On another Thread, WilliamGolle made the following challenge to another Fide Roma:
[quote=WilliamGolle]Now Roma—dont get off the topic–Id be happy to debate ecumenism --if you want start a new thread about that
I thought I would start a thread where this subject can be discussed. Not necessarily a debate, as Mr. Golle said, but at least a discussion on how modern ecumenism can be reconciled with the unchanging Catholic Faith.
Before proceeding, I want to say that there is a true form of ecumenism and an erroneous form. True Ecumenism seeks to bring non-Catholics into the Catholic Church through conversion. False ecumenism seeks to “unite” all religions into one. I call this the “Big Tent” Ecumenism. It is a mixture of truth and error, light and darkness, Christ and Belial.
With that said, I’ll get us started with a few quotes.
“The unity of Christians cannot otherwise be obtained than by securing the return of the separated to the one true Church of Christ from which they once unhappily withdrew. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, that stands forth before all and that by the will of its Founder will remain forever the same as when He Himself established it for the salvation of all mankind.” (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos)
That quotes clearly explains true ecumenism. It is, what is known as “ecumenism of return” whereby the members of false religions, or heretical sects, come into the one True Church.
The next quotes will perfectly describe false ecumenism. And keep in mind that the following quote comes from the Person who was appointed as the President of the Council for Promoting Chrisian Unity - Walter Casper, who rose from a mere Priest to a Cardinal under John Paul II. If anyone would know the position of the current hierarchy, I think it would be him.
Cardinal Kasper: “The decision of Vatican II, to which the Pope [John Paul II] adheres and spreads, is absolutely clear: Today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of the ecumenism of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II. Today ecumenism is considered as the common road: all should be converted to the following of Christ, and it is in Christ that we will find ourselves in the end… Even the Pope, among other things, describes ecumenism in Ut unum sint as an exchange of gifts. I think this is very well said: each Church has its own riches and gifts of the Spirit, and it is this exchange that unity is trying to be achieved and not the fact that we should become ‘Protestants’ or that the others should become ‘Catholics’ in the sense of accepting the confessional form of Catholicism.” (Adista, Rome, February 26, 2001, p. 9 - Emphasis mine)
This statement appearsto be in perfect accord with the Balamand Statement, which was signed by John Paul II, and which reads:
Balamand Statement (paragraph 22), which states, in part:
Balamand Statement: "Pastoral activity in the Catholic Church, Latin as well as Eastern, no longer aims at having the faithful of one Church pass over to the other; that is to say, it no longer aims at proselytizing among the Orthodox. It aims at answering the spiritual needs of its own faithful and it has no desire for expansion at the expense of the Orthodox Church".
Both of these quotes use the term “no longer” which clearly indicates a change.
Another person to reject “ecumenism of return” is no less than Pope Benedict XVI, who said the following while addressing a group of Protestants:
Benedict XVI:: “And we now ask: What does it mean to restore the unity of all Christians?.. This unity, we are convinced, indeed subsists in the Catholic Church, without the possibility of ever being lost (Unitatis Redintegratio, nn. 2, 4, etc.); the Church in fact has not totally disappeared from the world. On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history. Absolutely not!” (L’Osservatore Romano, August 24, 2005, p. 8.)
Now, these quotes clearly teach the contrary of Mortalium Animos, which was written in the late 1920’s, and which perfectly reflects the position of the Catholic Church from the beginning.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos: “… 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…”
I would like to see Mr. Golle explain how the current position is not the exact opposite of what the Church has always taught, as expressed in Mortalium Animos.