As the choir of Heavenly voices ceaselessly sings the praises of the Triune Divinity, Saint Joseph is about to begin the seventh charitable discussion among the saints on behalf of the Church Militant. They are about to begin. Let us listen.
Saint Joseph: We are about to begin our discussion for this session. Our guests today are:
Our topic today is to uncover the reasons behind the 'false peace and unity' misunderstood so in the term 'ecumenism.'
- Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music and musicians. This devoted virgin was an early martyr for the Faith in the third century;
- Saint Jerome Emiliani, who lived from 1481 to 1537. A former soldier, he became a priest, a religious founder and is considered the patron saint of orphans and abandoned children; and
- Saint Dominic, the esteemed Doctor of the Church and founder of the Order of Preachers to whom the Holy Rosary was bestowed. He lived from 1170 to 1221.
Saint Cecilia: Dear Saint Joseph, I must tell you that this mindset of ecumenism did not exist as it does currently on earth. In my time, conversion to the One True Faith was treasured as the 'pearl' of great price. Many were the people who refused to hear the Word of God and be converted, but for those who did hear and convert, we refused to diminish the Faith in any way, for we recognized the salvation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the ONLY way.
Saint Dominic: In my time there were many political forces at work against Holy Mother Church. It was a time of warring factions, struggles against heretics, and the Crusades to save the Holy Land from the infidels. Yet, for those of us who responded to the Faith with all our being, these were all stepping stones toward a further conversion for ourselves, and a grace-filled opportunity to convert the pagans.
Saint Jerome Emiliani: It was extremely difficult in my time. My experience in the military service was a turning point for me. After my capture by the enemy and my release some time later, I returned to Treviso and set my priorities straight. I still continued in public service as Mayor of Treviso, but my heart longed for closer unity with Jesus, our Lord, God, and Savior. It wasn't long before I began to see the path I was to follow, that of bringing the Mercy of God to orphans and those stricken with disease. Nothing could have shaken me from the One True Faith. There was no compromise then, for Holy Mother Church kept vigilance over the Sacred Deposit of Faith.
St. Joseph: What, then, do you feel are the reasons that this push for ecumenism has reached the stage of having compromised the One True Faith?
St. Jerome Emiliani: The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith was inbred in us. It was cultural, but above all spiritual. It invaded our souls and took deep roots there, as the priceless gift from Our Lord.
St. Cecilia: There was much persecution in my time. The Catholic Faith was still struggling against the pagan empire of Rome. In those times, those who embraced the One True Faith were driven into hiding, and even there we were not always safe.
St. Dominic: Persecution in my time, while seeming to loosen the hold of Catholicism on the faithful, actually caused great reverence and fervency among the faithful. Many there were who would have willingly given their lives for the preservation of the One True Faith. The Crusades were difficult to organize; they were difficult on families. Years separated families. Yet, how many set out to do the Will of the Lord and shed their blood for the sake of His Sorrowful Passion.
St. Joseph: At the times when you sojourned on earth, you were all faced with persecution from without the venerable structure of the Roman Catholic Church. I fear that the faithful today are faced with persecution…but from within, not without its visible structures. I would like you to address this point of view for the sake of our audience.
St. Dominic: Over the course of its magnificent and historic growth, the Roman Catholic Church defined the Absolutes of the Faith. These absolutes were contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith in its doctrine, dogma, teaching, and tradition. That edification has been lost today.
St. Cecilia: Yes, I agree. The reverence, awe, and wonder of the One True Faith has been shaken from its root-Christ, the Lord-and has become, instead, a commonplace faith that does not stand above all other faiths with its Light shining brightly in the darkness.
St. Dominic: I see this clearly. In my time, Our Lord permitted His Most Holy Mother to visit me and bestow through me upon all mankind the most powerful weapon next to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.the Rosary. This was taken up by the faithful with such fervent heart and sense of reverence toward the Mother of God that battles were won by Her gracious intercession.
St. Joseph: I see a pattern emerging from our discussion. On the one hand, all of us lived with and through constant persecution. We clung to the Faith, knowing from the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit that it alone was the True Way to Salvation, outside of which all other faiths were with fault, and must therefore be converted. On the other hand, the Holy Mother Church has, for forty plus years now, caved into the demands of other faiths that wished to be recognized as containing the truth. The Hierarchy of the Church today has listened to these half-truths, and has caved in, thus causing scandal, nay, persecution, from within the visible structure of the Church.
St. Jerome Emiliani: Very true, dear Saint Joseph. I do not believe that since the foundation of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith was laid down by Jesus Christ, has its members taken so much for granted. These faithful have suffered such a great loss of the True Faith because they have allowed themselves to be swept up in the tide of a purely human ideal: Peace at any price, for the sake of the 'brotherhood" of a global society.
St. Cecilia: I agree, his intercession is most powerful before the Throne of the Triune Divinity. Even the vow of chastity is today looked upon as unworthy of an 'enlightened' age. The more a generation of men see themselves as 'enlightened' the more satan is able to shroud purity in the lie of modernism.
St. Dominic: Yes, the Church in today's world has succumbed to the wiles of the sweet-sounding voices of those who profess to seek a true unity with the One True Faith, but whose voices are really the siren call of the Father of Lies. Pope Innocent III, in my time, set forth a Crusade that lasted seven years. I followed the army. I preached to the heretics, but had very little success with converting. Then, after I had founded, through the Holy Spirit, the Order of Preachers. The Order grew rapidly, but approval from Rome did not come until the Pontificate of Honorius III. By this time, the Dominicans were making very clear headway in converting the heathens by using my method of harmonizing intellectual life with the daily needs of the people. Yet, never in any preaching was the One, True Faith compromised.
St. Joseph: An Ecumenical Council began this current 'new' church at a most vulnerable time in human history. Had Holy Mother Church maintained her vigilance over her spiritual treasures, the modernist, progressivist mindset may not have seen the light of day.
St. Jerome Emiliani: But 'new' ideas were burgeoning after the end of World War II. The wayward spirit of modernism, which many Popes fought against, gained a strong foothold even in the preparations for this Vatican Council II, and the people, feeling safe and secure in their daily life, believed they no longer needed to be vigilant over the Faith.
St. Cecilia: Also, dear saints, the people at the time of the council and even today, do not realize that they must maintain personal vigilance over the Faith, which is always a gift from God. They leave this vigilance up to their Bishops and Cardinals, and fail to realize that these men are human, and may lead their flocks into error at any time.
St. Joseph: It becomes even more difficult when we see that the very broad, sweeping plans for a total ecumenism is being spearheaded by the Vicar of Christ, who has surrounded himself by like-minded men, and laity as well. It bodes ill for Holy Mother Church that the faithful do not take upon themselves the responsibility that all have to know the Faith, its True tenets, and to work hard at maintaining that True Faith in the face of the evil that not pervades the Church.
St. Cecilia: Oh, I plead for the faithful on earth. What began as a "good" idea became one filled with corruption by the very placement of important Cardinals and Archbishops by the Vicars of Christ at the time of the Council. In addition, how much further has the present Pontiff taken the Decrees and Dogmatic Constitutions of this Council, with its deliberate ambiguous language, to the detriment of the entire Church Militant.
St. Jerome Emiliani: The faithful must recognize that one can never let down their guard when it comes to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith. One must ever keep the Light of Faith burning brightly in their soul.
St. Dominic: No less should the faithful recognize their own weakness of flesh, which always seeks its ease in the pressing duties of daily life. They are to keep their own lamps lit, and are to be watchful that their shepherds do not grow lax and weak. In my time, the Pontiff made me Grand Master of the See of Rome, and to this day the Pontiff wears the Dominican Habit, and the position of Grand Master is still held by a Dominican. Still, many of my brothers in this Order of Preachers have gone astray from the Rule and Constitution I laid down and which was given Papal Approval in 1216. Ah, how the light has gone out of so many religious orders and congregations since Vatican Council II.
St. Joseph: Can you summarize, for the sake of our readers, a way and means of returning to the Truth of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith in this day when the light of Faith flickers in many hearts?
St. Cecilia: Prayer. A deep devotion to prayer, to pious acts.
St. Jerome Emiliani: It's also important to love one another as Our Lord asks, but not to accept their sin without rebuking them for their vice. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Frequent acts of faith, hope, and charity will win more souls than all the talks and dialogs that merely compromise principle.
St. Dominic: What is also so important is a sincere love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and worthy reception of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Church Militant today must return the reverence to this most august Sacrifice.
St. Joseph: My dear saints, thank you! You have presented for our readers excellent remedies, and have spoken to them as well about the persecutions you lived through. May the grace of Almighty God bring the Church Militant back to its true mission.
St. Joseph: We will end our discussion at this time, for the sake of our readers. Please come and join with me again, as these discussions will be on-going for quite some time. I ask you, dear readers, to pray over these words offered from Heaven, for the sake of your immortal soul, for the Glory of God, for the Sake of My foster-Son's Passion, through the intercession of my most chaste Spouse Mary Most Holy. Come and join with us again at our next discussion. God be with you.