Monday, May 25, 2015

REFLECTIONS ON THE DIFFERING VARIETIES OF POST-CATHOLICISM AND ITS CAUSES


It seems that there are two pastoral aspects of the Second Vatican Council that have not served rank and file Catholicism well, not so much because the idea is dated and flawed, maybe, maybe not, but because rank and file Catholics did not understand that one has to be truly committed Catholicism with deeply committed beliefs in what the Church teaches, how the Church prays and what the Church's worldview is to participate and dialogue properly with these two pastoral aspects of Vatican II.

What are these two pastoral aspects of VII?

1. Ecumenism and interfaith dialogue
2. Dialogue with the world

It did not have to happen, but these two pastoral aspects of Vatican II led many Catholic, maybe a majority to view the called for dialogue as a capitulation to the world and to protestantism as well as an egalitarian approach to other religions, a sort of recovery of the heresy of universalism.

For my purposes, I will speak of Catholics becoming secularists, the logical outcome of an uncritical dialogue with the world and Catholics who either become Protestant or Orthodox out of a false sense that these two schisms were justified and that Protestantism and Orthodoxy preserve elements of the Church lost by Catholicism. However, I will focus more on protestant capitulation rather than  Catholics swimming eastward.

The unbridled ecumenism of the 1960's saw the birth of the Pentecostal Protestant movement in the Catholic Church, what is known as Catholic charismatics. At its core it is Protestant focused on Scripture and personal emotional experiences of God. It is non-sacramental in other words.

It had an immense impact in the USA. More virulent forms of Pentecostalism has nearly destroyed true Catholic identity in South America where the Catholic Church caters to pentecostal sensibilities in worship and manner of being Church.

We see Protestant converts only partially converting but still harboring great suspicion towards the clergy and hierarchy of the Church especially the pope. Many of these types comment here. Their conversion was only partial.

The unbridled dialogue with the world has led to the more insidious deformation of Catholicism as made horribly clear in Ireland. It is secularism embraced by Catholics who still have a veneer of Catholicism but a very thin veneer. It is worse than the protestantization of Catholicism as it is a step toward, if not a complete capitulation to godless secularism born of agnosticism or atheism.

True Catholicism is lost in the process. This loss started with Vatican II but was fueled by the rupture in Catholic identity that the wrong interpretation and implementation of a pastoral council wrought on the Church beginning as soon as the documents of Vatican II were released beginning withthe one on the liturgy and then perverted in the implementation of the Council, not in continuity with the Church's great heritage but in a complete rupture striving to design a different Catholicism from that which had preceded the council.





38 comments:

jolly jansenist said...

RE: only partial conversion to Catholicism. Fr, for many of us, our "conversion" to Catholicism was in an effort to find completion of our already declared faith in Christ. We came saying the Creeds and the Pater Noster, and believing devoutly in Christian doctrine and Holy Scripture, after watching protestantism succumb to unbelief and evil because its foundation was built on the shifting sands of the Reformation. We found in the Catholic Church, and in her embodiment of Christian doctrine, a real completion of our faith…like it had been waiting for us and summoning us all along…"He calls His sheep by name." In fact, our devotion and theological study as protestants prepared us to be devout and active Catholics, far more committed and serious in our faith than many of your so-called "cradle Catholics" who seem to think that designation gives them a behavioral and doctrinal blank check.
I was lucky because I came to you and St. Joseph's, where your devotion and determination to celebrate the OF with dignity and reverence and maintain and encourage true Catholic identity kept me ignorant, for a while, regarding the fall of the Church into the same morass in which protestantism willfully and joyously splashes. Then, I attended a number of other Catholic Churches where the Mass looked like some poorly organized Baptist or Methodist service and the homilies sounded like something out of a seventies encounter group. I read a bit on some Catholic blogs, joined Southern Orders, and realized just how bad things really are. So, stop doubting our devotion, questioning our Catholicism, and sending us to Hell because we find this Pope to be a real disappointment. If the Methodists had a Pope, Francis would be it. The people on this blog who criticize the Pope and express concern about the plunge of the Church into the abyss do so out of a strong belief in Christ and a realization that, for the most part, the Church is acting like what Hosea talked about…if you get my drift.

Bernard Fischer said...

I don't understand the bit about "wrong interpretation of the Council." We tell our Protestant friends that Catholics have the magesterium to protect us from a wrong interpretation of scripture. Is not the magesterium also needed to protect us from incorrectly interpreting Magesterial documents like Church Councils and Encyclicals?

Did not nearly 100% of the Bishops agree or at least go along with the changes in liturgy and the rest that came from the Council? Weren't those Bishops, at least in the first decade after V2 present at the Council? If they didn't wish the changes that were sweeping Christendom, did not they have the power to limit the damage in their diocese?

So if the laity should not interpret scripture in a way that's counter to magesterial teaching, does that not apply here? How do I or some random college professor at Ave Maria or anyone else, as laypeople, tell the great number of bishops in the last 40 years that they got it all wrong?

I'm not being snarky. I know you're snark-meter is on high alert lately, but I assure you I'm sincere. I seriously would like to know.

There are only two ways to square this circle, it seems to me. One is to appeal to Benedict's famous "hermeneutic of continuity" but again, if all the Bishops say one thing, or at least tolerate it, then don't I as a faithful follower have to go along with it?

The other way is to say that Vatican II was one thing, but the 1960s and 1970s had an influence of their own and the faults of the post Councilar period may not properly be laid at the feet of Vatican II. That the Bishops who let liturgists run wild were not doing so in the spirit of the Council, but in the spirit of the age and the coucil was, in fact, irrelevant. But if that's the case why keep bringing up the Council?

I guess a third way is that interpreting scripture is one thing, but interpreting the Council is open for anyone to do. But that doesn't seem right.

Flavius Hesychius said...

'... your so-called "cradle Catholics" who seem to think that designation gives them a behavioral and doctrinal blank check.'

Finally... someone said it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I don't think it is true that Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue lead Catholics to believe that all religions, Christian and Non-Christian, are equal. In the years I have been involved in both, none of the Catholics I have encountered have been so affected. (One, Fr. James Massa, who headed the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenism has just been named Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn. Another, Bishop Lee Piche, who was ecumenical officer for his diocese, has been Auxiliary Bishop of St Paul/Minneapolis, since 2009.)

The Catholic Charismatic movement traces it's beginnings to late 1966 / early 1967. Unitatis Redentigratio, the Decree on Ecumenism, had only been released in November of 1964. That would leave insufficient time, in those pre-internet days, for more than a handful of Catholics to hear of Ecumenism, let alone conclude that the Ecumenical movement was favoring "egalitarianism."

That SOME may have achieved a "wrong interpretation" of the Decree on Ecumenism or on the Ecumenical Movement in general cannot be understood as an indictment of Ecumenism itself. People misinterpret Scripture all the time, but we do not conclude that there is some flaw or error in the Scriptures.

I also think it is incorrect to say that Catholic Charismatics focus on "personal emotional experiences" of God. For many, including myself, the kinds of ecstatic spiritual experiences I have seen are a complete turn-off, but that's because of my own personal preferences. For many, these experiences have encouraged them to live the Catholic faith more ardently and openly, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit to reorganize their lives and priorities.

Lastly, ecumenism is not merely a "pastoral" issue or experience. Sacrosanctum Concilium lists as one of the four main goals of the Council, " to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ." Ecumenism is an essential element of the life and work of the Catholic Church. As Saint Pope John Paul II wrote, "At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture, thus heeding the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches people to interpret carefully the "signs of the times". (Ut Unum Sint, 3)

Paul said...

I have heard the term "cradle Catholic" used used by a "cradle Catholic" in a very negative way, expressed as a form of imprisonment, that they had no choice. (There's that word).

Converts, at least, *think* and choose want to be here.

Mark said...

Dear Father Kavanaugh,

The Church had been engaged in the Ecumenical Movement well prior to 1964 A.D.

Pope Venerable Pius XII launched the Church into the Ecumenical Movement in, I believe, 1948 A.D.

Perhaps in was 1949 A.D. when Rome issued the Decree on the Ecumenical Movement.

Leading Catholic publications throughout the 1950s were filled with stories of Cardinals, bishops, priests and Catholic delegations who participated in highly publicized ecumenical events.

The 1950s also featured extensive interreligious "dialogue" between Catholics and Jews.

Very famous Catholics of that time, Father Leonard Feeney, for example, had written and spoken constantly about the tremendous amount of "sellout" Catholic-Protestant-Jewish ecumenical and "interreligious" events that had taken place during the 1950s.

Father Feeney, for example, had received national news coverage for his denunciations of Archbishop (later Cardinal) Cushing's (of Boston) participation in numerous ecumenical and "interreligious" events.

Most certainly during the 1940s and 1950s, many Churchmen had spoken of the "need" to "reform" the Church, particularly the Mass, along ecumenical lines.

Put simply: The Mass had to be watered-down of it's powerful ability to instill the sense of Catholicism into the (Latin Church) Faithful if the Church were to practice "true" ecumenism, according to a great many Churchmen of the 1940s and 1950s.

Therefore, Father, I must disagree with your assessment that during the early-to-mid 1960s, few Catholics realized that the Church had moved into the area of ecumenism...and that few Catholics at that time had been impacted by or had any knowledge of the ecumenism.

Any Catholic who had paid even a decent amount of attention to Church news and events, at least as early as the 1950s, realized that a (liturgical/spiritual) revolution had begun within the Church.

Mark Thomas

mark said...

" Ecumenism is an essential element of the life and work of the Catholic Church. As Saint Pope John Paul II wrote, "At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture, thus heeding the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches people to interpret carefully the "signs of the times". (Ut Unum Sint, 3)"

Dear Father Kavanaugh, that certainly is Church teaching.

I ask the following sincerely and not combatively:

It was Pope Venerable Pius XII who, during the late 1940s, had entered the Church into the Ecumenical Movement.

Prior to that, Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement had been forbidden by the Church.

Such ecumenical activities as prayer and worship had been condemned always and everywhere by the Church as grave sins against God.

My question please: How could the same Holy Spirit, who for some 1900 years, had inspired Catholics to shun prayer and worship with non-Catholics and, from the Protestant establishment of the Ecumenical Movement until the late 1940s, had inspired Catholics to condemn Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement, somehow during the 1960s reversed course dramatically and inspired the Church to commit Herself "irrevocably" to ecumenism?

We have gone from Popes, Cardinals, and bishops who, for some 1900 years, declared that prayer and worship with non-Catholics constituted grave...grave sins against God to Popes, Cardinals, and bishops who pray and worship regularly with non-Catholics.

Something is very, very wrong with all of the above. Something is very wrong with that.

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

I ask the priests here the following quewtion:

I understand as to what the Holy See teaches in regard to the Ecumenical Movement.

By every thing that I have studied and discerned during the past 50 or so years, Catholic participation in the Ecumenical Movement has unleashed massive damage within the Church.

Again, I am aware as to that which the Church teaches in regard to the Ecumenical Movement.

I understand the reality...Popes, Cardinals, bishops, priests...religious and many laymen pray and worship with non-Catholics.

But is it a sin for me to believe that the Ecumenical Movement has unleashed massive damage within the Church?

Am I required as a Catholic to believe that the Ecumenical Movement has benefitted the Church?

Thank you.

Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Part the First:

Mark - I am aware that, prior to 1964, the Church was involved in Ecumenical and Interreligious dialogue. It was very limited in scope and much of it was regarded with great suspicion by the Powers That Be.

An instruction from the Holy Office, "On the 'Ecumenical Movement,'" was dated 20 December 1949. Aware that "...some of the initiatives that have hitherto been taken by various individuals or groups, with the aim of reconciling dissident Christians to the Catholic Church, although inspired by the best of intentions, are not always based on right principles,..." the Holy See thought it wise to issue comments and directives for its progress.

I am not aware of any Churchmen who spoke of a need to reform the Church, particularly the mass, along Ecumenical lines so as to water it down. Could you provide a few references?

Part the Second:

The condemnation of participation in Ecumenical prayer was not a matter of divine revelation and, therefore, was never a matter of dogma, but of policy. It could and did develop and evolve as our self-understanding developed and evolved.

Part the Third:

Where do you get the idea that the Ecumenical movement has "unleashed massive damage within the Church"?

You are required, as a Catholic, to believe that the Ecumenical movement is an essential element of the work of the Church commanded by Christ Himself. As to the benefits, I would recommend that you read "Ut Unum Sint", Saint Pope john Paul's encyclical letter on Ecumenism, paying close attention to Chapter II which is titled CTHE FRUITS OF DIALOGUE.




Anonymous said...

One casual observation I have made over the years is that whenever something is done by a Catholic Church in the spirit of Ecumenism, it is almost always geared to reaching out to the Protestant churches while Byzantine or Orthodox Churches are ignored. One parish held an ecumenical event with a local Protestant Church on the other side of town, but absolutely ignored the Orthodox Christian Church that was across the street.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Good Father - Regarding your "partial conversion" hypothesis, you are in the good company of the late Cardinal Francis George.

"Archbishop Francis George of Chicago made a startling statement during the Synod of Bishops for the Americas in November 1997. Archbishop (now Cardinal) George said that U.S. citizens "are culturally Calvinist, even those who profess the Catholic faith." American society, he continued, "is the civil counterpart of a faith based on private interpretation of Scripture and private experience of God." He contrasted this kind of society with one based on the Catholic Church's teaching of community and a vision of life greater than the individual."

From "American Catholics as Cultural Protestants" by Thomas Storck. For the whole article: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=2852

I heard recently that Cardinal George put it this way: To many in the Church are, in fact, "Calvinists with incense."

jolly jansenist said...

Ecumenism means that the Church, the Catholic Church, should "cover the world." It means that the Church, from a position of strength, should invite other denominations in…to her worship, to her liturgy, and to her doctrine. I would say, based upon a life in theological study, ministry, and active participation in the theological community, that the Church has lost far more than she has gained through so-called ecumenical "dialogue."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Jansenist" - What has the Catholic Church lost in ecumenical dialogue that is demonstrably and directly related to that dialogue? Citations to published sources would be helpful.

jolly jansenist said...

MJK, It is an impression that is supported by a lot of anecdotal evidence and that is shared by many in the Faith. It really has nothing to do with published sources or research. The phenomenon of the Church's loss is so widespread and the Church is so permeated by protestant inroads and tongue-in-cheek theology that it is hardly possible to sort it all out. Vatican II was the embodiment of it…the so-called "spirit of Vatican II, but we have not yet seen its culmination. Obviously, you do not agree and think everything is just hunky dory in the Church. That is your problem and not mine.

Mark said...

Father Kavanaugh said..."I am not aware of any Churchmen who spoke of a need to reform the Church, particularly the mass, along Ecumenical lines so as to water it down. Could you provide a few references?"

Yes, Father. Monsignor Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy — 1948-1975.

Monsignor Bugnini in a article published in L' Osservatore Romano.

The writings of Father Leonard Feeney, such as Point Magazine (issues from 1952-1958 A.D. are available free online and are searchable).

The Saint Benedict Center and Saint Benedict Abbey (they are different entities) in Massachusetts can also document for you the widespread ecumenical and interreligious events many Cardinals and bishops attended during the 1950s, well prior to Vatican II.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) noted that well prior to Vatican II, the Ecumenical Movement influenced his studies and Catholic Biblical, Theological, and Liturgical Movements.

During a presentation to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger noted that he had done his "philosophical and theological studies immediately after the war, from 1946 to 1951".

He also noted that during that time, the "theological formation in the faculty of Munich was essentially determined by the biblical, liturgical and ecumenical movement of the time".

Therefore, Father, I must disagree with you that the prior to Vatican II, the Ecumenical Movement was "limited in scope", at least in regard to the United States and Europe.

The sources that I noted had made it clear that well prior to Vatican II, the Ecumenical Movement had been embraced and promoted by powerful Churchmen and influenced strongly their thinking as related to theology, ecclesiology, Biblical studies and the liturgical movement.

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh, May 25, 2015 at 6:57 PM, said...

"The condemnation of participation in Ecumenical prayer was not a matter of divine revelation and, therefore, was never a matter of dogma, but of policy.

"You are required, as a Catholic, to believe that the Ecumenical movement is an essential element of the work of the Church commanded by Christ Himself.

"As to the benefits, I would recommend that you read "Ut Unum Sint", Saint Pope john Paul's encyclical letter on Ecumenism, paying close attention to Chapter II which is titled CTHE FRUITS OF DIALOGUE."

Dear Father, I thank you for your reply. I have read Ut Unum Sint and although not mentioned by you, I have read Unitatis Redintegratio, and The Directory for the Application and Norms on Ecumenism (the Ecumenical Directory).

Father, you stated that the condemnation of participation in Ecumenical prayer was not a matter of divine revelation.

The Church always and everywhere taught that prayer and worship with non-Catholics constituted grave sin and was an offense against the Commandments and Divine Revelation.

That sure and certain and some 1,900 year old teaching of the Church was not of Divine origin?

Father, you also stated that the participation in Ecumenical prayer" was not a dogma.

You also stated that "you are required, as a Catholic, to believe that the Ecumenical movement is an essential element of the work of the Church commanded by Christ Himself."

Father, is belief in the Ecumenical Movement now a dogma?

I am now required to believe that a movement once condemned by the Church is now an essential element of the Catholic Church?

Can the same Church that had condemned the Ecumenical Movement also in the future repeat Her condemnation of the Ecumenical Movement?

How could the Ecumenical Movement, invented by Protestants circa 100 years ago, some 1,900 years following the establishment of the Catholic Church, have become suddenly an "essential element" of the Catholic Church?

Father, I appreciate your patience.

I really am attempting to grasp the above in regard to the Ecumenical.

However, I would understand if you did not wish to engage me in additional posts as I fear that you may believe that I am here to simply disagree with you.

Again, I acknowledge that my observations during the past 45 or so years, since I have been old enough to have understood the state of the Church, is that the Ecumenical Movement has unleashed serious damage within Holy Mother Church.

I am at a loss as to how to comprehend that a Protestant movement invented around the turn of the 20th Century and condemned by the Church has become essential to the Catholic Faith...and is a movement in which I am required to believe.

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

Anonymous at May 25, 2015 at 7:07 PM said..."One casual observation I have made over the years is that whenever something is done by a Catholic Church in the spirit of Ecumenism, it is almost always geared to reaching out to the Protestant churches while Byzantine or Orthodox Churches are ignored. One parish held an ecumenical event with a local Protestant Church on the other side of town, but absolutely ignored the Orthodox Christian Church that was across the street."

I agree with your observation as I have noted the same.

However, in regard to our Popes, at least beginning with Pope Venerable Paul VI, they have engaged in many high profile ecumenical events with Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs.

Of course within Eastern Orthodoxy, a great many believers hold fast to the ancient teachings that condemn prayer and worship with "schismatics" and heretics", which, of course, the Eastern Orthodox believe Catholics are...we are at least "schismatics".

That is a reason as to why ecumenical contacts on the local level with the Eastern Orthodox are difficult to secure.

Rome can only find Eastern Orthodox versions of liberals and modernists to participate in Rome-Eastern Orthodox ecumenical events.

Tens of millions of Eastern Orthodox hold fast to the same teachings that Catholics held prior to the late 1940s...that participation in Ecumenical Movement events constituted grave sin against God.

Therefore, as I had noted, Rome can only find Eastern Orthodox liberals and modernists who will participate in ecumenical events.

Pope Saint John Paul II pursued ecumenism extensively with Eastern Orthodox liberals.

But the price that Rome paid for photo-ops with the Orthodox liberals was steep.

For example, during his 1999 A.D. visit to Romania, which required Romanian Patriarch Teoctist's approval, it was revealed later that Pope Saint John Paul II agreed to a $100,000 "donation" for the construction of an Orthodox Cathedral.

During his visit to Greece, the Greek Orthodox Church demanded that Pope Saint John Paul II beg forgiveness for "sins" that the Catholic Church had committed supposedly against the Eastern Orthodox.

Also, the Vatican's key ecumenists throughout the Pope Saint John Paul II Pontificate angered many Eastern Catholics.

Eastern Catholics, other than their liberals, accused the Pope of having pursued ecumenism with the Eastern Orthodox at the expense of Eastern Catholicism.

Indeed, the common policy then among Rome's powerful ecumenists was that Eastern Catholic Churches were to "disappear"...said Churches were Uniates (a disparaging term) and therefore must give way to "true" Eastern Christianty, which, supposedly, was Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Balamand Agreement, for example, enraged a great many Eastern Catholics.

Oh, well...those are just additional examples as to the horrific price that the Catholic Church has paid in regard to Her participation in the Ecumenical Movement.

Pope Pius XI was right about the Ecumenical Movement.

Mark Thomas






John Nolan said...

Fr MJK

'I am not aware of any churchmen who spoke of a need to reform the Church, particularly the Mass, along Ecumenical lines so as to water it down.'

How about this, from no ordinary churchman:

'We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is for the Protestants.'

Annibale Bugnini, L'Osservatore Romano, 19 March 1965.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Mark - If you have read Ut Unum Sint then you have the answer to your question regarding the benefits to the Church of the Ecumenical movement. (Chapter Two)

No, the prohibition against participation in prayer with non-Catholics is not a matter of Divine Revelation. We have not "always and everywhere" for 1900 condemned participation with Protestants since, as you know, Protestantism has been around only 500 or so years. The Apostles, we know from Divine revelation, went to Synagogue regularly.

The unity of the Church is dogma. That we must work for the visible unity - organic unity as it is sometimes called - is required by God. We don't simply sit back and wait for non-Catholic Christians to realize their errors join up.

I don't believe that it is correct to say that "a movement once condemned by the Church is now an essential element of the Catholic Church?" The Church did not condemn ecumenism or the Ecumenical Movement. It cannot do so, since the unity of the Church and the work needed to bring about that unity is an essential element of the Church.

The Ecumenical Movement was not "invented" by Protestants. It's origins are in the first divisions of the Church, reaching back 1500+ years. That we, Protestants and Catholics, have only relatively recently come to recognize that the work is needed, to organize for that work, and to begin that work, is not "invention." God has been patient with our failure to recognize the need for and to begin the work for unity.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I've commented on the Bugnini quote on the next story - Ecumenism and the Mass.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Orthodoxy has not been ignored by the Catholic Church in the Ecumenical Movement. I would note that, in my experience, Orthodox clergy are often very reluctant to engage in Ecumenical dialogue.

At the website of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs there is an extensive listing of the Catholic-Orthodox and Catholic-Oriental Orthodox dialogues, papers, news releases, etc. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/index.cfm

The $100,000.00 donation story ... Do you have a source you can cite?

Mark said...

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."No, the prohibition against participation in prayer with non-Catholics is not a matter of Divine Revelation."

Father, is the teaching today, that Catholics may pray and worship with non-Catholics, a matter of Divine Revelation?

The Church had most definitely taught for centuries that prayer and worship with non-Catholics constituted grave sins against God. Those teachings have been overthrown obviously.

Father, could our next Pope, if he thought best, overthrow the current teachings that allow prayer and worship with non-Catholics?

After all, as Rome has overthrown the centuries-old teachings that outlawed prayer and worship with non-Catholics, then why could not Rome outlaw today's teachings that authorize prayer and worship with non-Catholics?

Father, is belief in the Ecumenical Movement now a dogma?

Thank you.

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."The $100,000.00 donation story ... Do you have a source you can cite?"

Yes.

POPE DONATES MONEY FOR ORTHODOX CHURCH

BUCHAREST, Romania, NOV. 2, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- Romanian Orthodox clergy said today that John Paul II has donated $100,000 toward the construction of an Orthodox cathedral here that will accommodate up to 2,000 people, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Pope made the donation shortly after his historic visit to Romania in May 1999, the agency, quoted by Radio Free Europe, said.

Construction of the cathedral is expected to begin later this year or early next year in downtown Bucharest.

ZE00110221

ZENIT, November 2, 2000 - DAILY DISPATCH - The World Seen From Rome

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."The $100,000.00 donation story ... Do you have a source you can cite?"

Yes.

Friday, November 17, 2000

Pittsburg Catholic

Pope Backs New Cathedral

BUCHAREST, Romania — The Romanian Orthodox Church has raised 40 percent of funding needed for construction of a cathedral in Bucharest, including a $100,000 contribution from Pope John Paul II, said an Orthodox official.

Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Yes, I saw the story on the $100,000.00 gift. Was donation in quotes in the source, or did you add those. If you added them, please explain the reason(s).

The Ecumenical Movement was never condemned by the Church.

Neither the prohibition against nor the permission and/or encouragement for praying with non-Catholic Christians is a matter of Divine revelation. We have not prohibited praying with Protestants for 1900 years because Protestants haven't existed for 1900 years.

Prohibitions and permissions can and do change over time.

No "movement" is dogma.

The only answer I will give to the question, "Is belief in the Ecumenical Movement now a dogma?" is, that no "movement" is dogma. "The unity of the Church is dogma. That we must work for the visible unity - organic unity as it is sometimes called - is required by God. We don't simply sit back and wait for non-Catholic Christians to realize their errors join up."

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the Church is largely peopled now by converts and cradle Catholics who have never been taught the Faith properly. Many have entered the Church not even being aware that they are expected to believe the dogmas of the Church. In the past it took some time for a person to be accepted into the Church following a serious period of instruction normally by a priest.

Where I am there is often an advertisement run, people interested in the Faith are then invited to join a group run by lay people - many of whom I doubt even believe most of what the Church teaches let alone are fit to teach others from what I've been told. Catecumens are run through the programme in time for Easter - amazing! It seems to me to be a bit like a factory production line - one size fits all. It's not surprising that many "converts" only seem to last a year.

A friend told me of his experience coming into the Church via a programme run by two priests and a lay person - one of the priests ended up in prison for abusing minors, the other priest left the priesthood and married a parishioner breaking up her marriage. The last person left the Church and is now a woman priestess in the Anglican communion. He recalls the first evening attending the programme he was handed a paper cup and some sissors and asked to cut it into the shape of the sort of Church he would like to see ... it looks to me as if we've got what they appeared to want - a Church cut into all shapes and sizes to fit everyone.

In general ecumenism is a dirty word to some Catholics as we have watched weak churchmen lead non-Catholics down a false path of ecumenism where they have been led to believe that the Church is not expecting them to convert but rather is going to accept their heretical teaching. That of course is completely false. A clear statement was issued by the Church approved by Pope Benedict which clarifies that outside the Church there no salvation and that some Christian communities are not even entitled to be called churches:

"Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

RESPONSE

According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery[19] cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense[20]"

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070629_responsa-quaestiones_en.html

Jan

Anonymous 2 said...

I have two questions about the ecumenical movement:

(1) Are we supposed to believe that the reason Christ’s Church became divided is all_their_fault and that we Catholics bear no responsibility for the separations?

(2) Does the answer to this question have a bearing on what our attitudes towards ecumenism should be?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 Christ's Church is not divided. He built His Church upon Peter. Over the centuries some have broken away from Peter because they did not accept one or other of the Church's teachings - just as many did not accept Christ's teachings when he walked on earth. Was that His fault then - should he have modified his teachings to satisfy the dissenters of His time? Christ told his Apostles to go out and convert the nations and that is what we must do. That is true ecumenism.

Jan

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

There are a few who believe that the Catholic Church is free from any responsibility for the divisions in Christianity. History shows conclusively and undeniably that they are wrong. Also, the Church has, a number of times, admitted bearing such responsibility. But they persist in their fantasy-land opinions.

Those who adopt this senseless stance would, inevitably, say that the burden of reunion is borne entirely by the non-Catholic Christians. Those in this camp might be inclined to pronounce Ecumenism as "You Come In-ism." Content within themselves, they want to believe that the way to effect reunion with our separated brothers and sisters is to 1) make no changes, 2) adjust no practices, 3) admit no faults, and 4) to proclaim what we believe "from a position of strength," and then sit back and watch the non-Catholic stream home to Rome.

And if you believe that is going to happen, I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you...

jolly jansenist said...

A position of strength does not mean arrogance or condescension. It does mean unyielding on fundamentals.

John Nolan said...

In January the CofE consecrated its first woman bishop (Libby Lane) as suffragan bishop of Stockport. It was noticed that there was no official Catholic representative at York Minster for the ceremony, which is unusual in these ecumenical days. The Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury (Mark Davies) whose diocese includes Stockport was invited but declined, pleading a prior engagement.

Recently a woman (Rachel Treweek) was appointed as Bishop of Gloucester. This is an important see and its incumbent is entitled to sit in the House of Lords. The Catholic bishop (Declan Lang of Clifton) will be invited to attend her installation. In contrast to Davies, Lang is a liberal. Will he attend and risk sending the wrong message?

The retiring Bishop of Gloucester, Michael Perham, made a striking ecumenical gesture in 2008 when Solemn Latin Mass for the feast of the Visitation was sung in Gloucester cathedral followed by the Dupre Vespers of the BVM which replaced their normal Evensong. The celebrant was the Abbot of Belmont, who recalled that Gloucester had been a Benedictine foundation and thanked the Anglicans for looking after it so well.

I was one of the singers. Fifty years ago such an occurrence would have been unthinkable. Ecumenism? Bring it on!

George said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh

The Ecumenical movement has been around for some time now.

So...from your knowledge of the subject:

1) What changes have been proposed or suggested by those outside of her that the Church make?
2) What practices have been proposed or suggested by those outside of her that the Church adjust?
3) What faults is the Church to admit?
4) What else is the Church to proclaim than the Divine truth entrusted to her?

Mark said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."Yes, I saw the story on the $100,000.00 gift. Was donation in quotes in the source, or did you add those. If you added them, please explain the reason(s)."

I did not add the words "donated" and "donation" to the information that I had noted.

The November 2, 2000 A.D. news story from Zenit.org reads as follows:

"BUCHAREST, Romania, NOV. 2, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- Romanian Orthodox clergy said today that John Paul II has donated $100,000 toward the construction of an Orthodox cathedral here that will accommodate up to 2,000 people, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The Pope made the donation shortly after his historic visit to Romania in May 1999, the agency, quoted by Radio Free Europe, said."

Mark Thomas

Mark said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."We have not prohibited praying with Protestants for 1900 years because Protestants haven't existed for 1900 years."

Obviously.

Catholics were forbidden to pray and worship with Protestants from the time that Protestantism was invented until Pope Venerable Pius XII launched the Church into the Ecumenical Movement.

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Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."Neither the prohibition against nor the permission and/or encouragement for praying with non-Catholic Christians is a matter of Divine revelation."

The Church had taught for centuries that prayer and worship with non-Catholics constituted a grave sin against God.

Was that teaching inspired by the Holy Spirit?

Mark Thomas

Mark said...


Father Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."The unity of the Church is dogma. That we must work for the visible unity - organic unity as it is sometimes called - is required by God. We don't simply sit back and wait for non-Catholic Christians to realize their errors join up."

I agree.

I find that the ecumenism that Pope Saint John XXIII's practiced in his initial Encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram is solid ecumenism.

Pope Saint John XXIII exhorted non-Catholics to return to the True Church. His Holiness noted that there isn't any Truth other than the Truth that the Catholic Church recognized.

I also believe that the Mass of Pope Saint John XXIII is a powerful promoter of ecumenism.

Said Mass is powerful in conveying God and His Truth to people who seek Truth.

Said Mass has a history of converting many, many non-Catholics to the True Church.

Mark Thomas


Mark said...

Father Michael J. Kavanaugh said..."The Ecumenical Movement was not "invented" by Protestants. It's origins are in the first divisions of the Church, reaching back 1500+ years."

The following history of the Ecumenical Movement is from the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. Ecumenical Handbook for the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Kentucky. Revised December 2003.

II: History of the Ecumenical Movement

"14. As it is known today, the ecumenical movement is a twentieth century
development.

"It is impossible to pinpoint the exact beginning of this movement,
but some major events can be identified as contributing to the growth of interest
in promoting unity among Christians.

"15. The event most commonly referred to as the birthday or the cradle of the
movement was the First World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh,
Scotland, in 1910.

"This meeting brought together 1200 delegates from the Anglican and Protestant churches of the entire world."

Therefore, according to the "Roman Catholic Bishops in Kentucky", the Ecumenical Movement is a 20th Century Development.

The event referred to most commonly as having birthed or served as the Ecumenical Movement's cradle is a meeting of "Anglican and Protestant churches".

-------------------------


Therefore, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Kentucky do not cite the Catholic Church as having birthed or cradled the Ecumenical Movement.

Again, the Roman Catholic Bishops in Kentucky have declared that the origin of the Ecumenical Movement is traced to the 20th Century and to "Anglican and Protestant churches".

Mark Thomas

jolly jansenist said...

Were any of you guys in seminary or theology grad school in the 70's? Don't you remember that stupid Committee on Church Union nonsense….COCU, they called it. We all called it Coo Coo. All the prots were just gaga about it, just knowing that the Catholics were gonna' throw over the Mass and Mary and all that hocus locus and become good little Total Depravity/Universalist quasi-protestants and start singing "We Are One in the Spirit" and "They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love." You know, Communion with a loaf of French bread and a jug of Dago Red from Kroger while some guy in a pony tail bangs on a fifty dollar guitar and sings as loud as he can through his nose. Yeah, give me ecumenicism….

Anonymous said...

Fr Kavanaugh, I think that what some of the Popes have done in apologising has been more from the point of view of humility because, while there are individuals in the Church that have made mistakes and have sinned, the Church herself is holy and pure and her doctrine is safeguarded by the Holy Spirit. There is nothing, therefore, in her doctrine that is in error.

There are many liberals of course who would like to change the doctrine to be more palatable to our separated brethren who have freely separated themselves from the Church. THE major stumbling block of course is the papacy. Many liberals would like to get rid of that. Another stumbling block is the priesthood - many liberals would like to get rid of that too. I could go on. The list is endless as to what the liberals would like to change in the guise of ecumenism: the Immaculate Conception, perpetual virginity of Our Lady, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, etc

We have had very many years of ecumenism since Vatican II and the Church has suffered greatly through the false ecumenism that has prevailed. I read where Benedict XVI met with a group of others from different religions and said while it was good to meet together that they must be aware that the Church will not change her doctrines. Although of course some like Kasper are going to have a good go to try and do that at the Synod of the Laity in a few months time, which of course will be repelled and resisted but no doube could lead to a schism and perhaps finally remove the majority of liberals from the Church.

Jan