Sist fredag møtte pave Benedikt hele kardinalkollegiet. (Jeg leste at ca 160 av de 200 kardinalene var til stede, men mange av disse er over 80 år). Temaet for møtet/samtalen var først og fremst økumenikk, og jeg sakser følgende fra Vatikanets informasjonsservice (VIS):
The Holy See Press Office released information concerning the meeting for prayer and reflection between the Pope and the members of the College of Cardinals, which took place on November 23 in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall. .. The Pope introduced the theme he had chosen for the day’s discussion, “ecumenical dialogue in the light of prayer and of the Lord’s command: ‘Ut unum sint’.”
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, then “provided a broad outline of the current situation of ecumenical dialogue and relations, focussing on three main areas: relations with the ancient Churches of the East; relations with the ecclesial communities that came into being in the wake of the Reform of the 16th century; relations with charismatic and Pentecostal movements that developed above all during last century.”
Cardinal Kasper also presented “the results achieved in each of these fields, describing progress made to date and problems still outstanding.”
The subsequent debate “included a wide-ranging exchange of experiences and opinions, reflecting a variety of situations. Seventeen cardinals spoke and numerous problems were addressed, among them the joint ecumenical commitment
of Christians in the social and charitable fields, and in defending moral values in the transformation of modern societies.
“It was particularly noted,” the communique adds, “that the Church’s social doctrine and its implementation is one of the most promising areas for ecumenism. Mention was also made of the commitment to continue the ‘purification of memory’ and to use forms of communication” that no not “wound the sensibility of other Christians.
“It was suggested that profound consideration be given to the possibilities for ecumenical development,” in which context “recent and highly significant events were mentioned, such as the ecumenical assembly of Sibiu, Romania, the ecumenical and inter-religious meeting of Naples, Italy, the journey to Paris of Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow, and the great ecumenical gatherings of ecclesial movements at Stuttgart, Germany.”
Finally, “in the wider context, attention turned to relations with Judaism and to inter-religious dialogue.” The meeting continued at 5 p.m. with the celebration of Vespers, after which contributions were forthcoming from 16 cardinals.
“On the theme of ecumenism, further attention was given to questions such as collaboration among Christians of different confessions for the defense of the family in society and in legislative systems, and the importance of spiritual ecumenism and of personal relations with the faithful and with authorities of other Christian confessions.
“A number of the contributions touched on relations with the Jews and with Islam. Mention was made of the encouraging sign represented by the letter from 138 Muslim leaders and by the visit of the king of Saudi Arabia to the Pope.”
Other subjects discussed included “the difficulties faced by the Christian faith in a secularized world, …the importance of a new evangelization which responds to post-modern man’s most profound and permanent hopes for happiness and freedom. On the continent of Latin America there exists a new missionary drive nourished also by the recent general conference of the Latin American episcopate held in Aparedica, Brazil.
“Certain specific contributions were dedicated to the situation of consecrated life in the world today, and to the formation of seminarians.
“The Holy Father’s important letter to the Catholic Church in China was recalled, and its favorable reception by bishops and faithful was noted.
“The urgency was underlined of the Church’s commitment to peace, to the struggle against poverty and to disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament.”
“Certain purely informative contributions dwelt on the forthcoming international Eucharistic Congress, of Quebec, Canada, the Pauline Year, and the diffusion of the Catholic press and especially of ‘L’Osservatore Romano.’
“Following a brief reply from Cardinal Kasper on a number of specific points, the Holy Father delivered a concluding address, summing up what had been discussed. He thanked the cardinals for their participation and contributions and announced the forthcoming publication of his new Encyclical dedicated to the subject of hope, in response to the deepest expectations of our contemporaries.”