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"Ecumenical Follies" Update

Hilarion the Hilarious

by Christopher A. Ferrara

This column recently commented on how Russian Orthodox bishop Hilarion of Vienna spurned Pope Benedict XVI’s "ecumenical" gesture of dropping the traditional papal title Patriarch of the West. It was all a plot, said Hilarion, to suggest that the Pope was not merely Patriarch of the West, but of the whole world.

Now Hilarion the Hilarious is shooting off his mouth again. According to a report by CWNews.com on April 5, 2006, referring to a Reuters report, Hilarion has "called upon Pope Benedict XVI to renounce the titles suggesting the universal authority of the Roman Pontiff." According to the Hilarious One, "Only renouncing titles stressing the universal jurisdiction of the pope, and the ecclesiological doctrine hidden behind that, would be a real step on the path toward reconciliation between the Orthodox and Catholic churches."

Reuters further reports that the Hilarious One says that "the remaining papal titles, such as ‘Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church,’ are offensive to the Orthodox faithful, who do not recognize the Pope's authority over the Eastern churches."

This, folks, is what we get after forty years of worthless "ecumenical dialogue" with the schismatic Orthodox  —  a demand that if the Pope really wants to make "ecumenical progress" he should simply abandon any claim to being, well, the Pope. Indeed, from the Orthodox perspective the final goal of "ecumenical dialogue" with the Catholic Church is simply the Catholic Church’s submission to each and every demand of the Orthodox. Nothing less will do.

As CWN.com observes: "The Russian Orthodox hierarchy has frequently complained about the activities of the Catholic Church in countries that are traditionally Orthodox." That is, the Orthodox complain about the very existence of the Catholic Church in "Orthodox territory," for the Church cannot exist in any place without engaging in "activities."

But, notes CWN, "Ironically, Bishop Hilarion presides over the Orthodox community in historically Catholic Austria." Here we see another "principle" of "ecumenical dialogue" on the non-Catholic side: what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine.

Do we need any more evidence of what a joke "ecumenical dialogue" is? Yet on and on the dialogue goes with no end in sight, and no prospect of any "ecumenical achievements" except further compromises by the Catholic party. Ecumenism is a diabolical masterstroke of confusion that does more damage to the Church than any explicit heresy. We are indeed witnessing "the Devil’s Final Battle." And he has saved his best tactics for last. Our Lady of Fatima, come to our aid.