Feast of the Motherhood of Mary
… How often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not? (Mt. 23.37)
In the fourth Memoir of Sr. Lucia, C.D. of Fatima is written this sentence which introduces the Third Secret of Fatima: “Em Portugal se conservara sempre o dogma da fe etc.” (In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.) “… Etc.” comes next the Third Secret of Fatima which of course must make references to the loss of the Faith which our Lord prophesied (cf., Lk. 18.8) as one of the conditions to mark His visitation. Fr. Joaquin Alonso, the official archivist of Fatima, explains this last sentence of Sr. Lucia’s fourth Memoir: “If ‘in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,’… it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether” (“The Greatest Conspiracy,” Christian Order, November 2000). In The Fatima Crusader, Fr. Alonso further states: ”It is therefore completely probable that the text makes concrete references to the crisis of the faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves [and the] internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence of the upper hierarchy” (in Fr. P.Kramer, “The ‘Party Line’ in Relation to Fatima,” Issue 69, Winter 2002).
Our Blessed Mother, foreseeing the events that will take place, instructed Sr. Lucia that the letter in which was contained the Third Secret and addressed to Bishop da Silva of Leiria “would definitely be opened and read to the world either at [Sr. Lucia's] death or in 1960, whichever would come first.” (in Canon Jose Galamba de Oliviera who convinced the Bishop of Leiria to suggest to Sr.Lucia that she write down the Third Secret because at that time, Sr. Lucia was stricken with pleurisy and her Bishop feared that Sr. Lucia would die without revealing the Secret, in Fr. J. Alonso, La Verdad sobre el Secreto de Fatima). But why in the year 1960? In 1955, Cardinal Ottaviani (then Cardinal Prefect of the Holy Office – now the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) asked Sr. Lucia why it was not to be opened before 1960. Sr. Lucia replied: “Because then it will seem clearer (mais claro, in Portuguese).” Sr. Lucia had made the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima promise that the Secret would be read to the world at her death, but in no event later than 1960, “because the Blessed Virgin wishes it so.”
“In Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” and the New “Orientation” in Rome in the 1960s.
The Church “Opens” Herself to
“Dialogue” with Communist and Masonic Enemies
(Fr. P. Kramer and the Editorial Staff of the Missionary Association)
With Vatican II [1962-1965] began the large enterprise of collaboration with the forces of the world, the great opening to the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in "Gaudium et Spes" itself, which declares: “By unremitting study they”—meaning every priest in the Catholic Church, every bishop, every member of the hierarchy—“should fit themselves to do their part in establishing dialogue with the world and with men of all shades of opinion”.
Now the objection will be raised: What is wrong with peaceful collaboration and dialogue with men of all shades of opinion in those areas in which the Church can find some sort of basic agreement? Here again the pre-conciliar Popes warned us about one of the devil's snares and delusions under the appearance of good. Speaking precisely about this call to collaborate and dialogue with Communists in causes which are supposedly common to all mankind—which is really the devil's call for the Church to lay down Her arms and join the enemy—Pope Pius XI warned as follows in Divini Redemptoris (Encyclical on Atheistic Communism, March 19, 1937):
In the beginning Communism showed itself for what it was in all its perversity. But very soon it realized that it was alienating people. It has, therefore, changed its tactics and strives to entice the multitudes by trickery in various forms, hiding its real designs behind ideas that are in themselves good and attractive. Under various names that do not suggest Communism, they try perfidiously to worm their way even into professedly Catholic and religious organizations. They invite Catholics to collaborate with them in the realm of so-called humanitarianism and charity. And at times make proposals that are in perfect harmony with the Christian spirit and the doctrine of the Church. See to it faithful brethren that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived. Communism is intrinsically evil, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.
Pope Pius XI could not have been clearer about the duty to shun “dialogue” and collaboration with Communists. And why? The Italians have a saying: Dimmi con chi vai, e ti diro che sei —“Tell me who you go with and I will tell you what you are.” As Pope Pius XI recognized, if one associates with a certain class of people, one will inevitably be influenced to become as they are, in spite of oneself. If one collaborates with the forces of the world they will tend to seduce him; he will become like them. If the Church opens Herself to the world in the sense of ceasing Her opposition to the powers that She once opposed, and if She says instead that the Church will now collaborate and dialogue with Her enemies, Her members will, in time, become like those they once opposed. And the opening to the world will result in the Church becoming like the world, as Pope Paul VI himself was forced to admit in the statement quoted above.
The Church “Reconciles” Herself with Liberalism
Those “conservatives” who deny that Vatican II constitutes a break with tradition, or that it contradicts prior teaching, have failed to listen to the very movers and shakers of the Council, who shamelessly acknowledge the truth. The Dominican Yves Congar, O.P., one of the Council's “experts” and chief among the artisans of the Council's reforms, remarked with quiet satisfaction that “The Church has had, peacefully, its October [1789 French ] Revolution” [“Le Concile au jours le jours deuxième section” (“The Council day by day, second session”), (Paris, Cerf, 1964) p. 115]. Congar also admitted, as if it were something to be proud of, that Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty is contrary to the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX.* He said:
---It cannot be denied that the affirmation of religious liberty by Vatican II says materially something other than what the Syllabus of 1864 said, and even just about the opposite of propositions 16, 17 and 19 of this document ( La Crise d'Eglise et Msgr. Lefebvre, (Paris, Cerf, 1977, p. 54).
* In truth, there can be no such thing as a “Counter-Syllabus”, since Blessed Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of 1864 is plainly a solemn, definitive teaching binding on all Catholics (can. 750 § 2). In Paragraph 6 of the Encyclical Quanta Cura which was issued with the Syllabus on Dec. 8, 1864, Blessed Pope Pius IX stated solemnly: “Amid, therefore, so great perversity of depraved opinions, We, well remembering Our Apostolic Office, and very greatly solicitous for Our most holy Religion, for sound doctrine and the salvation of souls which is entrusted to Us by God, and (solicitous also) for the welfare of human society itself, have thought it right to raise up Our Apostolic voice. Therefore, by Our Apostolic Authority, We reprobate, proscribe and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this Letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned (Emphasis added). Taken from The Popes Against Modern Errors, (TAN Books and Publishers, Rockford, Illinois, 1999) p. 21.
Congar thus blithely suggests that Vatican II has undone an infallible papal condemnation of error.
Most noteworthy are the statements of the progressivist Cardinal Suenens, one of the most liberal prelates of the Twentieth Century, himself a Council Father, who spoke glowingly of the old regimes that have come crashing down. The words he used in praise of the Council are supremely telling, perhaps the most chilling and the most damning of all. Suenens declared “Vatican II is the French Revolution of the Church” (Cited from Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 100).
And, only a few years ago, none other than Cardinal Ratzinger, apparently unruffled by such admissions, added one of his own. According to him, the Vatican II text Gaudium et Spes is nothing less than a “counter-Syllabus”. He said:
If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text (Gaudium et Spes) as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty, and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus ... Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789… the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789. In fact, an attitude that was largely pre-revolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities. Hardly anyone will deny today that the Spanish and Italian Concordat strove to preserve too much of a view of the world that no longer corresponded to the facts [that is, the position of the Church, the ground and pillar of the truth (1 Timothy 3.15), has become obsolete!]. Hardly anyone will deny today that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship (Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 381-382).
Consider the sheer audacity of a Cardinal calling two of the greatest Popes in Church history “one-sided” in their efforts to protect the Church from the errors of liberalism and modernism! According to Cardinal Ratzinger himself, at Vatican II the Church made an “attempt” to “correct” and “counter” the teaching of Blessed Pope Pius IX and Pope Saint Pius X, and to reconcile Herself instead with the French Revolution and the Enlightenment.
But this was the very goal of the Permanent Instruction, Masonry's blueprint for subversion of the Church! That is precisely why, in his Syllabus of Errors, Blessed Pius IX condemned the proposition that “The Roman Pontiff can and ought to reconcile himself and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” (Condemned Proposition #80). And Saint Pius X, in his apostolic letter Notre Charge Apostolique, condemned the Sillon movement in France, rebuking its members because “They do not fear to make blasphemous reconciliations between the Gospel and the Revolution.”
But according to Cardinal Ratzinger, “there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism but cannot be the last stage" (Ibid., p. 191). And what is this last “stage” in the “confrontation with liberalism”? Apparently, in Cardinal Ratzinger's view, it is the Church's acceptance of the very ideas She once condemned! Confronting liberalism by reconciling with it is doubletalk. Cardinal Ratzinger's “confrontation” with liberalism is nothing more than an abject surrender.
Moreover, in the opinion of Cardinal Ratzinger, not only the condemnations of liberalism in the Syllabus of Blessed Pope Pius IX but also the anti-modernist teaching of Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi must now be considered outdated. In 1990, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an “Instruction on the Theologian's Ecclesiastical Vocation.” In explaining the Instruction to the press, Cardinal Ratzinger claimed that certain teachings of the Magisterium were “not considered to be the final word on the subject as such, but serve rather as a mooring in the problem, and, above all, as an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of temporary disposition” (L'Osservatore Romano, English Weekly Edition, July 2, 1990, p. 5). As examples of these “temporary dispositions,” Cardinal Ratzinger cited “the statements of the Popes during the last century on religious freedom, as well as the anti-modernist decisions at the beginning of this century …” (Ibid.) —that is, the anti-modernist teaching of Saint Pius X in the early 1900s.
These comments by Cardinal Ratzinger should disturb any Catholic, not only because they admit that the Council embraced a cherished goal of the Church's enemies, but because they come from the very man who, as the head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), is supposed to be in charge of guarding the purity of Catholic doctrine. And this, as we shall soon show, is the same man who has led the charge to do away with the traditional Catholic understanding of the Message of Fatima.
The Traditional Catholic Teaching that "the Roman Catholic Church
IS Exclusively the
One True Church of Christ" Is Abandoned
IS Exclusively the
One True Church of Christ" Is Abandoned
As the attempt to reconcile the Church with the principles of the French Revolution would neutralize the Church's once fierce opposition to the errors of the modern age, so would the “ecumenical venture” launched at the Council soon bring about the de facto abandonment of all efforts to convert Protestants and schismatics to the Catholic faith—as in the conversion of Russia.
At the same time the Council embraced the “ecumenical movement”—only 35 years after Pope Pius XI had condemned it in his encyclical Mortalium Animos—the Council's document Lumen Gentium threw into confusion the whole doctrine of the Catholic Church as the one true Church. According to Lumen Gentium “the Church of Christ ... subsists in the Catholic Church.”
This causes bewilderment. Why doesn't the document clearly proclaim what the Catholic Church has always taught, as seen in the encyclicals of Pope Pius XII—namely, that the one true Church of Christ is the Catholic Church?51 Why employ a term favorable to the progressivist error that the Church of Christ is actuallybigger than the Catholic Church, so that schismatic and Protestant sects are “in some mysterious way” part of (or linked with) the Church of Christ? This error, based upon Vatican II's use of the word “subsists”, is trumpeted by Father Avery Dulles, made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II:
The Church of Jesus Christ is not exclusively identical to the Roman Catholic Church. It does indeed subsist in Roman Catholicism, but it is also present in varying modes and degrees in other Christian communities to the extent that they too are what God initiated in Jesus and are obedient to the inspirations of Christ's Spirit. As a result of their common sharing in the reality of the one Church, the several Christian communities already have with one another a real but imperfect communion [Taken from Vatican II, the Work That Needs to Be Done, edited by David Tracy with Hans Küng and Johann Metz (Concillium, Seabury Press, NY, 1978) p. 91].
Likewise, Cardinal Ratzinger once again embraces the views of the “New 'Catholic' Theology.” In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, Cardinal Ratzinger said the following:
---When the Council Fathers replaced the word “is” with the word “subsistit” (subsists), they did so for a very precise reason. The concept expressed by “is” (to be) is far broader than that expressed by “to subsist.” “To subsist” is a very precise way of being, that is, to be as a subject, which exists in itself. Thus the Council Fathers meant to say that the being of the Church as such is a broader entity than the Roman Catholic Church, but within the latter it acquires, in an incomparable way, the character of a true and proper subject.*
* L'Osservatore Romano, Italian edition, October 8, 2000, p. 4: “Quando i Padri conciliar sostituirono la parola ‘è’ con la parola ‘subsistit’ lo fecera con un scopo ben preciso. Il concetto espresso da ‘è’ (essere) è piu ampio di quello espresso da ‘sussistere.’ ‘Sussistere’ un modo ben preciso di essere, ossia essere come soggeto che esiste in sé. I Padri conciliari dunque intendevano dire che l'essere della Chiesa in quanto tale è un entità piu ampia della Chiesa cattolica romana.”
Cardinal Ratzinger claims that the Council Fathers intended to say that the “being” of the Church is broader than the Catholic Church, but his claim is false. The generality of the Council Fathers had no intention of contradicting the teaching of Pope Pius XII that the Church of Christ is the Catholic Church, not some vague “entity” that is “broader” than the Catholic Church.
In truth, it was Cardinal Ratzinger's intention to use ambiguity to undermine the traditional teaching that the one and only Church of Christ is the Catholic Church—an intention he shared with his fellow partisans of the “new theology” at Vatican II. We know this because it was Father Ratzinger himself, serving as a theological peritus [that is, a theological expert] at the Council, who introduced the term “subsistit” (subsists) into the drafting of the conciliar document Lumen Gentium. He inserted this term at the suggestion of a Protestant minister, Pastor Schmidt, from Germany.
If the reader finds Cardinal Ratzinger's explanation of the use of the term “subsistit” (subsists) to be confusing, know that it was meant to be. “Subsists” and “is” can, however, mean the very same thing, contrary to what Cardinal Ratzinger suggests. For the sake of the precision that should characterize any conciliar document, the Council ought to have stated clearly that “The Church of Christ subsists only in the Catholic Church.” But as Father Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., another conciliar peritus, admitted, his liberal confreres had deliberately inserted ambiguities into the conciliar texts (See statements by Father Schillebeeckx in the Dutch magazine De Bauzuin, No. 16, 1965, quoted in the French translation in Itineraires, No. 155, 1971, p. 40) knowing that they would later be able to interpret them in a heterodox manner after the Council.
That is precisely what Cardinal Ratzinger now does with the ambiguous term “subsistit” (subsists). Indeed, as two prominent Catholic commentators have observed in a recent study of post-conciliar changes in the Church, the original German text of the above-quoted interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine shows that Cardinal Ratzinger is even more radical in his departure from the teaching of Pope Pius XII: “... die Konzilsväter das von Pius XII gebrauchte Wort ‘ist’ durch ‘subsistit’ ersetzten”—which translates as: “... the Council Fathers replaced the word ‘is,’ used by Pius XII, with ‘subsistit.’” That is, Cardinal Ratzinger admits that Vatican II replaced the terminology of Pope Pius XII—thanks to none other than Cardinal Ratzinger and his Protestant minister friend! Even worse, the original German of the interview also states: “So wollten die Väter sagen: Das Sein der Kirche als solches reicht viel weiter als die römisch-katholische Kirche,”—which translates as: “Thus the Fathers meant to say: the being of the Church as such extends much further than the Roman Catholic Church” (Frankfurter Allgemeine, September 22, 2000; Italian translation in L'Osservatore Romano, October 8, 2000) Thus, Dulles and Cardinal Ratzinger flatly contradict the perennial Catholic teaching that the Church of Christ exists exclusively in the Catholic Church. Yet their view is now the common interpretation of Vatican II.
Here we see a prime example of how the “new theologians” at Vatican II have passed the theological football to themselves, while pretending that it was the “Council” that threw the pass.
Vatican II's Novus Ordo ("New 'Catholic' Order") No Longer Seeks the
Conversion and Return of Heretics and Schismatics
Conversion and Return of Heretics and Schismatics
With this new view of “the Church of Christ” as something much bigger than the Roman Catholic Church, it is no wonder that after 40 years of “ecumenical activity” even Vatican prelates now openly repudiate the return of Protestants and schismatics to Rome.
One prominent example of this departure from traditional teaching is the recent statement of Cardinal Walter Kasper, the former secretary of the Church's most prominent post-conciliar heretic, Hans Küng. Kasper, whose Modernist views are well-known throughout the Church, was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in February 2001 and now enjoys the rank of Prefect of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Kasper said:
... today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics’. This was expressly abandoned at Vatican II (Adista, Feb. 26, 2001. English translation quoted from “Where Have They Hidden the Body?” by Christopher Ferrara, The Remnant, June 30, 2001).
In fact, Kasper's statement scorns the thrice-defined infallible dogma that “outside the Church there is no salvation.” (extra ecclesia nulla salus) The actual wording of these three solemn, infallible (and, therefore, impossible to change)* definitions that are binding on all Catholics** (of whatever rank, including
* “We, with the approval of the sacred council, teach and define that it is a divinely revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, possesses through the divine assistance promised to him in the person of St. Peter, the infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to be endowed in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals; and that such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are therefore irreformable because of their nature, but not because of the agreement of the Church.” (D.S. 1839)
** “But if anyone presumes to contradict this Our definition (God forbid that he do so): let him be anathema.” (D.S. 1840)
Cardinals and Popes) to believe, under pain of being automatically excommunicated (expelling themselves from the Catholic Church) are as follows:
There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved. (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church. (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1442.)
This teaching must not be understood to preclude the possibility of salvation for those who do not become formal members of the Catholic Church if, through no fault of their own, they do not know of their objective obligation to do so. Nevertheless, as Blessed Pope Pius IX taught in Singulari Quadem, Catholics must not preoccupy themselves with pointless speculation about salvation for those who are not formal members of the Church, since only God knows whom He will save (in some extraordinary manner) from among the great mass of humanity which has not exteriorly professed the Catholic religion. For this reason, Blessed Pius IX—whom Pope John Paul II himself beatified—exhorted the faithful to hold fast to the dogma “outside the Church there is no salvation” and to continue with ever greater fervor the divinely appointed work of the Church in making disciples of all nations. As for the lot of those who remain outside the visible Church, His Holiness warned that “all further inquiry is unlawful.”
Who can doubt the wisdom of Blessed Pope Pius IX's warning? Indeed, the Church has also taught constantly and infallibly that no one in this world (absent a special private revelation) can know with absolute certainty the subjective state of any soul, much less whether a soul—even one's own—is numbered among the elect. Since it is not possible for the Church to presume that anyone is either saved or damned, the ministers of the Church are duty-bound to seek the conversion of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth, following Our Lord's own commands: Go forth and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded thee (Matt. 28.19-20); He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not shall be condemned (Mk. 16.16).
By declaring that Protestants need no longer convert to Catholicism, Cardinal Kasper brazenly defies both the infallible teaching of the Magisterium and the commands of Our Lord Himself. Kasper's view also flatly contradicts the Church's constant teaching that the only way to Christian unity is the return of the dissidents to the Catholic Church through their conversion. In the 1949 admonition of the Holy Office of Pope Pius XII concerning the “ecumenical movement,” the bishops were warned that in any “ecumenical” discussions they might authorize, the Protestant interlocutors must be presented with “the Catholic truth” and “the teaching of the Encyclicals of the Roman Pontiffs on the return of the dissidents to the Church” (AAS 42-142). The Catholic doctrine of the return of the dissidents was stressed again by Pope Pius XII himself on December 20, 1949: “The Catholic doctrine will have to be proposed and exposed totally and integrally: what the Catholic Church teaches about the true nature and means of justification, about the constitution of the Church, about the primacy of the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, about the only true union which is accomplished with the return of the dissidents to the only true Church of Christ, must not be passed over in silence or covered over in ambiguous words” (“On the Ecumenical Movement,” December 20, 1949).
At least Kasper says openly what most of today's prelates seem to believe anyway, but will neither confirm nor deny. Yet Kasper's policy actually represents the prevailing “spirit of Vatican II.” This was confirmed by none other than Cardinal Ratzinger, when he was still Father Ratzinger, in his 1966 book Theological Highlights of Vatican II. In Theological Highlights of Vatican II Cardinal Ratzinger claims that the Council had given the Church a new orientation toward non-Catholics, which dispenses with any call for their conversion:
The Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches ... [A] basic unity—of Churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church—must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it (Paulist Press, New York, 1966], p. 65-66. This section of the book focuses on the deliberate ecumenical foundation on which is based the Council document Lumen Gentium. For a more complete discussion of Father Ratzinger's book, see “Vatican II vs. the Unity Willed by Christ,” by J. Vennari, Catholic Family News, Dec. 2000).
Now, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote this book during the Council. As a co-worker with Fr.Karl Rahner, S.J., he was heavily involved with drafting the conciliar documents. He is in a position to tell us what were the actual intentions of the “architects” of Vatican II, which is not to be confused with the intention of the Council Fathers themselves. And he declares that the teaching of Vatican II, according to those who drew up the documents, was that conversion is an option.*** That is, according to Ratzinger, the non-Catholic need not convert to the true Church—either for salvation or for unity.
*** Even if Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, would completely change his own personal views to a more orthodox position, the Council texts themselves remain ambiguous, imprecise, and appear to be oriented toward an unorthodox ecumenism which does not seek the conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism.
This view is no less radical than that of Father Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P., another progressivist Council peritus, who was investigated by the Vatican after the Council (but never disciplined) for his open denial of various Catholic dogmas. Schillebeeckx exulted that “At Vatican II, the Catholic Church officially abandoned its monopoly over the Christian religion” [Igreja ou igrejas?, in V.A. Cinco problemas que desafiam a Igreja hoje, pp. 26f. Cited from In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, Atila Sinke Guimarães, (Maeta, Metairie, 1997) p. 243].
Likewise, a “Catholic” journal from the Rome-based International Jewish-Christian Documentation Service (SIDIC) spoke of Vatican II's new orientation toward non-Catholics. In 1999 it spotlighted what it considers to be the “main problem” with so-called “traditional Catholics”, including Archbishop Lefebvre:
Lefebvre's refusal to accept ecumenism originates in clear teachings from the Magisterium: the encyclical Satis Cognitum of Leo XIII (1896); the encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pius XI (1928); the Dec. 20, 1949, Instruction of the Holy Office regarding ecumenism. The only ecumenism accepted by Lefebvre and his followers is that which strives for the unconditional return of the members of other confessions to the one Church of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church. This hardened sectarianism is precisely the kind of logic which Vatican II, through profound reflection on the nature of the Church, refused to accept ... (Service International de Documentation Judéo-Chrètienne, Rome, [English edition from Washington, D.C.] Vol. XXXII, No. 3, 1999, p. 22).
The novel claim that non-Catholics need not convert because they are “in some mysterious way” part of the Church of Christ scorns the Church's perennial teaching on the necessity of non-Catholics to abandon their errors and return to the one true Church of Jesus Christ, as the pre-conciliar Popes unanimously taught.
There are reported cases of Vatican Cardinals actively discouraging non-Catholics who desire to convert to Catholicism, evidently in keeping with this same false interpretation of the Council. Catholic Family News published the story of Father Linus Dragu Popian, who had been raised in the Romanian Orthodox religion. In 1975 he risked his life to escape Communist Romania and presented himself as a seminarian to the Vatican, expressing his wish to convert to Catholicism. The then-Secretary of State, Cardinal Villot, and other Vatican Cardinals were horrified. They told young Popian that he must not flee Communism and must not become Catholic, because this would damage the Vatican's relations with Communist Romania and the Romanian Orthodox Church (Father Popian's testimony on audio cassette entitled “Vatican's Ostpolitik and Ecumenism Tried to Prevent My Conversion to Catholicism” is also available from the Fatima Center, 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926).
Little has changed in Rome since then. Bishop Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X related in an interview that he had met a schismatic [Orthodox] bishop who wanted to convert to the Catholic Church. Bishop Fellay advised him to deal directly with Rome. When the Orthodox bishop told the Vatican he wanted to become a Catholic, “panic ensued. The following day, Cardinal Neves, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops said to the schismatic bishop, ‘Your Excellency, it is not necessary to convert. Since the Council, things have changed! There's no need to convert any more.’” (“We are a Sign of Contradiction”, interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay, SSPX, Latin Mass Magazine, Fall 2001, p. 11).
This deliberate refusal to allow a schismatic Orthodox bishop to return to Rome is completely in line with the Balamand Declaration of 1993, negotiated between certain Vatican officials and various Orthodox churches. In this document the Vatican's representative (Cardinal Cassidy of the Pontifical Council for “Christian Unity”) actually agreed that, owing to “radically altered perspectives and thus attitudes” engendered by Vatican II, the Catholic Church will train new priests “to pave the way for future relations between the two churches, passing beyond the outdated ecclesiology of return to the Catholic Church” (Balamand Statement, nn. 13 and 30. The Balamand Statement (1993) was cited approvingly by Pope John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint, n. 59)
The claim that the Magisterium's constant teaching on the return of the dissidents (heretics and schismatics) to the one true Church as the only means of true Christian unity is now “outdated ecclesiology” is a heresy, since it flatly contradicts not only the Church's teaching on the return of the dissidents, but also the infallibly defined Catholic dogma that outside the Church there is no salvation.
The abandonment of the Church's traditional teaching in this area does not represent “charity” toward the separated brethren but rather a retreat from the Church's duty to tell them the simple truth. Again, the result is no boon to non-Catholics, but rather a weakened, scandal-ridden Church which is hardly able to serve as the leaven of society it was meant to be. While the Church, being a divine as well as a human institution, will inevitably be restored to Her former vigor, as She has following other crises in Her past, the Church and the world will undergo great suffering until this crisis of faith is ended.
[from "The Devil's Final Battle," NY: Good Counsel Publications, 2002, pp. 63-72]
I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope.
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth,
In me is all hope of life and of virtue.
Come over to me... he hearkeneth to me shall not be confounded,
and they that work by me shall not sin
(Ecclesiasticus 24.23-31, Epistle for today's feast, taken from the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel).
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