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Friday, December 9, 2022

Why We Can’t All Get Along: The Myth of Accord Between Catholicism and False Ecumenism

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Why We Can’t All Get Along: The Myth of Accord Between Catholicism and False Ecumenism

“Sir, you and I are not one in religion. Wherefore I pray you content yourself. I bar none of prayer; only I desire them of the household of faith to pray with me, and in my agony to say one Creed.” — St. Edmund Campion

 

St. Edmund Campion and his fellow English Martyrs willingly suffered torture and gruesome death rather than compromise their Catholic Faith. In many instances, their executioners offered to spare them if they “merely” abandoned the Catholic Faith in favor of the Anglican religion. They did not hesitate to refuse.

Blessed Thomas Cottam’s response to his executioners is a perfect statement of the resolve all saints have had:

“I will not swerve an iota from my faith, for any thing. Yea, if I had ten thousand lives I would rather lose them all, than forsake the Catholic Faith in any point.”

Fr. Cottam and his fellow English Martyrs understood that the new Anglican religion resembled Catholicism in most respects, but they still knew they would lose their souls if they abandoned the Catholic Faith.

We see many instances in which the documents of Vatican II offer a far less robust defense of the Catholic Faith than the Church had previously presented, especially where such defenses have historically offended Protestants.

Centuries later, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wrote the following description of the ongoing Second Vatican Council in his 1963 letter to the members of his Congregation of the Holy Ghost:

“Some saw ecumenism as the main objective of the Council, thus tending to omit from the documents laid before it whatever might revive differences rather than tend to unity. This anxiety certainly loomed largely in the discussions on the two sources of revelation. It also lay at the root of the demand for some modification of the schemata on ecumenism.” (Feast of the Annunciation, 1963)

And so we see many instances in which the documents of Vatican II offer a far less robust defense of the Catholic Faith than the Church had previously presented, especially where such defenses have historically offended Protestants.

In his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Archbishop Lefebvre described the way in which the Freemasons applauded the Council’s ecumenical efforts:

“Another brother, Mr. Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite, spoke as follows of the ecumenism nurtured during the Council: ‘Catholics, especially the conservatives, must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter’s.’”

Even if there were many bishops at the Council who did not yet realize this new orientation towards false ecumenism, those who would implement the post-Conciliar changes knew exactly what would happen when they unleashed this blasphemous insanity on the Church and world.

There has been no turning back from Assisi — Benedict XVI and Francis organized similar spectacles and have repeatedly made it clear that ecumenism is an “irreversible” commitment in the post-Vatican II Church.

Two decades later, Archbishop Lefebvre witnessed with great horror the tangible manifestation of this ecumenism in John Paul II’s 1986 prayer meeting at Assisi. Of that tragic meeting, Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer wrote the following in a joint declaration:

“Indeed, it is clear that since the Second Vatican Council, the Pope and the Bishops are making more and more of a clear departure from their predecessors. Everything that had been put into place by the Church in past centuries to defend the Faith, and everything that was done by the missionaries to spread it, even to the point of martyrdom, henceforth is considered to be a fault which the Church must confess and ask pardon for. . . . The high point of this rupture with the previous Magisterium of the Church took place at Assisi, after the visit to the synagogue. The public sin against the one, true God, against the Incarnate Word, and His Church, makes us shudder with horror. John Paul II encourages the false religions to pray to their false gods—an immeasurable, unprecedented scandal.”

There has been no turning back from Assisi — Benedict XVI and Francis organized similar spectacles and have repeatedly made it clear that ecumenism is an “irreversible” commitment in the post-Vatican II Church:

“A shared commitment to ecumenism is an essential requirement of the faith we profess; it stems from our very identity as Christ’s followers. As disciples, following the same Lord, we have increasingly come to realize that ecumenism is a journey and, as the various Popes have repeatedly stated since the Second Vatican Council, a journey that is irreversible. This is not an optional way. Our unity grows as we make this journey.” (19 January 2019, Francis, Address to Members of the Ecumenical Delegation from Finland)

As Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer wrote in response to the 1986 prayer meeting at Assisi, false ecumenism offends God because it obscures or abandons the truths of the Church He established in a misguided effort to make peace with false religions. This is the primary reason Catholics must oppose false ecumenism and, at the very least, never support such unholy initiatives.

In addition to offending God, false ecumenism makes a mockery of the Catholic Faith, as Fr. Dominique Bourmaud explained in his One Hundred Years of Modernism:

"Of all the topics treated at the Council, that of ecumenism certainly best reveals the affinity and the unity of thought between the Council and the modernists. In fact, the periti who directed the Council are the same men who were targeted and exiled for their modernist ideas fifteen years earlier. It should come as no surprise that the ecumenism advocated and put into practice at the Council should be of modernist inspiration. Ecumenical unity cannot arise from the truth of facts and realities, and so poses a theoretically insoluble problem, to be resolved only in practice. Accordingly, the only solution can be to sacrifice truth and the principle of non-contradiction in the name of an artificial unity maintained by equivocation. To promote ecumenism means signing a treaty of non-aggression, granting all religions citizenship in the great pantheon of creeds. The only commandment is the exclusion of exclusivity: freedom for all in all things, except for those who believe in the truth. The Catholic Church herself is warmly invited to take her place in the assembly, on the condition that she abdicate her pretension to a monopoly of holiness, truth, and unity.”

So, despite the eloquent words from John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, every bit of their ecumenical outreach has been complete nonsense. It is for this reason that these initiatives have led to mass apostasy and shuttered churches despite the great hopes that they would instead fill the pews with converts.

Francis has added another absurd dimension to this by attacking Traditional Catholics: now all Christian religions are pleasing to God, and are paths to Heaven, except for the Traditional Catholicism of the saints.

We do not have to be theologians to understand how wicked and preposterous false ecumenism is. We can grasp it intuitively by considering how false ecumenism relates to the all-important question of how we save our souls:

  • Catholics know that the Church teaches that we will lose our souls if we die in the state of mortal sin.
  • Catholics therefore strive to avoid all mortal sin, and they know that they must properly confess any such mortal sins to be restored to the state of sanctifying grace.
  • However, false ecumenism generally teaches that all religions are pleasing to God and all Christian religions can lead their believers to Heaven.
  • But non-Catholic religions lack sacramental Confession and, more importantly in this context, do not share the Church’s teachings on the need to avoid mortal sin.
  • Accordingly, those who promote false ecumenism implicitly reject the Church’s teaching on sanctifying grace, mortal sin, and the need for sacramental Confession.
  • Moreover, Catholics who see their supposed Catholic hierarchy promoting — or even tolerating — false ecumenism could understandably conclude that the Church no longer believes what it had always taught and thus must not be the True Church to which all souls must belong.
  • Ultimately, then, false ecumenism offends God, leads souls to hell, and empties Catholic churches.

Francis has added another absurd dimension to this by attacking Traditional Catholics: now all Christian religions are pleasing to God, and are paths to Heaven, except for the Traditional Catholicism of the saints.

Who benefits from this false ecumenism? Those with eyes to see have known from the beginning that Satan fights for the spread of false ecumenism because it offends God and leads souls to hell. Today’s globalists also benefit from false ecumenism because it leads to a population of neutered Catholics, who generally believe there is no reason to really care about the Faith in the same way that the English Martyrs cared about it. Why, for instance, would Catholics who think that all Protestant religions lead their believers to Heaven ever find it necessary to defend Catholic moral beliefs to the point of real sacrifice?

Based on all of this, no reasonable Catholic can deny the fact that false ecumenism is an extraordinarily destructive and pervasive error plaguing not only the Church but the entire world. Even so, some well-meaning Catholics wonder whether they ought to refrain from seriously opposing those who promote false ecumenism out of concern that such resistance may cause friction with Francis or otherwise be off-putting to non-Catholics.

Should today’s Catholics remain indifferent (and silent) about false ecumenism if, for instance, it meant that Francis would allow them greater access to the Tridentine Mass?

Louis-Edouard Cardinal Pie (1815-1880) had this to say about priests and bishops who hesitate to oppose error:

“If I were indifferent before the error, the faithful could easily imagine that to pass into heresy is something indifferent. If the world presents before his eyes some great benefit with the condition of a change in his beliefs, this man, seeing my lack of passion against the separated sects, will say to himself: ‘God is on both sides, my choice is of no importance whatsoever; this diversity has been introduced simply by human quarrels; God can be equally honored on every side.”

Cardinal Pie put the question in terms of the faithful being offered some “great benefit” for accepting an anti-Catholic error. Certainly the English Martyrs did not make any such compromises to save their lives — which many would see as a “great benefit”; but should today’s Catholics remain indifferent (and silent) about false ecumenism if, for instance, it meant that Francis would allow them greater access to the Tridentine Mass? We can answer that with another question: do we really think that we please God by turning a blind eye to heresies that offend Him so grievously and lead souls to hell, just so that we might have better access to Mass?

How can we deserve to have the “Mass of Ages” if we will not cooperate with God’s grace to oppose these attacks on the “Faith of Our Fathers”?

Without question, we can all strive to become more prudent and charitable in resisting the errors emanating from Francis and his collaborators. But there is absolutely no legitimate understanding of our Catholic Faith that in any way permits us to remain indifferent to the baneful error of false ecumenism. Instead, we have even more reason today to echo Archbishop Lefebvre’s condemnation of false ecumenism, taken from his Spiritual Journey, written in the last years of his life:

“Vatican II’s desire to integrate in the Church non-Catholics, such as they are, is a scandalous and adulterous desire. The Secretariat for the Unity of Christians by favoring the granting of mutual concessions — dialogue — leads to the destruction of the Catholic Faith, the destruction of the Catholic priesthood, and the elimination of the power of Peter and of the bishops. The missionary spirit of the apostles, the martyrs and the saints is eliminated. For as long as the Secretariat keeps the false ecumenism as its orientation and Roman ecclesiastical authorities approve it, we can affirm that they remain in open, official rupture with all the past of the Church and with its official Magisterium.”

How can we deserve to have the “Mass of Ages” if we will not cooperate with God’s grace to oppose these attacks on the “Faith of Our Fathers”? If we want to fight for the Mystical Body of Christ, we should defend and promote the unadulterated Catholic Faith and try to become saints. That is the only process that has ever worked, there are no shortcuts. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.