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Here is a newly translated document, perhaps for the first time ever, of the Holy Offices condemnation of ecumenism in 1865.  It can be found here http://www.novusordowatch.org/aas-08nov1865.pdf
  Further proof of the wrongness of Assisi and the like events, to say the least.

Joe
(02-27-2013, 03:49 AM)joe17 Wrote: [ -> ]Here is a newly translated document, perhaps for the first time ever, of the Holy Offices condemnation of ecumenism in 1865.  It can be found here http://www.novusordowatch.org/aas-08nov1865.pdf
  Further proof of the wrongness of Assisi and the like events, to say the least.

Joe



Perhaps even more important, and certainly bearing more authority, is Pope Pius XI's 1928 encyclical Mortalium animos:

Mortalium animos, 2-5 Wrote:2. A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope 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. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.

3. But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.

4. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be "one."[1] And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another"?[2] All Christians, they add, should be as "one": for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.

5. Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...os_en.html
My major problem with ecumenism is not so much that it is dangerous to the faith, but that it is superfluous.  It is like putting galoshes over Wellington boots.

What, after all, do ordinary Christians agree upon?  That it is wrong to steal.  That Christ is the Son of God.  That Moses led the Jews out of Egypt.  What possible point could there be to hold a meeting in order to compile such a catalog?  It makes about as much sense as holding a meeting to see if we all agree that cars generally have four wheels, while motorcycles, in stark contrast, have but two. 

The devil has always lurked in details, and in Christianity, the most devilish detail is "who heads the Church on earth?"  Catholics answer "the pope," and so do the Orthodox, although grudgingly, and with the caveat that they don't like him and won't obey him.  Other Christians know our view, and we know theirs.  What, then, is the point of dwelling on it?    There is nothing further to learn.

The second detail is discipline.  All Christianity can be divided into two broad camps:  the ascetic and the lax.  The lax are lax because it is  easy, and the ascetic are ascetic because they are not lax.  There's not much common ground there, and we don't need a meeting to discover that a Christian who  thinks contraception, divorce, and homosexual sex are not sinful is more lax than the Christian who thinks those things are sinful.  Moreover, if the lax Christian also holds the view that those things are not only not sinful,  but are also fun, any meeting will sink from the merely pointless down to the absurd. 

There is one area where Christians can cross the divide of sect, however, and that is in cooperative effort.  There is nothing wrong with Christians together opposing abortion, or Muslim aggression, or Communist oppression.  There is nothing wrong with churches having apostolic succession deciding certain issues of discipline in common, so that they do not work at cross purposes.  Obviously, from the Catholic side, all such efforts should normally be coordinated through Rome. 

Ecumenism as it is currently practiced seems frequently to reduce to Lutherans announcing, with solemnity, that they revere the teachings of Luther, and Calvinists announcing with equal solemnity that they think very highly of Calvin's theology.  This kind of thing must strike onlookers as, at best, odd.  When Christ exhorted the apostles to be "one", He did not mean to be all equally silly. 



I stumbled upon this quotation today on etymologyonline.com when looking at "religion":

To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. [Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885]
ecumenism = indifferentism
(02-27-2013, 01:12 PM)catquilt Wrote: [ -> ]ecumenism = indifferentism

I disagree.

Ecumenism = teach them why their religion is false, and help them understand and convert to the True Faith.

Modern "ecumenism" = indifferentism
(02-27-2013, 01:16 PM)Servus Immaculatae Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-27-2013, 01:12 PM)catquilt Wrote: [ -> ]ecumenism = indifferentism

I disagree.

Ecumenism = teach them why their religion is false, and help them understand and convert to the True Faith.

Modern "ecumenism" = indifferentism

I almost agree... We'd need to define when modern ecumenism began...

Quote:The Catholic Church also resists as indifferentism the belief that, since Christianity is the true religion, it makes no difference which of the several Christian denominations the believer chooses to join. Catholicism critiques Protestantism specifically for this sort of limited indifferentism, noting that many Protestant denominations do not claim any particular fidelity to the gospel, while maintaining that all forms of worship may be equally (read "indifferently") effective for the purpose of building a closer union with God: a latitudinarian position.
Pope Pius XI explicitly criticized the Ecumenical movement on these grounds in his encyclical, Mortalium animos.[6]From the Catholic prospective, this form of indifferentism is rather like saying "It makes no difference what tools and materials are used to build a house, it will turn out just fine, no mater what you do or don't do.... really."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indifferentism



(02-27-2013, 01:24 PM)catquilt Wrote: [ -> ]I almost agree... We'd need to define when modern ecumenism began...

About the same time as the rest of the Modernist movement -- "Enlightenment" / Industrial Revolution era.  V2 didn't create it, the council just helped popularize it.
Movements seeking the reunion of Christians have existed as long as the sins of separation have existed.  However, the kind addressed in the OP are generally distinct to after the Reformation  due to the difficulties of reconciling a multitude of sects with very diverse beliefs

For example, the Society for the Reunion of Christendom addressed in the OP was led by Anglicans and was based on the belief that the unity of Christ's Church has failed, that the Church now consists of three separated branches, the Roman Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, and the Anglican, which were to be reconciled and united by prayer and co-operative action leading to some sort of compromise of their differences.  Like the other groups Catholics were forbidden from joining in later decades, they sought to establish a visible Communion based on the lowest common denominator or compromises in doctrine.

A Catholic could not be a member of such an organization since its stated goals are in and of themselves contrary to the faith on two main points--that the Church is no longer one (which is not the same as saying that all the baptized lack unity amongst themselves) and that the unity of the Church can be re-achieved through compromise in the deposit of faith.

These principles are explicitly rejected even in the Vatican II decree on ecumenism and in John Paul II's encyclical on the topic, Ut Unum Sint.  A Catholic cannot intentionally work towards those ends, and joining an organization that necessarily implies one’s assent to those ends would also therefore be forbidden.

On the other hands, that does not mean all conferences with non-Catholics that have the goal of unity are absolutely forbidden.  If the Catholic delegates participate in such a conferences intending to seek true unity among the baptized  as the Catholic Church understands it, then the above problems are not an issue. There is a long history of such conferences between (separated) East and West, culminating in the Reunion Councils and other smaller scale lasting reunions.  Likewise, a few of such conferences took place in the 16th century to try and reconcile Catholics and Protestants.  St. Peter Canius and others participated in the Colloquy of Worms in 1557 at the request of the Emperor and the command of Pope Paul IV.  Similar conferences have been permitted by the Holy See in various places on a limited basis all the way up to Vatican II.

General cooperation with non-Catholics in working toward the common good is obviously not forbidden by natural law either. As with anything else, the cooperative action must be judged according to the ordinary norms of morality: it will be forbidden by the natural law only if the object of the act, the purpose of the agent, or the circumstances of the act are evil.  These principles would also apply to prayer for things necessary for the common good (subject to the restricions mentioned below).

Finally, even cooperation defined as communicatio in divinis has not been absolutely forbidden.  The 1729 instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Propoganda, for example, admits that there could be cases where such communicatio may be permitted in theory, but it chose to forbid it completely due to the potential dangers: the danger that one might actually participate in a rite or prayer that goes against the faith, the danger of perversion of one’s faith, or the danger of scandal. Furthermore, going all the way back, the Church has always prohibited in principle anyone from participating in even otherwise good and orthodox public rites or prayers under the auspices of non-Catholics if such participation were sufficient under the circumstances to amount to an external sign of professing a non-Catholic religion. 

Private prayer, including those at conferences like those described above, have been permitted when the prayers are orthodox and again, they do not amount to a profession of a false religion.

Again, even Vatican II’s and subsequent ecumenical disciplines are conditioned on avoiding the aforementioned problems.  The problem is, IMO, not so much the Church’s stated policies with regard to ecumenism, but that many do not take sufficient care with those conditions. Likewise, many appear content with affirming and clarifying commonalities or building bridges.  Commonalities should be affirmed to eliminate misunderstandings, but also to find common ground from which the true answer to disputed questions can be deduced.  Likewise, the end of a bridge should not be the bridge itself, but rather its intended end should be that it is eventually crossed.
(02-27-2013, 01:28 PM)Servus Immaculatae Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-27-2013, 01:24 PM)catquilt Wrote: [ -> ]I almost agree... We'd need to define when modern ecumenism began...

About the same time as the rest of the Modernist movement -- "Enlightenment" / Industrial Revolution era.  V2 didn't create it, the council just helped popularize it.

Yes!
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