Exhausting Beyond Words
Thomas A. Droleskey
No commentary has yet to be offered on this site about the ongoing Synod of Bishops. Simple exhaustion prevents one from having to spend the amount of time that would be necessary to comment on the interventions made by the bishops during each day's proceedings. The reports thus far indicate that the many of the bishops participating in the Synod are bereft of any sense of the Catholic Faith. How much effort is needed to point out the obvious?
So many foolish and un-Catholic things have been said in the past ten days at the Synod of Bishops as to defy any effort to place them in any sort of order whatsoever. One particularly foolish (and quite telling) set of remarks was offered by a Nigerian bishop, the Most Reverend
John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, on October 10. Bishop Onaiyekan praised the "richness" of "African liturgies." The following report from ANSA.IT details the bishop's remarks:
(ANSA) - Vatican City, October 10 - A Nigerian bishop on Monday stressed the value of chants and dances in African masses, saying they had helped deepen the faith of the continent's Catholics .
Speaking during a gathering of bishops in the Vatican, Monsignor John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan admitted there had been occasional "abuses" of Catholic liturgy but he said that in general there was no cause for alarm .
"We don't have cathedrals or splendid paintings by Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, but what we have we are happy to give: our chants and our poetry, the roll of our drums and the rhythms of our dances, all for the glory of God," he said .
The bishop's remarks, which won loud applause, came at the start of the second week of a synod which has brought 256 bishops from around the world to Rome to discuss the Eucharist .
One recurring item on the agenda last week was the danger of regional churches distorting official liturgy as they try to make European Catholic traditions more accessible to local people .
Msgr Onaiyekan said bishops had been right to express their reservations over certain "unwise experiments". But he said there was a risk that, by concentrating on the mistakes, the synod would fail to see the richness that existed in African Church services .
"The reservations should be taken seriously but, on the whole, they mustn't be the cause of false alarm," he said .
He also noted that the last pope, John Paul II, showed appreciation for the adaption, or 'inculturation', process which had taken place in recent decades in Africa .
John Paul travelled to Africa 12 times during his long pontificate, visiting a total of 42 countries .
"His respect and admiration for our efforts were made clear not only during his visits to Africa but also, on many occasions, right here in St Peter's Basilica," the bishop said .
"Some beautiful Eucharistic celebrations have grown up in the last 40 years, deepening people's faith and improving the quality of their participation," he continued
[The news story contained a photograph of half-naked tribespeople dancing around Saint Peter's Square in 2003 on the occasion of the canonization of
Daniele Comboni, founder of the Comboni missionaries. The presence of such scantily dressed people at Masses in Saint Peter's Square has always prompted me to ask this question: Do the people who "dress down" to "dance" at Mass "dress up" to fly to Rome from their native countries?]
The fact that Bishop Onaiyekan's "won loud applause" from his brother bishops should tell us a great deal about the state of the Church in her human elements. Men who are successors of the Apostles applaud loudly when one of their brother bishops praise the incorporation of pagan rituals into the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This should show those who have any sense of the Faith whatsoever that most of the bishops who have been consecrated since the Second Vatican Council do not understand that the unbloody perpetuation of the Sacrifice of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the wood of the Holy Cross is not a spectacle. The first Mass on Calvary was not a spectacle at which people danced and sang around Our Lord as He hung on the gibbet of the Cross to pay back in His Sacred Humanity what was owed to Him in His Infinity as God: the blood debt of human sin. No Mass is meant to be a spectacle at which such pagan ceremonies are incorporated in the name of "inculturation," as I point out in G.I.RM. Warfare. It is indeed quite telling that the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, which was taught by Our Lord to the Apostles themselves, is held in contempt by many of the world's bishops while profane novelties that extol cultures steeped in demon worship must be applauded vigorously. It is truly exhausting even to have to make an effort to point this out.
Another matter that has been discussed in recent days at the Synod of Bishops is the subject of Eucharistic inter-communion. A Zenit report of October 5, 2005, noted that a number of bishops had made interventions in behalf of inter-communion. The subject came up again on October 10, 2005, demonstrating that, all protests of Walter Cardinal Kasper and his apologists to the contrary notwithstanding, what happened at Taize, France on August 23, 2005, when large numbers of non-Catholics were reported to have received Holy Communion at the funeral Mass Cardinal Kasper celebrated for the syncretist Roger Schutz, was not an aberration. Inter-communion is the next major novelty and sacrilege that will be integrated, mainstreamed, if you will, into the life of the Catholic Church in the next decade or so. Studies will be made. Reports will be prepared. "Tentative approval" will be granted for inter-communion in "limited" circumstances (building upon those permitted already in the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the 1993 Vatican Ecumenical Directory), replicating the path by which the sacrilege of Communion in the hand and the novelty of female altar servers, which undermines the theology of service at the altar (those who serve at the altar are the extension of the hands of the priest, who is a male because Our Lord is a male and ordained males to the priesthood at the Last Supper), became standard practices in the Novus Ordo structure of the Catholic Church.
Indeed, what happened at Taize on August 23, 2005, cannot be explained away by Cardinal Kasper and his apologists. Just as happened in the aftermath of the criticism of the Protestant syncretist, "Brother" Roger Schutz, having received Holy Communion directly from the hands of the then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at the funeral Mass for the late Pope John Paul II on April 8, 2005, an "explanation" has been issued, this time by Cardinal Kasper himself, as to what happened at Taize on August 23. The explanation given about the current Holy Father's distribution of Holy Communion to Schutz back in April took some three months in coming (he was caught by surprise, he did not want to embarrass Schutz by refusing him Communion). The Kasper explanation took a little over a month to be issued.
The sum and substance of the explanation given by Cardinal Kasper about the report of indiscriminate inter-communion on August 23 is as follows: the Taize "ecumenical community" has a procedure in place by which Catholics can receive Holy Communion and non-Catholics can receive "blessed bread" that is set aside and distributed at the same time as Holy Communion. No, I am not making this up. This is Cardinal Kasper's own explanation:
"For those who...cannot or do not wish to receive communion in the Catholic Church, a special arrangement enables them to receive the ‘blessed bread.’ After the Gospel reading...a basket of small pieces of bread is blessed by the celebrant and set on a table next to the altar. At the moment of communion, the distribution of the Eucharist and the distribution of the blessed bread are done in a way that clearly indicates the difference. In this the Orthodox and Easter-rite Catholics recognize their traditional practice of distributing the ‘antirodon,’ namely parts of the altar bread that have not been consecrated. At Brother Roger’s funeral, in accordance with the usual practice at Taize, those present could receive either the consecrated Eucharistic species or the blessed bread."
Exhausting does not even begin to describe the energy that is necessary to explode this bit of sophistic rationalization. Suffice it to say, however, that we are supposed to believe that 12,000 people were able to carefully distinguish between lines that contained actual Hosts and those that contained "blessed bread." How many "small pieces" of bread were necessary to accommodate a crowd of 12,000 people? How could it be estimated as to how many "small pieces" of bread would be necessary to place in a basket after the Gospel? Announcements were made to this effect for those who traveled to Taize for the first time? Why was not this reported? Did The New York Times, whose reporting on this matter has come in for criticism from Vatican apologists, deliberately fail to report such an announcement? Or is it the case that anyone who wanted to receive Holy Communion went up and received It without any impediment at all as reported in The New York Times on August 24, 2005. Even the "note" from Cardinal Kasper, does not deny that anyone who wanted to receive Holy Communion could have done so. Did he offer any reminder before the distribution of Holy Communion about the fact that only Catholics are to receive Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity?
Once again, we are faced with Vatican damage-control. It is scandalous beyond words that a Protestant syncretist was honored with a funeral Mass offered by a curial cardinal of the Catholic Church. It is truly saddening beyond words that even one, no less countless thousands of sacrilegious communions were made by non-Catholics in Taize on August 23, 2005. No one can deny that these sacrilegious communions took place. All the Vatican can say now is that it was not Cardinal Kasper's intent to institute a new policy, content to convince the faithful that the "Taize policy" was followed assiduously in a crowd of 12,000 people. No one in the hierarchy has yet to call for an act of reparation for the offenses given to Our Lord by the sacrilegious communions made at Taize on August 23, 2005. I suppose we wait in vain for a shepherd to have the courage to do so. I suppose that our shepherds will hide behind the smokescreen that is Cardinal Kasper's pathetic note to explain his presiding over a Mass where Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity was subjected to countless abuses.
Some of the Vatican apologists defending Cardinal Kasper have termed the late Pope John Paul II as "The Great." One must understand that this appellation has been awarded to a pope who appointed hundreds upon hundreds of bishops who undermined the Catholic Faith, coddled theological dissent in their dioceses, undermined the purity of the young with the filth of instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, presided over unspeakable profanities in the context of the Mass, made war upon those devoted to the fullness of Catholic Faith and worship as handed down to us from the Apostles, and protected perverts. The "great" pope rewarded one of the chief protectors of priest-perverts with the position of Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. What great pope in the past would have done any of these things? What great pope in the past would have sat by as half-naked tribesmen and tribeswomen came right up to him in Mass to "present the gifts"? What great pope in the past would have praised disciples of Teilhard de Chardin?
Well, one of these apologists, George Weigel, has said that the late "Brother" Roger Schutz, had such a respect for the Real Presence of Our Lord that he would have been "pained" by a controversy involving inter-communion. There's a little problem with this bit of damage-control. "Brother" Roger Schutz, a non-Catholic to the moment of his death, who is said by Mr. Weigel to have been opposed to inter-communion, did not protest when he was wheeled in a wheelchair to receive Holy Communion from the hands of Cardinal Ratzinger on April 8, 2005. Was Mr. Schutz wheeled up against his will to do something that he was opposed to, receive Holy Communion although he was a Protestant? How can a non-Catholic man be opposed to inter-communion when he presents himself for the reception of Holy Communion? The Vatican apologists are once again defying the principle of non-contradiction. Such, however, is the very ethos of ecumenism itself, which flies in the face of the perennial teaching of the Church.
Some of those who have come to Cardinal Kasper's defense, including Mr. Weigel, have gone so far as to praise the "ecumenism of holiness" of "Brother" Roger Schutz, ignoring, perhaps out of ignorance, the nasty little facts about Taize documented by Father Didier Bonneterre in The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results. I have cited the passages below in my original commentary about the offenses given to Our Lord on August 23, 2005. I will cite them once again:
The Taize movement began as a project of Roger Louis Schultz-Marasuche [note: it is Schutz, not Schultz], born in Switzerland in 1915, the son of a Lutheran minister, and now known to the English-speaking world as Roger Schultz or simply "Brother Roger." Schultz was active in the Swiss Student Christian Movement while a seminarian in Switzerland; there he studied monastic life and dreamed of establishing an "ecumenical" monastic community. Popular history holds that Schultz left his native Switzerland after the occupation of northern France by German troops in 1940; the German invasion of France evidently awakened in him a desire to assist war refugees while pursuing his "monastic" aim. Thus, in August, 1940, Schultz moved to the small town of Taize, located between Lyons and Dijon in rural Burgundy, just south of the line dividing occupied from Vichy France. Most of the refugees Schultz received at Taize were those fleeing into Vichy France due to political hardships; many were Jews. When Germany invaded northern France in 1942, Schultz returned to Switzerland, fearing German retribution. In Geneva he was joined by Max Thurian, "theologian" of the Swiss Reformed Church, and Pierre Souveran, an agricultural engineer. The group returned to Taize in 1944, and by 1947 the first "brothers" took "life vows [of] celibacy, community of property, and acceptance of the authority of the community."
According to a 1959 article in Theology Today, the small Taize community quickly became an active element of ecumenical, liturgical, biblical, and evangelical movements in France. Their "twelfth century church, built by Cluny monks, was restored along lines of liturgical reform. Taize quickly established ties with ecumenical movements in French Catholic circles and with the [note: pro-abortion, pro-contraception] World Council of Churches. in Geneva."
Meanwhile, the two co-founders, Schultz and Thurian, had quickly become ecumenical icons in their own right.
Schultz's personal achievements was Taize itself, from its outset a non-confessional "parable of a community" (as he called it) which emphasized life in common over questions of dogma: "In living a common life," he wrote, "have we any other end than to unify men committed to following Christ into a living sign of the unity of the Church?" Just as the true Church of Jesus Christ is His Mystical Body in the world, so too would Taize become the ecumenical movement incarnate: "The ecumenical imperative is fundamental to an understanding of Taize. Representing various church traditions within itself, it is, in effect, a rather advance incarnational witness of ecumenical endeavor."
One will see very quickly that the defined teaching of Our Lord, which Pope Pius XI had noted in Mortalium Animos (1928) as binding upon all believers in its entirety without one iota of dissent, meant nothing to Roger Schutz and the Taize community. Pope Benedict XVI has said that Schutz has entered into "eternal joy," thus saying that he is in Heaven. Let's get this straight, therefore: syncretists who denied (as opposed to being ignorant as a result of never having heard the Faith preached) articles contained in the Deposit of Faith, including the necessity of formal membership in the one true Church, are capable of going straight to Heaven four months after a sacrilegious reception of Holy Communion and a lifetime of trying to get Catholic popes and bishops to approve his syncretism? And there are still people out there who do not have a problem with this, who are so foolish as to think that the mind of Pope Benedict XVI is not seriously infected by major theological errors?
Returning to Father Bonneterre:
Max Thurian (1921-1996), a Reformed Church pastor born in Geneva, was known as the "theologian of Taize," and was for many years a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. Under its auspices he edited the influential (in ecumenical circles) volume Ecumenical Perspectives on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, in conjunction with which was developed the infamous "Lima Liturgy" of 1982.
For those in the Catholic hierarchy evidently intent on abandoning the concept of ecumenism as renunciation of error and return to the Catholic fold, Taize, Schultz, and Thurian became living examples of the kind of Christian reconciliation allegedly possible. During one of several audiences with Schultz, Pope John XXIII responded to a reference to Taize by saying, "Ah, Taize, that little springtime!" In spite of the fact that Thurian personally asked Pope Pius XII not to define the Assumption, both he and Schultz were invited to the Second Vatican Council, where, according to Schultz, they had numerous private meetings with the Council fathers, to "study the evolution of the texts, write up notes, and give our point of view when asked." it is well known that Thurian participated in the Consilium which revised the Roman rite; speaking of the Consilium's ecumenical fruit, he later declared, "It is now theologically possible for Protestants to use the same Mass as Catholics."
Roman fascination with the Taize experiment was not, however, reciprocated by a corresponding interest in the Roman religion by the Taize founders. In 1975 Roger Schultz asked of Rome, that a reconciliation come about without requiring non-Catholics to repudiate their origins. Even with truly...catholic communion in view, repudiation goes against love." And Max Thurian expressed similar sentiments in 1976, asserting that "if a Protestant has the conviction that the Catholic Church, following the Second Vatican Council, rediscovered conformity with the apostolic church, he can then consider himself to be a member of that Church without, however, renouncing his adherence to another ecclesial community.
In spite of such indifferentism, the Holy Father [the late Pope John Paul II] deigned to grace Taize with his presence on October 5, 1986, effectively inscribing his name on a long list of admiring visitors, including three Archbishops of Canterbury, Orthodox metropolitans, the fourteen Lutheran bishops of Sweden, and countless pastors from all over the world. Thurian received Holy Orders in a semi-secret ceremony conducted by the former Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Ursi, and was later invited by John Paul II to join the International Theological Commission, and yet, according to the Taize community "no abjuration of [his] Protestant religion took place [!]"
It is even admitted by some Catholics that the change in Rome's attitude toward ecumenism was directly inspired by the work of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, through which Thurian accomplish so much of his ecumenical work in the 1980's: "...the Roman Catholic church changed her understanding of what we now call the ecumenical enterprise. . . Let me say that this huge change of Roman Catholic mentality is certainly in great part due to the high quality of the world done by the World Council of Churches, and especially Faith and Order."
Such a change of mentality was no doubt welcomed by the Taize founders, and in some fashion accepted by Pope John Paul II. Thurian once suggested that "unity today in the churches exists as we renounce all our divisive ways, only holding to the fundamental faith which saves and joins us." In 1986 the Pope congratulated the members of the Taize community for "desiring to be [them]selves a "parable of community," [that] will help all whom [they] meet to be faithful to their denominational ties, the fruit of their education and their choice in conscience."
After the death of John XXIII, his brother, Giuseppe Roncalli, visit Taize. During his visit, Roncalli remarked to his grandson, "It was my brother the Pope who began what will come out of Taize." (Father Didier Bonneterre, The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results. Kansas City, Missouri: Angelus Press, 2002. pp. 97-101.)
Once again, I ask: Is it not a little bit disturbing that a Vicar of Christ, in this case the late Pope John Paul II, praised a community that would help all people to "be faithful to their denominational ties," giving every impression of indifferentism at that time and in that place? How can anyone pretend that these comments are in concert with the Deposit of Faith. And we are now faced with a situation where a Pope has not simply in "some fashion" embraced the "vision of Taize" but has done so most directly. The vision of Taize is a manifest and complete rejection of the Deposit of Faith that the God-Man entrusted to solely and exclusively to His true Church for its safekeeping and explication.
Furthermore, the whole business of "spiritual ecumenism" (or the "ecumenism of holiness") was the brainchild of Abbe Paul Couturier, who was cited by Pope John Paul II in footnote 50 of Ut Unum Sint and praised specifically by Pope Benedict XVI in his address to Protestants in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005. Paul Couturier was a disciple of Teilhard de Chardin, as a website devoted to Couturier's work admits most proudly:
A third influence on Couturier was Teilhard de Chardin. Both men were scientists, and Teilhard's vision of the unity of creation and humanity expressed in the unity of Christ and the life of the Church appealed both scientifically and spiritually to Couturier. A reasoned consequence for him was that the unity of Christians was the sign for the unity of humanity, and that praying for the sanctification of Jews, Muslims and Hindus, among many others, could not fail but to lead to a new spiritual understanding of God where Christ could at last be recognised and understood. Couturier felt this keenly as he was partly Jewish and had been raised among Muslims in North Africa. It is worth noting that among Couturier's voluminous correspondents were Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, as well as every kind of Christian, all caught up in the Abbé's spirit of prayer, realising the significance and dimensions of prayer for the unity of Christians. Coincidentally, years later Mother Theresa spoke of the considerable number of Muslims who volunteered and worked at her house in Calcutta: 'If you are a Christian, I want to make you a better Christian - if you are a Muslim, I want to make you a better Muslim'. It cannot be denied that what those Muslims were seeing in Mother Theresa was Jesus Christ himself, just as the Abbe attracted so many to prayer across previously unbridgeable divides by his humility, penitence, and joyful charity in the peace of Christ.
Once again, it is important to point out the absolute incompatibility of Taize and any Catholic's praise of its syncretism with the perennial, dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church as enunciated so clearly by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, 1928:
And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one.... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd," with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment. For they are of the opinion that the unity of faith and government, which is a note of the one true Church of Christ, has hardly up to the present time existed, and does not to-day exist. They consider that this unity may indeed be desired and that it may even be one day attained through the instrumentality of wills directed to a common end, but that meanwhile it can only be regarded as mere ideal. They add that the Church in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections; that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remain separate, and although having certain articles of doctrine in common, nevertheless disagree concerning the remainder; that these all enjoy the same rights; and that the Church was one and unique from, at the most, the apostolic age until the first Ecumenical Councils. Controversies therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion which keep asunder till the present day the members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and from the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers. The manifold churches or communities, if united in some kind of universal federation, would then be in a position to oppose strongly and with success the progress of irreligion. This, Venerable Brethren, is what is commonly said. There are some, indeed, who recognize and affirm that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected, with a great lack of consideration, certain articles of faith and some external ceremonies, which are, in fact, pleasing and useful, and which the Roman Church still retains. They soon, however, go on to say that that Church also has erred, and corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines which are not only alien to the Gospel, but even repugnant to it. Among the chief of these they number that which concerns the primacy of jurisdiction, which was granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Among them there indeed are some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honor or even a certain jurisdiction or power, but this, however, they consider not to arise from the divine law but from the consent of the faithful. Others again, even go so far as to wish the Pontiff Himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies. But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ.
This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost: has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy. But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by "witnesses preordained by God," and also confirmed His command with this sanction: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned." These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring. In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life.
These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you." For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvelous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognize the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honor due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men." How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of Our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith.
So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly." The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills." For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.
Pope Pius XI was specifically condemning the efforts of men such as Abbe Paul Couturier. Who was right? Pope Pius XI's condemnations of the ethos of Abbe Paul Couturier and Taize or the embrace of that ethos by conciliarist mentality in the past forty-seven years? It cannot be both. As I have pointed out in some recent commentaries, if Pope Pius XI was wrong in Mortalium Animos, then Our Lord Himself was wrong. So were the Apostles. So were all of the missionaries who sought to take people out of false religions that have the power to save no one. Each of the over 33,000 sects of Protestantism is false. Protestantism has the power in and of itself to save no soul.
The path of the novelty of ecumenism has taken us down the road where sacrileges such as those that occurred at Taize are now justified rather than made the object of intense reparation. The path of the novelty of ecumenism is foreign to the received tradition of the Catholic Church. It is from the devil. Inter-communion is from the devil. Our Lord was betrayed by Pope Benedict XVI and by Walter Cardinal Kasper when each offered words of praise for a syncretist who did not believe that "dogma" mattered. Our Lord's own Body was turned over, quite literally, into the hands of unbelievers when Holy Communion was distributed even to one non-Catholic at Taize on August 23, 2005, no less hundreds or thousands of them.
Yes, it is exhausting beyond words to have to write about these things. Is it too much for a Catholic lay man to hope that some bishop will stand up and say that the conciliar novelty of ecumenism is from hell and inter-communion is the path to lead souls there for all eternity?
As always, we entrust these realities to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will triumph in the end. May our prayers and sacrifices, especially by praying her Most Holy Rosary in this month of October with special care and devotion, help to expedite the day on which some pope will consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops, thus ending spectacles such as bishops praising tribal dances during Holy Mass and bishops and cardinals seeking a way to justify the sacrilege of inter-communion.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.