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Why Do Traditionalists Disapprove of Ecumenism? Doesn't This Go Against the Vatican Council?

 

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Traditionalists may disapprove of a false ecumenism because the Church has always disapproved of false ecumenism. For example, consider the following condemnations applicable to false ecumenism...

"No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics." (Council of Laodicea, 365 A.D.)

"None must either pray or sing psalms with heretics; and whomsoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the Communion of the Church, whether clergymen or laic, let him be excommunicated." (Council of Carthage, 398 A.D.)

"Can. 2316 Whoever in any manner willingly and knowingly helps in the promulgation of heresy, or who communicates in things divine with heretics against the prescriptions of Canon 1258, is suspected of heresy." (1917 Code of Canon Law) 

"Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the [Masonic] sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892 A.D.)

"But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act, it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ. 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." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

"This being said, what must be thought of the indiscriminate mingling in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, 'dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be'?" (Pope St. Pius X, "Our Apostolic Mandate", 1910 A.D.)

"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.' The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that 'this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills.' For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

"But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be 'one.' And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: 'By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another'? All Christians, they add, should be as 'one': for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed. Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil" (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

"For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

Furthermore, false ecumenism is not biblical. For example, consider the following:

[Jesus commissioned the apostles:] "He said to them, 'Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.'" (Mk. 6:10-11) Note: Jesus did not instruct them to stay and dialog with those who would not accept His message or to "package" the message in terms they might find more preferable or to simply ignore their differences and work together in the name of "peace", understanding, or "tolerance". Rather, he tells them to shake the dust off their feet in testimony against them.

[Jesus instructed the apostles,] "And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them." (Lk. 9:5) Note: Jesus has made it clear that those who fail to receive the persons He has sent will incur reproach or condemnation. In contrast to the ecumenical movement, Jesus does not discuss "dialoging", "coming to the truth together" (as if it was not already possessed), or "seeking to find the good" in the belief systems of those who reject the truth.

[Jesus told those whom he sent ahead,] "Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." (Lk. 10:16) Note: Once again, Jesus did not instruct his disciples to stay and dialog with those who would not accept His message or to "package" the message in terms they might find more preferable or to simply ignore their differences and work together in the name of "peace", understanding, or "tolerance". He clearly shows that those who fail to receive the persons He has sent will incur condemnation.

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent." (St. Paul, Rom. 16:17-18) (emphasis added) Note: In contrast to the "spirit of ecumenism" which attempts to mingle all faiths under one umbrella, Scripture tells us plainly that we should avoid those who create dissentions in opposition to the true teachings of the Catholic Church.

"Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: 'I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people. Therefore, come forth from them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch nothing unclean; then I will receive you and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.'" (St. Paul, 2 Cor. 6:14-18)

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ." (Gal. 1:8-10) Note: While the Bible teaches us that those who pervert the gospel of Christ are accursed - even if the one doing so was an angel from heaven - the ecumenical movement wants us to gather together with them as if nothing was wrong with their accursed doctrines in the name of "peace", "tolerance" and understanding. But, as Scripture says, "Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ." We must please God, not human beings and reject perverted gospels. The modern ecumenical movement, however, generally spurns accusatory statements such as those contained in Scripture and seeks to allow others to preach their different gospels to us in the name of "dialoging".

"After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned." (Ti. 3:10-11) Note: In this rather "unecumenical" statement, we are told to "break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned" after a first and second warning. The modern ecumenical movement prefers rather to "dialog" with heretics rather than admonish them as we are instructed to do in Scripture.

"There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their licentious ways, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. In their greed they will exploit you with fabrications, but from of old their condemnation has not been idle and their destruction does not sleep." (2 Pt. 2:1-3)

"Anyone who is so 'progressive' as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works." (2 Jn. 1:9-11) (emphasis added) Note: In this highly "unecumenical" Scripture passage, we are warned about those who are "progressive" and do not remain in the teaching of Christ and instructed that "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him; for whoever greets him shares in his evil works". Scripture does not tell us to "dialog" or to "seek out the good" or to gather for religious activities with anyone who brings another doctrine, despite the encouragement by the ecumenical movement to do just these things. In fact, to do so is contrary to this passage of Scripture.

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