Christianity – A Divided or United Force?
This morning’s dialogue on Vatican II and Ecumenism featuring Bishop Brian Farrell LC and Dr Richard Clutterback proved to be a lively, informative and thought provoking look at whether the day will come when Christians as a whole can break bread together and share the Eucharist just as Jesus Christ himself broke bread with his own disciples.
According to Dr Richard Clutterback from the Edgehill College in Belfast, we are on the way to achieving this ultimate sign of Christian Unity. “When you look at how far we have come in the last 50 years since Vatican II, I think it is fair to say that we are certainly climbing the mountain towards a shared Eucharist. The summit of this mountain of course is Christ and recognizing the extraordinary sacrifice he made for us”.
As Christians, we all have a commitment to Christian unity. And if we have common a baptism, then we are surely all God’s children. So where do the problems lie?
Dr Clutterback feels that we are all so worried and troubled by immediate problems that the issue of Ecumenism often tends to be left on the long finger. “Look, the central message for Christians worldwide is that Jesus lay down his life for us so that we may have eternal life. We need to be faithful to this wonderful gift and to the night of The Last Supper. Thankfully though, there is a growing common understanding of the Eucharist and Protestant Christians can recognise the same gospel that Catholic Christians follow”.
It is still a sorrowful situation, though, that followers of Christ cannot sit down together and share a meal as Christ did with his disciples on Holy Thursday.
Bishop Brian Farrell is optimistic that we are on the right road though, as he says, “The Declaration on Justification heralds a positive message. Churches need to come together in humility and truly listen to each other. If that happens, hopefully we will begin to see that the same vision is with us all”.
The bottom line is that God is calling us to full unity in Christ. Hopefully the road ahead signposts us towards a greater Christian unity where we can face the challenges of modern society with a united front.
Really liked this blog, Colin. I couldn't be there, so it's great to get the news on what's happening. Great reporting. Keep up the great work, guys!
Posted on : 12/06/2012