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The Result of Ecumenism: Apostasy

by Christopher A. Ferrara
September 15, 2017

As reported by Gloria TV (citing orf.at), the arch-Modernist Cardinal Walter Kasper, whose false notion of “mercy” has animated the entire project of Holy Communion for public adulterers, has just declared that “nowadays there are no more significant differences between Protestant and Catholic Christians…”

That remark understandably provoked outrage among orthodox Catholics, but on reflection one will recognize that it is merely a statement of the obvious. That is, nowadays, as opinion polls consistently demonstrate, the generality of Catholics are effectively Protestants in terms of their adherence to Church teaching on faith and morals, particularly in matters pertaining to sexual morality, including even acceptance of abortion in “some cases.” Worse, concerning marriage and homosexuality, the typical Catholic today is even more liberal than the most conservative Protestant evangelicals, whose Nashville Statement, which I discussed in my last column, would certainly not meet with the approval of the majority of pew Catholics. For example, as Life Site News reports, “two out of three Catholics — a whopping 67 percent — told Pew Poll Surveyors that they now support ‘gay marriage.’”

This “conversion” of Catholics to de facto liberal Protestantism was eminently predictable. It was, in fact, predicted by Pope Pius XI in his condemnation of the “ecumenical movement” of Protestant origin in the 1920s. In forbidding any Catholic participation in this subversive movement, Pius XI issued this warning in his landmark encyclical Mortalium animos (1928):

“This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.”

The error in question is that of reducing the differences between Catholics and Protestants to merely debatable issues which are set aside in favor of “ecumenical dialogue” based on supposedly more fundamental truths.  As Pius XI explained: 

“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.”

In other words, the “ecumenical movement” would lead inexorably to Catholic acceptance of a lowest-common-denominator form of Christianity, with the denominator being determined by the relentless moral and spiritual decline of Protestant sects whose adherents are not in the least interested in submitting to the authority of the Pope and the Magisterium.

Yet, ignoring Pius XI’s prescient warning, the progressive forces at the Second Vatican Council succeeded in obtaining the Council’s endorsement of precisely the “ecumenical movement” by way of the conciliar document Unitatis redintegratio, which abruptly approves of Catholic participation in the very movement Pius XI had condemned only 25 years earlier. What followed was the plethora of “ecumenical” gatherings, liturgies and other gestures that have placed the Catholic Church on equal footing with Protestant sects which have come to deny, not only revealed truths, but even the precepts of the natural law respecting marriage, procreation and the sanctity of human life at every stage. 

And now we see the final result of that disastrous error of prudential judgment, just as it was predicted by Pius XI:

“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.

And today, irony of ironies, the more conservative Protestants (such as those of the Lutheran Missouri Synod) want nothing to do with the Vatican’s insane pursuit of “Catholic ecumenism” with utterly degenerate mainline Protestant denominations, including the loony Anglicans, precisely because these more conservative Protestants reject the religious indifferentism “ecumenism” must entail.

The final outcome of “ecumenism” — and indeed the entire “opening to the world” following Vatican II — was described by John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation on the state of the Faith in Europe, although he never admitted the fault of the Church’s own leadership in its ruinous embrace of exactly what Pius XI had condemned. Quoth John Paul II: “European culture gives the impression of ‘silent apostasy’ on the part of people who have all that they need and who live as if God does not exist.”  But could John Paul II have failed to note the role of the Church’s own leaders in their programmatic renunciation of the Church’s divinely appointed function as the sole ark of salvation, thus encouraging the members of their own flock to abandon ship?

When will the leaders of the Church admit that the past half-century of experimentation in novelty has been a total debacle, producing the worst crisis in Church history?  Only when the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumphs following the Consecration of Russia in obedience to the divine command.