With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on. -- William Morris

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pope Commemorates Taizé Founder's Death

Jesus prayed for Christian unity before undergoing the passion, saying, "Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one" (John 17:11). The ecumenical movement desires to bring back this unity, not by rejecting sound Christian doctrine or ignoring the doctrinal differences which separate Christian communities from one another, but by the movement of the Holy Spirit to effect the love and grace needed to overcome these divisions and bring back a common and single understanding of the Christian faith.

Under Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church showed its commitment to Christian unity in many ways. Not only did we get the beautiful encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, we saw commissions of the Catholic Church establishing elements of doctrinal agreement with many non-Catholics, as for example in The Joint Declaration on Justification between the Catholic Church with the Lutheran World Federation. This is not to imply there has been full theological agreement between Catholics and the Lutheran World Federation on justification. Rather, they have found areas of concord which can be used to help bring the two closer together.

Paragraph 22 of the Directory For the Application Of Principles and Norms On Ecumenism, published in 1993, states:

The ecumenical movement is a grace of God, given by the Father in answer to the prayer of Jesus and the supplication of the Church inspired by the Holy Spirit. While it is carried out within the general mission of the Church to unite humanity in Christ, its own specific field is the restoration of unity among Christians. Those who are baptized in the name of Christ are, by that very fact,
called to commit themselves to the search for unity. Baptismal communion tends towards full ecclesial communion. To live our Baptism is to be caught up in Christ's mission of making all things one.

Contrary to the unjustified fears of many, this ecumenical opportunity and desire continues to manifest itself in the reign of Pope Benedict XVI. Just this week he commemorated the death of Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the Taizé Community. Perhaps Brother Roger will one day be up for canonization, not only for his life's work, but also because his murder could be seen as a kind of martyrdom! On this, Zenit says:

Pope Commemorates Taizé Founder's Death

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 16, 2006 (Zenit.org).-
Benedict XVI remembered Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the ecumenical Taizé Community, one year after his death.

Brother Roger was stabbed to death Aug. 16, 2005, by an apparently mentally-disturbed Romanian woman at an evening prayer service attended by 2,500 people in the Burgundy region in France. He was 90.

The Holy Father said today to the crowds gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo for the weekly audience, that the life of Brother Roger was a "testimony of Christian faith and ecumenical dialogue was a precious teaching for entire generations of young people."

"We pray to the Lord that the sacrifice of his life will contribute to consolidate the commitment to peace and solidarity of all those who have the future of humanity at heart," the Pope added.

A day before Brother Roger's death, Benedict XVI received an affectionate letter from him in which he assured him of his ecumenical community's intention to "walk in communion with the Holy Father."

The Taizé community will mark the one-year anniversary of its founder's death with a Mass presided over by Bishop Gérard Daucourt of Nanterre.



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