from issue no.02 - 2004

The interview with Bartholomew I: small openings for concreteness in ecumenic dialogue

Milan, 11 February 2004

Dear Editor,
We write to express our regret for the articles relating to the cover story of the first 2004 issue of 30Days, that in method and content do no service to the Catholic Church worthy of the monthly you edit.
First of all, from our ecclesial experience we have learned and learn each day a devotion like that of sons to John Paul II and to the Petrine office, final objective criterion of truth for the Christian people wayfaring in the present moment of history, sacramental point of the truth of the world. For that reason we disagree profoundly with any attempt to insinuate doubts about the factor guaranteeing the organic unity of the Christian fact, i.e. the Bishop of Rome.
Secondly, we aim to affirm a positiveness as point of view on everything, and especially in the relationship with ecclesiastical authority, and for that reason to prefer the positive aspects (those who are against the Christian presence already provide the negative expressions) of the history of the Church and of every word or action of the Pope.
Lastly, permit us to observe that affiliation to the Catholic, in which the fullness of the Tradition dwells, is precisely the source of a real ecumenicalism, open to everything and to all, that is as ready to exalt the truth that lies in anybody as it is intransigent on possible equivocation. No ecumenicist convenience, in fact, can for a Catholic legitimate an attack on the Church and on pontifical primacy or connivance with those who formulate such.

We would be grateful if you were to find room for this letter which for us is more than an obligation.
Best wishes.

Rome, 16 February 2004

Dear Don Giussani,
Obviously we print your and Feliciani’s letter immediately. It seems to me, however, that the initiative of the sizeable interview asked of Patriarch Bartholomew I and granted by him should be interpreted in a different key, that is to say as effort to provide some small possibility of concreteness in the ecumenic dialogue of which I have heard speak since I was a boy, but that has not given too many results so far. The embrace of Paul VI with Athenagoras also received some criticism: that’s different, I know. We certainly couldn’t cut the interview, but we immediately promised ourselves to give space to more objective voices on the historical and theological issue. In the background, however, I would not like sight to be lost of the great openings that precisely the Holy Father John Paul II has made on delicate points of the Tradition: from Galileo to the so-called Chinese rites (just to cite two examples). Without mentioning – to take another example - the novelties in the revision of the Concordat, as regards the interpretation of the sacred character of Rome, that in the past had prevented the government from entering an Anglican Church for a funeral ceremony on the death of the King of England. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not confusing different issues, but I do want to stress the spirit of the journalistic initiative, as a modest contribution to the quest for new directions for dialogue.
It is a great pleasure for me, dear Don Luigi, to express again not only my great admiration, but deep gratitude for the intellectual and spiritual stimulus that your magisterium always provides.
Believe me, Yours devotedly,

Italiano Español Français Deutsch Português