Friday, September 26, 2008

Mary Unites Christians - Zenit Article

I think the reason I liked the article below is because, on the surface, many would see the Catholic tradition of honoring Our Lady as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the reunification Christian religions; therefore, I find it noteworthy that Cardinal Kasper asserts that she "is an essential part of the ecumenical movement." This serves as a reminder that man's ways and perceptions cannot be counted on as being the ways of God. Sin leads us to be self-centered separatists while God and His heavenly saints long for us to be joined in Christ-centered communion.

Mary Unites Christians, Cardinal Tells Anglicans

Ecumenical Pilgrimage to Lourdes Called a Miracle
By Inmaculada Álvarez

LOURDES, France, SEPT. 25, 2008 ( Devotion to the Virgin Mary has an essential role in ecumenical dialogue and the journey to full and visible unity among Christians, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal Walter Kasper affirmed this Wednesday when he presided over an ecumenical celebration in Lourdes, where Anglicans and Catholics had joined on pilgrimage. Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury gave the homily at the event. The pilgrimage began at the Anglican shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England.

"Lourdes is known for its miracles," Cardinal Kasper said. "Who would have imagined, only 20 or 30 years ago, that Catholics and Anglicans would go on pilgrimage and pray together?

"For those who are familiar with the debates and controversies of the past on Mary, between Catholics and non-Catholic Christians, for those who know the reservations of the non-Catholic world toward Marian pilgrimage sites, for all these people, today's unprecedented event is a miracle."

The cardinal contended that, in fact, Mary is an essential part of the ecumenical movement, though this topic "is neither common nor obvious among ecumenists." Click HERE to read complete article.

One other thing - Did you read what the Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams said of the Blessed Mother's appearance to St. Bernadette in his homily at Lourdes? If not, please read this snippet of it:

"She came at first as an anonymous figure, a beautiful lady, a mysterious thing, not yet identified as the Lord's spotless mother. And Bernadette -- uneducated, uninstructed in doctrine -- leaped with joy, recognizing that here was life, here was healing. Only bit by bit does Bernadette find the words to let the world know; only bit by bit, we might say, does she discover how to listen to the Lady and echo what she has to tell us."

In an article that I read before Williams went to Lourdes, his secretary noted that the Anglican Archbishop is devoted to Our Lady. Gives you hope, doesn't it?

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