Page 5, 28th August 1970

28th August 1970
Page 5
Page 5, 28th August 1970 — Understatement on remarkable move by the Vatican

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Locations: Hereford, London


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Understatement on remarkable move by the Vatican

R. PETER FLOOD, 0.S.B., adds further confusion and misrepresentation by his letter of August 14th, for he cannot be unaware that the ancient Church of Holland has always repudiated what is described as the "Jansenist Heresy."

He cannot be further unaware that the difficulties and obscurities of the Formularies of Alexander VII, and the Constitution Unigeniius of Clement XI, made it necessary for the Vatican to "abrogate the obligation of subscribing to the two Documents concerned."

A "Declaration" to this effect was published in four languages and with a covering letter. authorised by the Holy Father, was sent by Cardinal Bea to Cardinal Alfrink on 14th March 1966. This Declaration was proclaimed in the Old Catholic Cathedral of St. Gertrude at a Service of Reconciliation held on November 7th, 1966 in the presence of Cardinal Alfrink, the Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, Mgr. Rinkel and members of both Roman and Old Catholic IIierarchies.

Old Catholic Churches in many parts of the world disown the ancient Church of Utrecht because they deplore its departure from Catholic heritage by the inter communion with Protestant bodies, but Christian people of every shade of opinion can rejoice that Vatican injustice has been brought to an end after several centuries by what Father Flood has been pleased to call "the charming ecumenical courtesies of the Holy Father."

What an understatement of what must be one of the most remarkable moves by the Vatican in recent years.

(Rt. Rev.) R. John Luker, Bishop and Metropolitan,

Old Catholic Church of England London, W.l I .

IN reply to Fr. Flood's unhappily expressed letter about the Old Catholics in your issue of August 14, your readers might like to know that Pfarrer Hans Frei, parish priest of the Old Catholic Cathedral at Berne and a member of the Faith and Order Committee of the World Council of Churches, told me two years ago that there are about 500,000 Old Catholics (almost as many as there are Methodists in England).

There is, of course. a considerable number of members of the Polish Old Catholic Church in the United States. (Rev.) F. H. Mountney Hereford.

THE Old Catholics are hardly a "small sect" (Dorn Peter Flood, August 14). They are a federation of churches in full communion with the Anglican Communion.

One may hope that the Holy Father means rather more by his "charming ecumenical courtesies" to them than by his reception of Communists.

(Rev.) Michael Moore Church of England Council on Foreign Relations. London, SEA .

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