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Courtesy of DICI
50 years after Unitatis redintegratio: From schism to charism
On November 21, 1964, Paul VI promulgated the conciliar decree Unitatis redintegratio, destined to promote unity among Christians. 50 years later, where is ecumenism now? On November 29, 2014, Pope Francis declared to Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople: “The one thing the Catholic Church desires, and that I seek as Bishop of Rome, ‘the Church that presides in charity’, is communion with the Orthodox Churches;” and he explained that reestablishing full communion means “neither one submitting to the other, nor one being absorbed by the other.”
Indeed, the pope is in favor of unity in diversity. He thus declared, on the same day, to the Catholic community of Turkey: “The Holy Spirit brings forth different charisms in the Church”, that “may seem to create disorder”, but “in reality, this constitutes an immense richness, because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which is not the same thing as uniformity”; and he added that if we let ourselves “be led by the Spirit”, “richness, variety and diversity will never create conflict.”
To put it clearly, unity is not uniformity, and diversity is not disorder. There must be no more conflict of singular interests, but rather a recognition of a plural richness, for what was called a schism before the Council has today become a charism… In this perspective, the conciliar decree is going to end up becoming Unitatis desintegratio.
Fr. Alain Lorans