For what reason did the martyrs lay down their lives? Why did they bother so rigourously to defend even the last article of the faith? “Dialoga est veritas,” (Dialogue is the truth) I remember a priest telling me right at the very foot of the shrine of St. Philomena. “But Father, she did not think so! She laid down her life for the truth … not for dialogue!” I sometimes wonder why the Catholics in England accepted such terrible tortures rather than give in to Henry the Eighth and his evil reformation. What would they have done or thought of had they known that in a few hundred years the Pope himself would find no greater interest than to have dialogue with these persecutors, “putting aside the differences and seeking only that what unites.” I wonder why Our Lord never thought of it? Are we perhaps mistaken? Perhaps his exact words were, “go ye, have dialogue with all nations, teach them not whatever I have taught thee, but make them all agree. He who hears you having dialogue hears me for dialogue is the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through dialogue?”
“Anglicans and Catholics have made significant progress in their common reflections,” affirmed Fr. Donald Bolen to Apic press agency. Fr Bolen is a member of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. Under this council a working group was formally charged with making a study on the differences between the two Churches.
“We have made significant progress concerning the two Marian dogmas, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption,” explained Fr. Donald Bolen. “Before studying the points of divergence, we began by identifying the commonalities between the two confessions on the person of Mary on the biblical and historical levels. Thanks to this, we have made serious progress, even if the differences persist. This document should help us to advance on the way of communion with the Anglicans,” he said.
This document should be released before the end of the year. In fact, the commentaries added to the biblical and historical texts must be approved beforehand by each of the parties, by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity on the one hand, and by the Anglican Consultative Council on the other, before being published in Italian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish. If this document does not represent the official position of the two Churches, they could both study it and could, after reflection, make a pronouncement concerning it. For Fr. Donald Bolen, this non-official document will have as its first consequence that it will become a working instrument at the service of ecumenical dialog.
The work of ARCIC, completed by that of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCUUM) created in 2001, have as their goal to pursue theological dialog. ARCIC was created in 1982 by order of John-Paul II and the Anglican “archbishop” Robert Runcie. In the course of the last twenty years, the commission has published four documents on salvation (1987), on the Church as communion (1991), on the life of Jesus-Christ (1994) and on the gift of authority (1999). The commission hopes to pursue rapprochement of the two Churches through the publication of subsequent works.
But true Catholics continue to wonder: “What about the truth? Does it matter anymore?” The dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were declared infallible truths, true articles of the faith, no more to be disputed! Is it surprising that Catholics world wide are loosing the faith. They no longer know what they are to belive in. Tomorrow, due to the sacrosanct dialogue some other heretical sect will have to be appeased and so doctrine will have to be twisted once again.
Nevertheless, on the more brighter side of things, it becomes more and more evident that tradition is right. To hold on to what the Church has taught for two thousand years cannot be wrong!