Friday, November 13, 2009

Unitatis Redintegratio (2nd Vatican Council Decree on Ecumenism)

Genre:Religion & Spirituality
Author:Pope Paul VI
Given in Rome at St. Peter's, November 21, 1964

Unitatis Redintegratio means restoration of unity 

Pope Paul VI was the first Pope (so more or less you guys know my age already) I have ever encountered. I was blessed to be carried by him when I was a toddler.  His work, like theEvangelii Nuntiandi, an apostolic exhortation, is the very heart of PREx (Parish Renewal Experience-started in the USA by Rev. Fr. Charles Gallagher, a Jesuit priest), which I first attended in the 1990s.
“We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing ALL people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists to evangelize.”

-Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi

On Evangelization in the Modern World
December 8, 1975, #14

Vatican 2's aim was to bring the church closer to the people. Although damage was done, Vatican 2 (at least the spirit of Vatican 2) made a hero of the once heretic Galileo Galilei (last December 2008, Pope Benedict XVI honored the astronomer)by apologizing to his descendants. In 1992, Pope John Paul II declared that the ruling against Galileo was an error resulting from "tragic mutual incomprehension." Sad. Very, very sad.

It's a good thing that when I had my first lessons in religion people were "somewhat" aware that the noted astronomer was not a heretic. There are still people with mutilated brains that still believe he is a heretic even if we know that, although Joshua 10:13 which says "So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven" and Isaiah 40:22 that speaks of "the heavens stretched out as a curtain" above "the circle of the earth" were both inspired by God, the universe is vast, the earth revolves around the sun et cetera. More so, those words could mean a lot of things.

Another thing Vatican 2 promulgated was the Decree on Ecumenism. Pope Paul VI expounded on that via this book, Unitatis Redintegratio, which has been in my possession since the 1990s.

I have journeyed far and wide trying to find "home" only to find out that it was where I used to belong. I was born Roman Catholic, baptized and confirmed (almost at the same time as an infant) as Roman Catholic. Joined the renewal before I was ten, became a Pentecostal and Evangelical when I was a teenager, studied different faiths, including the cults, and found my way home through Opus Dei. Even if I would never be a member, I'll always remember that it was through them that I found out where I belong.

The book reminds everyone that although there are several branches of Christianity, our roots remind us that Christianity of course was started by Jesus, disseminated to the apostles, then down to us.

We should focus more on the core of our faith, the Holy Triune God, and not our differences.

"On 21 November 1964, the Second Vatican Council solemnly promulgated the Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio. The Document states in its Introduction that "Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only", and that division contradicts the will of the Lord, "scandalizes the world and damages that most holy cause, the preaching of the Gospel.... The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council" (n. 1). "

Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said, "it left a lot of unanswered questions;it faced criticism and experienced further development. But the problems we encounter must not let us forget the rich fruit that it has yielded."

If you intend to buy this beautiful Decree on Ecumenism, be sure to buy the one with larger prints because the smaller ones tire your eyes (like my copy) and would make you forgo reading it for forty years =p or if you have the patience, just click the links. :)

Nerisa G. Cabral's Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala (1984) Parental Guidance

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