Saturday, November 1, 2014
Pope Francis wants that Catholics and Old Catholics should approach each other more. However, the differences in terms of the Magisterium and ethical issues are difficult to overcome.
Vatican City (kath.net/KNA) Pope Francis wants that Catholics and Old Catholics should approach each other more. At a meeting with bishops of the Union of Utrecht on Thursday in the Vatican, he admitted, the differences in the Magisterium and ethical issues are difficult to overcome. In the past, both sides had committed "serious sins and human failings." They require mutual forgiveness and a way of reconciliation, "an encounter towards friendship, from friendship towards brotherhood, from brotherhood towards unity."
Catholic and Old Catholic Church could, according to the Pope's words, work together to overcome the spiritual crisis that has befallen the individual and European societies. But they would have to set an example together a credible witness of the Gospel.
The delegation of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht is led by the Bishop of Utrecht Joris Vercammen. He described the theological differences between Catholics and Old Catholics in his address to the Pope, according to the transcript as "intra-Catholic problems". The Old Catholic Church recognizes the unique position of the Pope, "in the whole Church". But they believe that the Bishop of Rome would have had an even higher moral authority, had he included in the Synodality the bishops, those who represent their respective local Catholic churches, said Vercammen. The papacy yet plays an "extremely important" role in ecumenical development.
The Old Catholic churches were established with the exception of the long-standing Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, after the First Vatican Council (1870). The main points of conflict were the dogmas of papal infallibility and the primacy of his jurisdiction over all bishops. (C) 2014 Catholic News Agency KNA GmbH. All rights reserved.
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