Mormons help Catholics rebuild after earthquake

The deadliest earthquake to hit the Philippines hit a few weeks ago, with well over 200 dead.

From the Philippine Daily Enquirer:
Mormons helping Catholic Church distribute relief goods in Bohol

The Latter-day Saint (LDS) Charities, the Mormon Church’s humanitarian arm, has vowed to help Catholics rebuild their Spanish-era churches that were destroyed by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Central Visayas on Oct. 15.

Jairus Perez, manager of LDS Charities in the Philippines, said one of their leaders was scheduled to meet with Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran to discuss how they could help restore the heritage churches in the province.
…]
Perez said they would like to help restore the damaged churches in Cebu, including the centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, which lost its belfry, and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which sustained huge cracks on its facade.
“Actually, we have already reserved enough funds for the restoration of Catholic churches, including those in Cebu. We’re ready to send our donations for these churches,” he said.

But actually, that news isn’t why I started this thread. I wanted to hear what you folks thought about this part:

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, welcomed the Mormon Church’s “good gesture.”

“The church is a symbol of unity and faith. Ecumenism means helping each other even if we belong to different churches because we believe in one God and we have one faith, one hope and one salvation,” he said.

We mormons don’t really use the term “ecumenism” - I’ve been learning about it from places like CAF. From what I understand, it means more than just different groups working together, it’s more along the lines of different Christian organizations who can respect each other’s Christianity, working together. I’ve been told (I don’t remember by whom, it may have been on some other website) that mormons don’t “deserve” ecumenism because we’re either not Christian, or not Christian enough. (I want to be clear, I’m not complaining, I don’t have some problem, I’m just trying to understand.)

So my questions to folks here:

  1. Do I understand what Ecumenism means, and do y’all believe it’s not possible for Catholics and Mormons to be ecumenical because mormon theology is just too far away from Catholic theology (especially on the nature of God)?

  2. If it’s not possible, why is Msgr. Binghay talking about it happening in the Philippines?

Catholics believe that all salvation comes through the Catholic Church. When the bishop speaks of “one salvation”, it is the belief that all who are saved go to the same heaven. Since we believe God founded the Catholic Church, all who enter Heaven are themselves Catholic!

With regard to Mormons, “Christian” has a very technical meaning. The Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon ordinances or its sacrament as valid. To be “Christian” means that one was sacramentally baptized (cleansed) of all sin. Because of the very different beliefs regarding the relationship of Jesus Christ and God the Father that Mormons and Catholic’s have, we don’t recognize Mormon baptism for the purposes of Christian conversion. Thus, Mormons who were not previously baptized before their Mormon baptism, are in the strictly technical sense, not Christian.

Should a Mormon wish to convert to Catholicism, he or she must first be baptized by a priest to do so. To the faithful Mormon, this shouldn’t pose an issue. If you intend to remain Mormon all your life, Godspeed to you!

(As a Catholic, I of course pray for your conversion to the Catholic Church, but only ask you do so if so moved by the Holy Spirit! :))

It isn’t possible to have ecumenical relationship with Mormonism. Ecumenism is based on the premise that God established His Holy Church everywhere. There is one flock. One faith, one Lord, One baptism. (vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html)

Mormonism is based on the premise that there is no Holy Church. Why would a Mormon think to belong to something it has wholly rejected?

Many Catholics who are unfamiliar with Mormonism believe it be another Protestant denomination, which it isn’t. Ecumenism, from a Catholic POV, is the unity of Christian churches. Mormonism is not a Christian church.

This doesn’t mean that Catholics are opposed to working with people of good will, Christian, or non-Christian, which is the relationship between Catholics and Mormons.

[quote=NeuroTypical] The deadliest earthquake to hit the Philippines hit a few weeks ago, with well over 200 dead. From the Philippine Daily Enquirer: Mormons helping Catholic Church distribute relief goods in Bohol Quote: The Latter-day Saint (LDS) Charities, the Mormon Church’s humanitarian arm, has vowed to help Catholics rebuild their Spanish-era churches that were destroyed by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Central Visayas on Oct. 15. Jairus Perez, manager of LDS Charities in the Philippines, said one of their leaders was scheduled to meet with Bishop Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Tagbilaran to discuss how they could help restore the heritage churches in the province. …] Perez said they would like to help restore the damaged churches in Cebu, including the centuries-old Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, which lost its belfry, and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which sustained huge cracks on its facade. “Actually, we have already reserved enough funds for the restoration of Catholic churches, including those in Cebu. We’re ready to send our donations for these churches,” he said. But actually, that news isn’t why I started this thread. I wanted to hear what you folks thought about this part: Quote: Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, welcomed the Mormon Church’s “good gesture.” “The church is a symbol of unity and faith. Ecumenism means helping each other even if we belong to different churches because we believe in one God and we have one faith, one hope and one salvation,”� he said. We mormons don’t really use the term “ecumenism” - I’ve been learning about it from places like CAF. From what I understand, it means more than just different groups working together, it’s more along the lines of different Christian organizations who can respect each other’s Christianity, working together. I’ve been told (I don’t remember by whom, it may have been on some other website) that mormons don’t “deserve” ecumenism because we’re either not Christian, or not Christian enough. (I want to be clear, I’m not complaining, I don’t have some problem, I’m just trying to understand.) So my questions to folks here: 1. Do I understand what Ecumenism means, and do y’all believe it’s not possible for Catholics and Mormons to be ecumenical because mormon theology is just too far away from Catholic theology (especially on the nature of God)? 2. If it’s not possible, why is Msgr. Binghay talking about it happening in the Philippines?
[/quote]

The ecumenical movements of today are effectively geared towards cooperation on social issues rather than on theological agreement. Posted from Catholic.com App for Android

Ok, so I’m trying to understand why you think Msgr. Binghay said what he said about it.

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, welcomed the Mormon Church’s “good gesture.”

“The church is a symbol of unity and faith. Ecumenism means helping each other even if we belong to different churches because we believe in one God and we have one faith, one hope and one salvation,” he said.

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but would it be your opinion then, that Msgr. Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, must be one of these Catholics unfamiliar with Mormonism? That he was using the term in error, out of ignorance? If I’m understanding wrong here, please correct me.

This doesn’t mean that Catholics are opposed to working with people of good will, Christian, or non-Christian, which is the relationship between Catholics and Mormons.

If that’s the answer, that’s fine with me. As I said, mormons don’t really use the term ecumenism. I was surprised to see someone in Catholic leadership using the term referencing mormons.

That is of course what you are doing.

My opinion is, that Mormons present themselves as a Christian religion, when strictly speaking from a Catholic POV, you are not. My opinion being that the Mormon Church uses a sort of deception, that those who are unfamiliar with Mormon beliefs, are unaware. Further, using such moments and events for propaganda in order to further the deception. (You asked.)

but would it be your opinion then, that Msgr. Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Archdiocese of Cebu, must be one of these Catholics unfamiliar with Mormonism? That he was using the term in error, out of ignorance? If I’m understanding wrong here, please correct me.

If that’s the answer, that’s fine with me. As I said, mormons don’t really use the term ecumenism. I was surprised to see someone in Catholic leadership using the term referencing mormons.

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html

But the Lord of Ages wisely and patiently follows out the plan of grace on our behalf, sinners that we are. In recent times more than ever before, He has been rousing divided Christians to remorse over their divisions and to a longing for unity. Everywhere large numbers have felt the impulse of this grace, and among our separated brethren also there increases from day to day the movement, fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit, for the restoration of unity among all Christians. This movement toward unity is called “ecumenical.” Those belong to it who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies. For almost everyone regards the body in which he has heard the Gospel as his Church and indeed, God’s Church. All however, though in different ways, long for the one visible Church of God, a Church truly universal and set forth into the world that the world may be converted to the Gospel and so be saved, to the glory of God.

Emphasis mine.

I am quite sure a Bishop knows what ecumenism means and doesn’t use the term in error or ignorance. Mormonism is an obscure religion, that is happy to present itself as “the same as everyone else”, until they come knocking on a Christian’s door in order to tell them Christianity is false.

Hope that helps.

Neuro, that’s my assumption reading his entire text. Few Catholics that I know understand Mormonism and fewer yet understand the theology well. It’s just not a topic that comes up, which may be very hard to believe if you live in a Mormon community. The Bishop’s knowledge of Mormonism is likely limited, especially living in a strongly Catholic country.

Interesting: see link here this website displayed a banner ad “Mormons believe in Christ” with a link to Mormon.org. That is a rather odd message coming from a “Christian” Church. It’s also not accurate, better to state “Mormonism believes in a different Christ” but that would be less appealing to potential converts, but it may get more people to actually click on the ad.

PnP

Ok- so it’s not that Msgr. Binghay is ignorant, it’s that my church attempts to deceive people into thinking we’re something we’re not, and Msgr. Binghay has fallen for our deception? I’m honestly trying to understand your belief about this matter, to the point where I can say them back to you, and you say “yes, that’s what I mean”.

I am quite sure a Bishop knows what ecumenism means and doesn’t use the term in error or ignorance.

So I’m still confused. He’s not in error, when he says Catholics and Mormons are engaged in ecumenism?

Confused. Is he right or not? If he’s fallen for mormonism’s “propaganda” and “sort of deception”, is he not in error?

I’d say your opinion is pretty spot on. Deception and manipulation were certainly the m.o. on my mission. Although when Mormons present themselves as Christians I think most of them are sincere in claiming that simply because they don’t know enough about traditional Christianity to realize that there is any difference. It’s the ones that do know enough about Christianity and still persist in claiming to be Christian that really bother me.

He assumes the Mormon Church is Christian (Those belong to it [Christian Church] who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies.) His statement regarding ecumenism with Mormons is based on that assumption. An assumption that is based on how Mormons are presenting themselves, when it suits their purpose for converting CHRISTIANS to Mormonism. ie, if you are already a Christian church why are you out proselytizing Christians??? In the case of the Philippines, where the majority of the population is Catholic, Mormons view every public moment as a time to seize, in order to convert people away from Catholicism.

Using one of our Bishops to further your removing Catholics from their faith is not only a deception, it is immoral.

He is not ignorant about ecumenism, and is not in error about ecumenism, he is uninformed about Mormonism.

Why do you care?

I don’t, honestly. Just wondering if folks here thought he was right or not. Although I still don’t have a perfect grasp on the term ‘ecumenism’, I know it means a lot to my Catholic neighbors, and they don’t toss the term around lightly. It surprised me to hear any Catholic, much less a Catholic with titles like Msgr. or episcopal vicar, use it referring to a relationship with Mormons.

This doesn’t mean that Catholics are opposed to working with people of good will, Christian, or non-Christian, which is the relationship between Catholics and Mormons.

Again, quite honestly, with the number of groups and people out there who won’t give Mormons the time of day, much less work with us on an organizational level, I’m genuinely content to hear about such stories of interfaith cooperation.

It’s hard for us, with all our perceived deception and manipulation, claiming to be Christian out of ignorance, inaccurate advertising and deception, to get people to work with us. (Sorry if this sounds like I’m playing the victim here, I’m trying to restate the accusations made against my church with as many quotes and sources as I can.)

You asked.

I know the Mormon propensity towards feeling persecuted is strong. :smiley: It’s an indicator, for you, that you’re not only right, but righteous! Go Elders!

Propaganda: information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

It’s all about convincing people to become Mormon, and in a Catholic country, you’re going to have to convince them first that Mormonism is a Christian religion. Which from a Catholic POV, it is not. Any attempt is going to look like propaganda.

Mormonism has a paradox that can’t be resolved. You so really, really, really want others to view Mormonism as a Christian religion, while you work extremely hard with seemingly endless resources, to convince Christians to become Mormon and remove them from their Christian faith.

I don’t know how Mormons resolve this in their own minds, maybe just feel persecuted and don’t think about it? :smiley: From the outside, it looks top to bottom, as a deception. Mormons have a moral view that the ends justify the means, so it is morally OK in a Mormon frame to deceive people if the end result is a conversion to Mormonism. Catholics don’t share this view of morality. A good intent does not make something that is bad, good.

So, you can feel persecuted, it doesn’t change how Mormonism is viewed.

I have a nephew on a mission in a Catholic country. My family is so proud, and I read his letters. I can’t help but feel disgusted. Which, is not good on my part, but that is how Mormonism makes me feel. You feel persecuted. I feel disgusted. Let’s get together for a root beer float and not think about it. :smiley:

Leave Catholics alone.

Few years back,the LDS leadership in the Philippines sent ‘volunteers’ to help build homes for the underpriviledged people, managed by a Catholic Group.Their hidden agenda was exposed later on ,as they were not there to help build homes,but to proselytize Catholics.They even attempted to convert the leader of this organization,which he didnt! The 680k Mormons in the Philippines were former Catholics.The LDS should return these brainwashed ex- Catholics to revert to their previous faith.The LDS has hidden agenda again this time.They want to get to closer to the RC leadership in those islands ,not to help them,but to proselytize more uncatechized Catholics,disguising as good samaritans.They should be ashamed.They should leave Catholics alone and dont destroy their traditions,culture etc.

But anyway, I’ll stop persecuting you and explain ecumenism. :slight_smile:

The foundation of ecumenism is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. “Church”, being understood differently than how Mormonism teaches it. The Church belongs to Jesus’ and is One. Catholic, means “universal”, and this goes to the mystical aspect of “Church”. Holy, because it belongs to God, and is made Holy by Him. Apostolic, as Jesus appointed Apostles as the foundation, and they appointed successors, who exist today.

Through baptism, we enter into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In Him, all the baptized are made one, as Christ’s Church is one. So it is essential that a church confess the same Lord, profess the same faith, and receive the same baptism. One faith, One Lord, One baptism. All who do are Christian, and belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Even when we are separated physically, geographically and in theological disagreements, the supernatural aspects of the Church, through the Holy Spirit, maintain us as One. Ecumenism is an orientation towards acting what we believe. That is, from a Catholic view, that our separated brethren (Protestants) and those we are in schism with (Orthodox), are still One, in and through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ecumenism is seeking to make visible, what is invisible, in the form of communion. As the Eucharist is central to Catholic thinking in all ways.

As someone already mentioned, there is an idea (even among Catholics) that ecumenism means “doing good for everyone, especially in times of disaster or great need”. This is not ecumenism, this is charity, but it is an important aspect of ecumenism. The three central virtues of the Catholic faith are always integral. Faith, Hope, Charity…caritas, which is rooted in love.

Mormonism, and other non-Christian religions, fall outside of ecumenism because Mormonism is neither separated or schismatic, but another religion. In the strictest sense of the theological meaning of “church”, Mormonism is not a Christian Church. That is, does not belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This does not infer anything about individual Mormons, ie, all belong to God. He calls all to Himself, Christian, non-Christian, atheist.

I pray often that God brings all people to Him. Each has their own journey, and God knows the need of every individual. I make no judgement of where any particular person is in their journey. God calls all to Himself and there is no belief among Catholics that there is a cookie cutter approach to faith, as God treats everyone as individuals. A saying that is popular is, “all roads lead to Rome”. :slight_smile: Which is stating, all individual journeys lead to Christ, even when that reality is not made visible, our ultimate end is HIM.

Thanks, RebeccaJ, that makes a lot of sense. I’m still learning about the complex way (or so it seems to me) that Catholics view non-Catholic Christians, and this helps.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

On the contrary.

Catholic Moral Theology does take into account good intentions…

usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/morality/

You’re welcome. The Church is the Body of Christ, and He has one Body. It’s that simple.

Setting aside mormonism, and still thinking along the lines of ecumenism: How can a Catholic tell which non-Catholic Christian religions are part of the body of Christ, and which non-Catholic Christian religions aren’t? Does someone keep a list somewhere?

For example, my local mega-church is full of evangelicals who don’t really seem to “do baptism”. They seem to figure that stating “Christ is Lord and my Savior and I’m a sinner” or something similar, is all one needs to be saved. They just don’t think or talk about baptism. But they’re on the same page with Catholics about the trinity. But they don’t use the Catholic version of the Bible with those extra books. (etc, etc, etc.) Ecumenical?

Baptism (i.e., according to the Trinitarian formula) is how we enter the Church and become part of the Body of Christ. If a mega-church evangelical who professes faith in Jesus Christ but has never been baptized wants to become Catholic, he will need to be baptized just like I must be baptized (former Mormon who was never baptized according to the Trinitarian formula).

Since I am not a priest or RCIA director, I don’t know if there is a formal “list” per se. It seems like there is some sort of list or guideline as to which churches provide valid Christian baptisms but maybe the list is more along the lines of which churches don’t. When I first met with the RCIA director, she knew I would need to be baptized but my Orthodox husband just had to do a profession of faith to become Catholic as he had already received all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist). Someone who was already baptized in a Protestant denomination (Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, etc) would need to provide a copy of their baptismal certificate before formally joining the Catholic Church and receiving Confirmation and the Eucharist.

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