Thomas A. Droleskey
Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., the "papal" spokesman who has been kept very busy the last few days trying to appease the ancient enemies of the Catholic Church who are upset by the fact that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI signed the decree ratifying a finding by the conciliar Congregation for the Causes of the Saints that the late Pope Pius XII, our last true pope thus far, possessed heroic virtues necessary to be declared "venerable" as his cause for "beatification" moves forward in conciliar circles, has shown himself on many occasions in the past three years to be just as bereft of any true sense of the Catholic Faith as the false "pontiff" he serves.
Flying "solo," so to speak, Lombardi let it be known to one and all that his concept of "ecumenism" is just as false as that possessed by Ratzinger/Benedict, urging Christians in Bethlehem to "put aside differences" so that they could "unite:"
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican spokesman is expressing the hope that this Christmas will bring a new gift to Bethlehem: freedom from the divisions among Christians.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, stated this in his latest edition of "Octava Dies," in which he reflected on Benedict XVI's May 13 visit to the city of Christ's birth.
The priest also noted that on Monday, in an address to the Roman Curia, the Pope spoke about how his visit enabled him to see the "suffering and the hopes present" in the Holy Land.
"Everything that one can see in those countries calls for reconciliation, justice and peace," the Pontiff told the curia.
Father Lombardi recalled the "festive celebration of the Mass," celebrated by the Holy Father in Manger Square, which was "overflowing."
Even though it took place in a very different context from the Bethlehem of 2,000 years ago, he said, "the Eucharist continues being the moment in which the mystery of the real presence of Jesus with us is relived."
However, the spokesman added, it is hard to ignore the presence of the walls around the city. Thus, he said, it is with good reason that Benedict XVI, upon leaving, stated: "We all know that the walls do not last forever. They can be taken down.
"First, though, it is necessary to remove the walls that we build around our hearts, the barriers that we set up against our neighbors."
Fragility and strength
The Pope prayed in the grotto of Bethlehem, but as Father Lombardi noted, "also there -- as in other holy places -- he experienced the fact that Christians are not united: They have to share places and temples to avoid litigation!"
"When will we be able to overcome our divisions?" the spokesman asked.
The Jesuit then noted his "fondest memory," which is when he saw the "sick children at Caritas Baby Hospital in the hands of the Pope."
"Infinite fragility of humanity! Mysterious and invincible force of love," the aide exclaimed. "How fragile was Jesus born in Bethlehem, but how strong is his message of love!"
He noted that this love is offered to us, but that it also demands of us this fragility. "What human intelligence could have imagined this incredible message?" he said.
Father Lombardi concluded: "Let us come and see the Child: God is still with us." (Aide: When Will Christians Unite?)
As is the case with his employer, Ratzinger/Benedict, Federico Lombardi just can't seem to understand that the following statement of Pope Leo XIII is simply a reiteration of the consistent, perennial, immutable teaching of the Catholic Church that binds the consciences of every person on the face of this earth, Catholic and non-Catholic alike:
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.. . . .
For this reason the Fathers of the Vatican Council laid down nothing new, but followed divine revelation and the acknowledged and invariable teaching of the Church as to the very nature of faith, when they decreed as follows: "All those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written or unwritten word of God, and which are proposed by the Church as divinely revealed, either by a solemn definition or in the exercise of its ordinary and universal Magisterium" (Sess. iii., cap. 3). Hence, as it is clear that God absolutely willed that there should be unity in His Church, and as it is evident what kind of unity He willed, and by means of what principle He ordained that this unity should be maintained, we may address the following words of St. Augustine to all who have not deliberately closed their minds to the truth: "When we see the great help of God, such manifest progress and such abundant fruit, shall we hesitate to take refuge in the bosom of that Church, which, as is evident to all, possesses the supreme authority of the Apostolic See through the Episcopal succession? In vain do heretics rage round it; they are condemned partly by the judgment of the people themselves, partly by the weight of councils, partly by the splendid evidence of miracles. To refuse to the Church the primacy is most impious and above measure arrogant. And if all learning, no matter how easy and common it may be, in order to be fully understood requires a teacher and master, what can be greater evidence of pride and rashness than to be unwilling to learn about the books of the divine mysteries from the proper interpreter, and to wish to condemn them unknown?" (De Unitate Credendi, cap. xvii., n. 35). (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
Members of Protestant sects and the Orthodox confessions belong to false religions. There can be no commingling between the true religion, Catholicism, and false religions, something that the false religion of conciliarism rejects in both a de jure and de facto sense. Bishop George Hay noted this in his essay on The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion:
From this passage the learned translators of the Rheims New Testament, in their note, justly observe, "That, in matters of religion, in praying, hearing their sermons, presence at their service, partaking of their sacraments, and all other communicating with them in spiritual things, it is a great and damnable sin to deal with them." And if this be the case with all in general, how much more with those who are well instructed and better versed in their religion than others? For their doing any of these things must be a much greater crime than in ignorant people, because they know their duty better. (Bishop George Hay, The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion.)
The spirit of Christ, which dictated the Holy Scriptures, and the spirit which animates and guides the Church of Christ, and teaches her all truth, is the same; and therefore in all ages her conduct on this point has been uniformly the same as what the Holy Scripture teaches. She has constantly forbidden her children to hold any communication, in religious matters, with those who are separated from her communion; and this she has sometimes done under the most severe penalties. In the apostolical canons, which are of very ancient standing, and for the most part handed down from the apostolical age, it is thus decreed: "If any bishop, or priest, or deacon, shall join in prayers with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion". (Can. 44)
Also, "If any clergyman or laic shall go into the synagogue of the Jews, or the meetings of heretics, to join in prayer with them, let him be deposed, and deprived of communion". (Can. 63) (Bishop George Hay, (The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion.)
Federico Lombardi does not believe that is is a "great and damnable sin to deal with" members of false religions by "communicating with them in spiritual things," thereby falling under Bishop Hay's reminder that those who are supposedly more versed in religion commit a "much greater crime than" exists "in ignorant people, because they know their duty better." One wonders whether conciliarism has robbed Federico Lombardi of even the most rudimentary understanding of what is duty is to those who belong to false religions, namely, to seek with urgency their unconditional conversion to the Catholic Faith.
As is the case with his own false "pontiff," Ratzinger/Benedict, Father Federico Lombardi believes in the sort of "spiritual ecumenism" that was championed by the late Abbe Paul Couturier in the early part of the Twentieth Century, a "spiritual ecumenism" that was premised upon doing exactly what Lombardi wants done in Bethlehem, that is, to put aside "differences" in order to come together in prayer and to promote various "common" interests. Abbe Couturier's"spiritual ecumenism" was cited by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II at footnote fifty in Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, and quite openly by Ratzinger/Benedict in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005:
50 Maria Sagheddu was born at Dorgali (Sardinia) in 1914. At twenty-one years of age she entered the Trappistine Monastery in Grottaferrata. Through the apostolic labours of Abbé Paul Couturier, she came to understand the need for prayers and spiritual sacrifices for the unity of Christians. In 1936, at the time of an Octave for Unity, she chose to offer her life for the unity of the Church. Following a grave illness, Sister Maria Gabriella died on 23 April 1939. (Footnote in Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995.)
I see good reason in this context for optimism in the fact that today a kind of "network" of spiritual links is developing between Catholics and Christians from the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities: each individual commits himself to prayer, to the examination of his own life, to the purification of memory, to the openness of charity.
The father of spiritual ecumenism, Paul Couturier, spoke in this regard of an "invisible cloister" which unites within its walls those souls inflamed with love for Christ and his Church. I am convinced that if more and more people unite themselves interiorly to the Lord's prayer "that all may be one" (Jn 17: 21), then this prayer, made in the Name of Jesus, will not go unheard (cf. Jn 14: 13; 15: 7, 16, etc.).
With the help that comes from on high, we will also find practical solutions to the different questions which remain open, and in the end our desire for unity will come to fulfilment, whenever and however the Lord wills. (Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI,
Ecumenical meeting at the Archbishopric of Cologne: Address, August 19, 2005.)
Contrary to what Ratzinger/Benedict and Federico Lombardi believe, there are not "questions which remain open" for discussion," only a Deposit of Faith to be accepted by everyone on the face of the earth without any exceptions or qualifications or reservations whatsoever. Those, such as Ratzinger/Benedict and his spokesman for apostasy, Federico Lombardi, do not consider themselves bound by the pronouncements of our true popes, adverting to the philosophically absurd and dogmatically condemned "hermeneutic of continuity and discontinuity" to justify ignoring those pronouncements that are at odds with the goals of conciliarism. Thus it is that they are allies of the evolutionary theology of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., whose belief in mutability of truth served to shape the aforementioned Abbe Paul Couturier's view of "spiritual ecumenism:"
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)
It was to condemn the work of the likes of Abbe Paul Couturier that Pope Pius XI wrote the following in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928:
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. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.)
To paraphrase Pope Pius XI, if what Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and Father Federico Lombardi and other conciliarists believe about ecumenism is true, then "the very preaching of Jesus Christ" has lost all Its "efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy." Yes, indeed, the conciliarists believe in a blasphemous understanding of God and His Divine Revelation as they heap one hot coal after another upon themselves by ignoring the consistent, perennial, immutable teachings of the Catholic Church for the sacrileges, blasphemies, apostasies, errors, novelties and heresies of their own false, man-made religion, conciliarism.
Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, put the matter this way in Tumultuous Times:
A legitimate pope cannot contradict or deny what was first taught by Christ to His Church. An essential change in belief constitutes the establishment of a new religion.
The attribute of infallibility was given to the popes in order that the revealed doctrines and teaching of Christ would remain forever intact and unchanged. It is contrary to faith and reason to blindly follow an alleged pope who attempts to destroy the Catholic Faith--for there have been 41 documented antipopes. Papal infallibility means that the Holy Ghost guides and preserves the Catholic Church from error through the succession of legitimate popes who have ruled the Church through the centuries. All Catholics, including Christ's Vicar on earth, the pope, must accept all the doctrinal pronouncements of past popes. These infallible teachings form a vital link between Christ and St. Peter and his successors.
If a pope did not accept and believe this entire body of formulated teachings (the Deposit of Faith), he could not himself be a Catholic. He would cease to belong to Christ's Church. If he no longer belongs to the Catholic Church, he cannot be her Head. (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, Tumultuous Times, p. 274.)
Pope Saint Pius X, quoting the Fathers of the Second Council of Nicea and the Fathers of the Fourth Council of Constantinople, dealt a devastating blow to those such as Ratzinger/Benedict and Federico Lombardi who hold one condemned Modernist proposition after another in contradiction to the perennial, immutable teaching of the Catholic Church:
Would that they had but displayed less zeal and energy in propagating it! But such is their activity and such their unwearying labor on behalf of their cause, that one cannot but be pained to see them waste such energy in endeavoring to ruin the Church when they might have been of such service to her had their efforts been better directed. Their artifices to delude men's minds are of two kinds, the first to remove obstacles from their path, the second to devise and apply actively and patiently every resource that can serve their purpose. They recognize that the three chief difficulties which stand in their way are the scholastic method of philosophy, the authority and tradition of the Fathers, and the magisterium of the Church, and on these they wage unrelenting war. Against scholastic philosophy and theology they use the weapons of ridicule and contempt. Whether it is ignorance or fear, or both, that inspires this conduct in them, certain it is that their passion for novelty is always united in them with hatred of scholasticism, and there is no surer sign that a man is tending to Modernism than when he begins to show his dislike for the scholastic method. Let the Modernists and their admirers remember the proposition condemned by Pius IX: "The method and principles which have served the ancient doctors of scholasticism when treating of theology no longer correspond with the exigencies of our time or the progress of science." They exercise all their ingenuity in an effort to weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority. But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those "who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind...or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church"; nor that of the declaration of the fourth Council of Constantinople: "We therefore profess to preserve and guard the rules bequeathed to the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, by the Holy and most illustrious Apostles, by the orthodox Councils, both general and local, and by everyone of those divine interpreters, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church." Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: "I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church.''
How can Ratzinger/Benedict, who has specifically rejected the "ecumenism of the return," and Federico Lombardi be considered as members of the Catholic Church when he has indeed invented novelties that "weaken the force and falsify the character of tradition, so as to rob it of all its weight and authority"?
Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., explained in but one sentence the simple fact those steeped in error cannot have any part in the Catholic Church, meaning that Federico Lombardi's desire to put aside "differences" is of the devil, not of God:
There is a fatal instinct in error, which leads it to hate the Truth; and the true Church, by its unchangeableness, is a perpetual reproach to them that refuse to be her children. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, commentary on the life of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen.)
Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was not born of the Most Pure Virgin Mary at Midnight in Bethlehem in piercing cold so as to initiate a religion that would be so obscure and hard to understand that "differences" among those who say that they believe in Him and His Sacred Divinity could exist and thus be put aside as though He did not found a true Church upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. And no true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter can put the teaching of Our Lord contained in the Deposit of Faith into any question whatsoever at any time for any reason. It is really that simple, so simple that Ratzinger/Benedict's spokesman for apostasy, Federico Lombardi, evidently finds it impossible to accept and to propagate.
Christmas is nigh. The time of rejoicing is at hand as we commemorate Our Lord's miraculous Nativity in the cradle in the stable in the cave in Bethlehem. We must pray that the Lord of mercy has come to ransom us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Cross will send us the graces through the loving hand of His Most Blessed Mother that are necessary to save our souls as we make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world and as we pray for the conversion of those propagating the errors of conciliarism that confuse and bewilder many as God Himself is greatly offended.
May our recitation of the Joyful Mysteries today help us to prepare to make room for the coming of Our Lord on Christmas Day so that we may receive Him with greater fervor and devotion each day in Holy Communion as He is made Incarnate under the appearances of bread and wine at the words and through the hands of true priests.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, 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.
See also: A Litany of Saints