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"Pearls Before Swine" Update

Pope "Returns" Relics to Orthodox

by Christopher A. Ferrara

So much of "ecumenism" seems to be an almost conscious disregard of Our Lord’s admonition "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine." (Matt. 7:6) No matter how corrupt the Protestant sects become, no matter how adamant the Eastern Orthodox in their schism, Catholic "ecumenists" seem ever more determined to bestow honor and praise upon those who are separated from the Catholic Church.

Sad to say, the currently reigning Pope has set the example here: giving pectoral crosses on Protestant pro-abortion "bishops," kissing the ring of the pro-"gay" so-called "Archbishop" of Canterbury, handing over a whole series of Catholic churches in Rome to Orthodox congregations, and "returning" the Icon of Kazan to the Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow, who promptly replied, in essence, "Thanks for nothing."

And now the Pope has decided to "return the relics of Saints Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom, doctors of the Eastern Church, to the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople." (Zenit, November 10, 2004).

Return? When, in the first place, did the schismatic Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople have any title to the relics of these great Catholic saints, who lived in union with Rome and in submission to the Pope?

Zenit reports that "Some sources say the relics of the two saints were taken from Constantinople and brought to Rome during the sacking" of Constantinople  —  one of the many things for which the Pope has presumed to apologize on behalf of his dead ancestors in the Faith. What is meant by "some sources"? How do we know the relics were in fact stolen from Constantinople by the crusaders as opposed to being brought to Rome in order to rescue them from the hands of schismatic rebels? We don’t, really. But the Pope is "returning" the relics anyway.

St. John Chrysostom, who lived from 347 to 407 A.D.  —  long before the Orthodox schism of 1054  —  wrote a letter to Pope Innocent about early conflicts in the Eastern Catholic Church originating in Constantinople: "For as when some evil humor is discharged from the head, all the other parts are corrupted, so now also these evils, having originated in this great city as from a fountain, confusion has spread in every direction, and clergy have everywhere made insurrection against bishops, there has been schism between bishop and bishop, people and people, and will be yet more …"

How right Chrysostom was. But today, nearly 1600 years later, the Pope "returns" the great saint’s relics to a schismatic prelate who will not even recognize the Pope’s authority. And what gratitude will the Pope receive in return? Why none, of course. Such is "the way of ecumenism."