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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Backs Moscow Against Catholic Church
Constantinople Patriarch Slaps Pope in the Face  — 

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The latest evidence of the utter futility of "ecumenical dialogue" is in. On May 8, 2003 CWNews.com reported that Bartholomew I, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, "has taken the side of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II in his dispute with the Holy See" by stating that Alexei "is ‘justified’ in his complaints against the Catholic Church. He said that the Catholic Church has been guilty of ‘profiting from the weakness of a wounded Russian Church.’"

For those who may not know it, Bartholomew is considered "first among equals" by Orthodox bishops, so that his statement must be considered a slap in the Pope’s face by virtually the entire Orthodox world. And this comes after some 25 years of obsequious courting of the Orthodox by John Paul, including a degrading apology for the sack of Constantinople by Catholic crusaders. This process of bowing obsequy toward the Orthodox began with Paul VI, who literally knelt down and kissed the feet of Orthodox Metropolitan Meliton during his visit to the Vatican on December 14, 1975, prompting Meliton to declare arrogantly that by abasing himself in this way Paul VI "has saved the papacy from itself."

And the fruits of all this bowing and scraping before schismatics? Contempt and more contempt  —  and now, a declaration of unity between Moscow and Constantinople in their opposition to the Catholic Church. So much for "ecumenical dialogue."

It is even worse than this. Bartholomew further declared that the very existence of Eastern Rite Catholic churches in communion with Rome "is ‘certainly one of the causes’ of the current tensions between Rome and Moscow." Then he said that "ecumenical progress is blocked by Roman intransigence on several crucial issues" such as  —  get this!  —  the "exaggerated authority structure of the Roman Church" and  —  this is really the living end  —  the Catholic Church’s refusal to "accept any modification of ecclesiological or dogmatic statements formed over the centuries, because any change would involve admitting her own errors."

But old Bartholomew was just getting warmed up. According to CWNews, he then proposed that "to recover the unity of the Church… the Catholic Church must ‘renounce all the reforms after the schism: the primacy, the infallibility of the pope, the filioque clause, and uniatism.’"

So, this is where we stand after some forty years of useless "ecumenical dialogue" with obdurate schismatics: all we have to do to achieve "unity" with them, they now tell us, is to dismantle the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches and eliminate any Catholic doctrine with which they disagree. That is, they will "reunite" with us only if we meet every single one of their absurd demands. This is progress?

The very credibility of the Catholic Church is being called into question by the ongoing ecumenical farce. The farce should be ended now, for the good of souls  —  both Catholic and Orthodox. And if this Pope will not do it, we must pray that his successor does. Only then will the Church recover Her perennial teaching on the necessity of the return of the Orthodox to the one true Church, as stated so beautifully by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae:

    Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of Greek or other Oriental rites who are separated from the Catholic Church. We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: "What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our brethren: to Him who, to unite us and bring us into one fold, came down from Heaven, was incarnate, and was crucified? What will our defence be in the eyes of posterity? Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our brethren."

This indeed is that true solicitude for souls expressed by none other than Our Lady of Fatima, when She came to earth to call, not for "ecumenical dialogue" or kissing the feet of schismatic prelates, but for the conversion of Russia to the one true religion.