Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, Part VI

On or about 5 or 6 August 1962

Our theological schemas have remained more or less the same: however, on the points that aroused most discussion, improvements have been made, or a less aggressive text has been reverted to. This is so on the question of the place of charity in the moral life, on Limbo, and on polygenism. However, there are some texts which are too ‘Roman’, too reactionary, too ‘Holy Office’. Msgr. Weber has spotted it, and Fr. Durrwell even more so.

The text on the liturgy is good; it is much closer to the level of current thinking.

Who wrote the text on unity? I am inclined to see Vodopivec’s hand in it. It is in the spirit of John XXIII. Without tackling theological principles directly, in an atmosphere of love and irenicism, it makes far-reaching statements which are capable of leading to important theological consequences. But it concentrates exclusively on the Orthodox. It proceeds without any reference whatsoever to the ecumenical perspective, and as if the World Council of Churches did not exist, as if the Orthodox did not belong to it. The World Council of Churches will resent it as a move designed to secure union with the Orthodox, independently of any approach to the World Council of Churches and the Protestants; therefore, as a move against them. I have written to Msgr. Willebrands [Letter dated 4 September 1962 (Congar Archives); on 8 September 1962, Willebrands replied to Congar’s letter (Congar Archives) and told him that, if the text did indeed come from the Congregation for the Eastern Church, it was not by Vodopivec, who did not belong to it; he said that he, too, realized that the text made no reference to the ecumenical movement, to which the Orthodox, too, belonged, and informed Congar of his intention to speak to Cardinal Bea about the whole document.], because this is a very serious matter.

Yves Congar, My Journal of the Council, pp. 63-64. The 1100-page book can be purchased from Liturgical Press. Pray Tell ran the previous (fifth) installment of the journal of Yves Congar on Sunday.

One comment

  1. This past Saturday I heard my bishop speak about his own time in Rome as the Council began; he was studying, not yet ordained. His time in Rome, his formation at that moment in history have shaped his episcopacy, which will soon come to an end.

    The three topics which Bishop Howard J. Hubbard offered thoughts on were collegiality, the role of the laity, and ecumenical and interfaith relations. The latter being one of the hallmarks of Bishop Hubbard’s time in Albany. His words sprang to life in my mind as I read this post and my heart is moved by all of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *