Day #345: Unitatis Redintegratio 23-24

Today we complete our reading of the Decree on Ecumenism.

Article 23 brings together the discussion on Christ (article 20), Scripture (article 21) and Baptism (article 22) to speak of the Christian life our separated brethren are striving to live.  Even if they do not always come to the same conclusions, they share the desire to follow Christ and thus the moral life in Christ is a good srating point for dialogue.

Article 24 concludes the document with a final summation and exhortation.  It importantly includes a warning against false ecumenism which would white-wash our differences and actually harm efforts at builiding unity as a result.

Here are the footnotes:

41. Col. 3, 17.

42. Rom. 5, 5.

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Day #344: Unitatis Redintegratio 21-22

In today’s reading from the Decree on Ecumenism, we continue to look at the separated communities of the West.

Article 21 talks about Scripture and how it can serve as a common foundation for dialogue, even though many of the separated communities do not acknowledge the Church’s role of interpreting the sacred text.

Article 22 looks at the Sacrament of Baptism and how it is valid in many of the separated communities, even if they do not possess other valid sacraments.

Here are the footnotes:

39. Rom. 1, 16.

40. Col. 2, 12; cf. Rom. 6, 4

Day #343: Unitatis Redintegratio 19-20

In today’s reading from the Decree on Ecumenism, we move onto the second section of the final chapter by taking a look at the “Separated Churches and Ecclesial Communities in the West.”

Article 19 intorduces the section with an acknowledgement that the wide variety of differences with these ecclesial communities (both with the Catholic Church and with each other) makes it difficult to describe in detail.  Nevertheless, the Council Fathers state their hope that what follows will serve as a solid basis for dialogue.

Article 20 speaks of those groups that emphasize the one mediation of Christ and positively affirms that they “look to Christ as the source and center of Church unity.”

No footnotes.

Day #341: Unitatis Redintegratio 16-17

Today in the Decree on Ecumenism, we continue our discussion of the Eastern Churches.

Today we read about the legitimate differences between the East and West.  Article 16 speaks of the differences in governorship while article 17 speaks of the differences in doctrinal formulations.  These differences are not an obstacle to unity but are part of the legitimate diversity of expressions.

No footnotes.

Day #340: Unitatis Redintegratio 15

Today in the Decree on Ecumenism, we continue our discussion of the Eastern Churches.

Article 15 acknowledges the “very rich liturgical and spiritual heritage of the Eastern Churches.”  Importantly, the Council Fathers here affirm that the Eastern Churches possess true and valid sacraments in light of their valid apostolic succession.

Here are the footnotes:

35. 2 Petr. 1, 4.

36. Cf. S. IOANNES CHRYSOSTOMOS, In loannem Homelia XLVI, PG 59, 260-262.

Day #339: Unitatis Redintegratio 14

Today in the Decree on Ecumenism, we start the first section of Chapter III where the Council addresses “The Special Consideration of the Eastern Churches.”

Article 14 gives a brief summary of the history of the Eastern Churches, who can also trace their lineage back to the Apostles, and emphasizes that this must all be taken into consideration when we speak of Christian unity.

No footnotes.