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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

to Papal Visit  —  AgainNyetRussians Say

by Christopher A. Ferrara

For the past 25 years, Pope John Paul II has done everything but stand on his head and whistle to appease the implacable schismatics and heretics who are the only beneficiaries of that ceaseless and ill-defined "ecumenism" launched by Vatican II. The Pope has even turned over three  —  count them, three  —  Catholic churches in Rome to Orthodox congregations, despite (in the most recent case) the objections of the local community and the Catholic religious order that occupied the church.

But after decades of appeasement, the schismatics cling more tightly than ever to their schism and the heretics more tightly than ever to their heresies. In short, "ecumenism" is a colossal failure  —  not that anyone ever really understood what "ecumenism" was in the first place, other than finding innumerable ways to cozy up to those who have no intention of submitting to the legitimate authority of the Pope and returning to the one true Church.

The grand ecumenical prize John Paul II has pursued these past 25 years is a visit to Moscow. What a visit to Moscow is supposed to accomplish is no more apparent than what ecumenism is supposed to accomplish. But this papal visit to Moscow is always presented as a potentially earthshaking event  —  like the papal trip to Cuba, which was followed by more repression of Cuban Catholics than ever.

Well, the Russians have said nyet for the umpteenth time to the Papal Visit to Moscow. As reported by Reuters on January 27, 2004: "The Russian Orthodox Church ruled out Tuesday any prospect of a meeting between its head and the Pope  —  something long-sought by the Catholic pontiff  —  just weeks before a Vatican envoy was due to visit Moscow. The frail 83-year-old Pope has long had his sights set on a visit to Moscow to help reconcile the two churches, divided since the Great Schism of 1054."

The "Vatican envoy," by the way, is none other than Cardinal Walter Kasper, whose various heretical and quasi-heretical pronouncements have been chronicled here at fatima.org. Sending Kasper to meet with the Russian Orthodox is like sending a fox to recover the chickens who left the coop.

In any event, the Papal Visit to Moscow just isn’t going to happen, you see, because the Catholic Church has not yet agreed officially to bar the conversion of Orthodox to Catholicism and their return to Rome. Yes, the Vatican has protested over and over again that it has no intention of "proselytizing" the Russian people  —  seeking converts? Us? NO WAY! But darn it, every now and then a Russian Orthodox adherent becomes a Catholic anyway  —  wouldn’t you know it?

This terrifying trickle of conversions must stop, says the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. As Reuters reports: "‘The Patriarch cannot meet the Pope,’ said Metropolitan Kirill, who is in charge of the Russian Orthodox Church’s external relations, at a Moscow ceremony. He repeated his church’s complaint that Catholic missionaries were trying to poach Orthodox souls. ‘If the leaders meet they have to kiss. They have to embrace each other and this would be a false picture. This would serve the needs of those who are conducting missionary activities against our people. …’"

What a sad affair the "ecumenism" of the past 40 years has been. After 25 years of his own "ecumenical work" the Pope cannot even wangle a visit to Moscow, unless he agrees to abandon the Church’s very mission in Russia. The Russian Orthodox loathe the Pope and his Church more than ever.

But that should hardly surprise us. For God will never bring forth Christian unity except in the way He has decreed through His Mother at Fatima: the conversion of Russia through its consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

When that finally happens  —  and it will  —  the Russians will cheer the Pope, whoever he is, as he processes down the streets of Moscow. By then a papal visit to Moscow will really mean something.