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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Ecumenism: A One-way Street

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Much of my job as a columnist here at Fatima.org is remarking the obvious, for an obscuration of what is obvious is at the very heart of the post-conciliar crisis in the Church. What is obvious about the utterly failed venture of "ecumenical dialogue" is that it has accomplished virtually nothing besides confirming non-Catholics in their errors and conditioning them to expect concessions from the Catholic Church, while the non-Catholic interlocutors remain absolutely fixed in their positions.

In Russia, as we know, the Russian Orthodox are demanding an end to Catholic "proselytism" on the grounds that Russia is "Orthodox territory" - which is not to say that the Catholic apparatus in Russia is making any effort to seek converts, an activity the Vatican emphatically denies. But while the Russian Orthodox jealously guard their Russian "territory," they have no compunctions about making inroads in such Catholic countries as Italy.

As Zenit reported on October 8, 2002: "The Moscow Patriarchate, which has rejected the Catholic Church's efforts to evangelize in Russian lands, promotes an Orthodox presence and ecumenical dialogue in Western Europe." Zenit bases its conclusion on the recent visit to Perugia, Italy by Orthodox Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. Kirill "is responsible for the Moscow Patriarchate's foreign relations."

During his trip to Perugia, Kirill "received an honorary doctorate in political science from the University of Perugia" and was warmly greeted by bishops of the Umbria region, including Archbishop Giuseppe Chiaretti, a member of the worse-than-useless Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Zenit notes that "Archbishop Chiaretti mentioned that his archdiocese has put a church at the disposal of Romanian Orthodox immigrants in Perugia, at the request of Metropolitan Daniel of Iasi. The Archbishop also plans to put another church at the disposal of Greek Orthodox immigrants."

A perfect example of why ecumenism has been a total disaster for the Catholic Church. At the very moment Russia is expelling Catholic priests and bishops, the Russian Orthodox are organizing protests against the Catholic presence in Russia and Romanian authorities are bulldozing Catholic parishes rather than returning them, a major Italian Archbishop turns over two Catholic parishes to Orthodox congregations.

As Zenit observes "in his address [in Perugia], Metropolitan Kirill spoke positively about ecumenical dialogue." And why not? For the Orthodox "ecumenical dialogue" is a great deal - the Catholics hand over the Orthodox Catholic parishes in Italy, while the Orthodox (acting through the Russian government) hand back visas to Catholic priests and bishops in Russia, marked CANCELLED.

Welcome to the latest installment of the Ecumenical Follies, ladies and gentlemen, brought to you by our sponsor: The Springtime of Vatican II. In this week’s episode Catholic churchmen take another walk down the ecumenical one-way street, slamming face-first into a brick wall of Orthodox implacability.

The show would be comical if it weren't so tragic. But that’s why the dictionary contains the word tragicomedy. Catholics are both laughing and crying at this sorry and seemingly endless spectacle.