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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Longing for the Impossible

by Christopher A. Ferrara

A recent declaration by Helsinki’s Lutheran bishop reveals, yet again, the utter futility of the "ecumenical venture" launched by Vatican II. According to Zenit (May 26, 2005), "Bishop" Eero Huovinen  —  who is in truth a mere layman in a bishop’s costume, as the Lutherans have no valid holy orders  —  told the Italian National Eucharistic Congress that "We Finnish Lutherans wish to be part of the Catholic Church of Christ." That, of course, is a very simple matter: the Lutheran "bishop" and all his followers should simply join "the Catholic Church of Christ" by renouncing Luther’s errors and converting to Roman Catholicism.

But after forty years of "ecumenical dialogue" that is about the last thing any Lutheran cleric would do, since the Protestants have been led to believe by Vatican "ecumenists" that no such conversion is necessary. Rather, "Bishop"" Houvinen mouths the usual nonsense about Catholics and Lutherans "uniting" without the latter ceasing to be followers of Luther. Houvinen, in fact, insists "that Martin Luther did not want to found a new church but simply renew it." Did this "renewal" include the 41 Lutheran heresies denounced and infallibly anathematized by the Council of Trent? How many of these heresies are the Lutherans willing to renounce? Apparently, not a single one  —  and this after four decades of ecumenical palaver.

Houvinen concluded by declaring: "From the bottom of my heart, I would like to anticipate the day in which Lutherans and Catholics, together, unite in a visible way." The poor man just doesn’t get it. Catholics and Lutherans can never unite as Catholics and Lutherans. Catholics can unite only with other Catholics. If the Lutherans remain Lutherans  —  that is, followers of Martin Luther  —  then they cannot be Catholics. And if they cannot be Catholics, they cannot belong to "the Catholic Church of Christ."

In his encyclical Mortalium animos, Pope Pius XI condemned the nascent ecumenical movement of the 1920s precisely because Pope Pius knew it would engender precisely the sort of confusion exhibited by Huovinen. As Pius wrote: "Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."

Whoever wishes to be united with the Catholic Church must join the Catholic Church. That this obvious truth has been obscured for more than four decades for the sake of an "ecumenism" that leads nowhere and produces nothing but bad fruits is one of the most alarming developments in the entire history of the Church. Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from ecumenism!