Catholic Ecumenism vs. Ecumenical Deception 1/22/03
An absolute storm of controversy has erupted over the incredible proposal to turn the Shrine at Fatima in Portugal into an inter-religious place of worship. The plan, arising out of the mid-October congress at Fatima at which Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon Jose de Cruz .” One of the principal speakers of this congress was Jesuit priest Jacques Dupuis, who reportedly declared, to the applause of the rector Monsignor Luciano Guerra and the praise of Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, head of the Vatican’s department for inter-religious dialogue, “the religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all.” This is not Catholic Ecumenism but ecumenical deception of the worst and most frightening order! Even after several weeks of growing protest, Vatican representative Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, when asked about the matter, is reported to have refused to distance himself from the radical Dupuis, his position or from Monsignor Guerra’s proposal. The smoke of Satan in the very sanctuary of the Church of which Pope Paul VI spoke has now become so thick you can cut it with a knife.
What is Catholic Ecumenism?
ECUMENISM: (ek'-yoo-men'-ism) “Promotion of the restoration of unity among all Christians, the unity which is a gift of Christ and to which the Church is called by the Holy Spirit. For the Catholic Church, the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council provides a charter for ecumenical efforts (816, 820-822).” -The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Glossary, page 876.
Par. 816/p.215 - “The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism explains: ‘For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.’ ” [Emphasis added]
Par. 822/p.218 - “Concern for achieving unity ‘involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike.’ But we must realize ‘that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts.’ That is why we place all our hope ‘in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.’ ” [Emphasis added]
True Catholic Ecumenism thus requires, on the part of those leading the initiative, two equally essential and mutually dependent elements:
One, there must be the conviction that the fullness of the means of mankind’s salvation and his full reconciliation and unity will only be found in the Catholic Faith and Church. Thus its primary focus must first be upon securing the unity of those who are already Christians. If we are not reconciled and united as Christians it is absurd to think we have much to say to those who are not Christians.
Two, there must be the conviction that these distinctly Catholic ends for mankind will only be achieved not by any human powers or gifts but by a divine means alone -which divine means are fully revealed only in the Christian Faith though too often they are little utilized! What are those divine means? Those divine means certainly includes the whole of the Christian faith but most fundamentally the utterly profound reconciling truth underlying that faith that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son!” That profound truth can be found in no other religion! Only that holy and divine love --and only because it was revealed in actual human history-- has the capacity to reconcile mankind to himself and God! That that message and truth has been obscured because it has not been lived as it should in the lives of Christians themselves has prompted all of Heaven’s extraordinary means -- the opening of Heaven itself -- in our day to awaken us to that imperative. For us, particularly in the Church, to now also ignore this extraordinary divine means after ignoring the first is the ultimate offense against Heaven and twice the prescription for human catastrophe.
Holy and Divine love demands, in addition to our certainty about the primacy of the Christian Faith, a resulting holy respect for the honest views of all others and a genuine love for the soul of every human being. There is no place for pride in Holy and Divine love or place for exceptions to love. It not only requires us to make every effort to fully understand what others believe before we measure these views by the truth of Catholic Faith but requires we seek understanding of and acknowledgment of all that is true and good in another, his views and his religion. It requires, however, that these points of agreement be seen as pointers to the fullness of salvation truth already revealed in the Catholic Faith. To ignore this fact is not love. This love also perceives another important reality, that the “People of God” include not only all separated Christian brethren who sincerely love and follow Christ to the best of their knowledge, but non-Christians who may be wholly unaware of the true nature of Christ or His Church. These are the “men of good will” throughout the world of which the angels sang at the birth of Christ who have disposed themselves to seek the light of honesty, truth and deliverance from all sin. None of this requires or allows the Catholic faith to converge into anything let alone into a new religious form that will satisfy everyone! To think of any other religion as on the same footing as Christianity is pure heresy. To think one can refashion, reconstruct, or deconstruct the faith once for all delivered, as is here being proposed, is diabolical. For one who professes the Christian faith to speak of Christ as though He were a mere concept he can fashion and manipulate is utterly revolting blasphemy. It is anti-Christian and anti-Christ.
The Two Obstructions to True Ecumenism in the Catholic Church
In the Church today, as in the “church” of Israel in Jesus’ day, there are thus two serious obstructions to the Church’s call for unity and reconciliation for mankind. The widespread ignorance of, depreciation of, and corruption of the Christian and Catholic Faith is only the most obvious. There certainly can be no real unity or reconciliation apart from truth. The more subtle obstruction, however, and perhaps even the most serious one, which has played a significant role in the current depreciation of our faith, is simply the real lack of holy and divine love among the faithful, particularly for those outside Christ and the Catholic Faith. Dealing with this obstruction then must become our primary focus and that requires us to ask how our Catholic Faith requires us to look at those outside the Church. Too often if it has not been one of distain it has been one of woeful indifference.
That was also sadly true of the Covenant people in Jesus’ day. While the Sadducees, who claimed to hold the essence of truth or love, had few scruples in dealing with pagan Romans and Greeks, they had abandoned every vital element of saving faith. They were simply indifferent to the spiritual and eternal needs of others. Their bitter rivals, the Pharisees, however, though fiercely loyal to most matters of the faith, treated those outside the Covenant with contempt and distain. These were judged as corrupt, condemned, and having no hope of salvation. Though the Pharisees were active in proselytizing, they had a seriously faulty view of God’s standard for judging the faith and virtue of these outside the Covenant. In passing their same prejudicial views on to others, they made them, according to Jesus, “two-fold more the children of Hell” than themselves. The Sadducees were the “modernists” and the Pharisees the “traditionalists” of His day. Jesus, the very Truth of God, came to reconcile His erring Covenant people and mankind universally who had everywhere become divided through these prideful errors. He thus forthrightly exposed the errors of the Sadducees that had denied the immortality of the soul, the reality of the Devil and angels, the multitude of unique divine miraculous interventions into the history and lives of the Covenant people, man’s final resurrection and man’s eternal destiny in either Heaven or Hell. He also confronted the Pharisees about their error of judging men primarily on the basis of the external matters of conformity to the ceremonial law of Israel, as necessary as those laws were for that time for the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ is the perfect model for understanding Catholic ecumenism as called for in Vatican II and the spirit of the New Evangelization emphasized by our Holy Father. Jesus Christ is our model for knowing how we should see all those outside the Catholic Faith. The condition in the Church today parallels that of Jesus’ day with an increasing battle between those championing the essence of truth or Love (their increasingly misguided perceptions of it) and those championing the “proper” form of truth--the Faith and Liturgy without love or a “love” poisoned by motives that make it unholy. It’s the cup vs. the wine!
What is the difference, however, to a good refreshing drink of wine whether we have a cup suitable for a King but little or no wine or we have all the wine we can take but only a cup full of holes? We need as much a sound cup as sound wine! We need as much the flawless form of truth-- The Faith-- as we do its essence, which is Love. And though in respect to priority, the cup must come first. This cup vs. wine battle will poison any good cup and only justify those who are illicitly changing their wine into a coagulated choking gagging mass that no longer needs a cup. Is it that hard to see there are too many poisoned cups and too much choking wine being circulated in the Church today?
Jesus Reproved the Pharisees of His Day
The fact is Jesus often saw more genuine virtue and faith in those outside the Covenant of Israel, who despite their failings and sins were humble enough to admit them, than in those within the Covenant who often were not as honest! Yes, a good sound thimble with a teaspoon of pure wine was preferred by Jesus to the large and fancy but poisoned and leaky cups and goblets of Israel! Jesus often pointed this out to His own prejudiced Disciples. We all know of the one grateful Samaritan (he would today be a Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness) who, after having been healed of leprosy, returned to thank Jesus, while the others who where Jews continued on their own merry way. Jesus’ words assured this Samaritan that he had more of God’s favor than these children of the Kingdom! (Luke 17:12-19) Then there was the pagan Canaanite woman, who had no known formal religion. Despite being deliberately ignored by Jesus and then rebuffed even by the Disciples she persisted in faith and increasing humility, asking for Jesus’ help. She not only gets her request but in getting the highest praise of the Lord, “O woman, great is thy faith!” she becomes Jesus’ intended lesson to His own Apostles. (Matthew 15:22-28). But what would have been most shocking, even incomprehensible even to His Disciples, was Jesus’ praise of a Roman Centurion, a man pledged to absolute loyalty to Caesar, and who represented everything the Jews had reason to hate the most. Jesus, marveling at this man’s faith, said to them that followed Him, “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel!” How many traditionalist Catholics have denounced the apparitions at Medjugorje as false and even Satanic because a message was claimed to have been received from our Holy Mother stating to the effect that the greatest saint in the area was a certain Moslem woman! To the same self-righteous judgmental Israelites, Jesus continues, “I say unto you that many shall come from the east and the west, and sit down with Abraham . . . in the Kingdom of Heaven: but the children of the Kingdom shall be cast into outer darkness” (Matthew 8:10-12). The one thing quite plain here is that those coming from the east and west who will make it to Heaven will never have been in this life in the Christian Covenant! So the interpretation of many Catholic traditionalists that, unless one is a material part of the Catholic Church and is a partaker of its Sacraments one has little or no hope of salvation or of going to Heaven is a very grave error. It’s an error which, if based on pride and prejudice, could send one to Hell! (See St. Paul’s warning to the Church of Rome in Romans 11:11-25!) This is merely one example of legalistic theological Phariseeism, a subtle perversion of the Catholic Faith and a serious roadblock to the final unity of God’s people and the salvation of mankind at large. That one cannot be “saved” outside the Christian Covenant does not mean one cannot be “safe” outside the Covenant! The Catechism par.1257 states, “[God] Himself is not bound by His Sacraments.”
God determines His favor upon a man not by his outward religious form, as important as that proper form always is to the whole scheme and plan of God in human salvation, but by how man lives up to what he actually knows to be the truth (Romans 2:11-15). If a man does not know something to be wrong or is mistaken as to the seriousness of the wrong, God judges him differently than one who knows of the wrong and its seriousness. Though the consequence to others of error or sin even in ignorance is often the same, God judges individuals by what they know, always adding, of course, justified accountability for what they should or could have known. The Catechism is quite clear that despite common listings of mortal and venial sins, only those who are aware of the seriousness of their sin and then persist in it, are in any danger of mortal sin and destroying one’s relationship to God. What is mortal sin for one, thus, may not be for another. How much damage to reconciliation has been done by the careless misuse of these catalogs of mortal sins!
Our Holy Father has also been severely criticized and his motives judged for his overtures to Jews and Moslems, particularly for his entering and praying in a Moslem mosque. He has also been judged for allegedly indicating that we should refrain from proselytizing Jews. Without knowing the particulars, we only need to remind ourselves that Jesus also instructed His own Disciples to “go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Did this mean Jesus did not believe these also needed the reconciliation that only the Christian message could bring? Of course not. Jesus simply knew his Disciples were in no position to tell the pagans how to be reconciled until they themselves were! Peter still had a problem with his prejudice even after his experience with another Roman Centurion named Cornelius and the reproof of Heaven itself! He rightly confesses at that time that the pagan “unsaved” Roman military officer was already “accepted” with God because he “feared God” and “worked righteousness” (Acts 10:34)! Does not also the visit of the Magi in Bethlehem at the very beginning of the Gospel shout at us volumes on this matter?
The Importance of the Correct Form of Religion
Do the above facts, however, diminish the importance of our Catholic Faith or the Church, its divinely ordained ecclesiastical structure and authority, or its Holy Sacraments? Absolutely not! It is only when these structures that were meant to maximize in this world the divine means of reconciling the world become perverted and prostituted by our own misuse of them that what was meant to be a cure becomes a curse. The fact still remains, however, while multitudes are going to make it to Heaven without material membership in the Catholic Church or participation in its Sacraments, no one will be in Heaven without having the light of divine truth that first came through Covenant Judaism and finally through the Roman Catholic Church. Let not any of us overlook the fact that every bit of saving Gospel light in every Protestant church in the world today, including the Bibles they hold in their hands, came from the Holy Roman Catholic Church by virtue of the sacrifices, even of blood, of thousands of Her sons and daughters! And were the truth understood, without those elements of Christ’s Gospel that have been solely embraced by Catholics throughout the ages there would have soon been no Catholic Church and thus no Christianity of any sort! Without that who could be certain there would be any world left today to save? Yet, we must also remind ourselves that there are certainly many Protestants (and non-Christians!) who do far better (and thus have greater credited virtue) with their thimble full of truth and love than many Catholics with access to the whole treasury of God’s truth!
Rejecting Heaven’s Help in Restoring the Church’s Ecumenical Mission of Reconciliation
Knowing how these errors within our Church have seriously obstructed our mission of reconciliation in the world, Heaven has increasingly intervened by sending instructive messages designed to correct the Church. That these messages are critical to the salvation of man and demand immediate public and universal (catholic) faith is part of that great Catholic treasury of salvation truth being ignored and rejected by most Catholics. The notion that nothing revealed since the Deposit of Faith to the Apostles is necessary and that belief in these revelations is not required is an outrage and an offense to all of Heaven. It is the bitterest insult added to the injury of our already present indifference to this world’s condition of division, violence, evil and pain. Jesus, speaking of the Laodicean church in the days of St. John, revealed that very same rejection of Heaven’s continuing help and call, and the resulting blindness and spiritual “nakedness” this caused in the church (Revelation 3:14-22). The utter revolt of our Lord over this condition in the Church today that says all we need is the Deposit of Faith, a valid Mass and Liturgy and the direction of the Magisterium is described in graphic terms: Jesus Christ says He is about to vomit this Church out of His mouth! While so many of our Bishops have ignored the persistent knock of Christ on the door of their Church, the Lord now has been forced to change His invitation. It is now, “If any man shall hear My voice and open to Me the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him!” This is being literally fulfilled in every one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of apparition sights all over the world! And yes, a true Catholic can discern and will be held accountable to discern the “authentic calls of Christ and the Saints to the Church,” even without the approval of the Magisterium! That truth is not only taught in Revelation 3:20 and throughout the Gospels (John 10:27) but in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (par.67).
Divine Wisdom from Garabandal on Ecumenism and Maria Valtorta on the New Evangelization
What great wisdom and insight came from Our Lady at Garabandal! It was a message that those with only limited human understanding could only see as being contradictory. While Our Lady said in early 1965 that many priests, Bishops and Cardinals were on the way to perdition and taking many souls with them She also had said in 1982 that Vatican II would be the greatest of Councils! Traditionalists, rejecting the ecumenical thrust of the Council could hardly imagine anything more contradictory, let alone a greater sign of deception! Factor in Jesus and the Catechism and you will see who has been deceived! That the Council was used by the liberals was only because traditionalists had been resisting the help of Heaven since at least 1917! The resistance of traditionalists to “the authentic calls of Christ to the Church” was the cause of the resurgence of modernism especially after 1945, whose resurgence was foretold at that time by Our Lady at Amsterdam. How many Catholics even today have not a clue as to what our Holy Father has meant when he has for years spoken of the New Evangelization? The New Evangelization was fully revealed to Maria Valtorta in 1950 by Our Lord. But those who resist or ignore our Holy Father’s avid support of apparition sites all over the world including Medjugorje, will also find some excuse to ignore and discount Our Lord’s direct revelation to Valtorta, until, as Our Lord told her, “terror takes hold of the foolish who now deride the new evangelizers.”
A True Ecumenical Ministry vs. Ecumenical Deception
An ecumenical ministry best occurs in a “neutral” place and circumstance where respect and honest openness can prevail. No ecumenical ministry can occur without sincere and earnest prayer for divine help,/I>. The apparition sites that Heaven has chosen where prayer is primary thus are the best possible places for this ecumenical reconciliation to occur and indeed that is what is happening all over the world. It is here the Holy Spirit allows us to find and embrace all the common ground that is possible with the other. In this condition a clear straight line of truth will appear. That line if followed will lead unto the fullness of truth. That straight line to all truth will always be seen where there is humility, love and honesty, because where these are, God is always powerfully present. If that path of these three virtues is abandoned, ecumenism ceases and the understanding of truth freezes. Love then will back away and patiently wait for the prodigal. Since the degree of unity we experience with another depends on how much understanding of truth we share in common, the fullest possible understanding of truth must be our goal. Reducing our understanding or convictions of moral and spiritual truth to the lowest common denominator, then, as is being promoted by a growing number of misguided religious leaders of our day and by the Jesuit priest Jacques Dupuis, who was “extravagantly praised” by Vatican representative Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, is not only moral and spiritual suicide but is morally and intellectually dishonest. The unity of which these anti-architects of moral and spiritual truth speak is pure illusion. It is the tantalizing mirage that appears to a man who is dying of spiritual thirst in the middle of a desert. The moral and spiritual death of the Catholic Church and its Faith is, of course, the necessary condition for these workers of darkness to prepare the world for the rule of Antichrist and the great Lie. Those who cannot tell the difference between holy Catholic Ecumenism and this ecumenical deception will follow the mirage to their eternal death. These will be those who in their pride did not want The Truth and will believe the Lie! II Thessalonians 2:7-11! - DJW
This is the banner under which Save Our Church must march and it will be the one in which Heaven will prevail!
“Ecumenical not Heretical!”