Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been great emphasis on ecumenism or unity among all religions. We are now hearing from all levels within the Roman Catholic Church that we must RESPECT all religions. We are told that we must refrain from forcing our beliefs onto others. We are told that all religions hold some truth that may lead to salvation of souls. What we have not been told is that this notion is UTTER NONSENSE and contrary to our traditional faith.
In the encyclical, Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII warns the faithful about false "irenics" (ecumenism). He states: "Another danger is perceived which is all the more concealed beneath the mask of virtue. There are many who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an 'irenism' according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attack of atheism, but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma.
"...But some through enthusiasm for an imprudent 'irenism' seem to consider as an obstacle to the restoration of fraternal union things founded on the laws and principles given by Christ and likewise on institutions founded by Him, or which are the defense and support of the integrity of the faith, and the removal of which would bring about the union of all, but only to their destruction.
"In theology some want to reduce to a minimum the meaning of dogmas: and to free dogma itself from terminology long established in the Church and from philosophical concepts held by Catholic teachers ... They cherish the hope that when dogma is stripped of the elements which they hold to be extrinsic to divine revelation, it will compare advantageously with the dogmatic opinions of those who are separated from the unity of the Church and that in this way they will gradually arrive at a mutual assimilation of Catholic dogma with the tenets of the dissidents.
"Moreover they assert that when Catholic doctrine has been reduced to this condition, a way will be found to satisfy modern needs, that will permit dogma being expressed also by the concepts of modern philosophy ... Some more audaciously affirm that this can and must be done, because they hold that the mysteries of faith are never expressed by truly adequate concepts but only by approximate and ever changeable notions, in which the truth is to some extent expressed, but is necessarily distorted."
Pope Pius XII must have had keen insight and awareness that modernists were infiltrating the Church. His warnings against false ecumenism, however, have been brushed by the wayside. The bishops and clergy have not heeded his warnings. Since the Second Vatican Council, the philosophies of modernists are attempting to strangle out the traditional beliefs and dogmas of our deposit of faith.
Let me begin by first examining the definitions of the verb form of the word, "respect". Webster's dictionary provides two definitions of this word. The first definition of respect is, "to consider worthy of high regard: esteem". The second definition of respect is "to refrain from interfering with".
Is it possible to consider worthy of high regard or esteem other religious beliefs that are contradictions to the Truth found within the Roman Catholic Church? Should we respect religions that allow polygamy, deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ, deny original sin and the Immaculate Conception? Should we respect beliefs of others that allow divorce, abortion and permit homosexuality as a lifestyle?
How can TRUE Catholics hold these beliefs in high regard or esteem and call themselves followers of Christ? As a Catholic I should respect my fellow brothers and sisters. I can hold human beings in high regard and esteem because each one of us has been created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus gave us the commandment to love God with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He did not tell us to love sin or beliefs that contradict His teachings. Thus, I will not elevate with high regard or esteem any religion or belief that contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Pope Pius XII states in the same encyclical, "...God has given to His Church a living Teaching Authority to elucidate and explain what is contained in the deposit of faith only obscurely and implicitly. This deposit of faith our Divine Redeemer has given authentic interpretation not to each of the faithful, not even to theologians, but only to the Teaching Authority of the Church." He further states that Christ appointed the Church as "guardian and interpreter of the whole deposit of divinely revealed truth".
God did not send His only begotten Son into the world to establish a multiple of religions equally meriting salvation. If this were the case, there would have been no need for Christ to die on the cross, for all religions would have been equally pleasing to God. Christ came to establish His Church which contains the WHOLE deposit of divinely revealed truth which is the ONLY means to salvation. The present post-conciliar Church has silenced the doctrine of "No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church" as a means of promoting false ecumenism which attempts to establish respect for all religions.
I can not understand how Catholics could fall for such nonsense. Are they unaware that a doctrine can never be revoked. A doctrine is a revealed truth through God that can NEVER change. God is pure Truth and can never deceive us. Only man and the serpent are capable of deceptive ploys.
Pope Pius XII reiterates this doctrine very clearly and precisely. "Some say they are not bound by the doctrine which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian faith. These and like ERRORS, it is clear, have crept in among certain of our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science."
One must realize that the Roman Catholic Church cannot teach that truth and error lead equally well to the salvation of souls. Many people assume that the Church makes claims as to who is saved. This is a misconception on the part of others. The Church can only state what is necessary for salvation. The doctrine of "No salvation outside the Catholic Church" is not a doctrine of intolerance to the individual, but of intolerance to error. Hence, every person is bound to become a member of the Catholic Church.
The present emphasis placed on respecting other religions has contributed to indifferentism spreading like wildfire among the Catholic faithful. Indifferentism involves believing that one faith is as good as another and that all faiths merit salvation. "As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:8). "If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you." (2 John 1:10). Christ gave One Faith, One Truth to His apostles to be passed on to all people through the One True and only Church founded by Christ, The Roman Catholic Church. Any other profession of faith is a false religion.
Thus, the false ecumenism which sometimes encourages Catholics to participate in other religion that brings forth Christ's doctrine as noted in John 1:10.
Malachi B. Martin in a recent article "The Judas Complex" defines this complex as "the compromise of one's basic principles in order to fit in with the modes of thought and behavior that the world regards as necessary for its vital interests." Judas had a different agenda from Christ. Judas wanted things done his way because he thought he knew better then Christ. Betrayal of Christ does not only occur with thirty pieces of silver. Betrayal of Christ occurs when we hold false religions and false beliefs in high esteem. We too become traitors to Christ. To uphold false beliefs, as other religions do, is to mock Christ's revealed Truth and to follow in Judas' footsteps.
The only sound conclusion for all Roman Catholics is to respect only one religion, the True religion founded by Christ Himself: the Roman Catholic Church. To give esteem or regard to other false religions is to betray our Savior as Judas betrayed Him with thirty pieces of silver.
If respecting other religions means to refrain from interfering with other people's beliefs, then how do we reconcile Christ's words to His apostles before ascending into Heaven? "And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matt.28:18-20)
Christ's instructions were very clearly given to His apostles. They were commanded to teach ALL (not some) nations ALL things (not some things) whatsoever Christ had commanded them to teach. That is, Christ gave them the revealed truth and all His doctrines. The apostles were not told to respect those nations or beliefs that held different beliefs from Christ's teachings. Even Christ professed Truth to the elite Rabbis who rejected not only His teachings, but Christ as Son of God. Christ was crucified on the cross because He did not compromise His teachings.
The Post-Conciliar Church continues to focus on the similarities among religions. Implicitly, the Church conveys a hush-hush attitude about differences among other religions. Thus, this second meaning of the word "respect" has also gained wide support by the Catholic faithful. I find it most uncharitable to ignore those key differences that separate some of our brothers and sisters from complete union with the Catholic Church. While maintaining this modern notion found throughout the Catholic Church, souls are being lost.
Many of the early apostles, disciples and saints were martyred because they did not respect other people's false religions and beliefs. They proclaimed the teachings and doctrines as Christ instructed them because of their sincere and devout love for Christ.
Let us recall how we sin against faith. "A person sins against faith, first, by not trying to know what God has taught; second, by refusing to believe all that God has taught; third, by neglecting to profess his belief in what God has taught." (Baltimore Catechism No. 4, p. 265) False worship is a sin against the First Commandment. "And now that we have the real sacrifice it would be sinful to use only figures, (as in other religions) and it would be a false worship displeasing to God ...So, too, all those who leave the true Church to practice a religion of their own have a false worship, for they worship God not as He wants, but as they wish" (Baltimore Catechism No. 4, p. 261).
If more Catholics took the Oath against the Errors of Modernism from the Motu Proprio of Pope St. Pius X, Sacrorum Antistitum (1910), our present state of affairs on the respect for other religions would be a moot point. Our Holy Church has been forewarned by Our Lady of Fatima. The Blessed Mother's Third Secret has been kept hidden from the faithful for over thirty years. We can only pray diligently for the Holy Father to consecrate RUSSIA to Holy Mary's Immaculate Heart in union with all the Bishops of the world. After this consecration takes place, the world will no longer doubt that the Catholic Church is the One True Church founded by Jesus Christ some two thousand years ago.
This article was taken from the August 1997 issue of Catholic Family News, an excellent monthly newspaper. For those interested in subscribing to this publication, CFN can be contacted at 1-800-474-8522. [an error occurred while processing this directive]