Thursday, November 23, 2006

Another Example of East-West Orthodox Cooperation

From today's Roman Martyrology:
The birthday of Pope St. Clement, who held the sovereign pontificate the third after the blessed apostle Peter. In the persecution of Trajan, he was banished to Chersonesus, where, being thrown into the sea with an anchor tied to his neck, he was crowned with martyrdom. During the pontificate of Pope Adrian II, his body was translated to Rome by the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, and buried with honour in the church that had already been built and named for him.
The two saints most honored in Eastern Europe, who with St. Benedict are patrons of the whole continent, brought the relics of Pope St. Clement I back to Rome. They did so while seeking papal blessing for their missionary journey, which (as I have mentioned elsewhere) was "birituralistic": that is, they celebrated both Eastern and Western Rite liturgies. According to Fr. Edward Hughes, the only parishes these great saints personally founded that survived were Western Rite parishes in Dalmatia. So, the Pope blessed the use of both rites in their missionary journeys, and they returned a predecessor's relics while leaving behind missions of both rites.

May God grant us visionary leaders who will encourage the Western Rite to evangelize alongside the Byzantine, visionary "missionary" priests in both rites, and a greater spirit of cooperation between each co-equal expression of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

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