Oct. 13, 2010
Upcoming Programs
Is Ecumenism Still Alive?

As a seminarian in the early 1970s—does anyone listening remember the '70s?—one of the exciting things I took part in was the ecumenical movement.

The Second Vatican Council was still fresh in our minds. Vatican II was known as an “ecumenical council,” using the word ecumenical in the sense of “universal” or “general.” Ecumenism can also mean fostering cooperation among Christians. Pope John XXIII, who convened the Council, had both ideas in mind when he announced the Council. Regarding Christians who were not part of the Catholic Church, the Pope said he desired “to invite the separated Communities to seek again that unity for which so many souls are longing in these days throughout the world.”

His desire resulted in an invitation to observers from Protestant and Orthodox communities to attend sessions of the Council, and in the promulgation of the Council’s “Decree on Ecumenism.” In its draft form, the document was to treat not only of separated Christians, but also of non-Christian religions and religious freedom. Eventually, these latter two themes received consideration in separate Council documents. The Decree itself sets forth key principles for dialogue between Christians.

By the 1970s, there were many official dialogues going on among representatives of various Christian communions. Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans and Baptists were talking about the theological and structural issues that had divided Christians for centuries. What beliefs and practices did we share in common? I took seminary courses with other Christians studying for ministry, attended ecumenical meetings and got to know sincere people interested in Christian unity. I’d like to think that I grew up in the “golden age” of ecumenism.

Forty years ago, the latest breakthroughs in dialogue were news: common agreement on the meaning of Baptism, for example, led to a general acceptance of each other’s baptismal practice. Catholics recognize a Presbyterian’s Baptism as “valid,” for example.

Over the years, such interchanges have lessened; today some think the ecumenical movement has lost momentum. But the spirit of interfaith dialogue is still alive. I think the Holy Spirit is pursuing the goal of unity in other ways. In my inner-city neighborhood, we have a group of Christian pastors who meet monthly. We share a common spirit of social awareness. And most of all, we can pray together. That feels to me just like “the good old days”! In these gatherings, I’ve felt a little of the old excitement from 30 years ago—and maybe that’s a sign of the Spirit at work, continuing the dream of Pope John XXIII in calling the Council and praying for Christian unity.

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#10-43 , #10-44)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Producer Judy Zarick got a hold of a very busy missionary, Pat Duffy, in Nicaragua. Pat founded Partners in Mission Nicaragua, a lay pastoral missionary project that partners with supporters from Cincinnati, Ohio, to help bring the Gospel to those who need it in Nicaragua.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Hilarion Kistner, O.F.M., answers questions: In the Bible, is there a difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven? Was Jesus angry with the temple moneychangers because they were gambling? Is there a scriptural basis for praying in tongues? Does Jesus really want us to leave our families in order to follow him?

Marriage Moment
American Catholic Radio supports the U.S. Bishops' multi-year initiative to support sacramental married life in our society, with this feature. Commentator Roy Petitfils, a counselor in Broussard, Louisiana, at Pax Renewal Center for Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy, writes an internationally syndicated column, “Our Young Church” and is a sought-after consultant, facilitator and retreat leader. He’s the author of What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Roy lives with his wife, Mindi, and two sons in Youngsville, Louisiana. His topic today is “Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating as Husband and Wife”

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is Michael La Civita, Assistant Secretary for Communications of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. CNEWA is the agency of the Vatican that has provided humanitarian and pastoral support to churches and peoples throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe for over 75 years. He also edits CNEWA’s bimonthly magazine, One, and is a frequent traveler to the lands served by CNEWA, focusing many of his efforts in the Middle East.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Producer Judy Zarick interviews Fr. Gerry Bowen, pastor of St. Augustine parish in Elkridge, MD. Fr. Bowen is one of the organizers at his parish for PATH: People Acting Together in Howard. PATH is a multiracial, multifaith, non-partisan, citizen's organization, rooted in local congregations and associations.

Ask a Franciscan
ACR host Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M., answers questions: What is the significance of the altar stone and do they all contain the relics of a saint? What is the "word" referred to by the centurion that we must say to obtain healing? Why is Easter celebrated at a different time by the Orthodox Church?

Marriage Moment
American Catholic Radio supports the U.S. Bishops' multi-year initiative to support sacramental married life in our society, with this feature. Commentator Roy Petitfils, a counselor in Broussard, Louisiana, at Pax Renewal Center for Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy, writes an internationally syndicated column, “Our Young Church” and is a sought-after consultant, facilitator and retreat leader. He’s the author of What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. Roy lives with his wife, Mindi, and two sons in Youngsville, Louisiana. His topic today is "Sacramentality of Marriage."

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is Br. Jeffrey Gros, F.S.C., Distinguished Professor of Ecumenism and Historical Theology at Memphis Theological Seminary, in Memphis, Tennessee. Brother Jeffrey previously served 10 years as Director of Faith and Order for the National Council of Churches, and 14 years at the U.S. Bishops’ Conference in Washington, DC. He is well-known in the field of interfaith relations, or ecumenism, and shares his special interest in Catholic/Lutheran dialogue.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
[Alt-Text]

[Alt-Text]

[Alt-Text]
 [~SubPref~]Unsubscribe[~EndSubPref~] Contact Us
[~Physical_Mailing_Address~]
Please check out the entire
St. Anthony Messenger Press family of e-newsletters:
 
 

[~SocialMediaNoBorder~]
AmericanCatholic.org CatholicSAMPler.com -- Free samples, news and special offers from St. Anthony Messenger Press Friar Jack's E-spirations Faith Formation Update: Ideas and Resources for Catechetical Leaders Saint of the Day Web Catholic: Links and News for Catholic Webmasters Catholic Greetings Premiere