False Ecumenism

Originally posted 12/8/2010.

One of the members of the ByzCath forums said to me concerning my response on veneration of post-schism Orthodox saints,

In spite of Dr. Ludwig Ott, I think you will find on this Forum precious little sympathy (and absolutely none from me personally) for the idea that the Orthodox are schismatics or that it is impossible for the Orthodox to achieve sainthood or that the Orthodox Church is a less certain path to salvation than is the Catholic Church.

Why become Catholic instead of Orthodox, then? Dogmatic differences simply do not matter in this nonsensical worldview! Let us, following the canon law of the Church, call a spade a spade. CIC 751 (1983): Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; … schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” Orthodox Christians who consciously reject Catholic dogmas (papal primacy, Filioque, etc.) and shun communion with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of Rome are objectively guilty of formal heresy and formal schism and cannot be saved if they die in these dispositions. This is necessary to confess in light of Pope Eugene IV of Rome (1431-1447) on 2/4/1440, BullCantate Domino” at 17th Ecumenical Council (of Florence) [D714].

Ecumenism does not mean denying the dogma of no salvation outside the Church just because that might hurt someone’s feelings! It is heresy to deny that Orthodox Christians must become Catholic or explicitly desire to become Catholic in order to be saved. Another forum member said, in defense of my post, that “the position espoused by Raphael does reflect the beliefs of many pious and well-intentioned Catholics.” However, it is the dogmatic position of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, the members of which are in communion with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of Rome, not just a theologumenon of many Catholic faithful! That is precisely why I cited dogmatic statements that are found in Denzinger, with which the Vatican II statements that some ByzCath members harp on are in perfect continuity! Some of the items cited in Denzinger are even to be found in footnotes of the Vatican II decrees.

A moderator said, “while we believe that the visible outlines of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church subsist in the Catholic Church there are others who can make the same claim and we are not to deny their claim.” Yes we are (with charity, of course)! That is why in n. 56 of the Declaration Dominus Iesus: On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, says,

The interpretation of those who would derive from the formula subsistit in the thesis that the one Church of Christ could subsist also in non-Catholic Churches and ecclesial communities is therefore contrary to the authentic meaning of Lumen gentium. “The Council instead chose the word subsistit precisely to clarify that there exists only one ‘subsistence’ of the true Church, while outside her visible structure there only exist elementa Ecclesiae, which — being elements of that same Church — tend and lead toward the Catholic Church” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Notification on the Book “Church: Charism and Power” by Father Leonardo Boff: AAS 77 [1985], 756-762).

Here is what I posted:

The issue [re:veneration of post-schism Orthodox saints] is the doubt as to whether many of these men on the calendars were Catholic, since, as Dr. Ludwig Ott says, the proposition “Membership of the Church is necessary for all men for salvation” is De fide (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 1957 edition, p. 310), that is, necessary to believe with divine and Catholic faith under pain of automatic excommunication (CIC 751; 1364 §1). If someone were to knowingly and deliberately refuse to become Catholic before death, he would die a formal schismatic who is not a member of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church either “in re” or even “in voto” via explicit desire. If the Church is able to come to a moral certainty (not necessarily a scientific certainty) that the person in question died a fully incorporated member of the Catholic Church (CCC 837) or died desiring to become Catholic (even after a long period of anti-Catholicism), she can approve veneration of such saints.

For more info on this dogma of the Church, consult the following magisterial pronouncements:

*Pope Pelagius II of Rome (579-590) in 585, Letter 4 “Dilectionis vestrae” to the schismatic bishops of Istria in PL 72:710D-715B [D247]

*Pope Innocent III of Rome (1198-1216) on 12/18/1208, Profession of Faith Prescribed for Durand of Osca and his Waldensian Companions, from the letter “Fitts exemplo” to the Archbishop of Terraco [D423]

*Twelfth Ecumenical Council (Lateran IV in 1215 under Pope Innocent III), Definition directed against the Albigensians and other heretics [D430]

*Pope Boniface VIII of Rome (1294-1303) on 11/18/1302, Bull “Unam Sanctam” [D468-469]

*Pope Clement VI of Rome (1342-1352) on 9/20/1351, Letter “Super quibusdam” to the Consolator, the Armenian Catholicos Mekhitar I of Cilicia (1341-1355) [D570B]

*Pope Eugene IV of Rome (1431-1447) on 2/4/1440, BullCantate Domino” at 17th Ecumenical Council (of Florence) [D714]

*18th Ecumenical Council (of Trent, 1545-1563) under Pope Paul III of Rome (1534-1549) on 1/13/1547, Decree of Justification chapters 4-5, 8, 14 [D796-797, 801, 807]

*Pope Benedict XIV of Rome (1740-1758) on 3/16/1743, Profession of Faith prescribed for the Maronites [D1473]

*Bl. Pope Pius IX of Rome (1846-1878) on 12/9/1854, Allocution “Singulari Quadem” [D1647-1648]

*Idem. on 8/10/1863, Encyclical Letter “Quanto conficiamur moerore” to the bishops of Italy [D1677-1678]

*Pope Leo XIII of Rome (1878-1903) on 6/29/1896, Encyclical letter “Satis cognitum [D1955]

*Ven. Pope Pius XII of Rome (1939-1958) on 6/29/1943, Encyclical letter “Mystici Corporis Christi” 22, 56-57 [D2286, 2288]


My dear readers, pray for us sinners, especially the wretched author of this blog!


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