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Stay away from Taize January 16, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, Papa, sadness, scandals, secularism, Tradition.

Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam has a post that discusses the phenomenon of Taize prayer services in Catholic parishes. For those that don’t know, Taize is an ecumenical group founded in France that strives to advance the modern ecumenical movement by encouraging interaction between protestants and Catholics, primarily, focusing on what Christians in general have in common and striving to ignore or paper over differences as much as possible. But, Taize is fundamentally protestant, it was founded by protestants and though many Catholics participate and the group intentionally contains or mimicks many Catholic elements, it is simply not Catholic.  As such, Boniface concludes that Taize has no place in parish life, even though it is presently featured at many Catholic parishes, such as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano (or was as recently as a few months ago, and had been there for years).  I concur with this assessment.

As Boniface notes, however, simply pointing out that Taize is protestant in background and frequently in character is limited in terms of getting it removed from parishes where it is esconsed, as this movement has received high praise from the Church hierarchy, including several recent Popes.  In point of fact, the founder of this movement – a Calvinist who never converted but who claims to have accepted such Catholic beliefs as the role of the Blessed Virgin in salvation and the Real Presence – received the Blessed Sacrament every day at Catholic Masses offered at Taize’s HQ in France, and even received the Blessed Sacrament from the very hands of Blessed Pope John Paul II and and then Cardinal Ratzinger.  Both Popes have spoken very highly of Taize, with Pope Benedict’s most recent supportive statements coming as recently as 3 weeks ago.

All of this is contained in Boniface’s long post.  There is really too much to share, but he points out that the support Taize has received, and especially the frequent access to Communion by Taize members, runs counter to both Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Boniface notes that Pope JPII claimed that Taize brought about closer Christian unity by making protestants better protestants.  Pope Benedict has made statements that Taize is the future of greater Church unity, but it must be noted that Taize makes plain they seek to keep the various faith traditions – protestand and Catholic – intact. As Boniface notes:

Do the popes support Taize? Yes they do, but their support for it is in the context of support for a broader “new ecumenism” that replaces what has been called the traditional “outdated ecclesiology of return” with an ecumenism based on “shared faith experiences”, as Cardinal Avery Dulles once proposed. So the pope’s support of Taize is a support of an experiment in the new ecumenism.

Note in the comments above that Benedict XVI referred to the “provisional nature” of Taize. This is an interesting comment; it signifies that the status of the Taize community is not what is ultimately desired; that it will eventually give way to something more perfect. Yet, the term “provisional” seems to signify that Taize, though not perfect, will do for now. This a very interesting thing, for the pope seems to be suggesting that Taize represents a kind of transitional step on the road to “full communion” and “visible unity” (what that unity can look like is uncertain, since John Paul II also praised Taize for strengthening the existing denominational ties of its adherents). Taize is an experiment in the new ecumenism, and experiment in which traditional confessional boundaries are crossed and things that never would have been permitted traditionally are allowed as this experiment continues. There is a certain tension and ambiguity with regards to how Taize is treated by the Church.

I’ll say.  What I find most disconcerting, if you read Boniface’s entire post, is that both Popes seem to be alluding to some future “super-church” that is perhaps at present best represented (subsists in) the Catholic Church, but that the Catholic Church might still be deficient, that there will be some future entity that supersedes and replaces it, at the same time incorporating all or most of the other separated Christian sects. It’s a bit disheartening as a convert to the Faith to read, as Pope John Paul II said, that:

By desiring to be yourselves a “parable of community”, you will help  all whom you meet to be faithful to their denominational ties, the fruit of their education and their choice in conscience, but also to enter  more and more deeply into the mystery of communion that the Church is in God’s plan.”

Such a statement seems to say that the path to reunion exists not in protestant return to the Church, but in protestants being better protestants.  So, I screwed up when I converted?

Unfortunately, that is what so much of the “new ecumenism” seems to devolve down to: a sense of indifferentism, that one can and perhaps should remain in their own church community while working towards some kind of ethereal future union in a new super-church, while formal union is an impossible dream that should be forgotten. It’s a view that sems very emotional, seeking not to hurt feelings and to assure those in other sects that they’re doing just fine where they’re at. It’s very counter to Tradition, even very recent Tradition, which always made formal, visible reunion and submission to Holy Mother Church the sole goal of ecumenism (the “discredited” ecumenims of return). And there seems an excessive anthropocentrism here, a focus on worldly concerns and purely human perceptions that trumps the hard truth of the dire need for visible union with the Church and access to all the Sacraments to have a reasonable chance, even a slight chance, of salvation.  Without such union, the traditional belief of the Church has been that salvation is very, very difficult.  Is it charitable to tell protestants that remaining in their own group is the best way to work towards Church unity, let alone their own personal salvation?




1. SteveB - January 17, 2013

I happened to read this same post by Boniface just a few days ago, which compelled me to pick up a bulletin when I went to Seton this week — yep, come participate in the Taize prayer service each month on the 3rd or 4th Monday.

I would suggest that one is better off going across town to St. Mark’s to the Novus Ordo Latin Mass that is at the same time.

I attended two of the Taize events several years ago — I initially thought they were good b/c of the silence. However, the songs were not overtly Catholic, and I couldn’t get a sense from the description about the community if it was Catholic or not. Since it was a “brother” who founded it & it was in a Catholic church, I figured, in the end, it had to be Catholic.

The next time I went I remember that there was something about it that I just couldn’t put my finger on, but it “wasn’t for me”. Ironically, this was when we were just starting on our journey which would end us at the Latin Mass parish.

2. KathiBee - January 17, 2013

Whoops, I forgot to change the email/username on the computer.

The above comment is not from Steve B., but his wife. Steve would never set foot in something like that 🙂

tantamergo - January 17, 2013

Heehee! You want me to change it?

I kind of figured….when I read Steve…..at Taize…….? Huh?

Steve B - January 17, 2013

The real Steve B commenting now.

I guess that I have a reputation, eh? 😉

3. Bishop calls for new syllabus, Pope Pius XII Coronation, Lutherans reject “Lutheran Ordinariate” « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - January 22, 2013

[…] Don’t Rev. Junge’s comments give us a very firm idea just how falsely inspired and counter-productive the “new ecumenism” is?  Junge has been deeply involved in ecumenical “dialogue” with the Church for quite some time. He apparently has developed the idea that ecumenism has nothing to do with formal union with the Church.  How could he have developed such an erroneous view?  It’s not possible that his Catholic confreres have helped form him in that view, assuring him that the best way for Catholics and Lutherans to achieve “true union” is for Lutherans to be better Lutherans, is it?  Rather like Taize? […]

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