Monday, September 24, 2012

More on Ecclesial Movements

Will bishops who come from the ecclesial movements be prepared to properly shepherd local Churches? To come up with strategies necessary to revitalize parish life?

Why is a strong parish life necessary for Christians? Certainly it's been part of the history of Christianity, notably for the Early Church, and much weight must be given to its historical reality and importance as a guide for action. Still, some may go so far as to claim that what is needed now are movements tied either to the workplace or to one's profession. If one has time to meet with other members of the movements after work, then they have time to meet with other members of the parish - but only if other members of the parish are willing to commit to deepening their witness to Christ, that is true.

Ecclesial movements can be seen as a temporary band-aid solution and outlet for evangelization efforts because circumstances in many areas prevent a thorough revitalization of the parish, but ecclesial movements are nonetheless ordered to strengthening the life of the local Church at that level. I am not convinced in the long run that many converts will be made in the workplace by ecclesial movements, especially if the nature of the work goes against the "evangelical simplicity" of the Christian life.

What needs to be done is a more thorough explanation of why parish life is necessary for the Christian, one that will draw upon moral theology (and the order of charity), the science of politics (which will elucidate in relation to human goods the nature of the lay vocation, especially with regards to the word, "world," and how it is to be understood), and an exploration of the Church's liturgy as public prayer.

Perhaps it would be better to say that a healthy, vibrant parish life would be the "natural" result of the laity living out their vocation well. But as I've mentioned before, in many parts of the industrialized world, the political economy itself presents obstacles. But we must also look at the culpability of Christians, or the part they have played in the diminishing of parish life, too.

Ian Ker on ecclesial movements

Alba House: New Ecclesial Movements: Communion and Liberation, Neo-Catechumenal Way,
Charismatic Renewal
by Tony Hanna (more info)

New City Press: Ecclesial Movements and Communities by Brendan Leahy

Response by Guzman Carriquiry to the paper "On Being Christian in the World"
(I was unable to find a copy of his "The Ecclesial Movements in the Religious and Cultural Context of the Present Day" online.)

Joseph Ratzinger:
The Theological Locus of Ecclesial Movements (pdf)
The Ecclesial Movements: A Theological Reflection on Their Place in the Church

Some of his essays on the topic have been collected here - New Outpourings of the Holy Spirit
(the introduction by Bishop Stanislaw Rylko)

Pontifical Council for the Laity