On the surface, this sounds like a great idea. Convoke Vatican III to clear up the confusion which has arisen from the misinformation and liturgical aberrations that have evolved from the aftermath of Vatican II. Every Catholic would be in great favor of this. However, when we see who else is promoting this and why we have to take a second look at the motivation and agenda of the progressives. Not only is this firmly recommended by the liberal Archbishop Quinn but also by the radical theologian Hans Kung. Kung has been on the outs with Rome for decades and is one of the chief antagonizers of everything proposed by the Holy Father. Kung wants total reform much in the same manner as another German over 500 years before him - Martin Luther. Both were ordained priests and took the vow of obedience to the supreme pontiff. Both broke their promise and are proposing a "new church." Linking up with Kung truly shows Quinn's colors and the other ilk he has been associated with. This "new church" concept is something that falls right in line with satan's scheme of a "world church" from which, as our Blessed Mother has confirmed at La Salette can happen, "Rome will become the seat of the antichrist." Father Thomas Reese, SJ who belongs to the Woodstock Theological Center [editor's note: Woodstock is an interesting name for we all remember the confusion and reform at another Woodstock in the 60's!], believes the Church should hold an ecumenical council quarterly each century. This is something that has not been done in the nearly 2000 year history of Holy Mother Church. The popes and council fathers convoked councils only when it was necessary. In fact there have been only twenty worldwide councils called Ecumenical Councils held since the Church was founded by Jesus. The first was the Council of Nicea in 325 and the last Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Is it necessary then to hold an ecumenical council every 25 years? To quote an old axiom, "if it aint' broke, why mess with it." Oh, there are problems, but if the hierarchy were obedient Christ's Vicar on earth, these problems would disintegrate in no time. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, at each quadrant of the century. Besides this, Fr. Reese proposes that every Christian church participate fully "if they (the councils) are to be truly ecumenical." There's a problem here of semantics. He is referring to the word "ecumenical" as including all faiths. That is not the meaning of "ecumenical" in reference to the Church. The Church views "ecumenical" as literally "universal" which is in line with the Greek word Catolica which means universal. Therefore Ecumenical Councils are for the Catholic Church, not for the Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, or the First Church on the Right in Brawley, California to have representation in things that concern Holy Mother Church. That is akin to asking homosexuals to advise on the Sacrament of Matrimony. It just doesn't work! Father John Hardon, SJ who differs greatly with his Jesuit counterpart Fr. Reese defines Ecumenical in his Catholic Dictionary thusly: "With the rise of the movement for Christian unity, it has become synonymous with 'striving for reunification' among the separated Churches of Christendom. (Etymology: Latin oecumenicus; from Greek oikoumene, the inhabited world." You'll notice Fr. Hardon calls for reunification among the separated Christian Churches such as the ones mentioned above, as does the Holy Father. What he nor the Holy Father call for is compromise. That is the major difference between the radicals and those loyal to Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The progressives are willing to water down the liturgy so as not to offend their protestant brethren and "weaken" the Sacramental nature of the Church for the sake of ecumenism. We cannot allow this for to give them an inch, they'll take a mile. We've seen it in the aftermath of Vatican II when many misinterpreted the documents handed down by the Council Fathers to fit their own goals and agendas with no regard to what God wants. The more we deny any of the teachings, traditions, dogmas and doctrines of Holy Mother Church, the more we dilute her authority authored by Christ Jesus Himself. This is the plan of satan's legions whom he has recruited to effect these changes. So far, sadly, he's been pretty successful, but we can never forget Our Lord's resounding words in Matthew 16: 18, "...and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." When we hear of these proposed changes, we must remember His words further with Peter in the same chapter of Matthew, "Get behind me, satan, thou art a scandal to me; for thou dost not mind the things of God, but those of men." That is the crux of the progressives' agenda - the things of man, not God's. Ecumenical Councils are of God. He will not stand for man to use His Church's formats to promote things that are not from, of or for Him.
Another problem with the liberals' plan is to overhaul, if you will, the entire system of the hierarchical governing body. Besides ecumenical councils more often, they propose general assemblies of the Synod of Bishops at three to four year intervals which will be held to implement any changes from the previous ecumenical council as well as planning for the next ecumenical council. They also insist on allowing the Synod of Bishops to regulate the role of the Pope and the Roman Curia which is truly a lair for trying to overthrow the balance of power and diminish the Holy Father's duties to merely ceremonial activities. As we have mentioned in past issues, their resolve is to curb the supreme pontiff where he is merely "one of the bishops" not the "head bishop" and the Synod becomes a democratic governing system rather than the hierarchical monarchy Christ set up when He conferred the Keys of the Kingdom on Peter as the first Pope. As we detailed in the last installment, the precedent was set in Sacred Scripture that Peter was above the other Apostles just as the Holy Father today - the Bishop of Rome is and should be above the other bishops who are connected through the Apostolic succession. Any diminishing of the supreme pontiff's spiritual and ruling role is a departure from the tenets followed by Holy Mother Church...and should not be tolerated, let alone entertained.
In the next installment we will follow through on this concept when we discuss the eighth mandate launched by the radicals that deals with their idea of turning over power to bishops and especially to bishops' conferences.