Ecumenism: a Masquerade?

Is there such a thing as Catholic Ecumenism? We think there is something else hiding behind the concept. 

Newsroom (09/12/2022 10:16 AM, Gaudium Press) Although the use of masks is as old as it is customary, in addition to covering faces, it is also easily adapted as a disguise in the ideological field. It is thus common that, with the masking of a term, others may camouflage or hide themselves. In general, the camouflaged ones are always questionable, because the truth does not need to hide.

In effect, then, the term ‘ecumenism’ is one of those that most commonly plays the role of a mask in our days. And behind its image, we often find the idea of indifferentism (the belief that differences of religious belief are of no importance).

In the religious field, according to the words of Pope Pius IX, we understand indifferentism as being the attitude of those “Catholics who think that people living in error and far from the true faith and Catholic unity will reach eternal life.”

Thus, for many Catholics, ecumenism appears as a new version of indifferentism, in which – if it does not affirm equality among all religions – it at least claims to have equality among Christian religions.

Removing the mask

The indifferentist position is “decidedly contrary to Catholic doctrine”, for how can the different confessions be of equal value if salvation is obtained only in communion with the Catholic Church?

In this regard, let us listen to an important clarification made by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith:

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Today, however, the Church’s missionary proclamation is called into question by theories of a relativistic nature, which claim to justify religious pluralism not only de facto but also de iure (or in principle). A situation has long been created in which, for many of the faithful, the very raison d’être of evangelization is unclear. It is even claimed that to have received as a gift the fullness of God’s Revelation conceals an attitude of intolerance and a danger to peace.

“Those who reason in this way overlook the fact that the fullness of the gift of truth which God makes by revealing Himself to man respects this freedom which He Himself creates as an indelible trait of human nature: a freedom which is not indifference but a striving for good. Such respect is a requirement of the Catholic faith itself and of the charity of Christ, a constitutive of evangelization and therefore a good to be promoted inseparably from the commitment to make known and freely embrace the fullness of salvation that God offers to man in the Church.”

Therefore, Catholic ecumenism’s real aim is “to increase the partial communion existing among Christians to full communion in truth and charity,” which can only be attained through Holy Church.

Therefore, may the Church achieve ecumenism – but the true ecumenism – among her members, since, if it masks and falsifies the sincere union that must reign among those who profess the faith in Christ, the end result will be the distancing from the truth of those who should belong to this common house.

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By Thiago Resende

Compiled by Sandra Chisholm

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