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Francis proclaims new sin:
the “sin against ecumenism”

by Christopher A. Ferrara
October 5, 2016

During his trip to Georgia, Pope Francis was asked by a seminarian “how Georgian Catholics can promote better relations with the Orthodox.” His answer illustrates why the novelty of “ecumenism” has almost totally debilitated the Church Militant: 

Let’s leave it to the theologians to study the things that are abstract. What must I do with a friend who is Orthodox?...  Be open, be a friend…. You must never proselytize the Orthodox. They are our brothers and sisters, disciples of Jesus Christ, but complex historic situations have made us like this…Friendship. Walk together, pray for each other, and do works of charity together when you can. This is ecumenism.

So, ecumenism means “being a friend” and doing good works together with non-Catholics, including the schismatic Orthodox. Everything else is just “abstract” doctrine that theologians can quibble over while “ecumenism” continues its relentless march to nowhere.

But the primacy of the Pope as head of the universal Church, which the Orthodox reject, is not an abstraction.  It is the will of the very God who founded the Church on the Rock of Peter. 

The Catholic dogma on the absolute indissolubility of marriage, to which the Orthodox have devised convenient Pharisaical exceptions, allowing second and even third “marriages,” is not an abstraction.  It is the will of Christ concerning an ontological reality arising from a sacramental union. 

The Catholic doctrine on Purgatory, which the Orthodox reject, is not an abstraction. It is a revealed truth about a stage of existence after death, which the Catholic Church has taught infallibly down through the centuries.

The Catholic dogma on Original Sin as involving the inherited fault of Adam, which the Orthodox reject, holding that only the penalty of death is inherited, is not an abstraction. It is a truth about man’s fallen condition and his need for Redemption.

The Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which the Orthodox reject because they also reject the Catholic teaching on Original Sin, is not an abstraction. It is a revealed truth about the unique status of the Blessed Virgin Mary among all of humanity.

Finally, the evil of schism and the necessity, for salvation, of “the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it” is no abstraction.  It is a truth of the Faith on which the eternal destiny of souls depends.

Our Lord Himself declared: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  It is the truth that saves us. Not ecumenism, friendship or even good works. For it is by hearing the truth and assenting to it that one receives the grace of justification. Thus did Pope Saint Pius X require Catholic seminarians, clergy and theologians to make the Oath Against Modernism, which declares:

I hold most certainly and profess sincerely that faith is not a blind religious feeling bursting forth from the recesses of the subconscious, unformed morally under the pressure of the heart and the impulse of the will, but the true assent of the intellect to the truth received extrinsically “ex auditu” [from hearing], whereby we believe that what has been said, attested, and revealed by the personal God, our Creator and Lord, to be true on account of the authority of God the highest truth

But the Oath Against Modernism was abandoned after Vatican II, along with the Church’s opposition to Modernism itself.

Today, in the name of ecumenism — a newfangled term devoid of concrete meaning — the truths of our religion have been replaced by feelings while doctrine is set aside, even by the Pope, as a mere abstraction for theologians to debate at their leisure. 

As Francis declared in Georgia: “There is a very grave sin against ecumenism: proselytism. We should never proselytize the Orthodox!”  A sin against “ecumenism”?  How can an utter novelty unknown in the life of the Church before 1962, emerging from a Protestant movement condemned by Pius XI in 1928, now be treated as if it were an article of divine and Catholic faith?  Such is the crisis the Church now endures, the likes of which she has never witnessed before.