Sunday, October 09, 2016


Saint Peter's Basilica
From Via Della Conciliazione
Refer : Post of 20.1.2016

Mortalium Animos was broken into "bite size " chunks in 10 Posts entitled :
commencing on 20.9.2016 and ending on 29.9.2016


 Before we step off from considering what has happened in the Church since "Mortalium Animos", let us first take a look at what preceded that Encyclical.

In 1910  the "World Missionary Conference" met  in Edinburgh.
From 14th to 23rd June , 1910 this international conference of Protestant denominations and "missionary societies" brought together 1,200 Protestants in what has been held to be the beginning of the modern Protestant ecumenical movement. Representatives came mainly from North America and Northern Europe.  No Orthodox or Catholic representatives attended.

The gathering had been thoroughly prepared with eight Commissions  (each with 20 members) having worked for two years on the preparation of major submissions on assigned topics. The eighth of these was assigned the subject       " Co-operation and the Promotion of Unity".

The work of the Conference was intended to be carried on by a "Continuation Committee" headed by John R.Mott an American Methodist layman who had been prominent in the Conference.It is said that a sense of urgency characterised the gathering. Mott's Continuation Committee subsequently carried out information gathering visits throughout Asia.This activity led to the formation of the (Protestant) International Missionary Council in 1921. 

In 1925 the so-called Life and Work Movement brought together the Protestant Churches and some Orthodox Churches to discuss the practical role of the churches in modern society. Meeting in the wake of World War I and the Russian Revolution, the pre-occupations of the Conference appear to have been related to industry, society, politics and international relations or, as it was more formally put "applying the spirit and teaching of Christ to economic and industrial life." The absence of any strong Spiritual element, and the prominence of socio-economic matters, reflected the Protestant left wing political pre-occupations of those involved.

At the 1910 Conference there had been a move to set up a Faith and Order Conference  and the 1910 Continuation Committee determined that this should be held at Lausanne in 1927. Copious reports were prepared once again . It is noteworthy that gradually, the various parties had begun to speak of "the Church"as if there were somewhere in the great out there, a "Church" of which they all formed a part.

Then , in 1928 came Pope Pius XI 's great Encyclical "MORTALIUM ANIMOS" which made clear the unique status of the Church Jesus Christ founded - the Catholic Church -  and highlighted the only valid basis for Christian Unity - unity in Truth and membership of that same Catholic Church which, of necessity, entailed being in Communion with the Pope , Successor of Saint Peter.

But world affairs were about to overwhelm the Protestant deliberations. In 1929 there began the Great Depression . The world continued to wallow in this economic mire until the outbreak of World War II definitively and totally swept the board clean of all other considerations. From 1939 until its termination in 1945, it was the total pre-occupation of the World. It changed many things.And, though immediately after it ended, most people were keen to "get back to normal", it very quickly became clear that the old "normal" was gone forever along with much else.

But, as in the case of World War I, there was abroad a considerable air of "never again" and much "building a better World" talk, fuelled by the exultation and idealism  induced by Victory. This was, from a very early date, quickly infiltrated by Communists who had a well-developed modus operandi for attaching themselves to popular causes. We see much the same tactics used by to-day's Marxist forces in relation to Green campaigns , so that to-day the "Greens" are really something quite different.

So, whilst the forces of "ecumenism " were getting their act together again, in  the "Cold War" which grew up in confronting the Soviet Union after World War II, articles began to appear in  the media  about the "Pink fringe on Methodism" - the reference was not to homosexuality which would in due course affect Methodism and its successor the Uniting Church in Australia, but rather a strong "Left" tendency politically  : the "Pink" being more than a touch of Communist "Red".

In 1948 the World Council of Churches was founded out of the spirit of these earlier deliberations. It was from the very beginning tainted by Left Wing political thought and was a natural as an object for Communist infiltration.

CARDINAL OTTAVIANI  Seated at the right hand of Pope Saint John XXIII
 during the Second Vatican Council as Secretary of The Holy Office 

The Catholic Church was not slow to respond to this stream of thought. In 1949, on 20th December, the Holy Office issued  " Instructione de Motione Oecumenica"( Instruction concerning the Ecumenical Movement"). The Instruction resolutely affirmed the teaching of Pope Pius XI in "Mortalium Animos". It identified four fundamental principles in that teaching:

.the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of Christ and needs no augmentation from any external source,

. Christian Unity must not be sought by assimilating aspects of various Faiths and the Catholic Church cannot adjust its teachings to accommodate any other religion or its ideas

.True Christian Unity can only be achieved by other religious groups returning to the One True Catholic Church founded by Christ.

.If there were any element of truth in another religious group, its members do not lose that truth when coming into the Catholic Church, but rather have it completed and perfected.

The Instruction showed fully that the Catholic Church is the very centre and and foundation of Christian Unity by the action and design of Christ Himself.

Protestantism was in a turmoil. Unity was much talked about in the late 1970s. The War itself had seemed to many, to show how everyone could work side by side in the Armed Forces , in the factories etc, - all together in the great crusade against the common enemy. If that were so , surely we should all be able to worship together the one God whom all Christians adored. The established Church of England had been in a long process of decline and decay even in the area of doctrine before the War. It had at the  1932 Lambeth Conference accepted the idea and practice of contraception. So, on its pursuit of "relevance" it was a natural partner for such discussions. 

As time went by there were major amalgamations of Protestant Churches - never complete - always leaving behind a rump of "true" believers.  In 1977 Methodists , the Congregationalists and the Presbyterians formed the Uniting Church in which it can be seen that the lowest common denominator - the Methodists won out,   and the Uniting Church is now riddled with advocacy of homosexuality, contraception, abortion - you name it.In fact, in its United States equivalent recently one of its female "Ministers" announced to her congregation that she no longer believes in God, the Trinity, or of course the Divinity of Christ, but she is legally fighting part of the  congregation's efforts to  force her removal!

31st March, 1963 Cardinal Augustin Bea S.J. meets Rabbis Heschel(centre) and Minda (second from left)
to discuss what the Council might proclaim concerning the Jews
Through all this turmoil and ferment the Catholic Church remained apparently unaffected. Yet there were a few villains about. Indeed one of them was a Priest and a true Villain - Father M. Villain S.M., who published in 1959 in Paris, a book entitled " Introduction a l'oecumenisme". Pere Villain was highly regarded  in Anglican circles and honoured by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Ramsey who was following ecumenical ideas closely.  Pere Villain was a dedicated promoter of the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity". A more influential figure was Cardinal Augustin Bea S.J. a German who had been for a short time  the personal Confessor of Ven. Pope Pius XII. Cardinal Bea was to become the first President of The Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (1960 till his death in 1968). From 1930 up to 1949, he was Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he had been a Professor since 1930. He participated in the discussions of the Central Preparatory Commission for the Second Vatican  Council, and  the drafting of "Nostra Aetate", as far as the relations with the Jews are concerned, is reliably attributed  to his influence. The Cardinal's March, 1963 visit to the United States is well documented from published Jewish records in America which show that leading American Jewish Rabbis had been invited to advise what they thought might be desirable to come forth from the Council regarding the Jews. The record shows they got what they sought in "Nostra Aetate." 

Pope Saint John XXIII had announced  the calling of the Second Vatican Council on 25th January, 1959 in the document "Humanae Salutis". The matter of our "separated brethren" and much else was dealt with in terms of the greatest and most elevated optimism :

"Furthermore, at a time of generous and growing efforts being undertaken in various areas to reconstitute that visible unity of all Christians which corresponds to the will of the divine Redeemer, it is quite natural that the forthcoming Council provide the premises of doctrinal clarity and of mutual charity that will make even more alive in our separated brethren the desire for the hoped-for return to unity and will smooth the way to it. And finally, to a world which is lost, confused, and anxious because of the constant threat of new frightful conflicts, the forthcoming Council is called to offer a possibility for all men of good will to turn their thoughts and proposals toward peace, a peace which can and must come above all from spiritual and supernatural realities, from human intelligence and conscience enlightened and guided by God, Creator and Redeemer of humanity."

 The result could hardly have proved further from that hope.

Thursday, September 29, 2016



12. Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is "the root and womb whence the Church of God springs,"[27] not with the intention and the hope that "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth"[28] will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. 

Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,"[29] would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."[30]

13. You, Venerable Brethren, understand how much this question is in Our mind, and We desire that Our children should also know, not only those who belong to the Catholic community, but also those who are separated from Us: if these latter humbly beg light from heaven, there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ and will, at last, enter it, being united with us in perfect charity. While awaiting this event, and as a pledge of Our paternal good will, We impart most lovingly to you, Venerable Brethren, and to your clergy and people, the apostolic benediction.

Given at Rome, at Saint Peter's, 
on the 6th day of January, on the Feast of the Epiphany of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the year 1928, and the sixth year of Our Pontificate.

                  POPE PIUS XI - COAT OF ARMS

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


(PONT. 6.2.1922 to 10.2.1939)
11. Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors. Did not the ancestors of those who are now entangled in the errors of Photius and the reformers, obey the Bishop of Rome, the chief shepherd of souls? Alas their children left the home of their fathers, but it did not fall to the ground and perish for ever, for it was supported by God. Let them therefore return to their common Father, who, forgetting the insults previously heaped on the Apostolic See, will receive them in the most loving fashion. For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, "the Mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful"?[25] Let them hear Lactantius crying out: "The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enter not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind."[26]

The Holy Father here sets the scene to begin closing the Encyclical. He shows how the historical experience of life lived in the Church by Christ's faithful  has always been, and the necessity for those separated to return. His reference to Photius is a reference to the Patriarch of Constantinople who is held responsible for leading the Great Schism of the East from the Catholic Church. He quotes Lactantius Circa A.D. 250 - 325) to show that there is no alternative : 

To follow Christ faithfully is to be a member of the Catholic Church.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


(PONT. 6.2.1922 - 10.2.1939)
10. So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for 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, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. During the lapse of centuries, the mystical Spouse of Christ has never been contaminated, nor can she ever in the future be contaminated, as Cyprian bears witness: "The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly."[20] The same holy Martyr with good reason marveled exceedingly that anyone could believe that "this unity in the Church which arises from a divine foundation, and which is knit together by heavenly sacraments, could be rent and torn asunder by the force of contrary wills."[21] For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one,[22] compacted and fitly joined together,[23] it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.[24]

                                                                     Saint Cyprian

The  words of His Holiness and Saint Cyprian need no explanation, no amplification. This is the simple Truth of Christ and His Church. We are left to wonder how Christ's Truth has been undermined by the efforts of "human ideas".

Monday, September 26, 2016



(PONT. 6.2.1922 to 10.2.1939)
"9. These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith?

Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment "Love one another," altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you."[18] 

For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgement, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest? And in what manner, We ask, can men who follow contrary opinions, belong to one and the same Federation of the faithful? For example, those who affirm, and those who deny that sacred Tradition is a true fount of divine Revelation; those who hold that an ecclesiastical hierarchy, made up of bishops, priests and ministers, has been divinely constituted, and those who assert that it has been brought in little by little in accordance with the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that marvellous conversion of the bread and wine, which is called transubstantiation, and those who affirm that Christ is present only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognise the nature both of a sacrament and of a sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial or commemoration of the Lord's Supper; those who believe it to be good and useful to invoke by prayer the Saints reigning with Christ, especially Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who urge that such a veneration is not to be made use of, for it is contrary to the honour due to Jesus Christ, "the one mediator of God and men."[19] 

How so great a variety of opinions can make the way clear to effect the unity of the Church We know not; that unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians.

 But We do know that from this it is an easy step to the neglect of religion or indifferentism and to modernism, as they call it. Those, who are unhappily infected with these errors, hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, it agrees with the varying necessities of time and place and with the varying tendencies of the mind, since it is not contained in immutable revelation, but is capable of being accommodated to human life. 

Besides this, in connection with things which must be believed, it is nowise licit to use that distinction which some have seen fit to introduce between those articles of faith which are fundamental and those which are not fundamental, as they say, as if the former are to be accepted by all, while the latter may be left to the free assent of the faithful: for the supernatural virtue of faith has a formal cause, namely the authority of God revealing, and this is patient of no such distinction. For this reason it is that all who are truly Christ's believe, for example, the Conception of the Mother of God without stain of original sin with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the August Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord just as they do the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, according to the sense in which it was defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. 

Are these truths not equally certain, or not equally to be believed, because the Church has solemnly sanctioned and defined them, some in one age and some in another, even in those times immediately before our own? Has not God revealed them all? For the teaching authority of the Church, which in the divine wisdom was constituted on earth in order that revealed doctrines might remain intact for ever, and that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men, and which is daily exercised through the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops who are in communion with him, has also the office of defining, when it sees fit, any truth with solemn rites and decrees, whenever this is necessary either to oppose the errors or the attacks of heretics, or more clearly and in greater detail to stamp the minds of the faithful with the articles of sacred doctrine which have been explained. But in the use of this extraordinary teaching authority no newly invented matter is brought in, nor is anything new added to the number of those truths which are at least implicitly contained in the deposit of Revelation, divinely handed down to the Church: only those which are made clear which perhaps may still seem obscure to some, or that which some have previously called into question is declared to be of faith."

The Holy Father is now moving briskly into his task and with the precision of a surgeon, deftly taking apart the false positions those advocating what is now called ecumenism. His argumentation is brilliant and exposes all the risks which in latter days have become full blown diseases on the body of the faithful in many cases, and of course infect the minds of non-Catholics and even those of no religion at all.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


(PONT. 6.2.1922 to 10.2.1939)
"8. 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:[15] has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defence 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,"[16] 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."[17] 

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."

Such is the power and clarity of Pope Pius XI 's teaching that it requires no commentary, it is the God given Truth and any honest man can hear and understand THAT.


Saturday, September 24, 2016


" And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends.

 For authors who favour this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one.... And there shall be one fold and one shepherd,"[14] with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfilment. For they are of the opinion that the unity of faith and government, which is a note of the one true Church of Christ, has hardly up to the present time existed, and does not to-day exist. They consider that this unity may indeed be desired and that it may even be one day attained through the instrumentality of wills directed to a common end, but that meanwhile it can only be regarded as mere ideal. 

They add that the Church in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections; that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remain separate, and although having certain articles of doctrine in common, nevertheless disagree concerning the remainder; that these all enjoy the same rights; and that the Church was one and unique from, at the most, the apostolic age until the first Ecumenical Councils. Controversies therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion which keep asunder till the present day the members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and from the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, and in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers. The manifold churches or communities, if united in some kind of universal federation, would then be in a position to oppose strongly and with success the progress of irreligion. 

This, Venerable Brethren, is what is commonly said. There are some, indeed, who recognise and affirm that Protestantism, as they call it, has rejected, with a great lack of consideration, certain articles of faith and some external ceremonies, which are, in fact, pleasing and useful, and which the Roman Church still retains. They soon, however, go on to say that that Church also has erred, and corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines which are not only alien to the Gospel, but even repugnant to it. Among the chief of these they number that which concerns the primacy of jurisdiction, which was granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. Among them there indeed are some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honour or even a certain jurisdiction or power, but this, however, they consider not to arise from the divine law but from the consent of the faithful. Others again, even go so far as to wish the Pontiff Himself to preside over their motley, so to say, assemblies.

 But, all the same, although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor. Meanwhile they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is as equals with an equal: but even if they could so act. it does not seem open to doubt that any pact into which they might enter would not compel them to turn from those opinions which are still the reason why they err and stray from the one fold of Christ."

This is an interesting and even perhaps overly - generous presentation of the Protestant views then being canvassed- and they are still around to-day. The  patent falsity of their view is shown in the organic growth of Christ's Church from the date of the Resurrection until to-day. It is attested in Sacred Scripture and super-abundantly in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. 

The Holy Father proceeds to highlight very effectively the falsity of their position and to speak with Authority on the role of the Successor of Saint Peter and the unique nature of the Church.