|I just have to pass this on because I think the analogy is a
brilliant one: in the book "The Great Facade" by Christopher A. Ferrara
and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., concepts such as "ecumenism" and "dialogue"
are compared to viruses which have infected the Mystical Body of
Christ. Below is how Ferrara and Woods explain what they mean with
regard to ecumenism:
"...a virus is
not in itself a living thing, but rather a mere particle of RNA or DNA.
This particle cannot reproduce unless it finds a living cell whose
machinery it can employ to make copies of itself. A virus contains just
enough information to reproduce itself by finding cells to infect and
turn to its purpose. In fact, the only purpose of a virus it
"By analogy, then, we maintain that certain verbal 'viruses' have
infected the Mystical Body of Christ. These viruses are
pseudo-concepts, which, like actual viruses, have minimal informational
content. Just as a virus hovers between life and non-life, these
pseudo-concepts hover between meaning and non-meaning. They seem to
mean something, but upon close examination, we find no real meaning...
These viral pseudo-concepts in the Mystical Body of Christ, like actual
viruses, exist only to reproduce themselves, which they do by infecting
the understanding of genuine concepts with precise meanings -- namely,
the perennial teachings of the Magisterium.
"We contend that by introducing 'ecumenism,' 'dialogue' and various
other 'viral' pseudo-concepts into the Mystical Body, Satan has found a
means to confuse, divide and wreak havoc upon the human element of the
Church, without the Church ever having taught an actual error of
doctrine, which is impossible. Quite the contrary: the pseudo-concepts
in question cannot be called doctrinal errors as such, because they are
not reducible to a proposition whose words would signify the formal
contradiction of an existing Catholic doctrine. Indeed, the terms
'ecumenism' and 'dialogue' contain nothing in themselves that
contradict prior Church teaching; like actual viruses, these terms
remain inert until they come into contact with something they can
infect. That is why when neo-Catholics say that traditionalists
'dissent from ecumenism,' for example, they are unable to
articulate precisely what it is about this notion that requires our
assent. That is because this notion does not involve any intelligible
"This is easily demonstrated. Any Catholic doctrine will fit nicely
into the template phrase 'X means that...,' where X is the Catholic
doctrine in question. Thus, the Immaculate Conception means that from
the first moment of her conception, the Blessed VIrgin Mary was
preserved free from all stain of original sin. Likewise,
transubstantiation means that at the moment of the Consecration the
substance of the bread and wine are miraculously changed entirely into
the substance of Christ -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity -- so that
nothing of the bread and wine remains, but only the appearances of
"Applying our template to 'ecumenism,' however, we immediately
encounter an intellectual dead end. The phrase 'ecumenism means that'
cannot be completed, just as the phrase 'an elephant means that' can't
be completed. Ecumenism, like an elephant, cannot be defined as an
abstract concept, but only described or indicated, as in: that is an
elephant. Ecumenism, like an elephant, is a thing, or rather a
collection of things known as 'ecumenical activities.' Ecumenism
certainly is something, just as an elephant is something. Ecumenism is,
so they say, 'a movement for Christian unity.' But movements are by
their nature contingent and ever-changing things, and no Catholic can
be obliged to believe in a 'movement' as if it were a definable
"...Article 4 of Unitatis Redintegratio states that 'The Sacred
Council exhorts, therefore, all Catholics to recognize the signs of the
times and to take an active and intelligent part in the work of
ecumenism.' What are the signs of the times that one is exhorted to
recognize? UR does not say. And what is 'the work of ecumenism,' given
that ecumenism itself is not defined? No answer is given.
"To this day Catholics have been given no clear idea of what 'the work
of ecumenism' is. In Article 6 of UR we are told that 'the
participation of Catholics in ecumenical work is distinct from
preparation and reception into the Church [of those who] desire full
communion.' That is, ecumenism is something other than evangelization
or catechesis, but UR does not explain precisely what that something
is. We are told only that Catholics must now engage in the ill-defined
"ecumenical movement" which involves ill-defined "ecumenical work."
Such nebulous directives have no parallel in any prior conciliar or
papal document at any time in Church history....
"...UR nevertheless employs the term [ecumenism] repeatedly, as if it
had always had definite meaning: 'Sacred theology must be taught with
due regard for an ecumenical point of view." What is an ecumenical
point of view?'"
the 1970 Directory on Ecumenism refer to:
principles and aids to ecumenical education.' -- Although Catholics at
large had never heard of ecumenism before the Council, they are now
informed that there must be 'ecumenical education' only a few years
after the Council.
'The ecumenical dimension of religious and theological education.' --
What is an 'ecumenical dimension,' given that there is no definition of
ecumenism itself? No effort is made to explain the term.
'The ecumenical aspect in all theological teaching.' -- All theological
teaching must suddenly acquire an "ecumenical aspect." But what is an
'ecumenical aspect,' given that 'ecumenical' is not defined?
like this are listed in the book, which goes on to say:
"The virus of
ecumenism spread so rapidly throughout the Body of Christ that by 1995
Pope John Paul II could say in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint that
ecumenism 'is not just some sort of appendix which is added to the
Church's traditional activity [my note: which shows that it is
something other than traditional activity]. Rather, ecumenism is an
organic part of her life and work, and consequently must pervade all
that she is and does...' Although Ut Unum Sint is devoted
entirely to 'ecumenism,' nowhere in its 110 pages is the term defined.
One will search 2,000 years of Church history in vain for another
example of an undefined neologism pervading all that the Church 'is and
"In paragraph 16
of Ut Unum Sint, the Pope notes that he specifically approved
issuance of the 1993 Directory for the Application of the Principles
and Norms on Ecumenism. This document calls for nothing less than the
'ecumenical formation' of every man, woman and child in the Catholic
Church -- from the highest prelates to the smallest child in catechism
class. This is to be accomplished by, among other means, 'workshops and
seminars for the ecumenical formation of both clergy and laity, for the
appropriate realization of an ecumenical dimension to all aspects of
life...' It should come as no surprise that neither the terms
'ecumenical formation' nor the term 'ecumenical dimension' is defined.
How there can be 'an ecumenical dimension' to all aspects of life is
left to one's imagination. But, amazingly enough, a notion unknown to
Catholics at large before 1964 is now presented as something integral
to their very existence. In physics, the search is on for a Theory of
Everything. In the postconciliar Church, ecumenism has become a kind of
ecclesial Theory of Everything, even if no one can explain the theory
with any clarity."
So, there we
are. The nonsense of "ecumenism" (whatever it is) is pushed on us from
the top down, but it has no meaning whatsoever in itself. We know what
it isn't : bringing people into the one, true Church; simply
showing basic Christian charity to all human beings, having a
"Religions of the World 101" understanding of each other, etc. But what
the heck is it? What is this pseudo-concept that has
no meaning but is leading Catholics, from His Holiness himself to the
typical priest and layman, to say things, do things, and believe things
that would've made Pope Pius X excommunicate the whole lot of us?
It is this kind of ambiguous nonsense that corrupts the
post-Conciliar Church. It's razzle-dazzle that dazes and confuses,
invading the Body through ambiguous language and loopholes and
"extraordinary circumstances" allowed by our Bishops Conferences --
razzle-dazzle that signifies nothing in itself, but destroys everything
in its wake. "Virus" is a good word for it.
Folks, do yourselves a favor. Get a copy of this book. Then get a copy
for every layman and priest you know! See The Great Facade (will open in new browser window).