It is interesting how many treasures both sacred and profane get buried and forgotten with the passage of time -
tilling the soil in Ireland reveals a Mass kit buried for safety (its priestly owner perhaps executed before he could return for it),
a vast hoard of Roman coins recovered at the bottom of the excavation of an English well (if only the barbarian attackers had known) or,
a Papal Encyclical buried in the subsequent documentation of World War II and the Second Vatican Council “churchquake”. But the dust has settled and the advent of the computer database is shining light on some gems.
Eighty years ago the great Pope Pius XI issued the crystal clear gem of an encyclical Mortalium Animos on fostering true religious Unity. He drew attention to what St. Cyprian says:
“The Spouse of Christ cannot commit adultery; she is incorrupt and modest, she knows one house, she guards with chaste modesty the holiness of one room.” (, 6.) This same holy martyr marvelled, and with reason, how anyone could think that “the unity which proceeds from the stability of God and is bound together by the sacraments of Heaven could be torn asunder in the Church or separated by the wills of the discordant.” (.)
|SAINT JOHN by Titian|
The great Pope goes on to emphasise
"All remember how John — the very Apostle of Charity who in his Gospel seems to have opened the secrets of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who always inculcated in the minds of his disciples the new commandment, — had wholly forbidden them to have relations with those who did not profess entire and uncorrupted the teachings of Christ. (II John 10.) Since charity is founded in whole and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united by the bond of unity in faith and by it as the chief bond."
|POPE PIUS XI UPON THE CATHEDRA IN THE LATERAN BASILICA|
all who look carefully can see that it is present in the Catholic Church.” (with footnote reference to Mortalium Animos).
The between the wars Pan Christian ecumenical movement which Pius XI so decisively addressed re-surfaced in the post-war period and in various ways tended to colour the post-Conciliar ecumenical project. In the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s ecumenical fever brought on a great deal of irrational hopes, activity and talk. But in the 1990s and this century the fever has declined, leaving some confused others lost and the majority exchanging knowing looks as one might when an
errant relative comes to his/her senses.
The accelerating decay of the Anglican “Communion” and the libertarian excesses of the Uniting Church are only two examples of the shock therapy administered to Catholic ecumenical zealots. But 80 years ago the Pope, who - in 1930 with Casti Connubi exposed the intellectual fraud of the Anglican decision allowing for the practice of contraception and - in Mit Brennender Sorge (With burning sorrow) in 1937 (smuggled into the Third Reich by a priest on bicycle) blasted the pathetic claims of superiority of race and nation and again in 1937, with
Divini Redemptoris, revealed the perversity of Communism, with clarity and powerful reasoning and the deftness of a scalpel-wielding surgeon, exposed the perils of, and the reality of the false ecumenicism we have in recent decades suffered - and against whose “false irenicism” Pope Saint John Paul the Great repeatedly warned.
Pope Pius XI teaches with impeccable logic, with Saint Cyprian " one house.....one room", with Saint John : " ....receive him not.....", we cannot abandon logic, such a great Saint and the Apostle Jesus loved for a mess of "niceness" and equivocation.
|SAINT CYPRIAN OF CARTHAGE|
Pope Pius XI pray for us.