“Hermeneutic of Continuity” update…
Vatican celebrates 60 Years of Ecumenism:
How it Contradicts Catholic Doctrine
Jorge Bergoglio with other non-Catholics in 2014
On Jan. 6, 1928, Pope Pius XI released Mortalium Animos, a magnificent encyclical against the false attempts at religious unity, today collectively known as “ecumenism”, that were beginning to blossom at the time.
Although the ecumenism that the Vatican II religion today worships as a new Golden Calf is not entirely identical to the ecumenism Pius XI condemned almost 100 years ago, it is nevertheless the very same error in essence, for it arose from it and still seeks a union between Catholics and non-Catholics that does not consist of what the same Pope identified as the only possible union: “…[T]he union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it” (Mortalium Animos, n. 10).
Over 20 years later, Pope Pius XII emphasized this same point in an instruction on the ecumenical movement issued on Dec. 20, 1949, by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, of which the Pope is the head. Catholics were permitted to engage in talks with non-Catholics only under very restricted conditions, and under no circumstance was it permitted to smooth over the fact that the only kind of unity in accord with Catholic doctrine is the return of Protestants to the Catholic Church:
Therefore the whole and entire Catholic doctrine is to be presented and explained: by no means is it permitted to pass over in silence or to veil in ambiguous terms the Catholic truth regarding the nature and way of justification, the constitution of the Church, the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, and the only true union by the return of the dissidents to the one true Church of Christ. It should be made clear to them that, in returning to the Church, they will lose nothing of that good which by the grace of God has hitherto been implanted in them, but that it will rather be supplemented and completed by their return. However, one should not speak of this in such a way that they will imagine that in returning to the Church they are bringing to it something substantial which it has hitherto lacked. It will be necessary to say these things clearly and openly, first because it is the truth that they themselves are seeking, and moreover because outside the truth no true union can ever be attained.
(Pope Pius XII, Holy Office Instruction Ecclesia Catholica; underlining added.)
Thus the Catholic position is clear. When Antipope John XXIII (Angelo Roncalli), however, usurped the papal throne after the death of Pius XII in 1958, things changed drastically, as we will see in this post.
On June 5, 1960, “Pope” John XXIII established the so-called Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, which Antipope John Paul II upgraded to the status of Pontifical Council in 1988. On May 25, 1995, the same John Paul II released Ut Unum Sint, a mammoth encyclical promoting ecumenism. Both John XXIII and John Paul II are canonized “saints” in the Novus Ordo Sect, of course.
Consequently, the publication of Ut Unum Sint just had its 25th anniversary, and the so-called Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, just passed its 60th birthday. (As an aside, we note that for some strange reason, the Vatican II Sect’s relations with the Jews are maintained by the Council for Promoting Christian Unity and not by their Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.)
Of course the Vatican II Church did not fail to remember these significant milestones for its ecumenical program, and so both the president (“Cardinal” Kurt Koch), as well as the secretary (“Bishop” Brian Farrell) of the ominous Council for Promoting Christian Unity gave interviews to Vatican News. The Frankster himself also had something to say, in a letter sent to Koch:
- “Cardinal Koch: Close ties support the path of ecumenism”
- “Bishop Farrell: Church unity concerns the whole people of God”
- Francis’ Letter to “Cardinal” Koch on 25th Anniversary of Ut Unum Sint
It is no accident that Farrell — not to be confused with ‘shocked’ American “Cardinal” Kevin Farrell — recalls that the creation of John XXIII’s Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity was “certainly a novelty, a revolution at the time”. He adds that its members have been “constantly working for the restoration of the unity of Christ’s Church”, and thereby expresses a heresy — the idea that the Church of Jesus Christ is not unified but divided.
This heresy is affirmed explicitly by “Cardinal” Koch in a brief video address he released for the occasion:
In the Pope’s name, and acting on his behalf, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity undertakes ecumenical dialogues with the other Christian churches and ecclesial communities with the aim of restoring once again the unity of the one Body of Christ, wounded over the course of history by many divisions.
(Kurt Koch, in “Cardinal Kurt Koch celebrates 60 years of ecumenical efforts”, Vatican News – English [YouTube], June 4, 2020)
This is standard Novus Ordo teaching, as we will see below; it is based on the idea that all who are validly baptized, even if they are separated from Catholic Faith and communion, are members of the Church, the Body of Christ. Thus they have no choice but to view the Body of Christ as being divided.
The true teaching of the real Catholic Church, by contrast, is as follows:
…[T]he Church of Christ never lost her unity. She will never lose it, not even for the shortest space of time. In fact, she will continue everlastingly according to divine revelation. How, indeed, can one believe the Church will continue everlastingly, if generation after generation, exactly as it occurs in the changeableness of earthly things, she were to take on to her essential state a new appearance and shape, and, what is more, if the Church herself at some time or other could withdraw from the unity of faith and communion on which she was founded by Jesus Christ and by which she was spread by the Apostles? For this reason St. Ambrose says the kingdom of the Church will remain forever because the faith is indivisible, the body is one [cf. Eph 4:14].
(Pope Pius IX, Holy Office Letter Quod Vos to certain Puseyite Anglicans, Nov. 8, 1865)
In fact, the Church’s unity is a dogma of the Faith, one professed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan as well as countless other Catholic creeds: “We believe in … one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” (Denz. 86).
In his 1896 encyclical letter on the unity of the Church, Pope Leo XIII laid out the true teaching as follows:
But He, indeed, Who made this one Church, also gave it unity, that is, He made it such that all who are to belong to it must be united by the closest bonds, so as to form one society, one kingdom, one body – “one body and one spirit as you are called in one hope of your calling [Eph. 4:4]. Jesus Christ, when His death was nigh at hand, declared His will in this matter, and solemnly offered it up, thus addressing His Father: “Not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in Me…that they also may be one in Us…that they may be made perfect in one” [Jn 17:20-21,23]. Yea, He commanded that this unity should be so closely knit and so perfect amongst His followers that it might, in some measure, shadow forth the union between Himself and His Father: “I pray that they all may be one as Thou Father in Me and I in Thee” [Jn 17:21].
Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful – “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. iv., 5). That is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians, without exception, have but one faith.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 6; underlining added.)
“Cardinal” Koch’s boss, “Pope” Francis, holds the divided church heresy himself and endorsed it most boldly when he told an interreligious audience some years ago:
May the martyrs of today, belonging to many Christian traditions, help us to understand that all the baptised are members of the same Body of Christ, his Church (cf. I Cor 12:12-30). Let us see this profound truth as a call to persevere on our ecumenical journey towards full and visible communion, growing more and more in love and mutual understanding.
(Antipope Francis, “Message of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Occasion of the Global Christian Forum”, Vatican.va, Nov. 4, 2015; underlining added.)
The same false pope managed to one-up himself just earlier this year, when he told a delegation of the Lutheran sect of Finland:
The Report of the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue group for Sweden and Finland, entitled Justification in the Life of the Church, rightly observes that “those who are already baptized can, together with their brothers and sisters, develop their opportunities for holiness, which come from their common justification in Christ. As members of one and the same mystical body of Christ, Christians are bound to one another and must bear one another’s burdens. Since Christ came to redeem the whole world, it is also a mission for the church and for individual Christians, both lay and ordained, to witness to the good news in the midst of their daily life” (No. 203).
(Antipope Francis, Address to the Ecumenical Delegation of the Lutheran Church of Finland, Vatican.va, Jan. 17, 2020; italics given; underlining added.)
So there we have it: The Vatican II Sect believes and teaches the idea that all the baptized, regardless of whether they profess the Catholic Faith, or whether they are subject to the Roman Pontiff (insofar as there is one), are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, just the same.
This directly contradicts the perennial teaching of the Church before Vatican II:
For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one [1 Cor 12:12], compacted and fitly joined together [Eph 4:16], it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head [cf. Eph 5:30; Eph 1:22].
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 10)
Since the true Catholic position is that there is only one true Church of Jesus Christ and that this Church is the Roman Catholic Church, it follows that the only kind of religious unity she can approve of is that which sees all non-Catholics converted to Catholicism and joining her ranks in the “one fold and [under the] one shepherd” (Jn 10:16).
Commenting on Mortalium Animos, Fr. Titus Cranny wrote:
It was a special call to Christian Unity from the Vicar of Christ. It was a restatement of the age-old position of the Church — that no Unity is possible apart from the Chair of Peter. … The Vicar of Christ in this encyclical has only declared in the clearest language … that there is but One Church founded by Jesus Christ and that all those separated from her must return to her maternal embrace before the words of Christ Himself can be fulfilled: “Other sheep I have which are not of this Fold … they will hear My voice and there shall be One Fold and One Shepherd.”
(Rev. Titus Cranny, “The Chair of Unity Octave: 1908-1958”, in Rev. Edward Hanahoe and Rev. Titus Cranny, eds., One Fold: Essays and Documents to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Chair of Unity Octave 1908-1958, [Graymoor: Chair of Unity Apostolate, 1959], pp. 94-95; available online here.)
All this makes perfect sense and is not difficult to understand. It is the doctrine of a Church founded by Someone who proclaimed: “He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Mt 12:30).
The only “problem” with this traditional Catholic teaching is: It is not terribly ecumenical. That is, it is not ecumenical if we understand the term the way most people understand it today — and the way it was understood by the non-Catholics who began the movement: “…Protestant ecumenism … envisions its objective as a reunion of the Church,” whereas a truly Catholic ecumenism, if we must use the term, “looks for reunion with the Church” (Rev. Edward Hanahoe, Catholic Ecumenism: The Reunion of Christendom in Contemporary Papal Pronouncements [Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1953], p. 71; italics given).
In other words, the Protestant believes that the one Church of Jesus Christ has tragically been divided into many different camps or branches through various disagreements and splits, and it is the goal of ecumenism to mend these rifts so that the Church is no longer divided but returns to her original and intended state of being wholly unified. The Catholic, on the other hand, believes that the one Church of Jesus Christ, the Roman Catholic Church, is necessarily and always unified — one in Faith, worship, and government — but that some unfortunate souls have left this one Church by separating themselves from it while still claiming the name of Christian. For the true Catholic, therefore, the only kind of ecumenism that is acceptable is the kind that seeks to bring the erring sheep back into the one and unified fold.
We have already seen to which of these two essentially different conceptions of ecumenism/reunion the Vatican II Sect subscribes, and it’s not the Catholic one. In fact, various Novus Ordo big shots have explicitly denied that the goal of their ecumenical efforts is the conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism.
Take John Paul II, for example. In Ut Unum Sint, n. 60, he refers approvingly to the so-called Balamand Declaration of 1993, which rejects “the outdated ecclesiology of return to the Catholic Church” (“Uniatism, method of union of the past, and the present search for full communion”, n. 30).
Or take Koch’s predecessor at the helm of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, “Cardinal” Walter Kasper. On Feb. 26, 2001, the Italian Novus Ordo news site Adista quoted him as saying: “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” (quoted in Paul Kokoski, “The New Evangelization: Quo Vadis?”, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Sep. 20, 2012).
Indeed it was. During World Youth Day 2005 in the Land of Luther, Benedict XVI declared concerning the unity aimed at by ecumenical efforts that “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 Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia in 2012, Benedict frankly admitted that ecumenical “dialogue does not aim at conversion, but at better mutual understanding” — before seeking refuge behind the ubiquitous Modernist “but” and then losing himself in gobbledygook about “drawing closer to the truth” while rushing to assure his audience that Catholics “do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us”.
Benedict’s Jesuit successor, Francis, has taken the next step and essentially banished any serious attempts to convert people to Catholicism, the way it had been done for many centuries:
- Francis denounces Converting the Orthodox as “Great Sin Against Ecumenism”
- Francis: “It is not right to convince others of your Faith”
- Francis says Proselytism is “Solemn Nonsense”
- Francis: “Never Proselytize in Schools!”
That would explain why Francis is on record saying that he is “not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism.” But that’s OK because, as the same Jesuit apostate tells us, “being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine” anyway, and hence conversion is only necessary when it comes to conversion to clean energy and things like that.
Is it any wonder, then, that the same Francis also believes that Lutherans believe the true Faith taught by Our Lord? “I really like the good Lutherans, the Lutherans who follow the true faith of Jesus Christ”, he told a hapless group of youngsters made up of Lutherans and Novus Ordos who were visiting the Vatican a few years ago (see “Pope jokes in ecumenical meeting: Who is better – Catholics or Lutherans?”, Rome Reports, Oct. 13, 2016).
Sometimes the objection is advanced that since baptism imprints an indelible character on the soul, all the baptized are forever members of the Church. But this does not follow, as explained by Fr. Sylvester Berry, a pre-Vatican II seminary professor:
The spiritual character imprinted upon the soul in Baptism [alone] does not make one a member of the Church; it is rather a sign or badge showing that he has received the rites of initiation, but it does not prove that he retains membership. This may be illustrated by the case of a person receiving a tattoo mark as a sign of initiation into a society that uses such marking. If the person afterward leave the society, he would cease to be a member, though he still bore the indelible sign of his initiation.
(Fr. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ [Baltimore, MD: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, 1955], p. 129)
Thus it is entirely false to claim, as Novus Ordos incessantly do, that there is at least an “imperfect communion” among all the baptized, regardless of what they believe or do. In fact, Pope Pius IX contradicted this diametrically when he wrote in his Apostolic Letter convoking the First Vatican Council:
Now, whoever will carefully examine and reflect upon the condition of the various religious societies, divided among themselves, and separated from the Catholic Church, which, from the days of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles has never ceased to exercise, by its lawful pastors, and still continues to exercise, the divine power committed to it by this same Lord; cannot fail to satisfy himself that 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; underlining added.)
Christ constituted His Church such that “all the faithful might be contained by the bond of one faith and charity” (Vatican I, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus; Denz. 1821), and thus Pope Leo XIII described “the constitution of the Christian commonwealth” as being “one in faith, in government, and in communion” (Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 15).
With such clear and rigid doctrine on the Church, it is easy to see how Catholic participation in ecumenical efforts could never consist of anything other than seeking the conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism. That is the only way ecumenism can be accepted by a Catholic — anything else would be a false ecumenism.
Since Novus Ordo ecumenism, however, was not going to be like that, the Catholic doctrine on the Church first had to be modified: The Church’s claim to exclusivity had to go, and John XXIII’s infernal Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was the perfect opportunity for the false ecumenists to do precisely that.
Whereas the prior teaching had been that the Roman Catholic Church alone is the Church founded by Jesus Christ, Vatican II declared that Our Lord’s Church merely “subsists in” it, with “ecclesial elements” existing, to a greater or lesser extent, in all sorts of heretical sects (see Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 8). This means, therefore, that the Church of Christ is larger than the Roman Catholic Church and extends into Protestant churches, however “partially” or “imperfectly”. In short: There’s a little bit of the Catholic Church in every denomination.
This chaotic patchwork ecclesiology is one of Vatican II’s fundamental doctrinal contributions. Without it, ecumenism as we know it today would have been impossible. Interestingly enough, it was none other than “Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger, now “Pope Emeritus” Benedict XVI, who acknowledged this very thing almost 20 years ago:
With this expression, the Council differs from the formula of Pius XII, who said in his Encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi: “The Catholic Church ‘is’ (est) the one mystical body of Christ”. The difference between subsistit and est conceals within itself the whole ecumenical problem.
(Joseph Ratzinger, “The Ecclesiology of the Constitution on the Church”, Osservatore Romano, English edition [Sep. 19, 2001], p. 5; italics given.)
Although Ratzinger goes on to maintain that subsistit in is more precise than est, that is beside the point for the purposes of this discussion. The point is, rather, that the subsistit in opened the way to ecumenism; and the in seems even more significant than the subsistit, for it is by saying that the Church of Christ exists in the Catholic Church that the strict identity between the two is denied — an identity on which Pope Pius XII had insisted: “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing” (Encyclical Humani Generis, n. 27; underlining added).
In 1969, Ratzinger admitted that the “subsists in” doctrine of Lumen Gentium constitutes a “reduction in the claim of exclusivity” on the part of the Church (see his book Das neue Volk Gottes [Düsseldorf, 1969], p. 236). In other words, Vatican II deliberately relativized and thereby reduced the Catholic Church’s exclusive claim to being the sole true Church of Jesus Christ in order to enable and facilitate ecumenism; and of course the last five decades have borne this out.
How would a woman react if her husband, instead of telling people that she is his wife, told them that his wife exists in her — and then added that elements of his wife also exist in other women, with whom he has, however, only an imperfect relationship? What would that poor, utterly humiliated woman think of her husband? Is this really how our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ would treat His Immaculate Bride?
It is clear that the theological poppycock introduced by John XXIII and his Second Vatican Council — and all the chaos that followed — could have never come from the true Roman Catholic Church. That is, it could never have come from the Catholic episcopate in union with a true Pope. For, as Pope Pius XI teaches in the same Mortalium Animos encyclical with which we began this post:
During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly.”
(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 10)
Pius XII, in his beautiful encyclical on the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, confirmed this:
Certainly the loving Mother is spotless in the Sacraments, by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which, with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 66)
When Pius XII died in 1958, all hell broke loose. Nothing has been the same since. Once John XXIII had usurped the papal throne, the Modernists had free rein, especially at Vatican II, and the long-term result of that is visible at your local Novus Ordo parish, courtesy of that great “renewal” they’re always talking about. Go there and find out what they teach and believe about ecumenism, and see how the constant pre-Vatican II teaching is not only no longer taught but basically outlawed.
Today’s Novus Ordo ecumenism is endless talk with some kind of unity as the stated goal, yes, but it’s a unity they cannot even define. They just know they don’t want to remain divided and they don’t want everybody to convert to Catholicism. Their ever-elusive precise goal — which they cannot even agree on, of course — is simply ascribed to the Holy Spirit, who will bring it about, somehow, at some point during the “journey”:
Unity will not come about as a miracle at the very end. Rather, unity comes about in journeying; the Holy Spirit does this on the journey. If we do not walk together, if we do not pray for one another, if we do not collaborate in the many ways that we can in this world for the People of God, then unity will not come about! But it will happen on this journey, in each step we take. And it is not we who are doing this, but rather the Holy Spirit, who sees our goodwill.
(Antipope Francis, Homily at Vepers at St.-Paul’s-outside-the-Walls, Vatican.va, Jan. 25, 2014)
This kind of claptrap is the result of abandoning the perennial Catholic teaching before Vatican II that “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, n. 10; underlining added).
After brazenly reversing 1,900 years of Catholic teaching and practice, the Novus Ordo Modernists have no qualm about declaring their own innovations and heresies to be themselves irreversible, of course: “At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture, thus heeding the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches people to interpret carefully the ‘signs of the times'” (John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint, n. 3; italics given).
Ladies and gentlemen, it is abundantly clear that the traditional Catholic and the Novus Ordo teachings on ecumenism cannot both be true, and thus they cannot coexist. One of them has got to go.
We trust you won’t have too much trouble figuring out which one.
Image source: shutterstock.com