|HOUSTON,TEXAS CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL|
SHORN OF EXTERNAL ORNAMENTATION
AN EXAMPLE OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE
The Ecumenical project has always seemed to me to be either slightly dishonest or otherwise wrong-headed. Because if our Catholic integrity is to be preserved true to our founder - yes, Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church and no other - then the goal of ecumenism must be the conversion of all non-Catholic believers in Christ to the Catholic Faith whilst maintaining good relations with them along the way.But if that is not the goal then the whole project is seriously wrong-headed.
Our Catholic Identity is an inestimable treasure - truly a gift from God.It is not something to be put at risk of compromise or tarnish.
The most nearly-acceptable version of the Ecumenical project that I have heard put, is to find those things that we have in common and to do those things together which are possible without compromising our Faith. I say " nearly-acceptable" because it does not acknowledge human nature at all, or the fundamental duty we owe to Truth.
In the course of my employment at a very senior level in the Archdiocese of Brisbane in the 1990s in the episcopates of Archbishops Rush and Bathersby, I was obliged to participate in some Ecumenical gatherings and activities. It was my experience that these always involved some effective or apparent diminution of our Catholicity whilst the other folk retained the integrity of their error.
Anyone considering the facts of the situation, and being honest, would have to admit that this is inevitably the case.
Consider the position of the Catholic Church - founded by Jesus Christ - God made Man - with exclusive mission to go out to all the world teaching them all things whatsoever He had taught and given to His Vicar on Earth, the Successor of Saint Peter, the Keys of the Kingdom and the power to Bind and Loose "whatsoever" he chooses. That was 2,000 years ago. But 500 years ago that Church began to be deformed by traitors to Christ's Truth. Separate fragments of the once-faithful broke away under the protection of princes of this world. These fragments broke into further fragments and they in their turn....until there are now more than 40,000 of these heretical groups - enemies of Christ's Truth.
How should the Catholic Church and Catholics behave toward these heretical groups and individual heretics. Obviously they should be called home whilst being treated with all Charity. But that calling home needs to be incessant, not silenced for the sake of false " niceness". It is not optional- it is an imperative . And one that sits most heavily on the shoulders of the Bishops of the Catholic Church, the successors of the Apostles.
Archbishop of Houston Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo
The role of the Bishop is, as we know, " To teach, to sanctify and to govern". " Teaching all nations.." and certainly those in error in his Diocese.And it goes without saying that he ought not be a source of scandal to his Diocese or the wider Church.
Texas, as we know from its reputation, prides itself on " bigness" and that , unfortunately, seems to extend to errors. For very recently the Cardinal Archbishop of Houston, Texas, in the name of "Ecumenical hospitality" gave the use of his Cathedral ( pictured above) to a Protestant organisation for an " ordination" service conducted by its female "Bishop". The matter has been carefully researched and documented by the American Church Militant TV presenter Michael Voris, including direct conversation with the Cardinal Archbishop.
Consider this : a Cathedral consecrated to the honor and glory of God and the teaching of the Catholic Faith He has revealed, and the sanctification of the Catholic faithful, is handed over to the use of heretic members of a sect invented in 1968 out of two earlier Protestant sects.There, in the Sanctuary intended for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,these people, affecting ecclesiastical vestments went through a thoroughly invalid pretence of a religious ceremony conveying nothing, but encouraging their number in their heretical beliefs.
But who would permit this outrage. Well no-one but the Archbishop of Houston Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo - this is not only a reported fact, but His Eminence confirmed it to Church Militant TV in person and was untroubled by his decision. Indeed he parried very respectful questioning on the subject in emails from young people in his Archdiocese. A Cardinal who has committed himself to close and faithful service to the Holy Father and wears Red robes in token of his willingness to shed his blood for the Faith, is responsible for this outrageous error.
Closer to home here in Australia , we have been spared that sort of Ecumenical lunacy but are not free from the taint.Who can forget :
Altar as Ecumenical Desk -Saint Stephen's Catholic Cathedral Brisbane
Anglican Bishop P. Aspinall,then Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby and now deposed Bishop of Toowoomba William Morris signing an Ecumenical Covenant
Even if one could set aside the abuse of the Altar - symbol of Christ Himself - upon which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated and the Body, Blood ,Soul and Divinity of Christ repose, the image is pathetically embarrassing to any Catholic. Obviously the Anglican is only to happy to appear as if the equal of a validly ordained Bishop in Christ's Church - but what can be said of those two validly ordained Catholic Bishops giving him that opportunity?
But that is not the end of it.
In 2008 now retired early Bishop Michael Malone of Maitland -Newcastle Diocese, soon to retire (157 days to go) Bishop David Walker of Broken Bay Diocese and the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Brian Farran signed a Tri-Diocesan Covenant of co-operation. The suggestion seeming to be that each was an equivalent entity.
So wobbly was Bishop Malone's grasp on reality that only the intervention of the Holy See prevented him from conducting a joint Confirmation with the Anglican Bishop Brian Farran a year or so before his retirement three years early.
One could go on and on about similar appalling instances in which Ecumenical Enthusiasm has led to disastrous compromise at the formal level . But silent and unseen is the effect of this compromise on the belief and understanding of the Catholic people - not to mention on the members of the heretical organisations. The aid and comfort thus given to the latter poor souls is a major scandal in itself. Where they ought to have been receiving an effective call to return to Christ's Truth , they have been led to feel comfortable in their error.
Is it not long past the time when this naive and scandal-prone exercise should be laid aside? Let us get back onto the front foot , where we as Christ's one true Church belong - going out to all the world to win people to Christ's Church, to the Truth that will set them free - no longer comforting them in HenryVIII's or Martin Luther's or John Wesley's or Hiram P.Winterbottom's Church-invented-yesterday in Upper Sanduskey USA!