Latest Blog Post from Secular Spectrum
In our program of dialogue, connection, and collaboration with our Atheist and Humanist friends, we have initiated opportunities in conferences and meetup get-togethers to explore our common ground. Fr. Carl Chudy also writes for the non-religious blog, Secular Spectrum, as a way to explore how we can bridge secular and religious voices. Here is his latest post:
My father has Alzheimer’s Disease for probably more than five years now. We are not quite sure when it all started. The track of these last five years has so inextricably changed the dynamics of our family, as it does in all those who bear the burden of this disease. In some ways, we are grappling how Alzheimer’s has taken hostage our relationship with our father and husband of my mother, how the way we loved each other, held each other, no longer suffices. [MORE]
500th Commemoration of the Reformation
I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches which have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.
St. Basil the Great (330–379), “Epistle CXIV”
As Catholics and Lutherans, we have not yet achieved the goal of unity that is God’s gift in Christ and to which St. Basil calls us. Yet we have come a long distance from the disunity, suspicions and even hostilities that characterized our relationships for generations. In the year 2017 we celebrate more than 50 years of earnest dialogue and 500 years of the commemoration of the reformation, as an opportunity to move more deeply to communion in our common mission to proclaim Christ with the world. Below are a number of resources to explore, to share in groups in parishes, classrooms, and in ecumenical opportunities everywhere.
The United States Catholic Bishops: Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
- Drawing on 50 years of national and international dialogue, Lutherans and Catholics together have issued the “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist,” a unique ecumenical document that marks a pathway toward greater visible unity between Catholics and Lutherans.
- Links to our partners in dialogue: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America: God Work, Our Hands.
- Videos resources featuring Bishop Dennis Madden on The Path Toward Christian Unity.
- From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- COMMON PRAYER: From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.
- A five-part parish study guide entitled Together in Christ. Designed to foster mutual prayer, study, and conversation among Catholics, Lutherans and other Reformed traditions, the guide can be used either in segments or as a whole by individual or joint ecumenical study groups.
–Together in Christ – Cover letter by the two Co-Chairs (introducing the materials)
–Together in Christ – Promotion poster
–Together in Christ – Leader’s Guide (instructions on how to organize the discussion sessions)
–Together in Christ – Participant’s Guide
–Together in Christ – Video script (written text of the audio visual material)
–Together in Christ – Homily Resources
Being Catholic with Other Faiths
Although Vatican II opened a new door for the Catholic Church to our relationship with other faiths, it did not yet go as far as to say that interreligious dialogue is part of the evangelizing mission of the church. This came through the Pontificate of John Paul II through three subsequent documents: Dialogue and Mission (1984), the mission encyclical Mission of the Redeemer (1990), and Dialogue and Proclamation (1991). These teachings reflect the growing awareness of the centrality of interfaith dialogue in the very mission of the church. For Pope John Paul II, dialogue is fundamental for the Church, based on the very life of the Triune God, as well as on respect and love for every human person: “As far as the local churches are concerned, they must commit themselves in this direction, helping all the faithful to respect and to esteem the values, traditions, and convictions of other believers.”
This dialogue is not a mere discussion about each other’s beliefs. For the church there are several ways this dialogue can play out.
- The first is the dialogue of life where believers of different religions bear witness before each other in daily life to their own human and spiritual values, and help each other to live according to those values in order to build a more just and fraternal society.
- The second is the dialogue of works and action where collaboration with other faiths is opportune in the social, economic and political to build a more humane society.
- The third is the dialogue of theological exchange and often involves specialists and leaders in different faith traditions in search for ultimate truth.
- Finally the dialogue of religious experience is an opportunity to share prayer and religious experiences in our common search for the Absolute.
Xaverian Missionaries Publish New E-Journal
The Xaverian Missionaries of the USA and the United Kingdom collaborated together to hold an international conference of dialogue between humanists, atheists, and religious believers. A journal of the talks and reflections was published recently in digital form, easily accessible to kindles, ipads, computers, and cell phones. Get your copy at these fine publishers: