anything.
Well, I suspect this board is made up of people who like to debate...which tends to focus on the differences and not similarities. I would have to say the real world is a better gauge for success.

If union with Rome requires recognizing its authority, I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon with LDS (or pretty much any other denomination). If what is being sought is a joint celebration of faith in Christ that is possible, but seems less likely now unless the Catholic Church comes out with an official statement that even if they do not accept our baptism, they still believe we are Christian brothers.

I do not understand why they would expect Jews to join in any form of the Eucharist though. What exactly was the expectation there?

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unitatis redintegratio is a document of Vatican II, in regards to ecumenism between the Catholic Church and her separated brethren, the Eastern Churches and Protestant churches. There isn't anything in this particular document regarding non-Christians (of which, LDS are grouped). The relation of the Catholic Church to Non-Christians are addressed in nostra aetate.

However, the principles and practices sited in unitatis redintegratio of couse can be used with any person or group of any religion (or none at all). Just, the goal of communion is not realistic, or even mentioned in regards to any other groups but the Eastern Churches and the Protestant churches.

3DOP can speak for himself, but what I hear him saying is that he has been trying an ecumenical approach here, on this forum, and has been aware of ecumenical going-ons as a whole with the Catholic Church, and hasn't seen any progress. I'd say, there has been progress, slow as it may be.

It is going to take a whole lot of time and whole lot of patience.

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I don't understand. Can someone boil this all down to a sentence or two?
It appears that the Papacy wants all of Christendom back under its sway, and is willing to wait another millennium for it to happen if it takes that long, sooner if possible.

How it expects to accomplish this leg

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I wish I had an exact person to quote, other than Orson F. Whitney. Maybe someone with more knowledge can help...

Orson F. Whitney met with a "great scholar" one day and this is what that scholar said:

John M. Reiner

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