USCCB Joins Ecumenical Organization

What do you think of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops voting today to join an ecumenical organization with non-Catholic denominations as an active participant, not as an observer? The name of the ecumenical group escapes me. It is not the World Council of Churches. Does the Church run the risk of being perceived as simply another Christian denomination, not the One , Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Catholic Church defined in the Catechism? It seems to me that the Church has been engaged continuously in ecumenical dialogue with one group or another since Vatican II, yet I haven’t seen any other Protestant or Orthodox denominations reuniting with the one, true Church.

I have serious reservations about this group. According to another recent article, the groups chairman of the board is Tim LaHaye. Yes, that Tim LaHaye; the one who co-authored the error laden “Left Behind” series of novels (which have been condemned by the Illinois Catholic Conference of Bishops), and who has several non-fiction titles (many of them blatantly anti-Catholic) to his his credit. I hope the bishops know what they are getting into.

The Anti-Catholics Behind the Best-selling Left Behind Books
nativityukr.org/various_…re_article.html

Illionois Bishops Statement
catholicconferenceofilli…i-pages-tyndale

Fox News Article Announcing Formation of Ecumenical Group
foxnews.com/story/0,2933,138127,00.html

Let’s trust in the Lord. He knows where to lead the Church. If these obstinate non-catholics doesn’t want to reconcile with Rome, it’s probably because they don’t want to hear nothing whatsoever from the Catholic Church. But with the Church joining into these ecumenical group, it can have a say, the least, for them to listen. Joining this group will foster dialogue with these misinformed Protesters and Schismatics.

Pio

[quote=Fidelis]I have serious reservations about this group. According to another recent article, the groups chairman of the board is Tim LaHaye. Yes, that Tim LaHaye; the one who co-authored the error laden “Left Behind” series of novels (which have been condemned by the Illinois Catholic Conference of Bishops), and who has several non-fiction titles (many of them blatantly anti-Catholic) to his his credit. I hope the bishops know what they are getting into.
[/quote]

The good news is that the ecumencial group in question is not the LaHaye-Fawell group to which the link was posted. These two guys certainly are anti-Catholics.

It is a broad based groups that will united the vast majority of Christians in the USA. I think we can all wish this initiative well.

[quote=larryo]What do you think of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops voting today to join an ecumenical organization with non-Catholic denominations as an active participant, not as an observer? The name of the ecumenical group escapes me. It is not the World Council of Churches. Does the Church run the risk of being perceived as simply another Christian denomination, not the One , Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Catholic Church defined in the Catechism? It seems to me that the Church has been engaged continuously in ecumenical dialogue with one group or another since Vatican II, yet I haven’t seen any other Protestant or Orthodox denominations reuniting with the one, true Church.
[/quote]

This is a very bad move. The Catholic Church’s position is that only those who have valid Sacraments and Apostolic succession are “Churches.” All others are considered ecclesial communities. Joining this organization implicitly gives other ecclesial communities the recognition they have long sought from the Church. This is not true eccumenism.

[quote=All4lifetoo]This is a very bad move. The Catholic Church’s position is that only those who have valid Sacraments and Apostolic succession are “Churches.” All others are considered ecclesial communities. Joining this organization implicitly gives other ecclesial communities the recognition they have long sought from the Church. This is not true eccumenism.
[/quote]

No such act is being done and the “ecclesial communities” (a status it took the Catholic Church some time to come around to) are not losing any sleep over this point.

God bless our bishops for their ecumencial witness.

[quote=katherine2]No such act is being done and the “ecclesial communities” (a status it took the Catholic Church some time to come around to) are not losing any sleep over this point.

God bless our bishops for their ecumencial witness.
[/quote]

Ecumencial witness is great as long as it preserves the truth. The Catholic Church is not one among many Christian Churches. The Catholic Church is the one true Church, founded by Jesus Chirst and holds the fullness of Divine Revelation. Other eccesial communities do not recognize this and joining an ecumenical organization as an equal participate gives support to their misconception. The USCCB ought to follow the Vatican’s lead in this area.

[quote=All4lifetoo]Ecumencial witness is great as long as it preserves the truth. The Catholic Church is not one among many Christian Churches. The Catholic Church is the one true Church, founded by Jesus Chirst and holds the fullness of Divine Revelation. Other eccesial communities do not recognize this and joining an ecumenical organization as an equal participate gives support to their misconception. The USCCB ought to follow the Vatican’s lead in this area.
[/quote]

The USCCB IS following the Vatican’s lead on this, which is very supportive of ecumencial collaboration. One of the cardinal points of ecumenism is trust, along with charity. You are insisting this group affirms things that they do not. this is a failure to try to trust and be charitable.

[quote=katherine2]The USCCB IS following the Vatican’s lead on this, which is very supportive of ecumencial collaboration. One of the cardinal points of ecumenism is trust, along with charity. You are insisting this group affirms things that they do not. this is a failure to try to trust and be charitable.
[/quote]

Had you watched the EWTN coverage of the USCCB meeting, you would have learned that this is the first time that the Catholic Church has joined such a group as a participant. The Vatican, for example, has not joined the World Council of Churches as a participant for the very reasons I cited above. The Vatican is an observer only. I would have no problem with the USCCB being an observer of the Ecumenical Organization, but joining as a participant compromises the truth of the fact that the Catholic Church IS the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Perhaps these lines are to fine for you to discern, but they are important lines.

You presume that refusal to join is, in and of itself, uncharitable. This is a false presumption. This is the same kind of attitude that causes people to allow others to continue in their sin rather than to tell them that their soul is in jeopardy. “Charity” that compromises Truth is a false charity. It is a “charity” that is willing to allow others remain in their sin for the sake of being nice. True charity, desires others to come to the knowledge of the Truth and to save their souls. True charity in the ecumenical effort leads the separated brethern to heal the separation and to come to recognize the fullness Divine Revelation and to participate in the Sacraments given by Jesus for the salvation of all.

There is an a “catholic church” (as they describe themself) in Orlando not affiliated with `the Orlando Diocese or the Catholic church for that matter. This church advertises weekly in The Orlando Sentinel. In their advertisements, they claim they are “non-dogmatic,” “the church of religious liberty,” offer their “sacrements” to everyone who wants them, etc. Unfortunitly, with the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see see this in our parishes in the days to come unless something drastic happens.

[quote=katherine2]The good news is that the ecumencial group in question is not the LaHaye-Fawell group to which the link was posted.
[/quote]

You are absolutely right. I stand corrected and retract my previous post.

NCC Head Welcomes Catholic Church Decision to Join CCT

Bob Edgar, head of the National Council of Churches U.S.A. welcomed the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ recent decision to take part in the fledgling Christian Churches Together U.S.A. – the to-be largest alliance of Christian groups in the nation. Advertisement“CCT is a new forum for leaders of the nation’s churches to discuss topics of common interest and grow in their relationships with one another – more a place to be together than to act together,” Dr. Edgar said, upon learning of the 67-million member Catholic Church’s decision to join.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to join the CCT during their last day of fall deliberations, Nov. 17, 2004.

While observers noted the similarities between the CCT and the NCC – currently the largest ecumenical body with 50 million members in 36 denominations, the Catholic bishops said the CCT is “not to create another kind of National Council of Churches.”

“It’s a forum for participation so we can pray together, grow in our understanding together and witness together our faith in whatever way is possible in our society,” the bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California was quoted as saying by Religion News Service.

Once completed in May 2005, the CCT has the potential to encompass over three-times the membership of the NCC. The loosely knit CCT would represent five segments of U.S. Christianity, listed in the plan as "Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Protestant, Orthodox, Racial/Ethnic and Roman Catholic. The Catholic Church and most evangelicals and Pentecostals do not belong to the National Council of Churches, which is currently America’s largest ecumenical group. If the new alliance does emerge, it could supplant the National Council or radically alter its role in American Christianity.

The idea for the CCT emerged from discussions three years ago within the NCC, shortly after the NCC suffered a financial crisis that forced it to separate from its humanitarian arm Church World Service. While the NCC is not sponsoring the CCT effort, it’s chief executive is participating in it and is helping facilitate the conversations.

According to the CCT website, the alliance will exist mostly for common worship, fellowship and dialogue on “commonalities” and “differences.” Later, it would become more active in “speaking to society with a common voice, whenever possible,” and sponsor forums where Christians could address specific issues.
“The NCC and CCT are complementary,” Edgar said in his Nov. 18 address. “Many of the NCC’s 36 member churches are joining CCT – an important step forward in broadening ecumenical fellowship – while affirming their strong support of the NCC and its ongoing diverse program, which includes theological discussion, Bible translation, communication, education, interfaith relations and advocacy on behalf of critical issues of justice and peace.”

christianpost.com/dbase/church/1635/section/1.htm

Thursday, Nov. 18, 2004 Posted: 5:46:16PM EST

[quote=All4lifetoo]Had you watched the EWTN coverage of the USCCB meeting, you would have learned that this is the first time that the Catholic Church has joined such a group as a participant.
[/quote]

No. Maybe the first time in the USA, but in other nations, this arrangement has been in place for quite some time.

The Vatican, for example, has not joined the World Council of Churches as a participant for the very reasons I cited above.

The Holy See has said it has no theological problems with joining the WCC. If the Catholic Church joined the WCC, we would have a majority of the votes because of our size!!!

joining as a participant compromises the truth of the fact that the Catholic Church IS the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Perhaps these lines are to fine for you to discern, but they are important lines.

You presume that refusal to join is, in and of itself, uncharitable.

No. Every organization has the right to define itself, its mission, its purpose. You are being uncharitable when you declare other people’s actions to be things they say they are not.

It is a “charity” that is willing to allow others remain in their sin for the sake of being nice.

It is not a sin to colaborate with other Christians on matters of common concern.

Instead of people thinking that the protestants are going to rub off on the Church, I choose to think that we can have a positive influence on the protestants. Also, as this past election has shown, Christians can build a much better society if they are united. Our society has alot of repairs to do to it’s foundation. Unfortunately, we cannot wait for full reunification for this to happen.

[quote=katherine2]No. Maybe the first time in the USA, but in other nations, this arrangement has been in place for quite some time.
[/quote]

Sorry, but that is not what EWTN said. EWTN placed no qualifiers on its statement that this is the first time the Catholic Church has joined such an organization as a participating member.

The Holy See has said it has no theological problems with joining the WCC. If the Catholic Church joined the WCC, we would have a majority of the votes because of our size!!! [/unquote]
I find it odd that the Holy See would make such a statement and then refuse to join the WCC as a participating member. Are you suggesting that the Holy See is being hypocritical?

[quote]No. Every organization has the right to define itself, its mission, its purpose. You are being uncharitable when you declare other people’s actions to be things they say they are not.

First, the Catholic Church is not self-defined. Jesus Christ defines the Catholic Church. Second, I have not declared anyone’s action to be something it is not. I have only presented the reasons that the Church has heretofore not done what the USCCB has now done.

It is not a sin to colaborate with other Christians on matters of common concern.

But is is a sin to take things out of context and misrepresent what the author said. Here is what I said in context:
You presume that refusal to join is, in and of itself, uncharitable. This is a false presumption. This is the same kind of attitude that causes people to allow others to continue in their sin rather than to tell them that their soul is in jeopardy. “Charity” that compromises Truth is a false charity. It is a “charity” that is willing to allow others remain in their sin for the sake of being nice. True charity, desires others to come to the knowledge of the Truth and to save their souls. True charity in the ecumenical effort leads the separated brethern to heal the separation and to come to recognize the fullness Divine Revelation and to participate in the Sacraments given by Jesus for the salvation of all.
I believe that it is clear that my subject was aimed at defining true charity in regard to ecumenical efforts. I was not saying that it was sinful to colaborate with other Christians in areas of common concern.
[/quote]

[quote=All4lifetoo]Sorry, but that is not what EWTN said. EWTN placed no qualifiers on its statement that this is the first time the Catholic Church has joined such an organization as a participating member.
[/quote]

Well, then they made a mistake.

The Holy See has said it has no theological problems with joining the WCC. If the Catholic Church joined the WCC, we would have a majority of the votes because of our size!!!
I find it odd that the Holy See would make such a statement and then refuse to join the WCC as a participating member. Are you suggesting that the Holy See is being hypocritical?

Of course not. If the Catholic Church joined the WCC it would dominate it, having more than 60% of the votes. Now maybe we could propose and pass a resolution affirming the Petrine Ministry, but what’s the point of that? The Church earnestly desires to have dialogue and fellowship with the Protestant and Orthodox bodies of the WCC, not to dominate it.

First, the Catholic Church is not self-defined.

I was not speaking of the Catholic Church, I was speaking of CCT.

Second, I have not declared anyone’s action to be something it is not. I have only presented the reasons that the Church has heretofore not done what the USCCB has now done.

No, you have been critical of Catholic participation in CCT and justified by defining this in a way the parties do not.

I believe that it is clear that my subject was aimed at defining true charity in regard to ecumenical efforts. I was not saying that it was sinful to colaborate with other Christians in areas of common concern.

Well, if you are not objecting to Catholic participation in CCT, I have misunderstood you.

[quote=katherine2]Well, then they made a mistake.
[/quote]

Okay, you know better than EWTN. Would you please document the ecumenical organizations that the Catholic Church has joined as a participating member.

Of course not. If the Catholic Church joined the WCC it would dominate it, having more than 60% of the votes. Now maybe we could propose and pass a resolution affirming the Petrine Ministry, but what’s the point of that? The Church earnestly desires to have dialogue and fellowship with the Protestant and Orthodox bodies of the WCC, not to dominate it.

You want us to believe that the Vatican refused to join the WCC because it didn’t want to dominate it? This is pure non-sense.

I was not speaking of the Catholic Church, I was speaking of CCT.

You specified every organization, but I’ll give you that.

No, you have been critical of Catholic participation in CCT and justified by defining this in a way the parties do not.

Yes, I am opposed the to USCCB joining an ecumenical organization as a participating member. If you read the CCT press release, one of the goals is to have common worship services. This is very problematic. For example, how does the Catholic Church worship with Unitarians without denying the Divinity of Jesus Christ and of the nature of the Trinity? How does the Catholic Church witness to the truth when she compromises it through her actions?

Well, if you are not objecting to Catholic participation in CCT, I have misunderstood you.

I am objecting. You have that right. What you have wrong is that such an objection is uncharitable. In fact it is charitable because it refuses to compromise the truth for a false presentation of unity. I am all for ecumenical progress, but not in a manner that will compromise the Truth. IMHO the bishops have erred.

Mortalium Animos

  1. This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall We suffer, what would indeed be iniquitous, the truth, and a truth divinely revealed, to be made a subject for compromise? For here there is question of defending revealed truth. Jesus Christ sent His Apostles into the whole world in order that they might permeate all nations with the Gospel faith, and, lest they should err, He willed beforehand that they should be taught by the Holy Ghost:[15] has then this doctrine of the Apostles completely vanished away, or sometimes been obscured, in the Church, whose ruler and defense is God Himself? If our Redeemer plainly said that His Gospel was to continue not only during the times of the Apostles, but also till future ages, is it possible that the object of faith should in the process of time become so obscure and uncertain, that it would be necessary to-day to tolerate opinions which are even incompatible one with another? If this were true, we should have to confess that the coming of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, and the perpetual indwelling of the same Spirit in the Church, and the very preaching of Jesus Christ, have several centuries ago, lost all their efficacy and use, to affirm which would be blasphemy. But the Only-begotten Son of God, when He commanded His representatives to teach all nations, obliged all men to give credence to whatever was made known to them by “witnesses preordained by God,”[16] and also confirmed His command with this sanction: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.”[17] These two commands of Christ, which must be fulfilled, the one, namely, to teach, and the other to believe, cannot even be understood, unless the Church proposes a complete and easily understood teaching, and is immune when it thus teaches from all danger of erring. In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man’s life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life.

papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11MORTA.HTM

posted by larryo

Does the Church run the risk of being perceived as simply another Christian denomination, not the One , Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Catholic Church defined in the Catechism?

In my opinion, if a person is not Catholic they see the Catholic Church as either the whore of Babylon or just another Christian denomination. The may know what the Catholic Church claims to be, but they don’t agree with everything their own pastor says and they know he is still a Christian.

JMHO,
Maria

Action of Churches Together in Scotland

Churches Together in Britain andIreland

[size=2][font=Arial][size=1]Churches Together in Wales[/size]
[/font][/size]
Of the Catholic Churches in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, all are full members in at least of the above groups of different Christian Churches.

So the action of the CC in the USA is only the most recent of many such moves.

I’m all for it. It’s high time that “the salt of the earth” got out of its salt-shaker, in the USA as elsewhere. Otherwise, it is no better than if it were salt that had lost its taste - and salt like that, gets thrown away.

“Splendid isolation” in the RC goldfish bowl is no way for a Church to behave. Of course there are risks - life is one long series of risks. Jesus did not save us by staying safely in Heaven. And the CC will not do the work of Jesus Christ by staying in a nice safe holy huddle, away from the “heretics” and all those “sinful” people who are not in the “right” Church. Jesus did not keep safe; He mixed with the “heretics” and “sinners” and “schismatics” of his own time, “leaving us an example” to follow. If Jesus had been an RC in the USA CC, we would still be waiting for salvation. Happily for us, He was nothing of the kind. ##
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]
[/size]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.