With ecumenists like this, who needs protestants? October 1, 2012Posted by tantamergo in Basics, Bible, Dallas Diocese, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, sadness, scandals, sickness.
I have so many topics I would love to share with you, good readers. So many topics came to mind as I was reading and contemplating on our family vacation, in the really brief periods I had to myself. But that was thrown overboard, when I returned and was faced with another issue of Texas Catholic, the Dallas diocesan newspaper with the pointless, content-less website. There was a depressing article in this edition of Texas Catholic, containing many quotes from Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and brother of our own Bishop Kevin Farrell. The article was a reprint of a Catholic News Service article, and unlike other such reprints, this one was only very mildly edited by Texas Catholic. The fisking below will be long, but I think very necessary, and there is a critical tie-in with a post at Rorate Caeli at the bottom that brings everything together, so be patient! To set the scene, the article was discussing the upcoming, and, to me, very dicey Synod of Bishops which will commence in a few days to discuss ecumenical efforts, with a keynote address by the man who has done more to destroy his sect than any other, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (given the implosion ongoing in Anglicanism, this invite says far too much, none of it good). To the article:
Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the invitations demonstrate the pope’s recognition that the “challenges facing religious belief itself and church life are common — no church, no religion is an island — and we need one another and can learn from one another.” [Really? What, exactly, does the Church Christ founded need from pagan animists who engage in satanic rites? What do we need from heretical protestant sects who wrecked the unity of the Church and started us on the path to the modernist, indifferentist, materialist culture we live in today?]
In addition, he said, ecumenical and interreligious cooperation shows the world that “we are together in promoting the values of belief and the moral-ethical values that we stand by. [Which ones are those? With which of the tens of thousands of protestant sects? With the pro-aborting American episcopals? With the gay marrying presbyterian calvinists? With the whole lot who rejects the Real Presence, the Source and Summit of our Faith? With such yawning chasms of difference, how can such promotion take place?]
Ecumenical cooperation is crucial when trying to transmit the faith in the modern world and to re-propose Christianity in areas, especially Europe and North America, which had a Christian tradition, but are becoming increasingly secularized. [This is truly an underpants gnome theory. How does false ecumenism which leaves error in place and does not demand reunion with the Church Christ founded and submission to its Authority and Dogma help reevangelize Europe or N. America? It was just this kind of indifferentism that helped create the implosion of faith in the first place.]
“The mission that the Lord entrusted to the Apostles, to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, has not been fulfilled — mostly because of divisions among his followers,” Bishop Farrell said. [Where has the Gospel not been preached? Does anyone understand what he means by this? In the 50s, it was in fact believed that the Gospel HAD been preached to the ends of the earth? Was new earth discovered?]
The beginnings of the modern ecumenical movement usually are traced to a 1910 conference of missionaries “who had the experience of being seen as preaching against each other instead of preaching Christ,” he said. The missionaries recognized the scandal they were causing as they “exported their divisions” to Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. [It is not scandal to proclaim the Truth, or to point out the errors of separated sects. In fact, it is a grave scandal to try to paper over those differences with watered down ecumenical statements which often give example of the indifferentism (the one religion is as good as another) I keep harping on)
The missionaries saw "their work being undermined by their own divisions," which they increasingly acknowledged were violations of the will of Jesus that his followers be one, the bishop said. [I don't know who these people were, or their beliefs, but they seem to have things exactly backwards. There was one Church formed by Christ. That Church exists and is entirely contained solely within the Catholic Church under the Chair of Peter. Then, heretics split off. It is incumbent, then, on the heretics, to humbly repent of their errors and return to the Seat of Unity, Christ's Church.]
Meanwhile, among some Catholics in the early 1900s, “there were the beginnings of a spiritual interest in the idea of prayer for Christian unity,” he said, but the quantum leap in the Catholic Church’s commitment to ecumenism came with the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.
Bishop Farrell said the change in the church’s attitude reflected an “education of the bishops at the council, because most of the bishops came with the kind of theology that considered our Protestant brothers and sisters, and the Orthodox to a certain degree, as just outside the church.” [Ummm....aren't they? Major indifferentism alerts should be going off right now]
Through discussions and studies at the council, he said, the bishops gained “a new perspective: We have a common faith in Jesus Christ, we have a common baptism, and this is already a huge element of real communion in the faith.” [Actually, many protestant sects don't accept Catholic baptism if it was not done by immersion. And the "common faith in Jesus Christ" sounds nice, but it isn't even slightly true if you don't have faith in the Real Presence and you don't accept the sacrificial nature of the Mass and our constant need for propitiation for our sins, along with a hundred other, different beliefs. There are only the most surface similarities in belief, at best]
The ecumenical task, embraced by the Catholic Church, involves prayer and dialogue to move that communion “from imperfect to perfect,” he said [the only real ecumenism involves submission and conversion to the Catholic Church]
Until the process is complete, however, there will be some limits to the possibilities for ecumenical cooperation in evangelization, [one would hope so] because Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and other mainline Christians aren’t just inviting people to profess faith in Jesus Christ, but to live that faith in his body, the church. [Do you note how this article constantly attempts to conflate the Church - the Catholic Church - with the notion of some nebulous, pan-Christian "church? That is extremely significant]
“There is a kind of superficial ecumenism that says, ‘it doesn’t matter what church you belong to,’” Bishop Farrell said, but the Catholic Church and most of its dialogue partners reject that view. [But much of the discussion here definitely does seem to embrace just that kind of pointless, superficial ecumenism]
Because Christians aren’t passing on “some Gospel of their own making,” but a faith they have received, “sharing one’s faith means sharing one’s belonging to a particular community that has given me that faith. It means sharing the conviction, in conscience, that the Gospel comes to me in its fullness in this particular community,” the bishop said. [!!!!!! Do you see what I mean by indifferentism! Bishop Farrell just strongly implied that these other sects and ecclesial groups are essentially the equivalent of the Church, that their "fullness" in their community is a Gospel on a par with that of the Church. And sadly, he is very, very far from alone]
The role of the church and, in fact, the definition of what it means to be fully church [Oh Lord, "church" without the definite article is always a tip off of modernism ahead] is at the heart of the ongoing, sometimes difficult, theological ecumenical dialogues, he said. [It means professing total religious assent to the fact that the Church Jesus Christ founded resides solely and entirely within the Catholic Church, with its unbroken apostolic succession going back to St. Peter, and all the beliefs of Holy Mother Church]
For the Catholic Church, Bishop Farrell said, “We can’t work for a common minimum denominator; nor can we say, ‘let’s keep our differences and just accept one another as we are.’ [That's so nice!]
[here is the clincher that just about made me lose my lunch....] “We have to aim at whatever is required for the fullness of incorporation into Christ and into the one church he founded. But where is that church?” he said. “That is the question that will trouble us until Christian disunity becomes Christian unity: not uniformity, but true, grace-filled communion in faith and Christian living.” [Where is that Church indeed, Bishop Farrell? Are you certain you do not know? What collar do you wear? In fact, after reading the above in aggregate I have to conclude that the "church" Bishop Farrell is referring to is some not-as-yet existent pan-Christian confab, a Frankenstein's monster mashup of Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and the beliefs of various protestant sects. The ultimate "Christanity-lite." He didn't say "I believe that Church to subsist in the Catholic Church, although our protestant and orthodox brothers disagree, but we shall try to bring them back to unity." In fact, he states very plainly that until that pan-Christian construct exists, there won't really be a "Church." There will just be little 'c' "churches." Oy.......]
Now for the cataclysmic wrap-up. Rorate Caeli linked to an explosive article in the quite mainstream (but conservative) Homiletics and Pastoral Review which painted a very dreary picture of the present state of the Church’s evangelical efforts. That article pointed to contradictory statements within Vatican II as the reason for the Church’s very apparent schizophrenia when it comes to evangelization and ecumenical efforts. In fact, Vatican II, using the “statement of relative orthodoxy+massive BUT followed by a seeming great departure from that orthodoxy” (e.g,. Sacrosanctum Concilium 36: “latin shall be retained in the Mass, BUT local circumstances may require increased use of the vernacular” – translation, Latin nearly utterly abrogated) formula for which it is so famous, stated in various places that the Church should definitely and vigorously evangelize, BUT at the same time, we really shouldn’t, because it’s not nice. Or something. From the HPR article:
This same contradiction is advanced in other documents of Vatican II. The “Decree on Ecumenism”(4), for example, states that there is no opposition between “ecumenical action” and “full Catholic communion.” This would seem to support the positive theory of coercion, i.e., that of proclaiming truth and correcting error, which has always been at the heart of the church’s missionary mandate. It forged world-wide conquests of many nations to the Catholic faith, and was the cause of countless martyrs. Other sections of the “Decree on Ecumenism” (No 3-4), as well as Vatican II’s “Decree on Religious Liberty,” decidedly support the non-coercive theory which negates the church’s pre-Vatican II missionary mandate of conversion, while implying that the “fullness of Catholic truth” is not necessary for salvation. This latter proposition has become the status quo among the Catholic faithful and church elite, including His Eminence Walter Cardinal Kasper, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Kasper has boldly stated, for example, that: “Today, we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II“ [If so, then Vatican II represents a radical break with previous orthodoxy, and cannot be dogmatic, required of belief]
Even more upsetting in this article were the quotes of Pope Benedict XVI:
In his speech to Protestants at World Youth Day 2005 (August 19), Pope Benedict XVI also explicitly denied the ecumenism of the return, stating: “And we now ask: What does it mean to restore the unity of all Christians? … this unity does not mean what could be called ‘ecumenism of the return’: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not!” In his book, “The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood” (p. 87-88), the Pope further states: ” … there is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one can say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East). It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value. Heresy, for Scripture and the early Church, includes the idea of a personal decision against the unity of the Church, and heresy’s characteristic is pertinacia, the obstinacy of him who persist in his own private way. This, however, cannot be regarded as an appropriate description of the spiritual situation of the Protestant Christian. In the course of a now centuries-old history, Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function … The conclusion is inescapable, then: Protestantism today is something different from the heresy in the traditional sense, a phenomenon whose true theological place has not yet been determined
Here again, the Holy Father, in an assuredly non-dogmatic statement, is setting aside previous dogmatic statements dating back to the Council of Trent and before. But it’s all of a piece, isn’t it? What Bishop Brian Farrell said in the CNS piece is very consistent with what Cardinal Kaspar and Pope Benedict XVI said. In fact, I’m not sure where the Holy Father is getting his idea that “heretic” implies a personal decision to set one outside the Catholic Church, but I know many protestants who hold just such a belief – they are very proud to be outside the medieval, Constantinian mystery religion whore of Babylon that is the Catholic Church. My reading of St. Paul and some pretty heavy duty scripture studies have never mentioned that heresy – or heterodoxy – ever implied a willed decision to place oneself outside the Church. It was simply wrong belief. Arius did not think he was “leaving the Church” in possibly the biggest heresy ever, he thought he was saving the Church. I have to wonder if the Pope’s statement – like the now totally discredited notion that Christ using the term “for many – pro multis” in the Consecration actually meant in Aramaic “for all” – which is why the English and other translations of the Mass said “for all” – is a similar error of biblical exegesis. I’ve certainly never heard of it before. Irrespective, I find the Pope’s statements incredible, and bewildering. Another stomach punch, like this CNS article.
If you read the long article at HPR, you can see the entire argument shape up that, at the least, Vatican II seems to have caused a massive crisis of confidence in ecumenical relations and evangelical efforts, with seemingly contradictory statements that have never been reconciled, with the inescapable conclusion that these contradictions seem to point towards a syncretism -or indifferentism, in layman’s speak – as the basis of Catholic ecumenical efforts. Thus, Bishop Brian Farrell’s comments were utterly consistent with the “new theology” of Vatican II. Is it any wonder, with such overweening theology, that the Church’s theology efforts are a shambles. Of course, it would only make sense that indifferentism was the ultimate goal of such confusion – indifferentism being the sine qua non of modernist belief.
Enough. I did not intend to write 2500 words, but that’s what occurred! Hopefully, a few might read it! No pics to break the monotony, I’m too tired!