Vatican Documents Focus Of Recent Roman Catholic, Polish National Church Dialogue

October 19, 2007 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (October 19, 2007)—The fall Roman Catholic – Polish National Catholic Dialogue in Buffalo, September 25-26, focused on recent Vatican documents on the Mass in Latin and the way the Catholic Church views other church groups.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo hosted the meeting, which was presided over by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of Buffalo and Bishop Anthony Mikovsky of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) Central Diocese.

Part of the session centered on old business, including a discussion of the relations between Catholic and PNCC military chaplains, the possibility of further incremental steps towards unity, and a proposal regarding Canadian participation in the dialogue. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to two recent Vatican documents.

Bishop Kmiec offered a summary of Summorum Pontificum, the "motu proprio" Pope Benedict XVI issued in July regarding the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the 1970 reform, and reflected on its implications for the life of the Church.

Msgr. John Strynkowski presented "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church," the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was released in August. The second document in particular provided an occasion for an in-depth discussion of the way our churches view one another.

The meeting concluded with a presentation by Father Robert Nemkovich Jr. on the new PNCC Missal. There was also a discussion of the status of former Roman Catholic laity and clergy who belong to the PNCC, a question to be revisited at the next meeting. Sessions of the dialogue in 2008 are slated for May 19-20 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and November 6-7 in Baltimore.

The dialogue between the Polish National Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church has been meeting semiannually since 1984. The present PNCC members include Bishop Anthony Mikovsky (Co-Chairman), Bishop John E. Mack, Very Rev. Marcell W. Pytlarz, Very Rev. John Z. Kraus, Very Rev. Paul Sobiechowski, and Father Robert M. Nemkovich, Jr. The Roman Catholic members include Bishop Edward U. Kmiec (Co-Chairman), Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando Florida, Msgr. John Strynkowski, Msgr. Thomas J. Green, Father Phillip Altavilla, and Paulist Father Ronald G. Roberson (staff).