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The Rotting Corpses of Ecumenism

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As discussed in previous columns here, the Vatican’s post-conciliar policy, brazenly expressed by Cardinal Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for "Christian Unity," is that the Catholic Church no longer seeks the conversion of Protestants to Catholicism. As Kasper put it in the liberal Italian journal Adista: "Today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II."

So, the Vatican’s ecumenical bureaucrats continue their palaver about "searching for unity" with Protestant "ecclesial communities" as if these "communities" were other than the rotting corpses they really are. Two cases in point:

On August 6, 2001 Zenit.org reported that: "The Danish Lutheran Church will permit homosexual couples to receive an ecclesiastical blessing at the time of their civil wedding ... Such ceremonies will require the presence of a mayor to consecrate the civil union, which will be followed by a religious service during which the couple will receive the Lutheran Church's blessing."

So, after forty some-odd years of "ecumenical dialogue" the Lutherans of Denmark are "marrying" homosexuals. Will this bring an end to ecumenism with the insane Lutheran Church of Denmark? Oh no, no, no! Ecumenism must go on.

Then there is the news from France (Zenit.org, August 7, 2001) that the Protestant "Reformed Church of France"  —  another Lutheran outfit  —  has decided "to offer the Holy Supper to the non-baptized." This development caused great alarm among the "Catholic bishops' Commission for Christian Unity," whose head (a Father Christian Foster) declared that "the decision is very serious, because to maintain that baptism is not necessary to receive the Protestant eucharist means to doubt baptism itself." Of course, the Protestants don’t have a "eucharist" in the first place  —  but what does that matter to the ecumenists?

The decision of the "Reformed Church of France" has actually prompted the conversion of a prominent French Lutheran pastor to Catholicism: "Michel Viot, a former Paris Lutheran pastor, has announced his conversion to the Catholic Church in the wake of the proposal's approval." But while Viot felt compelled to enter the Catholic Church because of this latest sign of Lutheran decomposition, on the Catholic side the ecumenical show must go on. According to Zenit, "Ecumenical dialogue in France between Reformed Christians and Catholics will now have to focus on this fundamental issue, the Catholic bishops' commission emphasized."

So, no matter what heresies and outrages the Protestant sects approve, the never-ending process of "ecumenism" simply absorbs them as "issues" on which to "focus." The Catholic ecumenical bureaucracy only embraces more tightly the rotting corpses of the Protestant sects. The smellier the corpses become, the tighter the embrace.

What a joke it is to continue "dialogue" with corrupt human organizations pretending to be churches, whose own members are leaving them to enter the Catholic Church  —  converting in spite of the "ecumenical" effort to leave them where they are.

In a way, I suppose, "ecumenism" is an unintentional success. The longer "ecumenical dialogue" continues, the more corrupt the Protestant sects become, prompting some of their members at least to return to the one true Church  —  in keeping with what Pope Pius IX taught is the only way to Christian unity: "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." Unhappily indeed.