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The Nonsense of “Reconciled Diversity”

by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 6, 2017

In his prophetic encyclical Mortalium Animos, forbidding Catholic participation in the nascent "ecumenical movement" of Protestant origin, Pope Pius XI condemned the notion, then being promoted by Catholic proto-"ecumenists," that "the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life." This notion, said Pius, reflects the "false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy." That error, as any honest observer must admit, is precisely what the generality of the Church's leadership, from the Pope on down, have effectively embraced over the past fifty years.

Nor can this error be defended on the ground that "ecumenism" is rightly practiced between the Catholic Church and those who profess to be Christians for the aim of "promoting Christian unity." For as Pius XI rightly insisted, and as reason itself would counsel, "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. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it."

That is, there can be no Christian unity without profession of the same Faith, which means adherence to the same doctrines of "the divinely revealed religion" which Pius XI warned would be abandoned if "ecumenism" were carried to its logical conclusion. For divine revelation consists precisely of the very words uttered by the Word Incarnate, the Apostles and the Magisterium of the Church that Christ founded, which has transmitted and explicated the divinely revealed religion faithfully down through the centuries.

Thus, as the Oath Against Modernism required seminarians, priests and theologians to profess — before it too was abandoned after Vatican II, along with the teaching of Pius XI — the Christian faith "is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord."

But Protestants of various kinds, Pius XI rightly observed, do not profess the truth that is received by hearing from an external source, which is ultimately God Himself, but rather a mixture of revealed truth and human error which comprise what Pope Pius called "a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching." That candid assessment of the multivariate Protestant religion, however, has also been abandoned by the Church's leaders as "ecumenism," having been allowed to invade the Church, has in practice obliterated the necessity of right doctrine — what God has revealed — for the salvation of souls.

It should be no surprise that this immensely destructive ecclesial development, fulfilling Pius XI's dire prophecy to the letter, has been taken to a new level by the current occupant of the Chair of Peter. In his address on June 3 to a mass gathering of the rowdy, pan-Christian "charismatic renewal" movement, Pope Bergoglio exhibited his usual disdain for the doctrine Christ and the Apostles revealed, declaring that "peace is possible through our confession that Jesus is lord."

And what of the vast doctrinal differences between Catholicism and the "mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching" in the various Protestant denominations? As Francis admitted: "But if we accentuate the differences, we are at war, and we cannot announce peace." The "ecumenical" answer to this "ecumenical problem" is simply to accommodate the differences! Here Francis expounded the ultimate error of the "ecumenical movement":

"We have differences. But, eh, that is obvious. We have differences. But we desire to be [with dramatic emphasis indicating that applause is expected] a reconciled diversity. This word do not forget, but tell it to everyone: reconciled diversity! And this word is not mine, it is not mine. It was said by a Lutheran brother. Reconciled diversity."

"Reconciled diversity" is utter nonsense. There can be no reconciliation of doctrines that contradict each other. Thus, there can be no reconciliation of the Catholic Church's divinely conferred status as the one true Church, the divine institution of seven sacraments, the sacrificing priesthood, the primacy of the Pope, the infallibility of the Magisterium, the indissolubility of marriage and the intrinsic immortality of contraception, abortion and sodomy, with teaching of religious sects that deny every one of these truths. The chasm is unbridgeable, which is precisely why Pius XI insisted that the only path to Christian unity is the return of the dissidents to the one true Church.

Francis did not invent the novelty of "reconciled diversity," which originated with the heretical teaching of Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens, whose writings on the subject called for the monstrosity of "theological pluralism" in the Church. Not surprisingly, Pope Bergoglio told the crowd of some 50,000 that "It is important to read the work of Cardinal Suenens on this. Very important."

The Catholic mind is staggered by the spectacle of this pontificate, which is the apogee of every destructive ecclesial trend of the past fifty years. But one cannot look away from the spectacle and act as if we have no Pope. One can only expose and licitly protest what is happening for the sake of the truth that makes us free, while praying for the hastening of the divinely appointed reversal of this unprecedented crisis in the Church.

The beginning of that glorious counter-revolution will be signaled by the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by a holy Pope in union with a hierarchy that has returned to the path from which so much of the human element of the Church has so tragically deviated since the fateful year 1960, when the Third Secret of Fatima that was to be revealed was instead suppressed by the very Pope who should have revealed it.