Where is The Church to be found?

J.M.J.

As we move forward in our various parishes which will be part of the initial wave of those entering the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, it is easy to become weary - not only from waiting, but also from the reaction of some to those seeking unity with the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ.

This can develop into frustration, and a sense of anger, that we must be very careful to channel away, that we don't respond in kind. I have myself fallen guilty to this at times.

One particularly insidious piece of information which I recently saw bantered about was that we needed to realize that once we are in the Ordinariate, we must necessarily regard ourselves as "finally" being part of the One True Church, and as such, must regard those who are not, at least initially, coming into the Ordinariate, as forming no part of the Church of Christ.

This follows right along with the claims of it being necessary to deny one's prior sacramental life as being part of the One True Church.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once remarked that there are not over a hundred people who dislike the Catholic Church for what She teaches, but there are thousands who dislike the Catholic Church for what THEY THINK She teaches. Such is the case in this line of thought in this allegation about what we will soon be called to reject, denounce, and decry.

The error of this line of allegation is easily refuted, and was wonderfully addressed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on The Church."

Regarding the second question addressed, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks quite plainly regarding churches and ecclesial communities not in communion with the Catholic Church, when it says:

"...It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them...."

The complete text may be found at the link below, and this short document is worthy of the time spent to read it, and perhaps also mark and inwardly digest it.

The spirit of Anglicanorum Coetibus reflects this teaching of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and this teaching should remain at the forefront of our evangelistic efforts as parishes and individuals of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The more we understand and practice this, the more likely our evangelistic efforts will be successful and bear fruit. If people tune you out when you first start speaking, they will never hear your message.

SWR


 

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