Monday, August 25, 2008

Catholic and Calvinist?

This story has been making its rounds and I first ran into it in Sandro Magister's post on it. But most recently found it summarized in a post entitled "Both Catholic and Calvinist?" (Rorate Caeli, August 25, 2008):
Sandro Magister's newest column features the L'Osservatore Romano's interview with Cardinal Kasper regarding the standing of the late Brother Roger of Taize (+2005) in relation to the Catholic Church. It provocatively begins with the words:
Was the Founder of Taizé Protestant, or Catholic? A Cardinal Solves the Riddle.

Fr. Roger Schutz was both. He adhered to the Church of Rome while remaining a Calvinist pastor. Wojtyla and Ratzinger gave him communion. Cardinal Kasper explains how, and why.
Read the article in its entirety; but here's how Kasper, according to Magister, summarizes the situation:
But how does Kasper solve the riddle? He denies that Fr. Schutz "formally" adhered to the Catholic Church. And much less did he abandon the Protestantism into which he was born. He affirms, instead, that he gradually "enriched" his faith with the pillars of the Catholic faith, particularly the role of Mary in salvation history, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and the "the ministry of unity exercised by the bishop of Rome." In response to this, the Catholic Church allowed him to receive Eucharistic communion.

According to Kasper, it is as if there had been an unwritten agreement between Schutz and the Church of Rome, "crossing certain confessional" and canonical limits.
As Rorate Caeli concludes: "The pastoral and theological effects of this admission are only about to unravel. One thinks of how some Anglo-Catholics and High Church Lutherans will view this and ask: 'if Brother Roger could, why not us?'"

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