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RIP

posted by awelborn

Brother Roger to have a Catholic funeral

(Article’s in French, but you can get the gist…)



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Samuel J. Howard

posted August 21, 2005 at 12:11 am


“Article précédent : Britney Spears accoucherait d’un garçon ! ( Canalstars.com)
“Article suivant : Jude Law reconquiert Sienna Miller ( Canalstars.com)”
Between Jude Law and Britney Spears!
In tuo adventu suscipiant te Martyres, et
perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.



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Philip

posted August 21, 2005 at 12:54 am


Maybe someone with better French could clarify. Did it say that he was given communion by Cardinal Ratzinger? Or was in communion with the church?
I had heard he had a Catholic view of the Eucharist and indeed was very Catholic minded. From what I have seen he has done great work and the fruits of this community may very well help Christians grow together.



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Rocco Palmo

posted August 21, 2005 at 1:01 am


Frere Roger was given Communion by then-Cardinal Ratzinger at the Funeral Mass of John Paul II — I have photos; he received it in his wheelchair. Roger met with John Paul every year at the latter’s behest.
In his remarks on the murder at last Wednesday’s audience, B16 remarked that “Frere Schutz is in the hands of eternal goodness, of eternal love, and has arrived at eternal joy,” i.e. heaven. He practically declared Roger a saint, as he did with JP at the window…



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Maureen

posted August 21, 2005 at 5:57 am


The article claims that Brother Roger was given communion as a gesture marking the Catholic Church’s recognition of the particular character of the Taize community. However, it doesn’t give any source for that assertion.
For me, I don’t particularly care. The man was a saint; now he’s a martyr; so if it were an accident, it was a happy one. But considering that the man’s getting a Catholic funeral, it would sorta tend to indicate that he was in fact in Catholic for all practical purposes — and that this was no secret to those who knew him.



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Jeff

posted August 21, 2005 at 6:08 am


In fact, John Allen reports that when he received Communion there was speculation that Brother Roger had been received into the Church. He also remarks that those in a position to know DID NOT give a clear answer when asked if the Brother had entered full communion.
Now that he is receiving a Catholic funeral, I think the answer can be guessed with a bit more certitude.



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scotch meg

posted August 21, 2005 at 7:49 am


Brother Roger’s statement (rough translation) is that he found the way to reconcile his original faith with the mystery of the [Catholic] Church, without losing communion with anyone.
My guess: he became a Catholic but didn’t want to make a big fuss about it because of his community’s emphasis on ecumenism.



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scotch meg

posted August 21, 2005 at 7:53 am


“J’ai trouvé (…) ma propre identité de chrétien en réconciliant en moi-même la foi de mes origines avec le mystère de la foi catholique, sans rupture de communion avec quiconque”.
A better attempt at translation. In one of his last books, Brother Roger stated, “I have found (…) my proper identity as a Christian by reconciling within myself the faith of my origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, without breaking communion with anyone.”
My guess stays the same.



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Regina F.

posted August 21, 2005 at 8:07 am


In the Pope’s comments on the passing of Br. Roger, he spoke of having just received a letter from him. He speaks of Br. Roger writing that he is in communion with him, as is his community. I wondered if that meant he was now a Catholic.



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Therese

posted August 21, 2005 at 9:40 am


He was given communion by Cardinal Ratzinger.
What the article does not note was that even though he was Protestant, he fully believed in the Real Presence it was for this reason that he was able to receive the Eucharist. His case is akin to the Orthodox Christians who are free to receive communion in a Catholic church. It is different in that he did not have restriction from his faith (as do the Orthodox) to receive in the Catholic Church.



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ml

posted August 21, 2005 at 11:23 am


Fr. Jim Tucker over at Dappled Things writes that Brother Roger was a Protestant with a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist and a belief that the pope is the universal pastor of all Christians.
Fr. Tucker links to a Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Louis_Schutz-Marsauche. Of course, Wikipedia entries are written by readers, so the information is not professionally fact-checked, but there is this interesting paragraph:
“At the funeral of pope John Paul II, Roger, a Protestant, took the Eucharist from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. This caused a worldwide stir: some even saw it as a sign of a closer approach between the different Christian denominations. However, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro Valls declared in July 2005 that Roger had been in the queue for Communion by accident. Navarro Valls further stressed that Roger Schutz was against intercommunion, but that he shared the Catholic teachings about the Eucharist (transubstantiation). Some of Br Roger’s writings (e.g. Etonnement d’un amour) suggest that he favoured a more open approach.”
So who knows?



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Leper

posted August 21, 2005 at 12:46 pm


“The man was a saint; now he’s a martyr; ”
This is not a criticism of you, and CERTIANLY not of him, but in what sense was the man a martyr?
I’ve have seen that other places as well. Is any devout person who is murdered a martyr?
“Fr. Jim Tucker over at Dappled Things writes that Brother Roger was a Protestant with a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist and a belief that the pope is the universal pastor of all Christians.”
Again, not a criticism, but I guess I don’t understand the meaning of the word.
If so, then in what sense was he “protestant”? What was he protesting?



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ml

posted August 21, 2005 at 12:55 pm


The word Protestant broadly defines non-Catholic Christians.
From the offical Taize website:
“Today, the community is made up of over a hundred brothers, Catholics and from various Protestant backgrounds, from more than twenty-five nations.”
http://sql1.venigo.fr/~taizefr/en_rubrique8.html



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dympna

posted August 21, 2005 at 1:39 pm


I suspect that Brother Roger was Catholic. He looked liked a Catholic monk and lived like one but never got around to saying so in public.



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Leper

posted August 21, 2005 at 2:34 pm


“The word Protestant broadly defines non-Catholic Christians.”
Sorry, I wasn’t clear.
I know what “Protestant” USUALLY means.
But Protestantism only exists in apposition to Catholicism, it only exists because there are Christians who either deny the correct understanding of the Real Presence or deny the primacy of the Bishop of Rome.
So if Br. Roger was a Christian who shares our understanding of the Eucharist and who knows that the Pope IS the universal pastor of all Christians — in what sense could he be called “protestant”?



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dcs

posted August 21, 2005 at 4:38 pm


What the article does not note was that even though he was Protestant, he fully believed in the Real Presence it was for this reason that he was able to receive the Eucharist.
Only in danger of death or some grave and pressing need (Cf. Can 844). Sorry to sound legalistic, but under ordinary circumstances Protestants are not permitted to receive Holy Communion from Catholic ministers, even if they really believe in the Real Presence.
There are then only two options: Br. Roger was Catholic, or the Holy Father erred in giving him Holy Communion. I’ll take the former.
This is not a criticism of you, and CERTIANLY not of him, but in what sense was the man a martyr?
Unless the woman who killed him explains, we’ll never know. Did she do it out of hatred for the Catholic Faith? Then yes, Br. Roger is a martyr. Did she do it for some other reason? Then no, Br. Roger is not a martyr.



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Larry

posted August 21, 2005 at 4:45 pm


A great man, a spiritual giant either way, whatever his “official” status at death. (Of course I realize that no commenters above would disagree with this.)
I ain’t no Brother Roger. Not by several light years.
But I too exist in that no man’s land called evangelical catholicism/sacramental protestantism. Maybe he could be called “protestant” in the sense that he still felt deeply drawn to the protestant principle, which can be stated no better way than this:
Dressed in his righteousness alone
faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand
“Catholics don’t disagree with this!” it will be stated, and that will be correct. But you’d have to admit, this is Protestant music, less often played by Catholic orchestras. Maybe Brother Roger still liked to hum these Protestant tunes, with simultaneously having deeply Catholic views on the liturgy and the sacaraments and even the papacy.



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Kenjiro Shoda

posted August 21, 2005 at 7:15 pm


Brother Roger was a holy man, but He can’t be called a saint….or officially canonized as one unless He was a Roman Catholic.
Just as it is not permitted for Protestants to recieve Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass unless there is some grave reason to do so.
Since according to the law of the Church it is not possible to give a practicing Protestant not in communion with the Catholic Church Holy Communion….or a Catholic funeral….I suppose that Br. Roger must have been a Catholic. Perhaps He has been one for some time.
No matter how respected He was, I don’t think that the Pope would allow (or the local Bishop) allow for a Protestant monk to have a Catholic funeral.
Therefore, despite the fact that nothing was said, I assume (and I hope I am correct), that Br. Roger converted to the True Faith.
Anything else would be a grave abuse..and a scandal (No matter how good and holy the man was).



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Maureen

posted August 21, 2005 at 7:22 pm


Actually, you can call anybody you like a saint. It’s entirely right and proper for the faithful to toss that word around, if they feel the deceased is worthy of it. It just doesn’t have any infallibility behind it unless you’re the Pope talking in an infallible way.
*sticks out tongue*



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Leper

posted August 21, 2005 at 9:35 pm


*sticks out tongue*
Taunting, or waiting for the Body of Christ?
>He can’t be called a saint….or
>officially canonized as one unless
>He was a Roman Catholic.
That sounds incorrect (at least the “Roman” part of it.)
Can you point to a citation?
Thanks



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dcs

posted August 21, 2005 at 10:29 pm


Some people use “Roman Catholic” as shorthand for “Catholic in communion with Rome” as opposed to “Roman Rite Catholic.” Pius XII, after all, described the Church as “one, holy, Catholic, apostolic, and Roman.”



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Ed the Roman

posted August 22, 2005 at 7:04 am


Larry,
It is true that Catholics don’t disagree with those hymns. It is also probably true that those hymns were written in part to attack the Catholic understanding of sola gratia, in which the works in Christof the faithful have value.



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Larry

posted August 22, 2005 at 5:43 pm


Ed,
I used the words of that well known hymn as a concise but poetic and accurate exposition of the protestant principle. There may or may not be a backstory to it where the author, Edward Mote, intended a polemical jab at catholic doctrine. I do not know. Independent of any such purpose, the lyrics do relate the core conviction, or one might even say the leitmotiv, of protestantism.
That leitmotiv still may have had great power and meaning for Brother Roger. I know it does for me.



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Another Schutz

posted August 23, 2005 at 11:28 pm


A non-Catholic friend of mine has been bugging me with these questions. Since this is the one place on the web where it seems to be discussed, I thought I would post my musings here. This is an “answer” I gave my friend:
I guess the pertinent question is “Who exactly was Brother Roger in communion with?” Did he actually hold membership in any particular denomination? They all say he was protestant–but can’t agree on whether he was Lutheran or Reformed. In reality, the Taize Community was an “Ecclesial Community” (as we call them) in its own right, without official denominational ties to anyone. There were Catholic priests who were members of his community–and it would be interesting to ask whether they were in the habit of giving their prior communion when he attended mass. I can guess that they were. Then the next question is: “With whom has Brother Roger declared communion?”. Well, from his letter to Pope Benedict, (and we may assume this was not the first time he had told a pope such a thing) with Rome.
Perhaps we should view Taize is a unique case. To whom does it really belong? Can any one Church or Ecclesial Community claim them? Do they claim any one community? If they do not repudiate specific communities, and, on the other hand, if they openly attempt to embrace a wide variety of communities, what sort of Christian community are they? They do not have a “statement of faith” that would identify them, but rather a way of life which places them solidly within the orthodox Christian tradition of the last two millenia. If we can possibly imagine that at a future time a united church could exist, is it also possible to imagine that a small example of what it might look like exists here and now?
There is the interesting case of Max Thurian. Read more about here
http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/1994_December/Max_Thurian_Is_he_Truly_Catholic.htm
I don’t think the tone of the article is quite right, but it asks the right questions. Compare it, however, with Richard John Neuhaus’s assertion that by becoming Catholic he has lost nothing of who he was as a Lutheran, but rather that it was a further step deeper “into communion”. There is a degree to which I can understand that. Have I repudiated my Lutheranism [since becoming a Catholic]? Certainly I have repudiated membership in any formal Lutheran body, but my Lutheran spirituality continues to give me an interpretative structure for my Catholic faith.
While it seems to me to be quite clear that one cannot have a “double-adherance” to formal institutional bodies, it also seems quite possible for one’s spiritual identity to be formed from various sources (in fact, this is the case for all of us), as long as they are not contradictory. In fact, it seems to me that this may indeed be what the Catholic Church expects in its “communion-theology” of ecumenism: that for communion to be established it is simply necessary to agree on essential doctrine (although variation is possible in the expression of doctrine–as is evidenced by the fact that the Eastern Rites Churches in communion with Rome have prepared their own catechism rather than use the Universal Catechism), and that ministry and sacraments be validated. This in fact is very close to what the Lutheran Confessions require for unity. It is not asked that the community coming into communion with Rome renounce its own identity. If it has the nature of a particular Church already, it retains that identity. All that is asked is that those churches in communion with Rome embrace her as a sister (on the one level) and as a mother (on another level).
Please think hard about this. I know this is a different way from which you would normally think, and it may make our normal way of venturing seem “foolish”. But foolishness should be no stranger to those who follow the way of the cross.



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Larry

posted August 24, 2005 at 8:27 am


Excellent post, Another Schutz. We’re always so keen on putting ourselves in tight little boxes. One of Brother Roger’s many contributions may have been to show Christians that that sort of “box thinking” doesn’t have to be mandatory.



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