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Chiara Lubich Is At It Again

by Christopher A. Ferrara

In this great winter of the Church, which some have dared to call "the springtime of Vatican II," the shepherds have largely fallen silent on any matter of Catholic doctrine which offends popular culture, while a barren "reformed liturgy" has been greeted with declining Mass attendance and loss of faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

As the institutional Church seems to be in decline in every nation, a collection of bizarre "ecclesial movements" has arisen to fill the vacuum. One of these is the so-called Focolare movement, headed by the self-appointed laywoman, Chiara Lubich. Focolare essentially preaches the same "brotherhood of all religions" that was condemned as a threat to the integrity of the Catholic faith by Pius XI, Pius X, Pius IX and all their predecessors.

Now Zenit reports that Lubich has published a new book entitled Chiara Lubich: Spiritual Doctrine. The basic message is the same utopian nonsense which the preconciliar Popes warned was a snare and a delusion for the Catholic faithful. For example: "St. Paul tells us that everything contributes to the good of those who love God. Everything, everything ... chiefs of state who previously were unable to look at one another are now cooperating. Who is to say if tomorrow they will not look upon the world as a fraternity?" A fraternity of world leaders without conversion to Christ and submission to His social reign? Impossible, said Pius XI in his encyclicals Ubi Arcano Dei and Quas Primas. Impossible, said Pius X in his apostolic letter Notre Charge Apostolique.

Zenit notes that Lubich’s "movement," which is fully approved by the Vatican, now "inspires the spirituality of more than 4.5 million people in 182 countries, including 2 million followers and sympathizers." Her latest book, says Zenit, "includes writings on her spiritual journey and presents her doctrine." Her doctrine? By what right does a laywoman propose doctrine to members of the Catholic Church? Let Lubich tell us herself: "At 18, I had a great hunger to know God. I wanted to go to the Catholic university. I was not able. Then, providentially, I heard a voice: ‘I shall be your teacher.’"

So Chiara Lubich claims she has been taught "her doctrine" by a heavenly voice. O-kay. Or as as my uncle Joe would say: Nice talking to you.

According to Zenit, Lubich’s book "highlights two key topics: unity and ecumenism." Why am I not surprised? Lubich’s "doctrine" on "unity and ecumenism" seems to be summed up in her reputed conversation with Orthodox patriarch Athenagoras, who "confided in me his great desire to see all around the same chalice." When Lubich asked "What about the theological divisions?" Athenagoras replied "Let´s take all these theologians and put them on an island, with no food, until they have resolved all this."

Ha, ha, ha. It’s all the fault of those stubborn theologians who need to be forced to stop all their nit-picking and useless squabbling. So much for the infallible Magisterium of the Catholic Church, which the Orthodox refuse to accept as regards the papal primacy and other doctrines they deem unacceptable.

This, sad to say, is about the level of "doctrine" we can expect from promoters of "ecumenism and unity" such as Lubich. And yet this woman leads millions of Catholic followers, with Vatican approval, while the distinctly unecumenical Message of the Woman who does speak with authority - Our Lady of Fatima - is buried. So far as certain elements of the Vatican apparatus are concerned, there will be no more talk of the conversion of Orthodox Russia or the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Instead, we will get "the doctrine" of Chiara Lubich.

And so goes the "springtime" of Vatican II.