Heretics for Peace…
Francis’ Ecumenical Show in Bari
Francis leads round-table conference inside St. Nicholas’ Basilica in Bari, Italy
Since Francis’ brilliant initiatives like playing soccer, banning all weapons, and planting trees while Muslims and Jews pray in the Vatican Gardens haven’t worked out, he’s now come up with yet another plan to obtain peace in the world: We’re talking about more ecumenical prayer and dialogue. Unlike the interreligious prayer for peace in Assisi, however, which included Pagans, Jews, atheists, and Mohammedans, in this latest endeavor at least all who participated claim to believe in the Holy Trinity.
On Saturday, July 7, Francis met in Bari, Italy, with a number of representatives of heretical and schismatic sects. The Vatican’s original communiqué announcing the event referred to it as a “day of reflection and prayer on the dramatic situation in the Middle East…”, an “ecumenical encounter for peace” to which “the Heads of Christian Churches and Communities from that region” are invited.
The first main item on the program provided by the Vatican was the common veneration of the relics of St. Nicholas of Myra, which are kept in the crypt beneath St. Nicholas’ Basilica in Bari, followed by the lighting of the single-flamed lamp:
Interestingly enough, for a short while, Francis even went down on his knees before the relics of the holy martyr — thus demonstrating once again that he is quite capable of kneeling. (Typically, if Francis kneels at all, it is before man, not before God.) In the embedded video above, this can be seen from the 21:00 to the 21:45 min mark. He made two profound bows and didn’t have too much trouble getting up either.
After the veneration of relics at the basilica, the heretical leaders gathered at the “Rotonda” on the Bari seafront promenade for a common prayer meeting:
As journalists are desperately trying to get a few days of rest from Francis’ nonstop activities this summer, coverage of this event has been relatively sparse, but the Vatican has released a transcript of Francis’ introductory remarks at the prayer meeting:
- Introductory Words of Francis at Ecumenical Prayer Meeting (July 7, 2018)
Following the prayer meeting, Francis and his fellow-non-Catholics returned to St. Nicholas’ Basilica and engaged in closed-door dialogue about the situation in the Middle East. As the photo at the top of this post shows, the meeting was held in the Basilica’s nave, with a round table set up in place of the pews, prompting some people to wonder if the interior of a church is an appropriate place for such a thing.
At the end of the conference, Francis gave an address, a transcript of which was released by the Vatican:
- Francis’ Address at Conclusion of the Dialogue (July 7, 2018)
These were the main legs of the ecumenical Francis Show in Bari. Vatican Media has made available an extensive photo gallery that can be accessed here. In addition, Zenit has provided a report on the event with some historical background.
What is there to say about it that has not been said many times before? While it is naturally a noble goal to seek peace in the Middle East, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. In 1928, Pope Pius XI condemned any such efforts because, not only is prayer in common with false religions impermissible, these ecumenical activities deny, explicitly or implicitly, the Catholic Church’s unique status as the only true and divinely revealed religion, preaching instead a “false Christianity”. Listen to the following papal words and ask yourself if they are not almost exactly applicable to our situation today:
Controversies therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion which keep asunder till the present day the members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and from the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers. The manifold churches or communities, if united in some kind of universal federation, would then be in a position to oppose strongly and with success the progress of irreligion. This, Venerable Brethren, is what is commonly said…. [Some] even go so far as to wish the Pontiff himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies. But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act, it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.
This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth…
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, nn. 7-8; underlining added.)
As is evident from a perusal of the transcripts released by the Modernist “Holy See”, heresy permeates all these ecumenical activities. Francis and his entire Novus Ordo Sect believe and teach that the Eastern Orthodox and other self-professed “Christians” are all part of the Body of Christ, part of the true Church, and together they all adhere to and preach the true Gospel. In fact, they don’t even shy away from calling Martin Luther a “witness to the Gospel”. This is an absurdity so blasphemous and monstrous that no good cause in the world — which obtaining peace in the Middle East certainly is — can justify it.
But what is the true answer? What is the genuinely Catholic way to peace?
It may be difficult to believe for those who think that the Church began with Vatican II, but over the last 2,000 years some real Popes have actually written about obtaining true and lasting peace:
First, and most important of all, for mankind is the need of spiritual peace. We do not need a peace that will consist merely in acts of external or formal courtesy, but a peace which will penetrate the souls of men and which will unite, heal, and reopen their hearts to that mutual affection which is born of brotherly love. The peace of Christ is the only peace answering this description: “let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts.” (Colossians iii, 15) Nor is there any other peace possible than that which Christ gave to His disciples (John xiv, 27) for since He is God, He “beholdeth the heart” (I Kings xvi, 7) and in our hearts His kingdom is set up. Again, Jesus Christ is perfectly justified when He calls this peace of soul His own for He was the first Who said to men, “all you are brethren.” (Matt. xxiii, 8) He gave likewise to us, sealing it with His own life’s blood, the law of brotherly love, of mutual forbearance — “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John xv, 12) “Bear ye one another’s burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians vi, 2)
From this it follows, as an immediate consequence, that the peace of Christ can only be a peace of justice according to the words of the prophet “the work of justice shall be peace” (Isaias xxxii, 17) for he is God “who judgest justice.” (Psalms ix, 5) But peace does not consist merely in a hard inflexible justice. It must be made acceptable and easy by being compounded almost equally of charity and a sincere desire for reconciliation. Such peace was acquired for us and the whole world by Jesus Christ, a peace which the Apostle in a most expressive manner incarnates in the very person of Christ Himself when he addresses Him, “He is our peace,” for it was He Who satisfied completely divine justice by his death on the cross, destroying thus in His own flesh all enmities toward others and making peace and reconciliation with God possible for mankind. (Ephesians ii, 14) Therefore, the Apostle beholds in the work of Redemption, which is a work of justice at one and the same time, a divine work of reconciliation and of love. “God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.” (II Corinthians v, 19) “God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son.” (John iii, 16)
Thomas Aquinas, the Angel of the Schools, also discovered in this fact the very formula and essence of our belief, for he writes that a true and lasting peace is more a matter of love than of justice. The reason for his statement is that it is the function of justice merely to do away with obstacles to peace, as for example, the injury done or the damage caused. Peace itself, however, is an act and results only from love. (Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 29 Art. 3, Ad. III)
Of this peace of Christ, which dwells in our hearts and is, in effect, the love of God, We can repeat what the Apostle has said of the kingdom of God which also rules by love — “the kingdom of Christ is not meat and drink.” (Romans xiv, 17) In other words, the peace of Christ is not nourished on the things of earth, but on those of heaven. Nor could it well be otherwise, since it is Jesus Christ Who has revealed to the world the existence of spiritual values and has obtained for them their due appreciation. He has said, “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt. xvi, 26) He also taught us a divine lesson of courage and constancy when He said, “Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. x, 28; Luke xii, 14)
This does not mean that the peace of Christ, which is the only true peace, exacts of us that we give up all worldly possessions. On the contrary, every earthly good is promised in so many words by Christ to those who seek His peace: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. vi, 33; Luke xii, 31)
This peace of Christ, however, surpasses all human understanding — “the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding” (Philippians iv, 7), and for this very reason dominates our sinful passions and renders such evils as division, strife, and discord, which result solely from the unrestrained desire for earthly possessions, impossible. If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life. Human personality, too, would be raised to a higher level, for man has been ennobled by the Blood of Christ and made kin to God Himself by means of holiness and the bond of brotherly love which unites us closely with Christ, by prayer and by the reception of the Sacraments, means infallibly certain to produce this elevation to and participation in the life of God, by the desire to attain everlasting possession of the glory and happiness of heaven which is held out to all by God as our goal and final reward.
We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.
The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: “My children, keep discipline in peace.” (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) “Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord.” (Psalms cxviii, 165) “He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace.” (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: “Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God.” (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)
If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life — if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.
(Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei, nn. 33-41)
In the first Encyclical Letter [Ubi Arcano Dei] which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the duty of obedience.
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Quas Primas, n. 1; underlining added.)
…We turn affectionately to all Our children and conjure them in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ to forget mutual differences and offences and draw together in the bonds of Christian charity, from which none are excluded and within which none are strangers. We fervently exhort all the nations, under the inspiration of Christian benevolence, to establish a true peace among themselves and join together in an alliance which shall be just and therefore lasting. And lastly We appeal to all men and all peoples to join in mind and heart with the Catholic Church and through the Church with Christ the Redeemer of the human race, so that we may address to them in very truth the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians: “But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, Who hath made both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition . . . killing the enmities in himself. And coming he preached peace to you that were afar off and peace to them that were nigh” [Eph 2:13ff.].
(Pope Benedict XV, Encyclical Pacem Dei Munus, n. 19)
The reason why only the peace of Christ is genuine and true peace, and why it cannot be obtained in any other way except by submitting to the sweet yoke of His law and Gospel (cf. Mt 11:30) — the true Gospel, not some ecumenical lowest-common-denominator pseudo-gospel — is that divine grace is needed to aid us in our human condition, to overcome our sins, perfect our nature, and make us virtuous so that we may bear wrongs patiently, forgive our enemies, and do good to those who hate us. But all this is possible only inside the true Roman Catholic Church, established by Almighty God as “the only ark of salvation” (Pope Pius IX, Allocution Singulari Quadam), of which heretical or schismatic sects have no part whatsoever: “…neither any one of these societies by itself, nor all of them together, can in any manner constitute and be that One Catholic Church which Christ our Lord built, and established, and willed should continue; and that they cannot in any way be said to be branches or parts of that Church, since they are visibly cut off from Catholic unity” (Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes).
Ecumenical endeavors like this latest one in Bari are blasphemous and heretical, and they will never lead to the blessing of true peace but will ever more provoke the Triune God and ultimately result only in greater divine punishment for our world.
The past decades are ample proof of this.