Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-569ts Total loading time: 0.322 Render date: 2022-09-24T18:08:49.529Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

The Role of Canon Law in the Ecumenical Venture: a Roman Catholic Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2010

Brendan Leahy
Affiliation:
Professor of Systematic Theology, St Patrick's College, Maynooth Secretary to the Advisory Committee on Ecumenism of the Irish Bishops' Conference

Abstract

One of the main goals of the Second Vatican Council (the 50th anniversary of whose opening will be celebrated in 2012) was the unity of all Christians. Not least among its achievements was the fact that it launched the Catholic Church into the Ecumenical Movement and also paved the way for a global revision of the Church's Code of Canon Law. This article reflects from a Roman Catholic perspective on aspects to do with canon law and ecumenism. It does so in the light of the Council's teaching and reception. Conciliar hermeneutics and questions left open at the Council are considered. In conclusion, the author suggests that greater attention to the Church's charismatic principle and missionary mandate underlined at the Council offers wide scope for continuing exploration among Anglican and Roman Catholic canonists in the cause of unity.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Ecclesiastical Law Society 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

2 ‘A Decade of Ecumenical Dialogue on Canon Law’, (2009) 11 Ecc LJ 284328, p 296.Google Scholar

3 In my research particularly for the first part of this article I have drawn on Cardinal Kasper's reflection on precisely this theme. He is one of the Catholic Church's most accomplished theologians and former President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. See Kasper, W, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism,’ The Jurist 69 (2009) 171189CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 See Paul, John II, Apostolic Letter at the Beginning of the New Millennium, Novo Millennio Ineunte (6 January 2001)Google Scholar, n 57 and Pope Benedict XVI's dialogue with the clergy of the diocese of Belluno-Feltre, Treviso, 24 July 2007.

5 See Paul, Pope John II's Encyclical on Commitment to Ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint (25 May 1995), n 8Google Scholar.

6 The ‘Harvesting the Fruits’ project was launched by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to review the fruits of forty years of ecumenical dialogues since the Second Vatican Council. See Kasper, W, Harvesting the Fruits: Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue (London, 2009)Google Scholar.

7 See Groupe des Dombes, , Pour la Conversion des ‘Eglises’: identité et changement dans la dynamique de communion (Paris, 1991)Google Scholar. English translation: For the Conversion of the Churches (Geneva, 1993). See also the reference to a ‘change of heart’ in the Second Vatican Council's Decree of Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, 7 and Ut Unum Sint, 15, implying collective conversion as well as personal conversion.

8 See studies published in (1999) 59 The Jurist 329–468 and (2004) 64 The Jurist 1–360.

9 Unitatis Redintegratio, 1 and Ut Unum Sint, 3.

10 Acta Synodalia Concilii Vaticani Secundi II/5, p 473.

11 See Sullivan, F, ‘The Decree on Ecumenism: Presuppositions and Consequences’, (1990) 26 One in Christ 719Google Scholar.

12 Other documents published after the Council that have a direct bearing on ecumenism are listed in the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism published by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity (London, 1993), fn 3, p 7.

13 (1983) 75 Acta Apostolicae Sedis xi.

14 Ibid.

15 See Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 172.

16 Ibid, p 182.

17 See the position of Rudolf Sohm taken up by Karl Barth, E Wolf and Hans Dombois. Catholic authors writing in this area include Klaus Mörsdorf, Antonio Rouco Varela, Eugenio Coreccio and Libero Gerosa.

18 Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 175.

19 Ibid, p 184.

20 See Ott, L, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, Illinois, 1960), pp 810Google Scholar.

21 At n 11.

22 Unitatis Redintegratio, 3; Ut Unum Sint, 10.

23 Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 179.

24 Ibid, p 186.

25 See Wijlens, M, ‘“That all my be one …” (John 17:21). The Lord's Prayer in the Work of Canon Lawyers: A Mere Option?’ (2005) 65 The Jurist 181204Google Scholar.

26 See Lumen Gentium, 13, Ut Unum Sint 28, 57.

27 See Unitatis Redintegratio, 4.

28 See Kasper, W, ‘Communio: The Guiding Concept of Catholic Ecumenical Theology’ in That They May All Be One (London, 2004), 5074Google Scholar. See also Renken, J, ‘Duc in Altum!” Communio: Source and Summit of Church Law’, (2003) 63 The Jurist 2269Google Scholar.

29 Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 180.

30 See AS III/IV, 14; AS II/VII, 35.

31 Unitatis Redintegratio n 8.

32 Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 181.

33 See Lumen Gentium 4 and 12.

34 See Kasper, ‘Canon Law and Ecumenism’, p 189.

35 See Coriden, J, ‘The Holy Spirit and Church governance,’ (2006) 66 The Jurist 339373 at 354Google Scholar.

36 Hegge, C, Rezeption und Charisma (Würzburg, 1999)Google Scholar and Il Vaticano II e i Movimenti Ecclesiali: Una Recezione Carismatica (Rome, 2001).

37 See Eugenio Corecco on the need to reflect more on the juridical value of charisms, ‘Aspects of the reception of Vatican II in the code of canon law,’ in Alberigo, G, Jossua, J-P and Komonchak, J (eds), The Reception of Vatican II. Translated by O'Connell, M (Washington, 1987), 249296Google Scholar, at 266.

38 See Beyer, J, ‘I “movimenti ecclesiali”’, (1987) 23 Vita Consacrata 143156, at 156Google Scholar.

39 On the reception of the Council see further Pottmeyer, Hermann J, ‘A new phase in the reception of Vatican II: twenty years of interpretation of the Council’ in Alberigo, , Jossua, and Komonchak, (eds) The Reception of Vatican II, pp 2743Google Scholar.

40 Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church, Ad Gentes, 5.

41 Lumen Gentium, 9.

42 See Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 1.

43 Matthew 18:20.

44 See Lumen Gentium, 9.

45 Galatians 6:2.

46 Novo Millennio Ineunte, 43.

1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Role of Canon Law in the Ecumenical Venture: a Roman Catholic Perspective
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Role of Canon Law in the Ecumenical Venture: a Roman Catholic Perspective
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Role of Canon Law in the Ecumenical Venture: a Roman Catholic Perspective
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *