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The Post-conciliar "Bushel Basket" Syndrome

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As Our Lord taught His Church in the Gospel of Matthew: "You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house."

But "ecumenism" and "dialogue" are activities which seem designed to hide in a bushel basket the Catholic dogma that the Catholic Church is the one true Church outside of which no one may be saved. As Pius XI (quoting an ancient Church Father) taught less than 30 years before Vatican II in Mortalium animos: "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned…"

When was the last time we heard teaching like that from the current Vatican apparatus? Oh, I know, I know, the postconciliar Church, so the argument goes, has developed a "different pastoral emphasis" with respect to our pro-abortion, pro-contraception, pro-divorce, pro-women’s ordination Protestant "brethren." But in answer to that claim I pose this question: If the teaching of Pius XI was true in 1925, how can it be ignored today? Surely, the non-Catholic sects Mortalium animos had in view back then are in far worse condition now then they were 76 years ago. Yet, paradoxically enough, the Vatican seems less concerned about the growing peril to which their members are, objectively, exposed.

There are many signs of the bushel basket syndrome which has afflicted the postconciliar Catholic Church. Here I focus on one very small sign. On January 8, 2001 Zenit.org reported that the Vatican city state’s new Euro coin "will bear the image of John Paul II but, unlike the former Vatican lira, it does not include his name nor the year of his pontificate during which it was coined. The sole inscription is ‘Vatican City.’"

So now, it seems, mere human respect impels the Vatican to remove anything too terribly Catholic from its own currency. Even the Pope’s name is eliminated.

The new Vatican Euro is the perfect symbol of what is happening to the Church today: the gradual effacement of anything specifically Catholic in her approach to the world. Indeed, the very words "Roman Catholic Church" have disappeared from post-conciliar Vatican pronouncements. Now any reference to the office of the papacy is deleted from Vatican currency.

Bushel basket, anyone?