I read an article recently pertaining to the culture of the "new media." Specifically the author points to the fact that articles, blog posts, and other information found online is perceived to have a shelf-life - people assume that old news is no news; things from the past are not worth reading. This leads to a lack of appreciation for what has come before, and the inability to build upon a thought and elaborate on ideas. The new media is fast-paced, and so, readers are tuned into the new but forget about the old. People tend to read current content, but seldom access the archived posts or look beyond the main page of a site. The author suggested that we as readers should spend more time tapping into the archived posts of websites and thus engage in the web-culture more thoroughly and thoughtfully. As a blogger I intend to re-post articles from time to time so that readers are confronted with older posts that still have relevance.
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A few thoughts I recently shared with a friend concerning eccuminism:
...I think many people have placed false hope in the ecumenical movement of the past few decades. The reality is that having a dialog about what unites us is not productive unless we eventually face up to our disagreements as well. Ecumenism that ignores our differences is a sham and counter-productive. It does nothing to address the real problems at hand. If our ultimate goal is to repair a shattered Christianity (knowing that Christ prayed for Christian unity), then we cannot afford to be complacent and pacify ourselves with a partial unity.
Repairing this Christian division is like nursing a wounded body... The rest of the body may be healthy, but if we ignore the wound, if we focus on the healthy condition of the rest of the body and say that the injury does not matter as much, then the wound will fester and the patient is in a worse state than before. Like a physician, we must zero in on the injury. We cannot rejoice in the health of an injured body - but that is what this false ecumenism does. It says, "See, you have your legs and your arms, just ignore the gaping wound in your side." But to have an authentic ecumenism, the "wound" (i.e. our disagreement) is the most important thing we must focus on.
Also I would say this... From reading I have done, it seems that the official Catholic position is that true ecumenical dialog is only possible with specific Christian denominations - ones that have retained a certain ecclesial order, proper liturgical practices, and a recognizable hierarchical structure. So the scope of ecumenism is not as wide as many people think. Mainly we [as Catholics] must focus on the Orthodox, the Anglicans, some Lutherans, and a few others. Unfortunately, our differences with the other denominations really are so BIG that there is little chance of getting anywhere ecumenically. For one thing, many Christian denominations have no discernible hierarchy with which to dialog. They do not exist as a "church" properly speaking. They have rejected the very foundation of what makes "church" a true Body. And so, we cannot speak productively with a "body" that has no discernible form, a body that has no "head" with which to speak in return... The most we can do is point to the Truth of Catholicism and lead them home.