One of the basic conditions for a Catholic revival of the Church is Continuity. A Christian communion can have all kinds of Catholic features, as for instance a Catholic liturgy of the Mass, a Catholic office or Catholic vestments, and yet not be Catholic. The substance of Catholicity is continuity. Only one Church was founded by Christ. We cannot found a new Church and call it a Catholic Church, even if we give to this new community all kinds of Catholic features. There IS from the beginning one, and only one, Catholic Church. This is, through our sins, divided, but the oneness has never been completely lost. There are not, because of the divisions and schisms in the Church, many churches, but only one Church. Of course, we can speak of different churches and different Catholic Churches. This has always been done. But if we look behind the words and expressions, there will, strictly speaking, always be only one Church, in continuity with the whole and Apostolic Church of the first century. All these bodies, which we call Churches, are provinces or groups of provinces in this One, Holy Catholic Church.
Has the Swedish Church, the province of the Catholic Church in Sweden, preserved this continuity? The continuity is apparent in many features of the Church, but usually we look on the Apostolic Succession as the principal means of continuity with the Church of the Apostles. One of the chief conditions for a Catholic revival is to be found in the Swedish Church, as our succession has been preserved and never doubted. Also Roman Catholic theologians, both of an earlier day and more recently, have recognised our succession as a historical fact, but considered the intention lacking. The fact that the Swedish Church has an unbroken continuity of episcopal imposition of hands together with prayer was to the Catholic revival a sine qua non for all its work.
Another line of continuity is to be found in the preservation of the same canon of Holy Scripture as from the beginning. Here is one of the signs of unbroken unity with the whole Catholic Church. The three oecumenical Creeds, Apostolicum, Nicenum, and Athanasianum, constitute another link of continuity. Perhaps many readers will be astonished to find the Confession of Augsburg quoted as a Catholic document, but the fact is, that it says in Art. XXI: "Cum ecclesia apud nos de nullo articuli fidei dissentiant ab ecclesia catholica tantum paucos quosdam abusus omittant, qui novi sunt," and, earlier in the same Art.: "Haec fere summa est doctrina apud nos, in qua cerni potest nihil esse, quod discrepit a Scripturis vel ab ecclesia catholica, vel ab ecclesia romana, quatenus ex scriptoribus nobis nota est." If we are astonished by the Augsburg Confession saying that it is only in abuses that it differs from the Roman Church and in nothing else, Tridentinum is equally surprising in declaring that fides est humanae salutis initium, fundamentum et radix omnis justificationis (Sess. VI. 8). The Confession of Augsburg is a very Catholic document, and the amazing thing is, how often it has been interpreted as an anti-catholic declaration. This Confession was no obstacle to the Catholic Revival; on the contrary, it has been one of its sources of inspiration, like the English Book of Common Prayer to the Anglican Revival. The same is the case with the Swedish Church Order, accepted by the Swedish Church in 1571 and still in force. It is Catholic, very conservative, and highly liturgical. It is a congenial document of the Swedish reformation, which curiously enough, never officially broke off relations with the Roman Church and never received any anathematization by the Holy See.
The organization of the Swedish Church today is the same as in its first centuries. We have the same ancient episcopal sees, together with some new dioceses—thirteen in all. Yet more important, is that we have preserved the same Sacraments and the same Rites.
Why did we then need a revival? Why have we had a Catholic Movement for some twenty years or more? If everything was preserved, if the Catholic substance and features were preserved, what had the Catholic Movement to do?
Assuredly a great deal, and we have only begun.
In the time of enlightenment, in the eighteenth century, many of the Catholic features of the Swedish Church were neglected. The Church as such preserved them, yet the men of the Church neglected many of them or used them with their own interpretation. And so it happened that the Swedish Liturgy in the beginning of the XIX century was at its poorest expression and Swedish theology in the second decade of this century reached its lowest watermark. The sacramental life of the Swedish Church was the poorest in the whole world, the churches locked, except for services, the spirit of common prayer extinct, the services barren and dull. But it was also the time of evangelical revivals of intense piety. These were the chief signs of life in the Swedish Church. We had some prominent High Churchmen, but they were more diplomatic and political than hierarchical in their views. They never expressed their High Churchmanship in liturgies, sacramental life, or doctrine of the Ministry, but they preserved a deep veneration for Bishops and Priests.
In this manner the Swedish Church produced the pioneers of its Catholic Revival. Albert Lysander, Rector of St. Petri, Malmo, founded, together with some few other Priests, in October, 1919, the Sodality of the Apostolic Confession, (Sodalitium Confessionis Apostaoicae). The diocesan, Dr. Gottfrid Billing, one of the High Churchmen mentioned above, and the Archbishop, Nathan Soderblom, both gave, their encouragement. At the same time the Count and Countess Eric von Rosen, together with a number of Priests, among them the present leader and Father Confessor, Simon Luders, founded Societas Sanctae Birgittae. While the first mentioned guild is open only to Priests, and especially to Priests from the Diocese of Lund, the latter consists of both Priests and laymen, men and women. These two guilds have done a great work for the Catholic Revival. From the beginning they tried to restore the devotional and sacramental life. At the same time they did what they could to promote Catholic doctrine. Both of them have grown beyond all expectations. To take part in the General Chapter of Societas Sanctae Birgittae in the Church of St. Birgittae in Vadstena on the 23rd of July, is to experience some of the most beautiful expressions of Liturgical worship. New guilds have appeared in many different dioceses. The small beginning has been more fruitful than anybody dared to hope.
But already earlier some men, for the most part Priests, influenced by the English Church, began to work for a Catholic Revival. The Swedish Church Society was created by them. Some books were printed that had a local influence but never penetrated the whole Church. But we remember those early forerunners in the Revival, Rev. Elis Schroderheim, Rev. Henning Sjogren, Rev. Karl Kihlen, with the greatest veneration and gratitude. R. I. P.
In 1935 a new printing firm was founded, Pro Ecclesia, and then began a very prolific publication of books. Perhaps it could be said that for the first time the program of the Catholic Revival was formulated in four points: 1. The reconstruction of Catholic belief and doctrine; 2. the revival of the sacramental life; 3. the doctrine of the Apostolic Ministry was set forth; and 4. the renewal of the life of prayer with its offices, intercessions and other forms of devotion. For many years new books were published and spread. The intentions of the Catholic Revival were more and more clearly expressed, however no party was created. The leaders of the Movement all agreed that the Movement was to be a leaven which would leaven the whole lump and not a party, limiting itself to its members. It was not the intention to create a Catholic Party but to make a national Church, Catholic in its essence, also Catholic in its life and activity. We were aiming at the whole Church, not at any part of it.
Earlier we had the so-called "Young Church Movement," which had propagated the idea of the Church, but more the idea of the national church with all its romantic history and heroes than of the one Catholic Church of Christ in Sweden. It brought with it a special liturgical revival: Two prominent studios of Church Art were established Licium and Libraria. Both of them have produced a great number of unsurpassedly beautiful and dignified vestments. However they were more historical and archeological than liturgical, and it is only lately that Pro Ecclesia has begun its production of very simple and inexpensive but liturgically correct vestments of all kinds. Today the Swedish Church has an exceptionally good supply of Mass vestments in the canonical colors in most parishes. Their use is required, as the canon law orders them for celebration of the Mass. Every priest is ordained in these historic vestments.
It has recently been said by a Swedish theologian, not a member of the Catholic Movement, that as the Swedish Church looks on the different constituent elements of the Church, the Ministry should be mentioned first, as the Sacraments, the means of grace can only be dispensed by a Bishop or Priest. This principle being accepted, we will begin with the Ministry. First it can be said that we have seen the revival of the diaconate as the first order of the Ministry. It was never abolished, but the last deacons were ordained in the seventeenth century, and it was only recently that deacons were again ordained with the intention that they would later be ordained Priests. We have had a perpetual diaconate, valuable and as we think primitive, but rather secularised in its own concept and functions. But the aim of the Catholic Revival is not any change in the form of the Ministry. Its intention is to revive the view on the Ministry, the doctrine of the Ministry. And for that reason we turn to the official documents of our Church, those being in full conformity with the Catholic doctrine of the whole Church. First it is said that the episcopacy is de jure divino and not a human invention or a convenient form of government of the Church. This divine origin of the Ministry is limited to the spiritual side of the episcopacy. As far as the Bishop is a feudal lord or, like the Pope, the governor of a state, his ministry is said to be de jure humano. (Conf. of Augsb. XXVIII): Si quam habent episcopi potestatem gladii, hanc non habent ut episcopi mandate evangelii, sed de jure humano. De jure divino is their power to administer the Word and Sacraments, to guard the Christian truth and denounce heresies, and to excommunicate the ungodly; and hic necessario et de jure divine debent eis ecclesiae praestare obedientiam, juxta illud: Qui vos audit, me audit. The essence of the Ministry of a Bishop is described as threefold: Sacramental, magisterial and administrative. The Bishop shall administer the Sacraments, he shall teach the faith and be on the watch for heresy: Potestas episcoporum . . . esse mandatum Dei praedicandi evangelii, remittendi et retinendi peccata, administrandi sacramenta. His office is necessary, because without it the people cannot receive eternal justice, the Holy Ghost and eternal life: Justititia aeterna, Spiritus Sanctus, vita aeterna, heac non possunt contingere, nisi per ministerium verbi et sacramentorum. It is very difficult to understand how episcopacy ever could be omitted in Churches where these words have the authority of a confessional document! Only the Bishop is mentioned, except for two places, where the Priest is mentioned. Deacons we find in Art. XXIV (on the Mass). That shows that the Bishop is considered to be the man with the full Ministry; he is the dispenser of it in different degrees through different ordinations. Here is the doctrine of the Catholic Church, and therefore it is only necessary to make known that it is the teaching of the Swedish Church. The Catholic Movement considers its purpose in this respect to be a propagation of the hierarchical doctrine of the episcopacy. It is not satisfied only to have episcopacy; it would also make Catholic doctrine of episcopacy known and valued. Concerning the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession the Swedish Church Order teaches, that the Ministry is de jure divino. It is a divine institution. It is stated in so many places that it is quite superfluous to quote them, but the following passage from the chapter of the Order of Bishops may be quoted: "Since this ordinance was very useful and without doubt proceeded from the Holy Ghost, it was generally approved and accepted over the whole of Christendom. ... It belongs to the office of the Bishop that he in his diocese shall ordain and govern with Priests, and do whatsoever else is required." From the chapter of the Order of Priests may also be quoted: "Nobody may exercise the office of Priest without being ordained through the imposition of hands and prayer. Since the Holy Ghost—without which this office cannot be conferred—is given by this means, it would be a great superbia to belittle it, especially as the imposition of hands has been observed without break from the days of the Apostles." And it is clearly stated that it is the Bishop who must lay his hands on the man to be ordained Priest. "When He (Christ) sent out the Apostles, he said: 'As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you.' And thereafter the Apostles commanded that other persons should be sent out to the same Ministry." Here we find that the present Ministry in the Church is the same as our Lord Christ Himself had, as he gave to his Apostles, and as has been handed down in the Church throughout its history.
The Church Order continues: "The Ministry is, therefore, not from men but it is our Lord Jesus Christ's own institution. He preserves it and is Himself effective through it, and the people should be instructed that this divine Order merits all our thanksgiving." The Church Revival in Sweden will make this its special objective. It has already been said, that it is the Bishop who must ordain and lay his hands on the man who is to be ordained. About that it is said: "Anyone, who exercises the office of Priest without the aforesaid ordination by the Bishop is to be punished and driven out of the diocese." There has always been episcopal ordination in the Swedish Church; however it has sometimes happened that men without apostolic succession have been accepted as Priests in the Swedish Church. This is, of course, against the law, and has happened only occasionally. In this doctrine and practice, both of them Catholic, the Catholic Revival in the Swedish Church has found one of its surest foundations. The Catholic Movement is not only a liturgical movement or a sacramental movement, but is a Movement of full Catholicity. It will revive the essential Catholicity of the Swedish Church and make it actual and all embracing.
It has been said that the sacramental life of the Swedish Church has been the poorest in Christendom. But it can also be added that there is today a remarkable sacramental revival going on in practically all dioceses and parishes in the Swedish Church. The number of communicants is steadily growing, and so is the number of celebrations.
The most important fact about this revival is that it is built on solid Catholic doctrinal ground. It is not only an increase of the number of celebrations and communicants, it is realisation of the contents of the sacramental doctrine of the Swedish Church. It is a historical realisation of the supernatural essence of the Swedish Church. It is nothing foreign, it is its own deepest heritage made alive. It is no introduction of modern customs from other Churches, it is the Swedish Church which has come back to its own congenial way of living as an expression of its own nature: Catholicity. This nature had been more or less neglected, but not lost. Therefore the Catholic Movement is only a revitalization of the hidden inner life of the Swedish Church and a bringing out of its real character. We shall find this statement true as soon as we look at our sacramental doctrines. They are as follows:
We can count seven Sacraments, but it is not necessary to consider the five lesser Sacraments as anything other than sacramental rites. If we count seven Sacraments, we must make a considerable difference between the two greater and the five lesser. This is an ancient concept of the Church. The number of Sacraments was only gradually developed and the rather vague formulations of the Swedish Church seem to fit well in the old tradition. About all the lesser Sacraments the Swedish Church says the same as it says about Matrimony: If they are to be called Sacraments—which is allowed—then they must be distinguished from the two greater. Quare si quis volet sacramentum vocare, discernere tamen a prioribus illis debet, quae proprie sunt signa Novi Tetsamenti (Apol. XII).
About Baptism it is only possible to point to the great principal doctrine of regeneration, and to the doctrine that faith is given in Baptism as a gratia habitualis. Baptism is the Sacrament of initiation, through Baptism we are made members of the Church and children of God. Baptism confers character indelebilis wherefore re-baptism is rejected as serious heresy. The two principal doctrines of the Holy Eucharist are the same as of the whole Catholic Church: The doctrine of the Real Presence and the doctrine of Sacrifice. It is constantly and in innumerable instances said that the Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of our Lord, and much reverence is paid to the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. In this connection it ought to be noted that both in the Church Order and in the Canon Law it is said that "what remains (of consecrated elements after the Mass) should be preserved in a convenient place." Therefore the reservation of the Sacrament in the Swedish Church is prescribed as the only treatment of the consecrated elements after the Mass. (The word Mass is common in the Swedish Church and has always been so, just as the word Priest.) But like other Catholic practices, reservation has been neglected. Therefore one of the important aims of the Catholic Revival is to make reservation common in all parishes. Extra-liturgical adoration is as unknown to us as to the Eastern Churches, but we accept the Real Presence with all reverence and adore Christ in the Mass in the consecrated elements, which is our duty as loyal communicants of the Swedish Church. The second eucharistic doctrine is that of Sacrifice. In the Church Order we read: "It is not forbidden to call this Sacrament a Sacrifice, as has always been done in Christendom, because the Sacrifice of Christ, which was offered by our Lord on the cross, is offered in the Mass." Those words in the Swedish Church Order were written by Archbishop Laurentius Petri, the first Archbishop, following the reformation. He wrote a Dialogus about the Holy Eucharist, where he says that we may call the Mass a sacrifice, because "it signifies or represents the Sacrifice of our Lord on the cross" and because "the Priest and the congregation hold it (the Sacrament, id est, the Body and Blood) between our sins and the wrath of God." It is quite clear that we have here a full and explicit doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass. That also implies that the Priest ordained for the offering of this Sacrifice is a real Priest, partaker of the same Priesthood as our Lord, the heavenly High Priest. This doctrine has always been the doctrine of the Swedish Church and the Priests have always been ordained to execute it. The Catholic Movement will make that doctrine living, loved, and known in sermons and in the devotional life of the Church.
Confession has always been used in the Swedish Church. We have an authorized form for it in the Swedish Handbook (our Common Prayer Book), the fifth chapter. In its rubric it is said that the Priest should regularly and carefully instruct his people to use this important means of grace. This rubric is very seldom followed as it ought to be. Again the Catholic Movement will not introduce anything new or make the Swedish Church to be what it really is not. As St. Augustine says: "You ought to be what you are," so we try to make the Swedish Church outwardly to be what it is inwardly. Therefore we simply follow this rubric, we teach the confirmands to make their confession before confirmation and we try to teach our faithful to use this Sacrament frequently, using it ourselves with regularity. There has been a revival in the use of this Sacrament, but not at all comparable to the revival of the eucharistic life. Only a few live in this practice. On the other hand, to many this Sacrament has been a real means of grace and an introduction to a continuation of a sound spiritual life.
The liturgy for Confirmation needs clarification. Commonly the following three points are thought to be the doctrine of the Swedish Church concerning Confirmation:
1. Confirmation is the completion of Baptism. 2. The gift of the Holy Spirit is imparted. 3. It is a declaration of coming-of-age and gives the confirmed the full membership of the Church with the privilege to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Confirmation in the Swedish Church is by the Priest.
There is no tendency pointing to the introduction of the Bishop as confirmer, but there is a tendency more and more to accentuate the sacramental character of Confirmation, and that not only in Catholic circles. The Catholic Movement is striving to make Confirmation a real Catholic act, and the Movement has many opportunities for promotion of its opinions and its practices. Most members of the Swedish Church are confirmed, and of all the inhabitants of Sweden only a small number do not belong to the Swedish Church.
Ordination is by the Bishop. The priesthood is given the three traditional functions of administration, magisterial and sacramental activity. The Priest is to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, he is to absolve or bind in sins, to guid6 his people and to preach the Gospel. The sermon in the Swedish Church has always been looked upon as very important, and the Catholic Movement tries to cultivate a valuable tradition in this respect. It is a good and common tradition in the Swedish Church, recently underlined strongly by the Bishop of the diocese in which this is written, that there ought never to be any jealousy between the Magisterium and the Sacrament. Sermon and Sacrament in the High Mass are both important. We can also have a celebration without a sermon. The Catholic Movement has always worked to have the same missionary zeal for the salvation of souls as is commonly considered to be the special sign of the Evangelical conception of Christianity.
Regarding Matrimony there is this to be said: that the Catholic Movement has a hard fight for the indissolubility of marriage. The Swedish Church is established, and the State allows divorce and remarriage after that. The Church has no regulations concerning remarriage after divorce, such an eventuality not being foreseen in Canon Law, adopted in 1686. The Swedish Church seems to have a good opportunity for victory if she has patience and will go on instructing her people in the Catholic doctrine of marriage. Holy Unction is looked upon as a Sacrament for health more than as a preparation for death. There are signs of a revival and use of this Sacrament.
The Swedish Mass is a good example of the Western Liturgy. Roman Catholics, present at a celebration in Sweden often exclaim with delighted surprise, "You have the Mass!" And it must be added that we do not use different rites in the Swedish Church. A visitor in a church where the rector is influenced by the Catholic Movement will find him using the same words as the rector of a church where this influence does not exist—if there is such a parish! We all use the same words, yet the difference can be great. The Catholic Priest will use the sign of the cross, elevation, and kneel more often, but all will use vestments, candles, six or two or any number they like, pictures and statues of Christ and his Saints and the Blessed Virgin. The difference is to be found in the spirit of adoration, in the Catholic atmosphere, easy to observe, difficult to define. Of course, one very visible difference will be the frequent celebration of the Mass in the catholic parish.
The Catholic Movement has therefore not introduced a new liturgy; the old is good, if used in its full richness. The purpose of the Movement has been to introduce a celebration every Sunday and every Saints' Day and holy day, and, in some cases, a daily celebration. If we look on the liturgy of the Swedish Mass, we will immediately find that it needs few things restored. It has only to be used. It consists of two parts, Missa catechumenorum and Missa fidelium. Before the Mass there is a preparation consisting of a short address to revive the repentance of the congregation, the confession and the absolution. Then follows Introitus, Kyrie, Gloria, Collecta, Epistle, Graduale, Gospel, Creed, and Sermon. The first part of the Mass is ended by the prayer for the Church Militant. The later part follows with the Offertory, the Prefatio, Sanctus, Prayer of Consecration, Verba Institutionis, Pater noster, Secreta, Pax, Agnus Dei, Communion. Postcommunio, thanksgiving, and blessing finish the Mass. There are some few points which we desire to add. We want an epiclesis; many of us say it secretly, but it does not belong to our liturgy as yet. We are thankful for it as it is, and do not wish to make any subtractions. It is fortunate that the same liturgy is used everywhere in the Swedish Church. We strive to use this fine, old, primitive liturgy of ours with devotion and love. In some places we celebrate versus populum on weekdays, following a very ancient use.
The Swedish Office has been restored quite recently. At the time of the reformation it was not abolished but only abbreviated and simplified. The late Bishop of Lund, Dr. Edvard Rodhe, was one of the first restorers of the Swedish Office. He found some old manuscripts and books and had them published. Others followed in his steps, and so came the Rev. Arthur Adell and the Rev. Knut Peters who put into practical use the old books and manuscripts which had been reprinted. We have today two parts in the Book of Offices. One for the week with all the eight offices for the Sunday, and Laudes, Sext, Vesper and Completorium for the different weekdays. The second part contains the offices of the Church year. These offices are being used with a greater frequency privately and publicly.
Knowledge of and the interest in the Church Year has had a great revival. The interest in the Book of Offices and in the keeping of the Church Year has been remarkable. We have a great directory for the Church Year called "Nadens ar," (The Year of Grace), containing 800-900 pages of directions for the celebration of the whole year and meditations for every day. We have preserved many of the old holy days as holidays. Among these holidays we have the day of the Annunciation, Candlemass, Ascension Day, St. John the Baptist's Day, St. Michael and All Angels, and All Saints Day. We have in the past few years revived the Rogation Days with processions and litany in the fields, and the Ember Days, which lapsed in the time of "Enlightenment."
In this connection some catholic books for the inner life could be mentioned: For guidance in meditation, "Den Bedjande Kyrkan," "Det Inre Livet" (The Praying Church, The Inner Life). Mental prayer is frequently trained and many old manuals for its propagation are used. Mental prayer and the meditative life have had a great revival, but it is difficult to show it in a lecture; it must be experienced. The retreats and quiet days or weeks are numerous, and the religious life is just restored, as we have our first sisters, professed last year as novices.
This lecture has been very doctrinal. That is because the Catholic Movement in Sweden is very doctrinal. We consider true doctrine to be the most important thing, only to be compared with continuity. Therefore we have always tried to have a strong doctrinal foundation for everything done. A liturgy without Catholic doctrine is empty, just as a Catholic celebration of the Mass without a Catholic doctrine of the Real Presence and Sacrifice is worthless.
It is therefore natural that the Catholic Revival in Sweden should be to a very high degree a theological revival. It would have been very interesting to give a lecture especially on later tendencies in Swedish theology, but here only a few books can be mentioned. The early books of Bishop Edvard Rodhe (of Lund) have already been referred to, and among our present Bishops, none has had a more prominent influence in the whole Catholic Revival than the Bishop of Strangnas, Dr. Gustaf Aulen, musician, theologian, liturgist and ecumenic, certainly one of the most prominent men of the Swedish Church in our time, known throughout the world for his theological works. The new Bishop of Lund, Dr. Anders Nygren, famous for his conception of Agape and Eros, is our most prominent theologian. He has saved us from the Barthian heresy.
The dogmatic theology connected with the Catholic Movement is very often influenced by St. Thomas Aquinas. The most prominent among the neo-thomists is Dr. Lechard Johannesson, famous for his learned philosophical dissertation on the theories of knowledge, "Kunskap och Verklighet" (Knowledge and Reality). The Rev. and Right Hon. Baron Kjell Barnekow, D.D. was one of the first to introduce the Thomistic way of thinking in his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Divinity at the University of Lund, "Niels Hemmingsens Theologiska Askadning" (The Theology of Niels Hemmingsen). Also remarkable is the English thesis at the same University, "The Theology of Charles Gore" by the Rev. Ragnar Ekstrom, D.D. Earlier but important is "Den Kristna Manniskouppfattningen" (The Christian conception of man) by Niles Silen, D.D. There has been a great deal of discussion about these Thomistic books, among which perhaps the author could mention his own "Den Apostoliska Tron" (The Apostolic Faith). Their influence is widespread. This theology is realistic; it assumes that we can know reality, and that revelation is a real revelation of supernatural truths which we can understand^ as far as they are revealed. The old distinction of theologita naturalis and theologia revelationis is revived. Among liturgical works the books by the Rev. Arthur Adell and Rev. Knut Peters, especially on Plainsong, are in great use. The author could perhaps be permitted to mention his "Nadens Ar," "Den Bedjande Kyrkan" and "Det Inre Livet," about which something already has been said. Reviews of different kinds and articles in Church papers or theological journals complete the picture of the theological production of the Catholic Movement, which has its own humble review. "Rundbrev om Kyrklig Fornyelse" (Tracts on the Church Revival) edited by Rev. Jan Redin.
Our closest connections are with the Church of England. Early in this century Priests from Sweden went to England and were fascinated by the Catholic Movement there. The Lambeth Conference of 1920 recommended in its 24th Resolution that members of the Swedish Church who have the privilege of the Sacraments of their own Church should be admitted to the Sacraments in the Church of England. This influence has been great, and some of us consider the Church of England to be our second spiritual home. The Catholic Movement in Sweden was influenced early by the Volkliturgische Bewegung, Volksliturgische Apostolat, Klosterneuburg, Vienna, with the famous Professor Pius Parsch as its leader. There we gained the liturgical view, free from all ultramontanism, the valuation of the catholic simplicity, the fear of baroque heaviness, and love for primitive beauty. From Maria Laach, from Beuron, (Germany), from Chevetogne, Amays sur Meuse, Mont Cesar of Maredsous (Belgium), from Clervaux in Luxembourg, from Solesmes in France, and from Abbe Couturier in the same country, the saintly apostle of the Unity of the Church, we learned liturgies and oecumenism of a real Catholic kind. Ecumenicity is one of the leading features of Swedish Catholicism. The conversations at Osby the past six years, where Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Old-Catholics and Anglicans have been together with Lutherans and Calvinists on Catholic ground, have proved successful in a quiet way, and the celebrations of the Roman Mass, the Orthodox Liturgy, Old Catholic, Anglican and Swedish Masses have taught us to know one another. We have tried to find one thing: The Catholic truth. Not the way of compromise, not the way of the majority, but the way of catholic truths has been our aim. The traditional Catholic conception of the Christian faith has been valued more and more. We work for intercommunion with the Old Catholics. From the Roman Catholics we have received much teaching of St. Ignatius concerning the care of souls and the life of contemplation, from St. Thomas good philosophy, philosophia aeterna, from St. Benedict the spirit of veneration, adoration and discipline. From the Church of England we received practical inspiration; the warm feeling of communion, the vision of a restored Catholic Church, the spirit of worship, so wonderful, so inspiring, so encouraging! Gloria Deo!
Now we are at the end. The lecturer may be granted the permission to express his humble gratitude for the great honor and favor of having this opportunity to tell something about the Catholic Movement in Sweden, to which he has devoted his life, through the great grace of God. In 1910 the Right Rev. The Bishop of Salisbury, John Wordsworth, gave his Hale-Lectures, which were later printed as a history of the Swedish Church. It has been of great importance for the Oecumenical Movement in its connections with the Church of England. May God grant that this humble lecture in this great Father's footsteps may in any way have some good effect for the great blessed goal: THE CATHOLIC UNITY OF THE CHURCH.