A Perspective on "True Ecumenism" vs. "False Ecumenism"

My friend Jim had an acquaintance who had not entered a Catholic church since her baptism. Jim was able to supply his friend with Catholic books and Sunday bulletins for her enlightenment. Through Jim's spiritual guidance, she was moved to accept God's grace and was welcomed into the Catholic Church. This is a genuine example of "true ecumenism."

True ecumenism taught by the church is NOT "let's accept everyone’s "theology or "let us all get along" theology. These views of theology are hostile to the Christian world view as taught by Christ and the Apostles. It seems in the last many years the term "ecumenism" has taken on a new meaning and now describes the movement to unite with, accept, endorse and/or pray with false religions. Some may consider this pious and noble; I for one conclude that false ecumenism is largely responsible for many of the current heresies and heterodoxy. I have personally witnessed the demonic New Age Movement making inroads into many modern parishes, convents and retreat centers as a consequence of this false ecumenism. Take a look around -- you will notice an abundance of the following: Yoga, reiki, the "goddess" within, centering prayer, Wicca, medicine dolls, peace poles, labyrinths, enneagrams, smudging, drumming circles, Tai Chi, Qigong (a Chinese medical practice), Androgyny (a theory popularized by Carl Jung (New Ager), which denies that there is any meaningful biological base to male and female sex roles) and borrowing meditative practices from Buddhism and American Indian religions.

In addition, we now have the "Spirit of Vatican II", an evil and deceptive spirit, and a deliberate misinterpretation of Vatican II by heretical priests and bishops. The "The Spirit of Vatican II" can be interpreted as any unorthodox custom utilized by Modernists to undermine the Catholic faith. One example of this deceptive interpretation would include a contemptible celebration such as "The Clown Mass"." I earnestly agree with Father Corapi's former assertion, "When you see a priest at Mass dressed as a clown, be assured that it was Satan who chose the attire." We can also fault "The Spirit of Vatican II" for liturgical dance, immodest clothing, scrawny stick figure crucifix's, baptismal pools, inclusive language, and a heretical belief in Universalism (hell is empty.) Also, we can witness a dilution of Catholic dogmas, which entail a new twist on the liturgies and sacraments. One can also include an enormous drop in vocations, unsightly Church architecture, devotions to the saints downplayed (some cantors now make up names as they recite the "litany of saints"), hand-holding and new and unnerving music.

I can't help but recall a Catholic service I attended one Sunday months ago. The first two hymns were "Amazing Grace" and "Let there be Peace on Earth." In the presence of this "deep ecumenism,” it was difficult to resist the temptation to bolt. Why oh why has "Amazing Grace" become the standard anthem at many Catholic services including Catholic funerals? This hymn espouses a totally Protestant concept of salvation.  And how many of us weep when we recall the many times we have witnessed and sung John Denver "hymns" in Church accompanied by drums and electric guitars?

But perhaps the most dismal example of this "deep ecumenism," is the displacement of the Tabernacle. In John (20:2), Mary Magdalene lamented, "They have taken the Lord and we do not know where they have laid him." Tragically, her words live again today in the modern churches where Tabernacles have been moved to a side altar or relocated in a different room altogether.

Most of the corruption in the Church in the last 40 years can be traced back to those who promote this "deep ecumenism." Many modernists will participate in almost any kind of worship and incorporate any ritual into Catholic liturgy. And isn't this kind of ecumenism always a one-way street? I can't recall the last time I observed other religions incorporating Catholic traditions or hymns into their services or meditations.

Typically, all of these unorthodox ecumenical changes invite and support "indifferentism". As Catholics, we cannot put all religions on the same level. There can only be one true Church as founded by Jesus Christ. To deny that is to deny the heart of our Catholic faith. But what do we now see? Jewish Rabbis lecturing from Catholic pulpits, Catholics praying with Hindu's, Buddhists, Jews and Moslems, all of whom deny the divinity of our Lord and Savior. Yes, we must welcome other religions, but we must also show them the Way and the Truth. And the practice of praying with those of other religions while trying to avoid syncretism would be analogous to encouraging a teenage daughter to be promiscuous but avoid pregnancy instead of requiring abstinence of her.

The history of our Catholic faith reveals that many of our saints were steadfast in opposition to "indifferentism." St. Francis of Assisi sternly admonished, "All who have not believed that Jesus Christ was really the Son of God are doomed! Also, all who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and do not believe that it is really the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord ... these also are doomed."

Other saints who rejected "indifferentism" included St. Cyrian, St. Augustine, Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Peter Canisius.

In any discussion of false ecumenism, loyalty to the Magisterium plays a large part; however, the Magisterium is much more than one Pope. Magisterium is the 2000-year unbroken teaching authority of the Church, based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition called the dogmatic "Deposit of Faith." The true teaching of the Church warns "reaching out" to non-Catholics must be for the purpose of guiding them back to the One True Church. Many Popes warned that "false ecumenism" would lead to the ruin of souls.

1. Pope Pius XI Mortalium Animos (#10), Jan. 6, 1928 “... the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it ...
2. Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Iam Vos Omnes
3. Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum
4. Pope St. Pius X, Letter Our Apostolic Mandate on Society and Interreligious Cooperation(1910)
5. Pope Pius XII, Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement(1949)

We can only rid the Church of this heresy by proper catechetical instruction and an awareness of those who seek to undermine the true teaching of the Catholic Church. Sadly, faithful Catholics who criticize this "false ecumenism" are often labeled disrespectful or disobedient. Let us all remember that peace with God should be given priority over peace with man.

The true Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman; unique: the Chair founded on Peter. Among the Christian Church's, only the Catholic Church has these four marks and has existed since the time of Jesus. As Jesus promised-- " for you are Peter and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt.16:18).

Catherine Marie Rhodes


St. Francis of Assisi - Jorgensen, Johannes-
            (London, Longman Green Co. 1912- p.55 )
Papal Encyclicals-
1. Encyclical Satis Cognitum
2.Encyclical Mortalium Animos
Papal Documents-
1.Apostolic Letter Iam vos Omnes
2.Letter Our Apostolic Mandate
3.Instruction on Ecumenical Movement(1949)
St. Cyrian-(Unity of Catholic Church)
St. Augustine-(Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesiae Plebem)
St. Pope Gregory the Great-(Moralia)
St. Thomas Aquinas-(Summa Theologiae)
St. Peter Canisius-(Catechismi Latini et Germanici)
Aquinas-multimedia.com- Jungian Psychology as Catholic Theology
Baltimore Catechism


An Example of False Ecumenism

The following is a photo of the Cosmogram, an ancient symbol representing cyclic relationships between God and man, Heaven and Earth, Soul and body, past and present.  A Cosmogram was used in the liturgy for All Saints/All Souls Day at Saint Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church to “remind us of our connection with The Creator, The Universe, The Spirit World, and The Past.


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