Friday, January 20, 2006

Chair of Unity Octave (more)
This began the other day, the feast in the Roman Rite of the Chair of St Peter at Rome (not in the 1962 Missal?), and continues until the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, the 25th January.

It began with Anglo-Catholics, specifically Fr Paul James Francis (Wattson), an Episcopal priest circa 1900, founder of the Franciscan order the Society of the Atonement and an Anglo-Papalist.

When the Episcopal Church instead voted for the wrong kind of union, with Protestant denominations, choosing at the 1908 General Convention to allow non-episcopal Protestant ministers to preach from Episcopal pulpits (the open-pulpit canon), Fr Paul and some other Anglo-Papalists, most notably Fr William McGarvey, his curates and part of the congregation at St Elisabeth’s Church in Philadelphia, made their submissions to Rome, Fr Paul and the SA doing so in 1909. The SA were received individually but allowed by Rome to continue. And Rome adopted the unity octave as well.

The octave has been adopted by Protestants but without the original intention or name, having been renamed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The order still exists, in Graymoor, NY up the Hudson from New York City, but is a typical liberal RC enterprise now. (One gets the feeling that if they’d been around in 1908 they would have cheered the open-pulpit canon and denounced Fr Paul!)
LOOK down, most merciful Lord Jesu, our Saviour, upon the prayers and sighs of thy sinful and unworthy servants, humbly falling down before thee, and unite us all in one holy Catholic and apostolic church. Shine into our souls thine ineffable light. Put an end to religious disagreements, and grant that we thy disciples and thy beloved children may all worship thee with a single heart and voice. Most merciful Lord, quickly fulfil thy promise that there be one flock and one shepherd of thy church, that we may be made worthy to glorify thy holy Name, now and ever and unto endless ages. Amen.
- Blessed Leonty (Leonid Feodorov)

Yesterday, the 19th January, may have been chosen as the day to pray for reunion with the Christian East because it’s one of the 12 great feasts of the Orthodox calendar, Theophany (Jesus’ baptism), according to the Julian reckoning used by the Russian and several other churches, as noted in a blog entry yesterday. And/or it may simply be providential/serendipitous because the order of the days’ intentions seems to be based on how close each group already is to historic Rome: first the East, then the Anglicans and then the continental Protestants, et al. (Today is the day to pray for the Anglicans.)

However...
Do you think I grew up knowing Marian doctrines? I grew up singing "Kumbaya" and reading catechisms that told me how much God "luved" me. The only Catholicism I really got growing up was from my simple grandparents' Mexican customs. ...to be angst-ridden over not being in the RC Church when this is the case with my entire generation is a little silly to me.
- Arturo Vasquez

Having worked alongside born nominal RCs my age and younger for up to eight years I can agree that their church membership is essentially irrelevant to me.

But here is an addendum supplying what may be lacking in Mr Vasquez’ statement. (Mr Kimel is Al Kimel of Pontifications.)
Salus animarum lex suprema.
- St Thomas Aquinas
Just to show how pervasive disunity is, the ecumenical movement is even deeply divided. In fact, there are two distinct ecumenical efforts at work today, with starkly different objectives. The old ecumenical movement, as represented in the U.S. most notably by the National Council of Churches, has drifted far left. What unites this group is adherence to a liberal social and political agenda.

Meanwhile, what's sometimes known as the "new ecumenism" brings together classical Christians from varying denominational backgrounds. This is a theologically substantive effort, built on a unifying respect for Holy Scripture and traditional biblical morality.
The second is the ecumenism of Touchstone and more in line with Fr Paul.

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