“Conversion of Russia” Update:
Vatican Rejects “Proselytism” Again
by Christopher A. Ferrara
As we move farther and farther in time from the “consecration of Russia” in 1984, we also move farther and farther from the simple plan devised by Heaven for peace in the world: the conversion of that nation to Catholicism as a sign of God’s grace, followed by a period of true peace in the world and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart.
On July 9, 2002 CWNews.com reported that “Talks between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church are reviving, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity,” Cardinal Walter Kasper. Reviving? After the expulsion of Bishop Mazur and two key priests for the Church in Russia, followed by months of stonewalling by the Practicing Christian in the Kremlin?
Here is Kasper’s spin on recent events: “Cardinal Walter Kasper told a Vatican Radio audience that he has been encouraged by a message from the Orthodox Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, the chief ecumenical contact for the Patriarchate of Moscow. He said that the letter from the Orthodox prelate, sent at the beginning of July, signals the renewal of contacts that appeared closed earlier this year, after the establishment of four new Catholic dioceses in Russia.“ According to Kasper, this letter is “a sign that we can continue on the path of dialogue.”
Oh! Dialogue. Like the “dialogue” that has been going on since Vatican II with absolutely no results — except hardening of the Orthodox position.
Well, what did this wonderful letter from Kirill of Smolensk say, that Cardinal Kasper is so happy about it? As CWN notes: “Kasper insisted on seeing the letter as a positive development, despite the fact that the text contains harsh criticism of the Catholic Church, including strongly worded charges that Catholics are engaged in ‘proselytism’ inside Russian territory.” Ah, but at least the Vatican has received a letter. That means that dialogue can resume. And we know how important dialogue is for the mission of the Catholic Church. Why just look at all the fruits of the dialogue with the Russian Orthodox, and the dialogue with the Protestants. They haven’t budged an inch. But the Catholic Church has gone a country mile in their direction.
And what about “proselytism”? Once again, Cardinal Kasper states the new Vatican Party Line: contrary to the request of the Mother of God — which is to say, contrary to God’s will — there shall be no attempt to convert Russia: “We want ecumenism, we want to assure the pastoral care of Catholics, and we reject all proselytism.” This is the same Cardinal Kasper who, within days of his elevation to the rank of Cardinal, declared that the pre-conciliar papal teaching on the necessity of the return of schismatics and heretics to the Catholic Church was “abandoned at Vatican II”, along with what Kasper calls “the theory of substitution” — i.e., the perpetual teaching defined by the Universal Magisterium of the Church that the Catholic Church is the unique ark of salvation since the inception of the New Covenant by Christ superceded the Old Covenant that God made with Moses.
In short, the inmates are running the asylum while the papal deathwatch is underway. If this statement seems rash, let us recall Cardinal Newman’s description of the state of the Church at the height of the Arian heresy in the 4th century:
The body of bishops failed in their confession of the Faith. … They spoke variously, one against another; there was nothing, after Nicea, of firm, unvarying, consistent testimony, for nearly sixty years. There were untrustworthy Councils, unfaithful bishops; there was weakness, fear of consequences, misguidance, delusion, hallucination, endless, hopeless, extending into nearly every corner of the Catholic Church. The comparatively few who remained faithful were discredited and driven into exile; the rest were either deceivers or deceived.
It happened once — and now, God help us, it appears to be happening again. And is this not precisely what the Third Secret must predict?