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"Inter-religious Dialogue" - Must We Go on With This Farce?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

Forty years of "ecumenical dialogue" have produced absolutely nothing in the way of "Christian unity." The mainline Protestant sects are further from the one true Church than ever, their doctrines and morals becoming more corrupt by the day.

"Inter-religious dialogue" has been an equally dismal waste of time, whose chief result has been the de facto abandonment of missionary activity, accompanied by an astonishing rise in violence against Christians around the world.

Witness the recent comments of Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, the new President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. Interviewed recently by Zenit.org, Archbishop Fitzgerald offered the usual assortment of empty phrases about the necessity of "inter-religious dialogue" - whose exact meaning has never been explained.

Archbishop Fitzgerald told Zenit that "inter-religious dialogue" is "a very large field, as we are concerned with all the religions of the world… We take care of the dialogue with all the other religions, from the Aztecs to the Zoroastrians. There are the great religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Sikhism is also included, as are the traditional religions of Africa, Asia, and North America and Latin America. We think of the spirituality of American Indians and of the Indians of South America. Likewise, there are the new religions. For example, I recently took part in a congress with Tenrikyo, a Japanese religion founded at the end of the 19th Century."

How wonderful. But what exactly does the Pontifical Council do in "taking care of the dialogue with all the religions of the world"? It certainly does not seek the conversion of any of their members. Rather, its principal activity seems to be finding a thousand ways to say: "I’m OK, you’re OK." That is, "all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy" - precisely the opinion condemned by Pius XI in Mortalium animos.

As Archbishop Fitzgerald puts it: "The object of this dialogue is multifaceted. The first is to help people of various religious traditions to live together in peace and harmony… if we can, through dialogue, mutual understanding and respect, help people to live together peacefully, this is already something notable." But, again, how is this to be accomplished? By the conversion of pagans to the one true religion, whose Founder is the very Prince of Peace, so that all men can live in true peace as members of the Mystical Body?

No, no, no. That is not the agenda of the post-conciliar Vatican apparatus. As Archbishop Fitzgerald explains, "inter-religious dialogue" does operate on "a more spiritual level." But by this he means only that "All of us are on the way to God and we can help one another to respond more generously to Him."

There is not a hint here of the Church’s divine commission to make disciples of all nations. Quite the contrary, Archbishop Fitzgerald enthuses that "I remember that a few years ago, when Ramadan coincided with our Lent, the Holy Father addressed the parish priests of Rome, as he does every year at the beginning of Lent, and said: ‘See how the Muslims fast. I think they are more serious than we are. Don’t we have something to learn from them on this?’ He was asking a question. I think the possibility exists of stimulating one another reciprocally to walk together toward God."

Ah, so by means of "inter-religious dialogue" the Catholic Church can learn from the Muslims and Catholics and Muslims can "reciprocally walk together toward God." Well, it hardly requires a degree in theology to understand that what Archbishop Fitzgerald is peddling is not the Faith of our fathers. It represents, in fact, the death of the missions, just as "ecumenism" represents the death of any effort to make converts of Protestants.

And so it has gone for the past forty years of drift and decay in our beloved Church, in which the great accomplishment of the North American hierarchy is to create an Office of Youth and Child Protection - from them! May Our Lady of Fatima soon intervene to bring an end to this insanity.