Ecumenism


#1

In what ways would you say the ecumenical movement is good or bad? Honest or dishonest? Are documents such as ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together’ important steps or are they just lofty words that ignore the real differences at stake?


#2

God established one central authority within His Church. There are many branches within the Church, that’s fine, but the authority was not set up fragmented and divided. I find it sad many Protestant groups are wandering so far from the truth by incorporating so many mistaken notions, they need the central government established by Jesus to bring them back.


#3

the ecumenical movement is only as good as the people moving it.some have a wrong idea of it though. to them it means nonRCs are on the same level as a RC in terms of truth.ie:being in this church is as good as being in the Catholic church.PopeJPll said one who is in this field must be very strong in the full faith. IMOP it can be very dangerous for one with a weak understanding to be swept up by the very same people they are entreating to jion the true church.


#4

Justaservant,

I’ve written a few posts on this topic at my blog.

Basically, there are two approaches to ecumenism:

[LIST]
*]Religious liberalism
*]Pre-eminence of Catholicism
[/LIST]

Religious liberalism says that, more or less, all religions are equally good, and the difference is primarily in tradition, perspective, and ritual. This form of ecumenism has been repeatedly condemned by the Church.

The latter approach says that other religions have some good and some error. What is good and true we are to accept (eg: monotheism, opposition to abortion, etc.). What is evil and false we are to reject (eg: polytheism, human sacrifice). This has been the tradition of the Church from the patristic age onward. The early Church Fathers drew largely upon pagan writers such as Plato, Cicero, and Plotinus. They accepted what was compatible with divine revelation (eg. that God is beautiful), but they rejected what was not (eg. the pre-existence of souls).

That being said, only the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth, because Christ Himself, who can neither deceive nor be deceived, established the Church and revealed His truths to Her. The ultimate goal of ecumenism is to show others this fact. In other words, true ecumenism is evangelism.

Consider what St. Paul did in Athens: he praised the Greeks for worshiping the true, albeit “unknown” God, and then he explained to them who this God is: The God of Jacob, who became incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ!

What good ecumenists have done today is establish what we have in common and what we agree on, then dialogue from there. But it is important to remember that ecumenism is not merely “let’s all just get along” and “let’s all work together for social good.” It is good for us not to fight and for us to be able to work together for good, but we must not stop there! We must bring all people into the fullness of God’s truth found in the Catholic Church!


#5

But your truth is in some ways apostasy to protestants. If you really want ecumenism, you, Catholics, have to be willing to compromise. I have never seen a willingness to compromise on the part of Catholics. Ya’all demand that protestants rejoin the RCC. That ain’t gonna happen any time soon.


#6

(Edited) Yes, we want everyone to become Catholic, just like Baptists want everyone to “accept Christ.” Whoopity-doo.

Before the modern ecumenical movement, praying with Protestants, attending Protestant services, etc. was looked down upon if not outrightly forbidden. Joint declarations were unheard of (why do you think so many so-called traditionalists are going nuts?) Many Catholics hold a semi-favorable view of Luther and other reformers, and on another thread it is rumored that the Pope is going to make a statement praising Luther in some respects (although, I doubt he’ll be completely expunged as the UK Times article reported-but as I said in that post, let’s discuss that when/if it happens).

PS: It’s “Y’all” (pet-peeve of mine)


#7

According to my sources it’s ya’all. My wife says she is the expert and I believe her since she is from Virginia and North Carolina. Your spelling is good for you, but maybe you aren’t a Virginian?

And would you please enumerate the areas that Catholics are willing to compromise on?


#8

The foundation of the true Catholic Church, in spite of the liberal infestation and confusion we have witnessed for the last few decades, is comprised of the fundamental truths revealed by the Holy Trinity to us in a variety of ways, not least of which through the Son of God Himself when he was born into the world and subsequently died and was resurrected. The Christian churches, which have broken from Rome over the centuries, have rejected one or more of the fundamental truths, and therefore, any discussion with them about compromising the faith is invariably a compromise of Truth itself.

Christian ecumenism is generally a combination of the efforts of the misguided with those of the diabolical to undermine Truth and direct more people away from the True God. Any agreements reached in the ecumenical realm inevitably dilute true Christianity and serve to move the parties closer to Paganism and/or Lucifer himself. The ecumenical emphasis by some Catholics is dishonest, at best, and serves to satisy only those already unhappy with Catholic tradition and dogma (more liberal in moral attitude) and the hopelessly confused. It is an emphasis for “Catholics” who really want to live and think like members of the United Church which has minimal, if any, reference to the true Christ. The sooner this movement is terminated, the better.


#9

If you read the main two texts on the current movement, Ut Unum Sint from Pope John Paul II and Unitatis Redintigratio from the Second Vatican Council you’ll see that the end goal of ecumenism for the Catholic Church is the unity of all who profess Jesus Christ as Lord–and that unity is the unity which has always and will always subsist in the Catholic Church–the point of ecumenism is for all Christians to partake fully of Catholic unity, all professing the same truth and joined in full visible communion. Compromise of the truth, religious indifferentism, and irenicism are ruled out as incompatible with Catholic ecumenism.

That goal is one everyone should agree on and as Pope John Paul stated many times, it is a necessary part of the Church’s mission. Where there are disagreements is concerning which means are most effective at achieving that goal. I think the two documents I mentioned above give good guidelines and warnings about how this should be done and what dangers to avoid.


#10

I doubt that is how the other Christian churches and movements see it.
As far as Unitatis Redintigratio from the Second Vatican Council is concerened, one could easily argue that this presumed outcome of religious ecumenism is naive at best. Yet another “positive and useful” product of the Second Vatican Council.


#11

You mean deny the Truth? Could you please enumerate the Catholic doctrines distinct from your current denomination that you are willing to compromise on?


#12

That is pretty much my thought as well. I find some ecumenists to be intellectually dishonst, perhaps subconciously, in regard to goals. Each group within the movement seems to hope the other will come around, agree with them, and disregard the historical legacy. From experience I can tell you it is very hard to admit one has believed a lie about one’s religious history.
I agree, the goal must be to bring all people into the fullness of God’s truth found in the Catholic Church. There is a move within evangelicalism toward liturgy, that might be a step in the right direction.


#13

“y’all” is a contraction of “You all”

From Websters:

Main Entry:
** y’all**

variant of you-all

And I’m a Texan.

Please see above responses for response to your question.


#14

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Toward unity

**820 **“Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time.” Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me.” The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.

821 Certain things are required in order to respond adequately to this call:

  • a permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity;
  • conversion of heart as the faithful “try to live holier lives according to the Gospel”; for it is the unfaithfulness of the members to Christ’s gift which causes divisions;
  • prayer in common, because “change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name 'spiritual ecumenism;”’
  • fraternal knowledge of each other;
  • ecumenical formation of the faithful and especially of priests;
  • dialogue among theologians and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities;
  • collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind. “Human service” is the idiomatic phrase.

822 Concern for achieving unity “involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike.” But we must realize “that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts.” That is why we place all our hope “in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This is what the Church means by ecumenism – not a fake unity; not compromise – but working together to find common ground as Christians and, as far as possible being united in working together to further the kingdom of God.


#15

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