For those who imagine Progressivism is slowing down under the papacy of Benedict XVI, a recent news item from Zenit, August 30, 2011, disproves such naïve optimism. Titled “Vatican, Lutherans Preparing Document on Reformation,” it reports that the Church and the World Lutheran Federation are preparing a Joint Declaration on the Reformation, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses. (1)
Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, announced that “Benedict XVI wants his September 22-25 trip to Germany to have an ecumenical focus.” Please note, it is Pope Ratzinger himself who “wants” this, not some conniving cabal of Prelates around him who pressure him to take progressivist positions he “personally” opposes.
To have that ecumenical focus, the Catholic-Lutheran document will analyze the Reformation in the light of 2,000 years of Christianity. The result: "The joint commemoration of this anniversary could be the occasion for a mutual mea culpa." This would be to achieve "a common purification of the memory," recalling, of course, the multiple “apologies” made by John Paul II.
Benedict waits his turn to speak at the Lutheran Church in Rome
To even consider that a mea culpa should be made for the past stances of the Church against heresy, Protestantism included, contradicts the former teaching of the Church. I present here only a few of many documents that make such a mea culpa an anti-Catholic attitude :
Meetings with Protestants and Schismatics
- Heretics are Antichrists and adversaries of Christ. (VII Council of Carthage) (2)
- We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy, condemning all heretics under whatever names they may be known; for, while they have different faces, they are nevertheless bound to each other by their tails. (IV Lateran Council)
- He who to support heresy distorts the Sacred Scriptures from their genuine and true meaning is guilty of the greatest injury to the Word of God; and against this crime we were warned by the Prince of the Apostles: "There are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they also do other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:16). (Council of Trent)
- Hence, if you fear to leave this Catholic unity outside which there is no salvation, beware of the subtleties of heretics.(Pope Pius IX)
During this third trip to Germany as Pope, Benedict XVI will also continue his program of embracing the false religions. It is conciliar ecumenism and dialogue, full steam ahead.
On the first day of his trip, Benedict XVI will have a meeting with the Jewish community. The next day he will meet with representatives of the Muslim community. Then he will go to Erfurt, in Thuringia, to visit the places where Luther lived. After visiting St. Mary's Cathedral, he will meet with representatives of the German Evangelical Church Council and then take part in an ecumenical celebration in the church of the Augustinians' convent in Erfurt.
On Saturday, September 24, he will preside over Mass at 9 a.m. in the Domplatz of Erfurt. In the afternoon, he will go to Freiburg where he will hold a meeting with the representatives of the Schismatic Churches.
In Luther's Bible the Pope, at right, is compared to a plague, but today's Popes praise his theology
One is not certain if these now-typical Vatican II papal visits are intended more to please the false religions than to confirm the Catholics in the faith. In fact, conversion of the Protestants and Schismatics was never mentioned in his former trips to Germany, and it is doubtful we will hear anything along these lines on this trip either.
Such actions frontally contradict the teaching of past Doctors and Saints of the Church. For example, consider these quotes:
• St. Augustine: “Therefore, we are right in censuring, anathematizing, abhorring, and abominating the perversity of heart shown by heretics.”
• St. Cyprian: “Whoever withdraws and departs from the Church will be guilty, even though he has attained grace in the Church. That he will perish will be imputed to himself.”
• St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori: “How many are the infidels, heretics, and schismatics who do not enjoy the happiness of the true faith! The earth is full of them, and they are all lost!”
• St. John Eudes: “The greatest evil existing today is heresy, an infernal rage which hurls countless souls into eternal damnation.”
• Pope St. Leo the Great: “Those who continue in heresy become unpardonable, they can never attain forgiveness. They are falling into that blasphemy which shall never be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the Judgment to come.” (3)
These uniform past teachings of the Church on heresy cannot be in error, since they enjoy the assistance of the Holy Ghost given to the constant and universal Magisterium of the Church. If this is so, the efforts of the followers of Vatican II to make them look obsolete are vain. So are the planned meetings of Benedict XVI in Germany as reported by Zenit.
Catholics do not need to "entreat" with non-Catholics to enter into or re-enter the One True Church of Christ, "outside of which there is no salvation."
They need to preach to these lost souls in genuine charity the words of St. Catherine of Siena, who insisted: "Return, return, and do not wait for the rod of justice. For our faults do not pass unpunished, especially those committed against Holy Church."
They have the multitude of miracles that time after time confirmed the perennial, universal and unchangeable Church teachings. This evidence of the authenticity of the Catholic Faith are signs by which God in His Mercy makes His will manifested to creatures so that they might believe in Him and in His Church and save their souls.
Must all such evidence be denied and suppressed for "ecumenical reasons" to attain such transient goals as human peace and conflict-free dialogue ? Most lamentably, these concessions to heretics and schismatics come at the cost of the eternal salvation of millions of souls.
1. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.zenit.org/article-33318?l=English
2. All citations are quoted from and documented in The Apostolic Digest, Book III, Chapter 3 http://www.romancatholicism.net/ApostolicDigest9.htm
Posted September 5, 2011