The archpriest of the Roman Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls is opening an "ecumenical chapel" in the basilica's baptistery so that "non-Catholic Christian communities [can] come and pray at the basilica and celebrate liturgy". I find this upsetting. It reminds me of the Episcopal Church of St. John the Divine in New York. They have chapels for "special groups" and it rubs me the wrong way.
I do not have a problem with non-Catholic Christians praying in Catholic churches. However, I do have a problem with granting them liturgical space to celebrate rites that visibly demonstrate our disunity with one another. Liturgical space is sacred and celebrating side-by-side borders on communio in sacris.
That's just my opinion. Any others care to opine? Full article below from Zenit.org:
ROME, DEC. 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- An ecumenical chapel at St. Paul's Outside the Walls is one of the first initiatives of the upcoming Pauline year.Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the papal basilica, announced plans for the chapel in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano.
The chapel will offer "the possibility for non-Catholic Christian communities to come and pray at the basilica and to celebrate liturgy," he said. It will be placed in a Greek-design baptistery, which was remodeled in the early 20th century.
"The altar, restored, will be one we found and removed during the recent excavations near the tomb of Paul, which have made the tomb visible to pilgrims," the cardinal explained.
On Monday, Cardinal Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo presented Benedict XVI with a program of the Pauline Year, to be celebrated from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009.