Thursday, June 02, 2011

'Independent' monastery reconciled to the Church

This is an intriguing story. Bishop Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, and his assistants are to be congratulated for their patience in bringing these individuals back into full communion. 'Independent' traditionalist groups, who are often but not always sede vacantist (i.e. think that the See of Rome is vacant: the Pope is not the Pope), constitute a peculiar phenomenon, and there are alas a number of little groups in the USA and elsewhere who are in this situation. They need our prayers. (The are 'independent' in the sense that not only are they not in good standing with the local ordinary, but they are not aligned with one of the bigger irregular groups, such as the SSPX.)

Christ the King Abbey has a rather charming announcement of its reconciliation on its website; it dates it to 1st May, but good news travels slowly. Note the laity in the church in the photograph above (from their website): this reconciliation will surely be of more significance for local Catholics than the fate of four individuals.

This reconciation must have been greatly assisted, if not begun, by Summorum Pontificum; it is interesting to see it bearing fruit here and there making possible, as the Holy Father hoped, 'an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church' (Letter accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum). The other well-known example of a reconciliation since the MP has been the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

From Catholic World News, via CFNews.

A SCHISMATIC Alabama monastery founded in 1984 has been reconciled with the Diocese of Birmingham and the Holy See.

'It is somewhat unique as an effort at reconciliation,' said Bishop Robert Baker. 'The discussions leading to this reconciliation were very delicate and complex and took place over a number of years with both Bishop David Foley, my predecessor, and myself, aided by a canon lawyer who had worked for the Vatican, Msgr. Anthony La Femina.'

'We had much prayer and good will on both sides going into this effort,' he added. 'We all listened to the Holy Spirit, and now we are seeing the fruits of our efforts.

Before its reconciliation, Christ the King Monastery was an independent monastery whose members included both sede-vacantists and those who recognized the validity of the elections of recent popes. By December 2010, six monks and three nuns were associated with the monastery. Three of the monks and one of the nuns have reconciled with the Church--two on their own, and two as monks remaining at the monastery.

With Bishop Baker's approval and the assistance of priests of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, Mass in the extraordinary form is offered daily at the monastery. [CWN]

1 comment:

  1. Dylan Parry12:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this interesting piece of news.

    I had never heard of this Abbey before, but it is wonderful to see that Pope Benedict XVI is, like the Good Shepherd, bringing our seperated brethren home.

    These great acts of reconciliation and unity would probably have been impossible were it not for Summorum Pontificum, etc. The Pope is someone who really understands why many sought to preserve tradition - even by laving full communion with the Church - as a response to the "hermeneutic of rupture." By seeking to fulfill Vatican II's real goals and restore "the hermeneutic of continuity", he has shown the world that the "New Church" experiment is over!