Catholic Herald Reporter
THE Hierarchy • of England and Wales is calling on priests and people to mark the 1963 Unity Octave with special fervour and celebrations of special solemnity.
The Unity Octave will be held from January 18 to 25 next. For the first time, each bishop in the country is calling OR the faithful to support the octave. This concerted action is understood to have been decided on in view of the great impetus given to the unity movement by the Vatican Council. Archbishop Heenan of Liverpool told the CATHOI IC HERALD that although the question of Christian Unity had not yet been fully discussed at the Vatican Council, it had coloured much of the discussions so far. The Holy Father had unity very much at heart and made it clear that the objects of the Vatican Council are pastoral and ecumenical.
"The Hierarchy has decided that the octave of unity must be celebrated with special solemnity in January," Archbishop 'Heenan added. "Of course, the priests in their sermons will make it clear that what unity entails is not an alteration of Catholic doctrine— there is no question of that—but the return of the separated brethren to Holy Mcsffier Church."
Archbishop Heenan said that the ecumenical approach of the Council meant the use of non-scholastia terms which those outside the Church can understand. It also showed that Catholic doctrine on unity did not involve a departure from the doctrine of the early Church,
Fr. Herbert Keldany, secretary of the Octave. told the CATHOLIC HERALD that the Council had provided the impetus for making the Octave celebrations the most solemn ever. The united action of the bishops in supporting the Octave would ensure a much greater and more fervent response from the faithful than ever before.
Last year, some 70,000 of the special unity leaflets. containing the prayer authorised to be said by Catholics for unity, were distributed. This year, a larger print order has been given and the leaflets are ready for distribution by the CTS.