Sunday, 14 February 2016

Have A Full Right and Are In Duty Bound

It is in fact impossible for any Papal action to threaten the position of the Eastern Catholic Churches, as is being suggested in relation to the Joint Declaration with the Russian Patriarch. (The Ukrainian Catholic Church does, however, need to consider Her current political alliances, which do enter into this.)

Both Orientalium Ecclesiarum 5 and Unitatis Redintegratio 16 use the word “solemnly”, which is not otherwise employed by the Second Vatican Council, in upholding the respective rights of each of the constituent churches of the Roman Communion: the Church of the West and the several Eastern Catholic Churches.

There is undeniably still work to be done in giving full practical effect to the status of each of those as a qualitatively equal body, organised according to Her own rites and customs, enriching and enriched by those of Her Sisters, sharing equally in the duty and privilege of missionary expansion, and properly headed by a Patriarch to whom She is subject in all parts of the world.

But it is beneath ignorant to suggest that this is about “geography”, and is thus in principle just as applicable to Africa (not somewhere any longer likely to be invoked by the remaining liberal Catholics), or the United States (where the full effects of de facto independence from Rome are now horrifically clear), or wherever. 

As it is to engage in “delatinisation”, the anti-Catholic programme that has driven into schism Ukrainian Catholics who merely wish to continue the Holy Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic Adoration. And as it is to suggest that anything comparable is or could be applicable to any Protestant body.

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