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November 15, 2013

Bergoglio, Pride and Joy of the Everyman Religion

by Thomas Albert Droleskey

Although nine days away from my sixty-second birthday, my long-term memory is still pretty strong, although I must admit that the short-term memory has slipped in recent years. Obviously, I recognize that even the long-term memory is a gratuitous gift from God that can take away when He wills to do so, something that happened to the great Saint, Doctor and son of Saint Dominic, Saint Albert the Great, whose feast we celebrate today.

Having a decent memory, however, carries its own crosses, especially when one reads histrionic reactions to various pronouncements of Jorge Mario Bergoglio that are identical to much of what his equally apostate predecessors as the universal public face of apostasy said during their own tenure posing falsely as a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter. This is why it is simultaneously laughable and frustratingly exasperating to see "conservatives" and traditionally-minded Catholics in the conciliar structures attempt to contrast the revolutionary words and actions of Bergoglio with those of their supposedly "traditional" Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. The truth is, of course, that no matter their personal differences, which are largely over style and governance and not substance, the "two-headed 'pope' monster" is one in Modernist mind and heart.

To wit, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has said on many occasions that the "no church" of the "past" was "too closed-in-on-itself" and "self-referential," absolutely sure of possessing all truth. Here some examples to document this statement for those who have short memories and/or whose memories have been blurred by the constant stream of words out of the mouth of this Argentine apostate:

This is important not only in the great moments in history, but also in the moments of our life: we all have the memory of salvation, everyone. I wonder, though: is this memory close to us, or is it a memory a bit far away, spread a little thin, a bit archaic, a little like a museum [piece]… it can get far away [from us]… and when the memory is not close, when we do not experience the closeness of memory, it enters into a process of transformation, and the memory becomes a mere recollection.”

When memory is distant, he added, “it is transformed into recollection, but when it comes near, it turns into joy, and this is the joy of the people.” This, he continued, constitutes “a principle of our Christian life.” When memory is already close, said Pope Francis, “it warms the heart and gives us joy.”:

“This joy is our strength. The joy of the nearness of memory. Domesticated memory, on the other hand, which moves away and becomes a mere recollection, does not warm the heart. It gives us neither joy nor strength. This encounter with memory is an event of salvation, it is an encounter with the love of God that has made history with us and saved us. It is a meeting of salvation - and it is so wonderful to be saved, that we need to make feast.

The Church, said Pope Francis, has “[Christ’s] memory”: the “memory of the Passion of the Lord.” We too, he said, run the risk of “pushing this memory away, turning it into a mere recollection, in a rote exercise.”:

“Every week we go to church, or rather when someone dies, we go to the funeral … and this memory often times bores us, because it is not near. It is sad, but the Mass is often turned into a social event and we are not close to the memory of the Church, which is the presence of the Lord before us. Imagine this beautiful scene in the Book of Nehemiah: Ezra who carries the Book of Israel’s memory and the people once again grow near to their memory and weep, the heart is warmed, is joyful, it feels that the joy of the Lord is its strength – and the people makes a feast, without fear, simply.”

“Let us ask the Lord,” concluded Pope Francis, “ for the grace to always have His memory close to us, a memory close and not domesticated by habit, by so many things, and pushed away into mere recollection.” (Miss Frances, Ding Dong School, Thursday, October 3, 2013, Casa Santa Marta, Occupied Vatican Territory on the West Bank of the Tiber.)

“A Christian,” said Pope Francis, “must proclaim Jesus Christ in such a way that He be accepted: received, not refused – and Paul knows that he has to sow the Gospel message. He knows that the proclamation of Jesus Christ is not easy, but that it does not depend on him. He must do everything possible, but the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the proclamation of the truth, depends on the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in today's Gospel: ‘When He shall come, the Spirit of truth, shall guide you into all the truth.’ Paul does not say to the Athenians: ‘This is the encyclopedia of truth. Study this and you have the truth, the truth.’ No! The truth does not enter into an encyclopedia. The truth is an encounter - it is a meeting with Supreme Truth: Jesus, the great truth. No one owns the truth. The we receive the truth when we meet [it]. (Miss Frances at Wednesday Mass: build bridges, not walls.)

Q. In short, it is the Holy Spirit who performs the mission.

BERGOGLIO: The early theologians said: the soul is a kind of sailing boat, the Holy Spirit is the wind that blows in the sail, to send it on its way, the impulses and the force of the wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Without His drive, without His grace, we don’t go ahead. The Holy Spirit lets us enter the mystery of God and saves us from the danger of a gnostic Church and from the danger of a self-referential Church, leading us to the mission.

That means also overthrowing all your functionalist solutions, your consolidated plans and pastoral systems

BERGOGLIO: I didn’t say that pastoral systems are useless. On the contrary. In itself everything that leads by the paths of God is good. I have told my priests: "Do everything you should, you know your duties as ministers, take your responsibilities and then leave the door open". Our sociologists of religion tell us that the influence of a parish has a radius of six hundred meters. In Buenos Aires there are about two thousand meters between one parish and the next. So I then told the priests: "If you can, rent a garage and, if you find some willing layman, let him go there! Let him be with those people a bit, do a little catechesis and even give communion if they ask him". A parish priest said to me: "But Father, if we do this the people then won’t come to church". "But why?" I asked him: "Do they come to mass now?" "No", he answered. And so! Coming out of oneself is also coming out from the fenced garden of one’s own convictions, considered irremovable, if they risk becoming an obstacle, if they close the horizon that is also of God.

This is valid also for lay people
…  (30Giorni | What I would have said at the Consistory (Interview with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio by Sefania Falasca. This interview was published in 2007 when Bergoglio was the conciliar "cardinal archbishop" of Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

1. Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision. We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own.

A second thought: the Holy Spirit would appear to create disorder in the Church, since he brings the diversity of charisms and gifts; yet all this, by his working, is a great source of wealth, for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity, which does not mean uniformity, but which leads everything back to harmony. In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony – “Ipse harmonia est”. Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division. When we are the ones who want to build unity in accordance with our human plans, we end up creating uniformity, standardization. But if instead we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become a source of conflict, because he impels us to experience variety within the communion of the Church. Journeying together in the Church, under the guidance of her pastors who possess a special charism and ministry, is a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. Having a sense of the Church is something fundamental for every Christian, every community and every movement. It is the Church which brings Christ to me, and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous! When we venture beyond (proagon) the Church’s teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Jn 9). So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church? (Super Duper Apostate at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission.)

Pope Francis focused on the first reading from Acts which recounts the first steps of the Church which, after Pentecost, went out to the "outskirts of faith" to proclaim the Gospel. The Pope noted that the Holy Spirit did two things: "first it pushed" and created "problems" and then "fostered harmony within the Church." In Jerusalem, there were many opinions among the first disciples on whether to welcome Gentiles into the Church. There were those who said "no" to any agreement, and instead those who were open:

"There was a ‘No’ Church that said, 'you cannot; no, no, you must not' and a ‘Yes’ Church that said, ‘but ... let’s think about it, let’s be open to this, the Spirit is opening the door to us '. The Holy Spirit had yet to perform his second task: to foster harmony among these positions, the harmony of the Church, among them in Jerusalem, and between them and the pagans. He always does a nice job, the Holy Spirit, throughout history. And when we do not let Him work, the divisions in the Church begin, the sects, all of these things ... because we are closed to the truth of the Spirit. "

But what then is the key word in this dispute in the early Church? Pope Francis recalled the inspired words of James, Bishop of Jerusalem, who emphasized that we should not impose a yoke on the neck of the disciples that the same fathers were not able to carry:

"When the service of the Lord becomes so a heavy yoke, the doors of the Christian communities are closed: no one wants to come to the Lord. Instead, we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus we are saved. First this joy of the charism of proclaiming the grace, then let us see what we can do. This word, yoke, comes to my heart, comes to mind”.

The Pope then reflected on what it means to carry a yoke today in the Church. Jesus asks all of us to remain in his love. It is from this very love that the observance of his commandments is born. This, he reiterated, is "the Christian community that says yes". This love, said the Pope, leads us to be faithful to the Lord" ... "I will not do this or that because I love the Lord”:

"A community of' yes' and 'no' are a result of this' yes'. We ask the Lord that the Holy Spirit help us always to become a community of love, of love for Jesus who loved us so much. A community of this 'yes'. And from this 'yes' the commandments are fulfilled. A community of open doors. And it defends us from the temptation to become perhaps Puritans, in the etymological sense of the word, to seek a para-evangelical purity, from being a community of 'no'. Because Jesus ask us first for love, love for Him, and to remain in His love. "

Pope Francis concluded: this is "when a Christian community lives in love, confesses its sins, worships the Lord, forgives offenses, is charitable towards others and manifests love" and thus "feels the obligation of fidelity to the Lord to observe the commandments." (A Robber Church that says ‘Yes." That "robber church" title is in tribute to the late +Mr. Patrick Henry Omlor, R.I.P.)

In this as on many points, Jorge Mario Bergoglio follows in perfect continuity with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict, who said the following when he was the "cardinal" prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Destruction and Deformation of the Catholic Faith in 2001:

Q: However, can the Church really renounce its aspiration to be a Church of the majority?

Cardinal Ratzinger: We must take note of the decrease in our lines but, likewise, we must continue to be an open Church. The Church cannot be a closed, self-sufficient group.

Above all, we should be missionaries, in the sense of proposing again to society those values that are the foundation of the constitutive form that society has given itself, and which are at the base of the possibility to build a really human social community. The Church will continue to propose the great universal human values. Because, if law no longer has common moral foundations, it collapses insofar as it is law. From this point of view, the Church has a universal responsibility. As the Pope says, missionary responsibility means, precisely, to really attempt a new evangelization. We cannot calmly accept the rest of humanity falling back again into paganism. We must find the way to take the Gospel, also, to nonbelievers. The Church must tap all her creativity so that the living force of the Gospel will not be extinguished.

Q: What changes will the Church undergo?

Cardinal Ratzinger: I think we will have to be very cautious when it comes to the risk of forecasts, because historical development has always produced many surprises. Futurology often crashes.

For example, no one risked forecasting the fall of the Communist regimes. World society will change profoundly, but we are still not in a position to predict what the numerical decrease of the Western world will imply, which is still dominant, what Europe´s new face will be like, given the migratory currents, what civilization, and what social forms will be imposed. What is clear, in any event, is the different composition of the potential on which the Western Church will be sustained. What is most important, in my opinion, is to look at the "essence," to use an expression of Romano Guardini. It is necessary to avoid elaborating fantastic pre-constructions of something that could manifest itself very differently and that we cannot prefabricate in the meanderings of our brain, but to concentrate on the essential, which later might find new ways of incarnating itself. A process of simplification is important, which will enable us to distinguish between what is the master beam of our doctrine, of our faith, what is of perennial value in it. It is important to propose again the great underlying constants in their fundamental components, the questions on God, salvation, hope, life, especially what has a basic ethical value. (On the Future of Christianity - Cardinal Ratzinger)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio is merely expressing in a more vulgar, crude and profane manner what Ratzinger/Benedict expressed in the convoluted Hegelianism of the "new theology" he learned from the likes of his most influential mentor, Father Hans Urs von Balthasar. Bergoglio is simply making the revolutionary teaching and practices of conciliarism more "accessible" to the multitudes.

This little bit of a reminder is important to keep in mind that the various "ecumenical outreaches" of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the schismatic and heretical Orthodox are exactly the same as those of Ratzinger/Benedict. The current reigning universal public of apostasy's recent remarks to the Metropolitan Hilarion, who is the Chairman of the Department of External Affairs for the Russian Orthodox Church, are almost identical to those given in similar circumstances by his immediate predecessor, who lives but a short distance from him inside the walls of the Occupied Vatican on the West Bank of the Tiber River:


Russia’s Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev and Pope Francis met yesterday morning on the occasion of the presentation of the late Sergei Averintsev’s book “Word of God and word of man”. Yesterday the high representative of the Patriarchate of Moscow confirmed how quickly Orthodox faithful in Russia are picking up and interpreting the signals that are being sent out by the current Bishop of Rome. The presentation of Averintsev’s book took place at the Russian centre for science and culture in Rome.

The Patriarchate of Moscow’s “foreign affairs minister” spoke about the great Russian philosopher who died in Vienna in February 2004 and looked into ways in which ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches could be re-tuned in the years to come.

In the post-Soviet years, the great Christian scholar Averincev had already foreseen the fatal failure of an idea of Christian unity which he defined as “political” or “ideological”. That is, unity in Christianity described by many adjectives - conservative, liberal and so on – a unity that follows world rules and tends to grow out of an opposition towards someone or something, the unity of a “religion without faith, without belief”,” Hilarion explained. The Metropolitan quoted Averintsev to stress that common paths are only possible if there is unity in “Christian Christianity”. This unity is possible when one remains faithful to the Sacraments and the dynamics of the Christians faith, despite all differences. The unity of those who see every word of the Creed as an expression of their own faith.”

This is just as valid today. Real Christian unity cannot be distorted, with unity being formed out of opposition or motivated by “ideological, pragmatic or propagandistic” elements. Eastern and Western Churches “which have their roots in Apostolic Christianity” “have the very special mission of testifying “Christian Christianity” together, “professing the truth of the Cross together.” But his joint confession will only be fruitful if we learn to see one another not as adversaries, as we did during the crusades, nor as rivals, as often happens today, but as workers who work together in the Lord’s vineyard.” When “we can learn to value the differences that distinguish our various religious traditions and stop looking for external uniformity.

In his message, Hilarion sees the basic element of shared apostolic faith as a propelling factor of today’s and tomorrow’s ecumenical path. It is a “return to the sources” which can be developed also thanks to Pope Francis’ work. The Russian Metropolitan eloquently concluded his speech by extensively quoting two points made by the current Bishop of Rome. The first quotation was of the words pronounced by Pope Francis on the return flight from Rio after World Youth Day, referring to Dostoevskij and the Orthodox Churches: “In the Orthodox Churches, they have retained that pristine liturgy, which is so beautiful. We have lost some of the sense of adoration. The Orthodox preserved it; they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not matter.”

The second quotation by Francis which Hilarion referred to and emphasised, was a passage from the Pope’s interview with Italian Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica. Hilarion quoted the bit where the Bishop of Rome wanted “to learn” from the Orthodox Church about “the meaning of Episcopal collegiality and the tradition of synodality.”

A shared reflection on how the Church was governed in the early centuries “will bear fruit in due time,” Pope Francis said in the interview quoted by Hilarion. “In ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognize what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us,” the Pope said.

The extensive review of the institute of the Synod of Bishops, which Francis ordered, is a concrete sign of his willingness to recognise what the Holy Spirit sewed along the path of the Orthodox Churches as a gift for the Catholic Church. This means ecumenical dialogue can venture down new and unknown paths, away from the tedious ritualistic ceremonies between the two Churches. (Metropolitan Hilarion on Francis and “Christian Christianity”. See the appendix below for a list of ways in which the Orthodox defect from Catholic doctrine.)

"Christian Christianity"?

Well, that means putting aside divisive little things such as doctrine despite all of the mutual assurances to the contrary given by Bergoglio an his ecumaniacal partners such as the forty-seven year-old Hilarion, who is the Russian Orthodox equivalent of the now retired Walter Kasper, who comes into view shortly in this article, and his successor, Kurt Koch, as the President" of the "Pontifical" Council for Promoting the Unity of Christians.

Yes, we have been down this road before. Many times before.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio himself greeted the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Bartholomew, as follows on Friday, June 28, 2013,the Feast of Saint Irenaeus and the Vigil of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul:


I am particularly pleased to greet you with a warm welcome to the Church of Rome, which is celebrating its patron saints Peter and Paul. Your presence in this circumstance is a sign of the deep bond that unites the Church of Constantinople and the Church of Rome in faith, hope and love. The beautiful custom, which began in 1969, of exchanging delegations between our Churches for their patronal feast days, is for me a source of great joy: fraternal encounter is an essential part of the journey towards unity. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Your Holiness Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who wanted to once again send a high level delegation. I remember with fraternal affection the gesture of exquisite attention shown to me by Your Holiness Bartholomew, when you honored me with your presence at the celebration of the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome. I am also very grateful to Your Eminence, for your participation in this event and I am happy to see you again on this occasion.

The search for unity among Christians is an urgency which, today more than ever, we cannot ignore. In our world, hungry and thirsty for truth, love, hope, peace and unity, it is important for our own witness, to be finally able to announce with one voice the good news of the Gospel and to celebrate the Divine Mysteries of the new life in Christ! We know very well that unity is primarily a gift from God for which we must pray without ceasing, but we all have the task of preparing the conditions, of cultivating the soil of the heart, so that this extraordinary grace can be received.

A fundamental contribution to the search for full communion between Catholics and Orthodox is offered by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, co-chaired by Your Eminence, Metropolitan Ioannis, and by my venerable brother Cardinal Kurt Koch. I sincerely thank you for your valuable and tireless commitment. This Commission has already produced many common texts and is now studying the delicate issue of theological and ecclesiological relationship between primacy and synodality in the life of the Church. It is significant that today we are able to reflect together, in truth and love, on these issues, starting with what we have in common, but without hiding that which still separates us. This is not merely a theoretical exercise, but one of getting to know each other's traditions in order to understand, and sometimes also to learn from them. I refer for example to the reflection of the Catholic Church on the meaning of episcopal collegiality, and the tradition of synodality, so typical of the Orthodox Churches. I am confident that the effort of shared reflection, so complex and laborious, will bear fruit in due time. I am comforted to know that Catholics and Orthodox share the same conception of dialogue that does not seek a theological minimalism on which to reach a compromise, but rather is based on the deepening of the one truth that Christ has given to His Church, which we never cease to understand better as we are moved by the Holy Spirit. For this, we should not be afraid of encounter and of true dialogue. It does not take us away from the truth, but rather, through an exchange of gifts, it leads us, under the guidance of the Spirit of truth, to the whole truth (cf. Jn 16:13). (Francis the Flexible to Orthodox delegation from Ecumenical Patriarchate.)

Each of these bits of apostasy is in perfect continuity with the Modernist mind and heart of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who gave his own personal expression of support for the supposedly "unofficial" The Ravenna Document, which was issued by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue on October 13, 2007, on a number of occasions, thereby placing his "papal" seal of approval on the document and providing an "official" expression of the views on  the primacy of the "Petrine Ministry" in light of how it was supposedly exercised in the First Millennium before the Greek Schism of 1054:


After all, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, in the same bull in which he excommunicated the Patriarch Michael Cerularius and thus inaugurated the schism between East and West, designated the Emperor and the people of Constantinople as "very Christian and orthodox", although their concept of the Roman primary was certainly far less different from that of Cerularius than from that, let us say, of the First Vatican Council. In other words, Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium. (Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 198-199)

It remains for the question of the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of all the Churches to be studied in greater depth. What is the specific function of the bishop of the “first see” in an ecclesiology of koinonia and in view of what we have said on conciliarity and authority in the present text? How should the teaching of the first and second Vatican councils on the universal primacy be understood and lived in the light of the ecclesial practice of the first millennium? These are crucial questions for our dialogue and for our hopes of restoring full communion between us.

We, the members of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, are convinced that the above statement on ecclesial communion, conciliarity and authority represents positive and significant progress in our dialogue, and that it provides a firm basis for future discussion of the question of primacy at the universal level in the Church. We are conscious that many difficult questions remain to be clarified, but we hope that, sustained by the prayer of Jesus “That they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17, 21), and in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we can build upon the agreement already reached. Reaffirming and confessing “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4, 5), we give glory to God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has gathered us together. (The Ravenna Document)

Future discussion of "primacy at the universal level in the Church?

Difficult questions remain to be clarified?

God the Holy Ghost needs to help reach "an agreement" on Papal Primacy?


Learning from the "lessons" of the First Millennium?

Pope Leo XIII dealt with these false assertions in Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae, June 20, 1894:

First of all, then, We cast an affectionate look upon the East, from whence in the beginning came forth the salvation of the world.  Yes, and the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold they have abandoned.  We hope it all the more, that the distance separating them from Us is not so great: nay, with some few exceptions, we agree so entirely on other heads that, in defense of the Catholic Faith, we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, the Rites, and Customs of the East.

The Principal subject of contention is the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff.  But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest Traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christ's Divine Utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, has undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs.  Many of these latter in the first gates of the Church were chosen from the East, and foremost among them Anacletus, Evaristus, Anicetus, Eleutherius, Zosimus, and Agatho; and of these a great number, after Governing the Church in Wisdom and Sanctity, Consecrated their Ministry with the shedding of their blood.  The time, the reasons, the promoters of the unfortunate division, are well known.  Before the day when man separated what God had joined together, the name of the Apostolic See was held in Reverence by all the nations of the Christian world: and the East, like the West, agreed without hesitation in its obedience to the Pontiff of Rome, as the Legitimate Successor of St. Peter, and, therefore, the Vicar of Christ here on earth.

And, accordingly, if we refer to the beginning of the dissension, we shall see that Photius himself was careful to send his advocates to Rome on the matters that concerned him; and Pope Nicholas I sent his Legates to Constantinople from the Eternal City, without the slightest opposition, "in order to examine the case of Ignatius the Patriarch with all diligence, and to bring back to the Apostolic See a full and accurate report"; so that the history of the whole negotiation is a manifest Confirmation of the Primacy of the Roman See with which the dissension then began.  Finally, in two great Councils, the second of Lyons and that of Florence, Latins and Greeks, as is notorious, easily agreed, and all unanimously proclaimed as Dogma the Supreme Power of the Roman Pontiffs.

We have recalled those things intentionally, for they constitute an invitation to peace and reconciliation; and with all the more reason that in Our own days it would seem as if there were a more conciliatory spirit towards Catholics on the part of the Eastern Churches, and even some degree of kindly feeling.  To mention an instance, those sentiments were lately made manifest when some of Our faithful travelled to the East on a Holy Enterprise, and received so many proofs of courtesy and good-will.

Therefore, Our mouth is open to you, to you all of Greek or other Oriental Rites who are separated from the Catholic Church, We earnestly desire that each and every one of you should meditate upon the words, so full of gravity and love, addressed by Bessarion to your forefathers: "What answer shall we give to God when He comes to ask why we have separated from our Brethren: to Him Who, to unite us and bring us into One Fold, came down from Heaven, was Incarnate, and was Crucified?  What will our defense be in the  eyes of posterity?  Oh, my Venerable Fathers, we must not suffer this to be, we must not entertain this thought, we must not thus so ill provide for ourselves and for our Brethren."

Weigh carefully in your minds and before God the nature of Our request.  It is not for any human motive, but impelled by Divine Charity and a desire for the salvation of all, that We advise the reconciliation and union with the Church of Rome; and We mean a perfect and complete union, such as could not subsist in any way if nothing else was brought about but a certain kind of agreement in the Tenets of Belief and an intercourse of Fraternal love.  The True Union between Christians is that which Jesus Christ, the Author of the Church, instituted and desired, and which consists in a Unity of Faith and Unity of Government.

Nor is there any reason for you to fear on that account that We or any of Our Successors will ever diminish your rights, the privileges of your Patriarchs, or the established Ritual of any one of your Churches.  It has been and always will be the intent and Tradition of the Apostolic See, to make a large allowance, in all that is right and good, for the primitive Traditions and special customs of every nation.  On the contrary, if you re-establish Union with Us, you will see how, by God's bounty, the glory and dignity of your Churches will be remarkably increased. 

May God, then, in His goodness, hear the Prayer that you yourselves address to Him: "Make the schisms of the Churches cease," and "Assemble those who are dispersed, bring back those who err, and unite them to Thy Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."  May you thus return to that one Holy Faith which has been handed down both to Us and to you from time immemorial; which your forefathers preserved untainted, and which was enhanced by the rival splendor of the Virtues, the great genius, and the sublime learning of St. Athanasius and St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzum and St. John Chrysostom, the two Saints who bore the name of Cyril, and so many other great men whose glory belongs as a common inheritance to the East and to the West. (See also the excellent discussion of the the history of what led up to the Greek Schism that is contained in Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki's Tumultuous Times.)


Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and Jorge Mario Bergoglio have given Catholics and non-Catholics a distorted view of history by making it appear as though the new ecclesiology's concept of the "church as communion" has replaced the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church that there is no "Christian Church" outside of her. She is the one and sole embodiment of Christianity. The schismatic and heretical sects of Orthodoxy may have true sacraments because they possess true apostolic succession and have liturgical rites that that were used, at least for the most part, long before the Greek Schism of 1054. They do not have the Catholic Faith. Only those who adhere to the totality of the Deposit of Faith and are in full communion with a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter possess the Catholic Faith:

Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful - "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. iv., 5). That is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians, without exception, have but one faith. And so the Apostle St. Paul not merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Cor. i., 10). Such passages certainly need no interpreter; they speak clearly enough for themselves. Besides, all who profess Christianity allow that there can be but one faith. It is of the greatest importance and indeed of absolute necessity, as to which many are deceived, that the nature and character of this unity should be recognized. And, as We have already stated, this is not to be ascertained by conjecture, but by the certain knowledge of what was done; that is by seeking for and ascertaining what kind of unity in faith has been commanded by Jesus Christ. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)


The desire for some kind of "spiritual ecumenism" while minimizing, if not ignoring, doctrinal issues is the work of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., who in death has continued to exercise an almost controlling influence on the Society of Jesus in conciliar captivity and upon the counterfeit church of conciliarism in general. As I understand now, it was with good cause that Governor of the State of New York, the pro-abortion Mario Matthew Cuomo, could claim in an address at the Protestant Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York, in November of 1983 that de Chardin was a major influence on the "Second" Vatican Council. Cuomo had it right. The theological and biological evolutionist Teilhard de Chardin's influence was very much felt at the "Second" Vatican Council and during the "magisterium" of the postconciliar "popes."

The theological foundation of the soon-to-be "canonized Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II's adoption of spiritual ecumenism was laid by the late Abbe Paul Couturier, who was a disciple of none other than the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Wojtyla/John Paul II cited Couturier in footnote fifty of Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, an encyclical letter that was the exact opposite of Pope Pius XI's Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928. Walter Kasper praised the "spiritual ecumenism" of Abbe Paul Couturier in a "reflection" published at the beginning of the conciliar church's 2008 "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" that replaced the Catholic Church's Chair of Unity Octave that runs from the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome on January 18 to January 25:


In taking a fresh look at Paul Wattson's original intention, we note an important development in the understanding of the Week of Prayer. While Wattson maintained that the goal of unity was the return to the Catholic Church, Abbé Paul Couturier of Lyons (1881-1953) gave a new impetus to this Week in the 1930s, ecumenical in the true sense of the word. He changed the name "Church Unity Octave" to "Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity", thus furthering a unity of the Church that "Christ wills by the means he wills".

Paul Couturier's 1944 spiritual testament is very important, profound and moving; it is one of the most inspired ecumenical texts, still worth reading and meditating on today. The author speaks of an "invisible monastery", "built of all those souls whom, because of their sincere efforts to open themselves to his fire and his light, the Holy Spirit has enabled to have a deep understanding of the painful division among Christians; an awareness of this in these souls has given rise to continuous suffering and as a result, regular recourse to prayer and penance".

Paul Couturier can be considered the father of spiritual ecumenism. His influence was felt by the Dombes Group and by Roger Schutz and the Taizé Community. Sr Maria Gabriella also drew great inspiration from him. Today, his invisible monastery is at last taking shape through the growing number of prayer networks between Catholic monasteries and non-Catholics, spiritual movements and communities, centres of male and female religious, Bishops, priests and lay people. (Charting the road of the ecumenical movement.)

Paul Couturier's credentials as a disciple of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is heralded on a website devoted to the promotion of his work, which was rejected in his own lifetime by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:


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.

2003-2004 also marks the 50th Anniversary of the launch of the Week of Prayer in Morocco as an act of charity and prayer among the people of Islam, a significant milestone in the experiences of today as much as then. (The Abbé Paul Couturier and Spiritual Ecumenism)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, therefore, is simply carrying on the principles and the practices of his predecessors in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Indeed, he was such a committed apostle of false ecumenism, especially with Talmudists, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that the Talmudic newspaper The Daily Forward has placed him on its "fifty plus" most influential Jews in the world:


The puffs of white smoke had barely cleared from above the Sistine Chapel before we started learning about Pope Francis I.

We learned that Francis, 76, is a profoundly humble man who insists on carrying his own bags and riding the bus home. We also learned that he plans to bring a breath of fresh air to the notoriously ossified Vatican including not only with financial transparency but also a vow to open the church’s Holocaust archives.

We learned that the only book he has penned is an extraordinary dialogue with a rabbi who had become fast friends with then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in their native Argentina.

After eight months as head of the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics (not to mention 10 million Twitter followers), the new pontiff — the first from outside Europe — has made improving relations with the Jewish world a key goal. It wouldn’t be tough to improve on the tone set by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who refused all access to the Holocaust archives and fast-tracked sainthood for the controversial Pope Pius XII, who many accuse of staying silent in the face of Hitler’s slaughter.

Francis has wasted no opportunity to denounce anti-Semitism, and plans to visit Israel next year.

Still, the jury is out on whether all this amounts to a sea change (think Pope John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council) or just a feel-good story. To make good his word Francis must overcome a deeply entrenched and conservative administration left over from Pope Benedict and the personally beloved Pope John Paul II.

It’s a truism to say that Francis has the power to affect how more human beings view the Jewish people than any one else on earth. It’s reason enough to take him at his word — and hold him to it. (The Forward Fifty Plus Most Infuential Jews in the World Today.)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio's qualifications for this dishonor are ample (see Rabbi Bergoglio), although The Daily Forward's swipe at Pope Pius XII is, of course, calumnious (see For the Fear of the Jews) and its editors' swipes at the "conservative" Wojytyla/John Paul II, who did much to cater to the Talmudists, during his 9,666 day tenure as the universal public face of apostasy (see Two For The Price Of One, part two), and Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, who stated flatly in his infamous address to the conciliar curia on December 22, 2005, that the "Second" Vatican Council represented a "rethinking" of what he purported to be the Catholic Church's "relationship to the faith of Israel" and gave Talmudists an audience with him whenever they demanded one (see also Mister Asteroid Is Looking Pretty Good Right About Now for a complete listing of his events in Talmudic synagogues), are completely off-base.

We have arrived, it appears, at a point in the "evolution" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism where it is considered normal and natural for those who deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to hold what they think is the Catholic Church to their standards of what constitutes "acceptable" doctrine and pastoral praxis. This is no longer a matter of boldness on the part of the Talmudists. This has become an ordinary feature of life in the apostate world of false ecumenism.

Moreover, the insane, apostate world of false ecumenism is still being propelled by the utterly heretical views of the aforementioned Walter "Cardinal" Kasper (see Forever Prowling the World Seeking the Ruin of Souls, part 1, and Forever Prowling the World Seeking The Ruin of Souls, part 2),  who is undaunted after having turned eighty years of age eight months ago now:


(Mainz) In 2017 the Lutherans are to celebrate  Reformation 500 years of schism initiated in 1517.  [If any are left.] The former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Walter Kasper, is encouraging  that the Lutheran churches and the Catholic Church "should celebrate common worship" in 2017.  In this "worship" both sides should put aside their doctrinal commitments. Cardinal Kasper said on Friday in Münster: "In this we should take a confession of guilt that we have not met the requirement of unity." The "two churches" should "thank the  ecumenical movement and promise" to decide to continue along those  lines.  A proposal has already been submitted by the Cardinal in the summer of 2012 as part of Ratzinger Student Circle at Castel Gandolfo. The two sides are put at the same level and suggested to share in the same "fault", without any discussion of substantive differences and questions. (More Ecumananiaisnm, Please.)

Yes, let's just put aside "doctrinal differences." Let's put aside the Council of Trent an the [First] Vatican Council. Let's all just build the One World Church of Ecumenism that appeals to Everyman?

Although remarkable to behold the breathtakingly fast rate of decomposition that is going on in the counterfeit church of conciliarism at this time, the way for the overthrowing of the last remaining bastions of Catholicism in this false sect was paved long a long time ago, and Joseph Ratzinger and Karol Wojtyla both played very instrumental roles, both before and after the "Second" Vatican Council, in shaping the course that would led to Everyman himself, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as the first so-called "pope of the world," yet another dishonor that has been earned very amply by the Argentine apostate.

Here is a little Catholic counterpoint to the insanity of the moment:


2. A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.

3. But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.

4. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be "one." And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another"? All Christians, they add, should be as "one": for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)

Behold the destruction of the foundations of the Catholic Faith by the likes of the conciliar "popes," including Jorge Mario Bergoglio and their many minions around the world.

We must be willing to suffer the white martyrdom of ridicule and criticism and rejection and ostracism for refusing to recognize or associate with any of the spiritual robber barons of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who are so blithe in the offenses they commit against God so regularly and who are so dismissive of the gravity of error (save for "defections" from conciliarism by fully traditional Catholics and save for any effort to review the nature and the extent of the crimes of the Third Reich as such defections are "unforgivable" errors that must be "corrected") that do so much harm to the souls for whom Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the wood of the Holy Cross in atonement for our sins.

Obviously, we must, as always, spend time in prayer before Our Lord's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, if this is at all possible where you live, and to pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit, using the shield of Our Lady's Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and the weapon of her Rosary to protect us from the contagion of apostasy and betrayal that is all around us. We must also, of course, make reparation for our own many sins by offering up all of our prayers and sufferings and sacrifices and humiliations and penances and mortifications and fastings to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The final victory belongs to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must pray to her, the Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, to cooperate with the Seven Gifts and the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost so that we can be instruments, unworthy though we may be, of planting the seeds for the restoration of Holy Mother Church and of the Social Reign of Christ the King so that everyone in the whole will exclaim with hearts consecrated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Albert the Great, pray for us.

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?


Various Ways in Which the Orthodox Defect From the Deposit of Faith Entrusted to the Catholic Church

1. Papal Primacy.

2. Papal Infallibility.

3. The doctrine of Original Sin as defined dogmatically by the Catholic Church. The ambiguous doctrine of the Orthodox was noted by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794, when discussing the Greek rejection of Limbo that was , of course, shared by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:

Very few Greek Fathers dealt with the destiny of infants who die without Baptism because there was no controversy about this issue in the East. Furthermore, they had a different view of the present condition of humanity. For the Greek Fathers, as the consequence of Adam's sin, human beings inherited corruption, possibility, and mortality, from which they could be restored by a process of deification made possible through the redemptive work of Christ. The idea of an inheritance of sin or guilt - common in Western tradition - was foreign to this perspective, since in their view sin could only be a free, personal act.


This is what the Orthodox still believe, which makes them fit "partners" for "ecumenical dialogue" with Ratzinger/Benedict, who has told us in his own murky way that he is of one mind with them on the matter of Original Sin, which he called in 1995 an "imprecise" term (!). Here is a statement on Original Sin from the Orthodox Church in America:

With regard to original sin, the difference between Orthodox Christianity and the West may be outlined as follows:

In the Orthodox Faith, the term "original sin" refers to the "first" sin of Adam and Eve. As a result of this sin, humanity bears the "consequences" of sin, the chief of which is death. Here the word "original" may be seen as synonymous with "first." Hence, the "original sin" refers to the "first sin" in much the same way as "original chair" refers to the "first chair."

In the West, humanity likewise bears the "consequences" of the "original sin" of Adam and Eve. However, the West also understands that humanity is likewise "guilty" of the sin of Adam and Eve. The term "Original Sin" here refers to the condition into which humanity is born, a condition in which guilt as well as consequence is involved.

In the Orthodox Christian understanding, while humanity does bear the consequences of the original, or first, sin, humanity does not bear the personal guilt associated with this sin. Adam and Eve are guilty of their willful action; we bear the consequences, chief of which is death.

One might look at all of this in a completely different light. Imagine, if you will, that one of your close relatives was a mass murderer. He committed many serious crimes for which he was found guilty ­ and perhaps even admitted his guilt publicly. You, as his or her son or brother or cousin, may very well bear the consequences of his action -­ people may shy away from you or say, "Watch out for him -­ he comes from a family of mass murderers." Your name may be tainted, or you may face some other forms of discrimination as a consequence of your relative’s sin. You, however, are not personally guilty of his or her sin.

There are some within Orthodoxy who approach a westernized view of sin, primarily after the 17th and 18th centuries due to a variety of westernizing influences particularly in Ukraine and Russia after the time of Peter Mohyla. These influences have from time to time colored explanations of the Orthodox Faith which are in many respects lacking. (Orthodox Church in America, Questions and Answers on Original Sin)


This is not Catholic doctrine. This matter cannot be "bridged" by concerts of music composed by Russians "metropolitans" or by "books" written by Russian "philosophies."

4. The Filioque, that God the Holy Ghost proceeds from both the Father and the Son.

5. The doctrine of Purgatory as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.

6. The doctrine of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.

7. The doctrine of Our Lady's Assumption body and soul into Heaven as defined by the authority of the Catholic Church.

8. The doctrine of the indissolubility of a sacramentally valid, ratified and consummated marriage; the Orthodox hold that a person can marry up to three times following two divorces. Here is the Orthodox "consensus" (as there is no ultimate ecclesiastical authority within Orthodoxy to decide doctrinal matters) on the issue:

Marriage is one of the sacraments of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox Christians who marry must marry in the Church in order to be in sacramental communion with the Church. According to the Church canons, an Orthodox who marries outside the Church may not receive Holy Communion and may not serve as a sponsor, i.e. a Godparent at a Baptism, or as a sponsor at a Wedding. Certain marriages are prohibited by canon law, such as a marriage between first and second cousins, or between a Godparent and a Godchild. The first marriage of a man and a woman is honored by the Church with a richly symbolic service that eloquently speaks to everyone regarding the married state. The form of the service calls upon God to unite the couple through the prayer of the priest or bishop officiating.

The church will permit up to, but not more than, three marriages for any Orthodox Christian. If both partners are entering a second or third marriage, another form of the marriage ceremony is conducted, much more subdued and penitential in character. Marriages end either through the death of one of the partners or through ecclesiastical recognition of divorce. The Church grants "ecclesiastical divorces" on the basis of the exception given by Christ to his general prohibition of the practice. The Church has frequently deplored the rise of divorce and generally sees divorce as a tragic failure. Yet, the Orthodox Church also recognizes that sometimes the spiritual well-being of Christians caught in a broken and essentially nonexistent marriage justifies a divorce, with the right of one or both of the partners to remarry. Each parish priest is required to do all he can to help couples resolve their differences. If they cannot, and they obtain a civil divorce, they may apply for an ecclesiastical divorce in some jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church. In others, the judgment is left to the parish priest when and if a civilly divorced person seeks to remarry.

Those Orthodox jurisdictions which issue ecclesiastical divorces require a thorough evaluation of the situation, and the appearance of the civilly divorced couple before a local ecclesiastical court, where another investigation is made. Only after an ecclesiastical divorce is issued by the presiding bishop can they apply for an ecclesiastical license to remarry.

Though the Church would prefer that all Orthodox Christians would marry Orthodox Christians, it does not insist on it in practice. Out of its concern for the spiritual welfare of members who wish to marry a non-Orthodox Christian, the Church will conduct a "mixed marriage." For this purpose, a "non-Orthodox Christian" is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, or one of the many Protestant Churches which believe in and baptize in the name of the Holy Trinity. This means that such mixed marriages may be performed in the Orthodox Church. However, the Orthodox Church does not perform marriages between Orthodox Christians and persons belonging to other religions, such as Islam , Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any sectarian and cult group, such as Christian Science, Mormonism, or the followers of Rev. Moon. (The Stand of the Orthodox Church on Controversial Issues.)

9. The absolute prohibition against the use of any form of contraception whatsoever. This is from the website of the Greek Orthodox Church in America:

General agreement exists among Orthodox writers on the following two points:


  1. since at least one of the purposes of marriage is the birth of children, a couple acts immorally when it consistently uses contraceptive methods to avoid the birth of any children, if there are not extenuating circumstances;
  2. contraception is also immoral when used to encourage the practice of fornication and adultery.

Less agreement exists among Eastern Orthodox authors on the issue of contraception within marriage for the spacing of children or for the limitation of the number of children. Some authors take a negative view and count any use of contraceptive methods within or outside of marriage as immoral (Papacostas, pp. 13-18; Gabriel Dionysiatou). These authors tend to emphasize as the primary and almost exclusive purpose of marriage the birth of children and their upbringing. They tend to consider any other exercise of the sexual function as the submission of this holy act to unworthy purposes, i.e., pleasure-seeking, passion, and bodily gratification, which are held to be inappropriate for the Christian growing in spiritual perfection. These teachers hold that the only alternative is sexual abstinence in marriage, which, though difficult, is both desirable and possible through the aid of the grace of God. It must be noted also that, for these writers, abortion and contraception are closely tied together, and often little or no distinction is made between the two. Further, it is hard to discern in their writings any difference in judgment between those who use contraceptive methods so as to have no children and those who use them to space and limit the number of children.

Other Orthodox writers have challenged this view by seriously questioning the Orthodoxy of the exclusive and all-controlling role of the procreative purpose of marriage (Zaphiris; Constantelos, 1975). Some note the inconsistency of the advocacy of sexual continence in marriage with the scriptural teaching that one of the purposes of marriage is to permit the ethical fulfillment of sexual drives, so as to avoid fornication and adultery (1 Cor. 7:1-7). Most authors, however, emphasize the sacramental nature of marriage and its place within the framework of Christian anthropology, seeing the sexual relationship of husband and wife as one aspect of the mutual growth of the couple in love and unity. This approach readily adapts itself to an ethical position that would not only permit but also enjoin sexual relationships of husband and wife for their own sake as expressions of mutual love. Such a view clearly would support the use of contraceptive practices for the purpose of spacing and limiting children so as to permit greater freedom of the couple in the expression of their mutual love. (For the Health of Body and Soul: An Eastern Orthodox Introduction to Bioethics.)


These are not minor matters. And this all going to be "bridge" by means of appeals to the "heart"? Preposterous.

A mutual dislike of Scholasticism and a desire to "re-read" the Church Fathers without the "filter" provided by Saint Thomas Aquinas links Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's "New Theology" to the ambiguous doctrinal views of the Orthodox:

The following passages from Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, describe--and condemn--the entirety of the intellectual work of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is using his "vague notions" and outright heresies to appeal for "unity" with the schismatic and heretical Orthodox churches without forcing them to accept the dogmatic pronouncements of the Second Millennium that were made without their "participation" and that were "distorted" by Scholasticism as a result:

Hence to neglect, or to reject, or to devalue so many and such great resources which have been conceived, expressed and perfected so often by the age-old work of men endowed with no common talent and holiness, working under the vigilant supervision of the holy magisterium and with the light and leadership of the Holy Ghost in order to state the truths of the faith ever more accurately, to do this so that these things may be replaced by conjectural notions and by some formless and unstable tenets of a new philosophy, tenets which, like the flowers of the field, are in existence today and die tomorrow; this is supreme imprudence and something that would make dogma itself a reed shaken by the wind. The contempt for terms and notions habitually used by scholastic theologians leads of itself to the weakening of what they call speculative theology, a discipline which these men consider devoid of true certitude because it is based on theological reasoning.

Unfortunately these advocates of novelty easily pass from despising scholastic theology to the neglect of and even contempt for the Teaching Authority of the Church itself, which gives such authoritative approval to scholastic theology. This Teaching Authority is represented by them as a hindrance to progress and an obstacle in the way of science. Some non Catholics consider it as an unjust restraint preventing some more qualified theologians from reforming their subject. And although this sacred Office of Teacher in matters of faith and morals must be the proximate and universal criterion of truth for all theologians, since to it has been entrusted by Christ Our Lord the whole deposit of faith -- Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition -- to be preserved, guarded and interpreted, still the duty that is incumbent on the faithful to flee also those errors which more or less approach heresy, and accordingly "to keep also the constitutions and decrees by which such evil opinions are proscribed and forbidden by the Holy See," is sometimes as little known as if it did not exist. What is expounded in the Encyclical Letters of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the nature and constitution of the Church, is deliberately and habitually neglected by some with the idea of giving force to a certain vague notion which they profess to have found in the ancient Fathers, especially the Greeks. The Popes, they assert, do not wish to pass judgment on what is a matter of dispute among theologians, so recourse must be had to the early sources, and the recent constitutions and decrees of the Teaching Church must be explained from the writings of the ancients.


Such is not the foundation of any kind of true reconciliation between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, admitting that the counterfeit church of conciliarism can indeed "live" with these differences in the name of a false notion of "unity" and "love."





© Copyright 2013, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.