The Truth About Ecumenism |
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?"
2 Corinthians 6: 15
An Analysis of the Encyclical Mortalium Animos
Part 4: All or Nothing
and other true Catholic Teaching on Religious Unity
"Note how the Pope makes clear that for this reason, Protestantism isn't an option and cannot be tolerated. The Protestant must return entirely to the Catholic Faith if he wishes to be saved, as just "a little bit of the Truth" or even "most of the Truth" isn't enough to save him (cf. Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 9). All of today's hogwash about "partial communion" and "what unites us is greater than what divides us" is not only false but extremely dangerous, as it affirms the erring soul in its errors and thus assures its damnation. Which of the Protestant ecumenists engaged in talks with the Novus Ordo Church actually thinks he must convert and become a real Catholic in order to go to Heaven? Name one!"
As we continue in our analysis of the 1928 encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pope Pius XI, we recall that in my last installment, we saw that the Holy Father condemned the meetings of non-Catholics who would insist on being treated as equal to Catholics and would wish to have their heretical sects considered as on a par with the Catholic Church. They would even "grant" the Catholic Church some of her claims, such as papal primacy, as long as the primacy is a primacy of honor and arises from the consent of the faithful. Pope Pius XI next draws the proper conclusion from this condemnation, which is that true Catholics cannot have anything to do with such meetings:
8. 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.
Ah, I cry out in joy for such refreshing words! How badly does our world need to hear these truths! Amen! A "false Christianity," that is what Protestantism preaches, and so does anyone who preaches a "Christ" or a "Christianity" that differs from that passed on by the Holy Catholic Church for over 1,900 years!
Is it not better for a pagan to remain in his paganism than to become a (full-blown) Protestant and thus receive falsehood in the name of Christ? Is it not better for a student to be taught nothing at all than to be taught falsehood? Does a teacher who teaches error not deserve more blame than a teacher who refuses to teach?
Pope Pius makes it clear that there can be no compromise:
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.
There you go! The Holy Father states unequivocally that this Gospel the Church has received and preached is not hers to do with as she pleases, as though she had any authority over It. St. Paul insisted that he himself or even an angel from Heaven could not alter the Gospel Truth (Galatians 1:8-9). This Truth comes from God, and it is our duty, not simply our privilege, to preach It whole and entire, to keep it as a most precious pearl entrusted to us unworthy ones! Our task is to protect, defend, and spread this holy, immaculate, and divinely revealed Deposit of Faith, not to play with it, not to change it, not to add to or detract from it, as so many are doing today, thinking themselves wiser than the very Originator of these Saving Truths. What a shameful thing to do, to change the Holy Gospel and refashion it according to the likings of men! What a filthy thing, what an abominable blasphemy that is! And what terrible punishment awaits those who preach a false gospel, a gospel in any way different from that entrusted to the Catholic Church!
Pope Pius continues:
Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost [John 16: 13]. Has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy.
Here the Pope makes the case for the infallibility and indefectibility of the Church. If it were true that the Catholic Church has gone astray or that a "reform" of the Church were necessary in order to bring her back to the paths of the true Gospel, as the Protestants (and the Vatican II modernists) maintain, then the Holy Ghost has failed, to affirm which is, of course, a terrible blasphemy! Again the resounding theme in the encyclical is: 'all or nothing'! Either the Catholic Faith is true whole and entire, or none of it is true. The half-way house of Protestantism is a strict impossibility.
Note how the Pope makes clear that for this reason, Protestantism isn't an option and cannot be tolerated. The Protestant must return entirely to the Catholic Faith if he wishes to be saved, as just "a little bit of the Truth" or even "most of the Truth" isn't enough to save him (cf. Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 9). All of today's hogwash about "partial communion" and "what unites us is greater than what divides us" is not only false but extremely dangerous, as it affirms the erring soul in its errors and thus assures its damnation. Which of the Protestant ecumenists engaged in talks with the Novus Ordo Church actually thinks he must convert and become a real Catholic in order to go to Heaven? Name one!
Mortalium Animos finishes its train of thought by pointing out the necessity for an infallible teaching authority on which the faithful can rely throughout the centuries:
But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by "witnesses preordained by God" [Acts 10: 41], and also confirmed His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned" [Mark 16: 16]. These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring.
Yes, it is really a matter of common sense that our Redemption and the Truth about It (i.e., the Gospel), which were purchased at the highest price ever possible, namely, the very own Most Precious Blood of God Himself, that these should be preserved from ever being obscured, hidden, veiled, changed, or blotted out. Until, that is, the Great Apostasy (see 2 Thess. 2:3-11; St. Matthew 24:4-33), when the Teaching Church - and I point out that this is my own speculation - is eclipsed, most certainly as a punishment for our sins, for our ingratitude, for our frequent offenses against the Divine Majesty. No doubt we are in this period today.
The Pope next rebukes the agnostics:
In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life.
The agnostics are those who say they do not know if God exists, or if He does, then we could never find out about Him and what He wishes us to do and believe. This is a very convenient position to hold, of course, if one wishes to continue living an immoral life, but as Pope Pius XI points out here, it is not a reasonable position.
Next, the Holy Father attacks the seemingly noble motives of the ecumenists, which are so alluring to those having itching ears:
9. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you" [II John 10]. For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men" [Cf. I Tim. 2: 15].
There we go! With clear and simple reasoning, the Pope breaks down the specious arguments of the ecumenists, whose claims are not truly reasonable but rather the outgrowth of a love of novelty and error. They cannot endure the naked truth of every man having to become Catholic; instead they try to seduce poor and gullible souls of good will, and, of course, today they have succeeded with about 90% of all those claiming to be Catholic, in my estimation.
If people just used their reason a bit more, they would be able to peak behind the smokescreens of the heretics and schismatics, of the ecumenists and modernists, with much more ease. Their arguments are not rational; they may have the appearance of rationality, but they are based on emotion, on a love of novelty and human respect, on "what seems right to a man" (cf. Proverbs 16:25). The way of the ecumenist and the modernist cannot but lead to death therefore.
In the next installment, we shall look at the connection the Holy Father makes precisely between ecumenism and modernism. Until then, may the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
For past columns by Mario Derksen, see Archives for www.DailyCatholic.org/2004mdi.htm