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May 27, 2004

Victims of Ecumenism

by Thomas A. Droleskey

The announcement by the Most Reverend Sean O'Malley, O.F.M., the Archbishop of Boston, that he had authorized the closing of over sixty churches in his archdiocese should come as no surprise. The trend of aping corporate "downsizing" in one diocese after another is but another sign that we are hardly in the "springtime of the Church" as the Holy Father and his happy apologists keep telling us. We are not experiencing a "qualitative renewal" of the Church as the quantitative statistics, chronicled so well by Ken Jones in his masterful Index of Leading Catholic Indicators, demonstrate nothing but a complete and utter disaster (or "disssssaaaaaasta," to quote my friend, the late Father Vincent Miceli). The closing of churches in Boston, coming as it does in such close proximity in time to the resignation of the now disgraced Bernard Cardinal Law, who enabled one sodomite pervert after another in the priesthood for so very long, demonstrates the corruption of the Faith that has been produced by the wonders of the Second Vatican Council and its horrific aftermath.

The Second Vatican Council and its aftermath have produced cancers that have metastasized rapidly in the past four decades. One of the most aggressive forms of cancer to have poisoned the Church Militant on earth is ecumenism, a subject covered in "No Other Name by Which Men Can be Saved" (found in the Articles section of this website). The belief that it is not necessary to evangelize everyone outside of the true Church founded by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, has played a very large role in the dwindling numbers of people who assist at Holy Mass in older parishes located in the inner cities. This is a matter that needs to be examined in a little bit of depth. It is important, though, to set the stage for how ecumenism has played its role in the closing of churches and/or the merger of parishes.

The common rationale given advanced by archbishops and bishops to support the closing of churches and/or the merger of parishes is that their financial resources cannot be used to subsidize parishes whose parishioners have moved to the suburbs or who have simply died. The very prelates who speak in this way ignore the simple fact that their archdioceses and dioceses have engaged in profligate spending to enlarge the physical facilities of chancery buildings and to expand the number of bureaucracies found therein, most of which do work which are inimical to the sanctification and salvation of souls. This has left older parishes bereft of the financial assistance that could have been theirs had monies not been wasted on needless and harmful bureaucracies and programs, to say nothing of the monies that have been paid out to the victims of the predator, sodomite priests who have been protected and coddled by their like-minded friends in the American hierarchy and in chancery offices.

The loss of income that has resulted from the shifting of Catholics from inner cities to the suburbs and the dying off of older parishioners could have been replaced even absent any effort, which has yet to materialize, to curb the bureaucratic superstructure of archdiocesan and diocesan chancery offices. All that an archbishop or a bishop had to do was to replace the parishioners who had left the inner cities was to have evangelized the non-Catholics who replaced them within the boundaries of those older parishes. Alas, a synthetic faith, expressed so fittingly in a synthetic liturgy designed to reassure man of his essential goodness, cannot admit that non-Catholics are in need of evangelization. To do this would be to appear pre-conciliar, triumphalistic, judgmental, and simply un-ecumenical, mind you. Thus, souls in need of conversion to the true Faith have been left spiritually impoverished in abject unbelief or in some form of Protestant heresy, thus resulting in the spiritual and material impoverishment of the churches being closed at present, especially in the Archdioceses of New York and Boston.

Which archbishop or bishop is working actively to evangelize Jews? Which archbishop or bishop is working actively to evangelize the thirty three thousand different varieties of Protestants that exist in this country? Which archbishop or bishop is seeking to evangelize the Mohammedans or the Mormons or the Buddhists or simple unbelievers? Gone are the days when great pastors of souls like the recently retired Father Daniel Johnson of Huntington Beach, California, went door to door to invite people into the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Indeed, the Holy Father and his cardinals and bishops are apologetic about the Church's past proselytizing efforts, promising not to repeat those "mistakes" again in the enlightened era of inter-religious "dialogue" that characterizes the "civilization of love."

Father Stephen P. Zigrang noted last year that the Bishop of Galveston-Houston, the Most Reverend Joseph Fiorenza, did not believe that Jews had to convert to the Catholic Faith and that doctrine could change. He was most adamant in his denial of defined Church teaching. Stephen Dailey wrote a piece in The Angelus newspaper in December of 2003 that chronicled efforts to get the Bishop of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, Missouri, the Most Reverend John Boland, to correct statements that had been made by a representative of the diocese on a radio program, statements that Boland himself reaffirmed when asked about them in person by Mr. Dailey. Among the statements were the assertions that being in a sanctifying grace is not necessary for salvation, that doctrine is capable of changing and has in fact changed, that Our Lady may have had other children than Our Lord, and that the principle of non-contradiction does not apply to differences amongst religions. Got all that? Believe me, this is not atypical of the apostasy and confusion that exists among members of the American hierarchy.

Yes, so much for the mission entrusted by Our Lord to the Eleven on Ascension Thursday. So much for the work begun by the Apostles after they received the gifts and fruits of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost Sunday in the same Upper Room in  Jerusalem where eleven of them had been ordained to the priesthood on Holy Thursday by Our Lord. So much for 1900 years of unbroken efforts on the part of the Church to evangelize all peoples everywhere in the one sheepfold of Christ that is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It should not surprise us, therefore, that infidelity to the the mission entrusted by Our Lord to the Apostles and confirmed by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them on Pentecost Sunday, which is the birthday of the Church, will result in fruitlessness, both spiritually and materially. The closing of churches in New York and Boston is the result of a self-made crisis caused by the rejection by popes and bishops and ordinary priests of the urgency of converting everyone into the true Church. The rejection of the Faith of our fathers is also what has produced the crisis in vocations, which should have been no crisis at all if men noted for their orthodoxy and desire to live saintly lives in the priesthood had not been rejected in large numbers in most of the archdioceses and dioceses in this country.

There is a lot of irony in the situation that has been produced by the doctrinal and liturgical revolutions of the past forty years. You see, had these archbishops and bishops actually been serious about evangelizing non-Catholics, the very people who might have been interested in converting to the Church would have found her normative liturgy in the Latin Rite to have been little different than their own community-centered experience of "worship and fellowship." Why should people convert to a church which is little different in all of her external trappings than their own? Human beings long for that which is timeless, not that which is earthbound. They long for God, although they may not fully realize Who He is and what He has deposited in His true Church for their sanctification and their salvation. This longing for God can be satisfied only when a person encounters Him as He has revealed Himself through His true Church, not by a revolutionary manipulation and rejection of that Deposit of Faith. This longing for God can be nourished only when a person worships God in a manner that is befitting the King of Kings, one that clearly communicates that Holy Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary, that the priest is the sacerdos and not merely the "presider of the assembly," that in which both priest and people conduct themselves with reverence and sobriety in the midst of the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. This longing for God can be satisfied only in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in the Traditional Latin Mass.

The Novus Ordo Missae is an enshrinement of the false novelty known as ecumenism, as Father Didier Bonneterre points out in The Liturgical Movement: Roots, Radicals, Results. It drives Catholics away from the true Church and it keeps unbelievers from converting to her. The abandonment of the mission Our Lord gave to the Apostles to bring everyone in the whole world into the Catholic Church has been institutionalized as a virtue in the postconciliar era and is enshrined in many ways in a Protestantized form of worship that admits of few fixed norms that are beyond the abilities of priests and liturgy committees to change at will, giving rise to inconstancy and instability as the only predictable constants in the parish life of most Catholics throughout this nation and the world, the very opposite of what the worship of God is supposed to produce. The closing of churches that could have been filled to the choir lofts with fervent parishioners is but the rotten fruit of the novelties of the past four decades and at the same time a chastisement for the infidelity of popes and bishops and priests and nuns to the authentic patrimony and actual tradition of the Catholic Church.

Our Lord asked if He would find any faith on the earth when He returned in glory at the end of time. One could ask if He is going to find any faith in the hearts and souls and minds of His hierarchy today. The plain truth is that the failure to evangelize souls has impoverished the Church, deprived those who could have been Catholics of the spiritual riches Our Lord gave to His Mystical Bride, and has ultimately made each country in the world a poorer place, both spiritually and materially, as a result. The closing of churches in New York and Boston and elsewhere is thus but a symptom of a deeper sickness that needs to be cured by the restoration of Tradition--and by much fasting and acts of reparation--as soon as possible.

As we approach Pentecost Sunday on May 30, which is the forty-fifth anniversary of my first Holy Communion at Saint Aloysius Church in Great Neck, New York, may we beseech Our Lady, she who is the Help of Christians, to pray for our own conversion to her Son through Her Immaculate Heart on a daily basis--and to pray for the conversion of her Son's Vicar, the Pope, and the bishops to the Faith of our fathers. For it will be the restoration of the fullness of the Catholic Faith that will fill our churches and bring souls into an intimate union with Our Lord's Sacred Heart through His Most Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart.

Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.

An Addendum

Anthony Flood, who runs the www.anti-abomination.com website, has this appeal to make to Catholics in Boston, Massachusetts, and Newarks, New Jersey: Please use www.anti-abomination.com as a forum for your "resistance to the lies, thefts, and legalized vandalism. I'm afraid most Catholics are virtually fatalistic about this ongoing assault. They need not be. They need us; we need them." This is good advice. I hope Catholics in these areas avail themselves of Mr. Flood's website.



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