Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Run Rabbit Run

Consider Avery Cardinal Dulles' fine article, Saving Ecumenism from Itself. Clearly the Cardinal reads millinerd, because he begins - following the last sentence of a recent post - by admitting that
Catholic ecumenists, like their Orthodox colleagues, were conscious that their participation in the ecumenical movement was in some ways problematic because of the claims of their own Church to possess all the means of salvation entrusted by the Lord to his Church.
What follows is a chronicle of recent turns in the ecumenical movement. "The honeymoon is over" seems to sum up the new ethos, as respective communions swing from lowest common denominator engagement back to their confessional distinctives. Also following millinerd (see #2), Dulles admits that apologetics in these matters is secondary, because "testimony operates by a different logic." What puzzles me, however, is Dulles' suggestion that the next level of ecumenism is one of mutual gift giving, that we might "contribute something positive the the others still lack."

But, with Christmas shopping season upon us, I think it fair to ask: What do you get for the church that has everything?

In one of Aesop's fables a dog chasing a rabbit was outrun. When mocked by a goat-herder, the rabbit-chasing dog replied, "I was only running for a dinner, but he for his life." When it comes to ecumenism, Protestants are not running for dinner.