Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Be bearers of Christian Unity

As Aunty points out, media outlets, both Catholic and secular, might well share in a reluctance to report the meeting of the "pilgrimage of trust on earth" of the Taize community in Rome: 40 000 young people.

Aunty links to the text of the Pope Benedict's address to this pilgrimage on Saturday evening, when he joined them for the prayer of Vespers.

I was in Cologne for the World Youth Day in August 2005, when the death of Br Roger occurred. The impact of that news in Cologne drew my attention to the significance of the Taize community in the work (dare one say the "lived experience"?) of ecumenism over the years. Pope Benedict refers to it in his address as a "spiritually lived ecumenism"; my own reading leads me to see its existence and work as a response to a particularly given charism in the life of the Church. There are, of course, significant nuances to the use of the word "Church" in this context, and I am interested to see that Pope Benedict uses the word at some points in his text without qualifying it.
On your return home, to your various countries, I invite you to discover that God is making you all co-responsible for His Church, in all the variety of vocations. This communion which is the Body of Christ needs you and you all have a place in it. Starting with your gifts, from what is specific to each of you, the Holy Spirit forms and breathes life into this mystery of communion which is the Church, in order to convey the Good News of the Gospel to the world today.

One of the interesting explorations to be undertaken with regard to some of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council that are criticised by those of a traditionalist inclination is not just a doctrinal one about the nature of those teachings themselves. It is an exploration of how those teachings are being lived out in the ordinary life of the Church. Such an exploration of ecumenism will undoubtedly see the Taize community and its work as a living out of the teaching of the Council.

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