Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Swiss Curial Cardinal with responsibility for ecumenism tells "Kathpress" in an interview about the importance of the Council, ecumenism and Lefebvrist
The Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch has directed himself against the arguments especially of the Lefebvrist SPPX that the statements of Vatican II would have a different level of obligation. Although one could raise formal differences between the different types of texts - from constitutions, decrees and declarations. But there was little difference in the binding nature in terms of content, the President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said clearly on Tuesday in an interview with "Kathpress" in Rome. The Decree on Ecumenism had its doctrinal basis in the Constitution on the Church.
The ecumenical movement, one of the points of criticism of the Lefebvrists, must be and remain a central theme of the church stressed Koch. The Council had declared from the beginning two main goals, to renew the church and restore the unity of Christians (Cathcon- miserable failure on both points!) This was the "focus of the whole council," said the cardinal. In this respect, ecumenism was no side issue, or any appendage, "but a central theme of the Council. Therefore, it must be a central theme of the Church today," said the Swiss Cardinal.
With their criticism of the Council, the "SSPX" (Cathcon- why in inverted commas?) represents similar positions to those of Martin Luther. They were obviously assuming that the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) has committed error, Koch said. "The fact that councils may err also, however, is a claim that goes back to Martin Luther," the cardinal thought. "Hence, the traditionalists already must ask themselves where do they actually stand." (Cathcon- I am sure the German Lutherans will be over the moon to be compared to the SSPX!)
Reorientation towards goal of the Council
The Second Vatican Council which opened 50 years ago wanted and brought to fruition a renewal of the Church but not a new church. Towards this goal, the Church needs today a reorientation, said Koch. He recalled Pope Benedict XVI who said soon after taking office, in a keynote speech on the importance of the council for a "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture" and of a "hermeneutic of reform." The Pope does not mean a pure continuity, as has occasionally been imputed to him said Cardinal Koch. "The traditionalists represent such an idea." Rather the Pope sees a "combination of renewal and continuity in the sense that the Council had wanted and implemented but not a new church."