"The problems of a divided church as we know it today are really the result of ecumenism. The more Catholics and non-Catholics, for example, recognize each other as true Christians, the greater the problem of their division, the sharper the pain of this fracture" (74).
Friday, December 21, 2007
I read this today in a commentary on the book of Philippians by Stephen Fowl. I suppose, in light of his statement, my perception of "the result of ecumenism" is that it is a positive thing. But, it is likely that I am missing an aspect of ecumenism that influences his thoughts. Note his use of "Catholic." I assume that by capitalizing the word he means to imply Roman Catholics and, thus, non-Roman Catholics. If Fowl is a Roman Catholic then his statement makes sense according to his tradition (he teaches at Loyola College in Maryland so there is a good chance he is Roman Catholic). To be non-Catholic, thus non-Roman Catholic, is to be outside the church. I believe, however, this point is debated in Roman Catholicism. If that is what Fowl implies, then as a member of the non-Catholic category I would disagree with this statement. I tend to think under the assumption that to be Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant, especially Nazarene, is to be catholic (small "c"), as in universal. If, however, my general assumptions are what Fowl means to imply, then I would agree with his statement because if ecumenism results in the fact that catholics and non-catholics are true Christians then the end result would be universalism. Anyways. Any comments?