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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Romanian Catholics Have Had It with Ecumenism

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On January 11, 2002 CWNews.com reported that “A Romanian Catholic diocese is bringing a lawsuit against the local Romanian Orthodox Church, in an effort to recover possession of an old monastery [the monastery at Nicula, which houses a famous Marian icon]. The move could bring about the suspension of dialogue between the Romanian Catholic and Orthodox churches.”

Oh no! Not the suspension of dialogue! Yes indeed. Romanian Catholics have had it “up to here” with the “joint Catholic-Orthodox commission” that was supposed to mediate disputes over the return of all the Catholic churches Stalin stole and handed over to the Orthodox in the 1940s. As the article notes “Romanian Catholic leaders have complained that the commission has failed to move on their request for the restoration of Catholic property.” Big surprise. The Orthodox are not about to give back the real estate Stalin handed over to them by force of arms.

The article mentions something else this column has noted more than once: “Romanian Catholics have also frequently expressed concerns that they are under heavy pressure from the Vatican to forsake their property claims, for the sake of ecumenical progress. The continuing conflicts between the Romanian Catholic and Orthodox churches has frequently been cited by Orthodox leaders — most notably Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow — as a factor that blocks the road toward Christian unity.”

Now we have confirmation from Romanian Catholics themselves of the Vatican’s shameful policy of capitulation for the sake of “ecumenical progress”. What progress? If the Catholics give up their claims to the parish properties which are rightly theirs, the Orthodox will say thank you very much, and will remain — as they have been for 1000 years — in a state of schismatic rejection of the papal primacy and those Catholics doctrines they choose not to accept. This is progress? Sounds more like a classic sell-out — in return for absolutely nothing. What wizards of negotiation devised this strategy for “Christian unity”?

And make no mistake about it: Romanian Catholics are entitled before God and man to a return of the Catholic Church’s stolen patrimony in Romania. As CWN notes “The property disputes stem from the confiscation of all Romanian Catholic property by the country’s previous Communist regime, which sought to suppress the Eastern Catholic Church. All Romanian Catholics were ordered to join Orthodox parishes, or face imprisonment.”

How in Heaven’s name can the Vatican put pressure on Romanian Catholics to validate this crime against the Church by giving up their struggle to regain what was stolen from her by communist thugs who persecuted the Bride of Christ? Yes, if a man takes your coat, give him your hat. But when communists steal consecrated Catholic parishes, God’s law demands their return to the Catholic Church. This is not a question of mere human bickering over real estate.

My hat is off to the Catholics of Romania. At least they have the sense to see what “ecumenical dialogue” has done for the cause of the Catholic faith — worse thannothing.