“Ecumenical Follies” Update
Francis Snubbed by the Orthodox in Georgia: An Ironic Development
by Christopher A. Ferrara
October 3, 2016
As I write this column, Pope Francis is in the Democratic Republic of Georgia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas. Why this latest papal trip was necessary is far from apparent, although that is true of virtually all of the papal trips that have been undertaken since the Second Vatican Council. The jet-setting Pope is yet another of the worthless novelties that have dissipated the energy and resources of the Church over the past 50 years.
There was supposed to be another pointless ecumenical shindig in a sports stadium in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, with the Georgian Orthodox Church sending bishops as delegates to the papal Mass. But none of them showed, and only 3,000 attendees were present in a stadium that can accommodate 27,000. What happened?
Well, as UPI reports, it appears the Orthodox of Georgia want nothing to do with ecumenical spectacles that simulate a unity that in reality does not exist: “Leaders from the Georgian Orthodox Church were expected to send delegates to the ceremony, but none of the Orthodox Church bishops attended. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Orthodox rules kept the bishops away. In a statement posted on the Orthodox Church’s website, the Church told its followers they could not participate in the mass.”
How ironic. There was a time, not so long ago — in fact less than sixty years ago — when Catholic rules forbade Catholic participation in the liturgies of other religions. Pope Pius XI, only 34 years before Vatican II opened the way to chaos in the Church, made clear the reason for this perennial discipline of the Church:
So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for 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, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. 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.”
Mind you, Pius XI was speaking merely of ecumenical assemblies involving Catholics and Protestants. The idea of Catholic participation in joint religious ceremonies with Protestants or other non-Catholics was explicitly banned by the law of the Church under the then prevailing 1917 Code of Canon Law: “It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active manner, or to take part in the sacred services of non-Catholics.” (Canon 1258.1) The only exception was “passive or merely material presence of Catholics at the funerals and weddings of non-Catholics… on account of civil duty or honor, because of a grave reason which, in case of doubt, must be approved by the bishop provided that the danger of perversion or scandal be absent.” (Canon 1258.2)
Today, after a half-century of “ecumenism,” the Church is plagued by an endless succession of joint “ecumenical” liturgies the pre-conciliar Popes could not have envisioned in their worst nightmares. Taking this insanity to a new level, Francis is preparing to journey to Sweden later this month to participate in a joint liturgy with faux Lutheran bishops to “commemorate” the Protestant rebellion and the life of the maniacal monk of Wittenberg, who started it all!
Give the Orthodox hierarchy of Georgia credit for something that has disappeared from the Catholic hierarchy in the midst of the worst crisis the Catholic Church has ever endured: a zealous concern for the integrity of their religion, which they will not allow to be corrupted by participation in a Catholic liturgy — a liturgy which, irony of ironies, the Orthodox view as a liberalized horror.
What can one say when schismatic Orthodox bishops have more concern about the integrity of their schismatic sect than the leaders of the one true Church have about the integrity of the one true religion? One can say that this is precisely the crisis the integral Third Secret doubtless predicts: “diabolical disorientation” in the Church, beginning at the top.
And it could all have been avoided had Russia been properly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But now, it seems, Heaven will have to bring about the Consecration the hard way: a chastisement of the Church and the world, as seen in the enigmatic apocalyptic vision the Vatican would have us believe is the Third Secret in its entirety, which the corrupt Cardinal Sodano has “interpreted” as nothing more than a depiction of 20th-century events. Right.