Blog Template Theology of the Body: Ecumenical Acumen Excursus

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ecumenical Acumen Excursus

While researching on St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine a few days ago, I glanced at a stray page from a presentation made at a conference of Paulist Fathers, traditionally avid ecumenists, almost fifty years ago. For some reason, it suited recent thoughts to a T:

"In conclusion, let me urge us all to take a vital interest in the ecumenical movement. ...(however) I realize that there are some members of the movement who seem to think that convert work must be put on the shelf temporarily, in favor of ecumenical work.

The Protestant scholar Jarislov Pelikan argues with a great degree of plausibility in The Riddle of Roman Catholicism that the Protestant interested in Catholicism should work for corporate reunion rather than become a convert to Catholicism here and now. I think this is a denial of man's primary duty to save his soul, and I am sure that many priests have met with "high church" Anglicans, for instance, who stay out of the Catholic Church under the perilous illusion that they can do more for the Church outside it than within it.

... Christ preached to crowds but He also evangelized individuals. He has asked us to go out into the highways and byways to bring guests into the marriage feast. I don't think He will object if we bring them one by one rather than by tens and twenties. The important thing is to bring them in."

- From "Catholics and Ecumenism," Rev. John B. Sheerin, C.S.P. St. Paul's College, Washington D.C., Oct 22. 1959.