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Praying with Heretics –
Where is the Catholic Resistance?

Margaret C. Galitzin

Who raises an eyebrow today to see a picture like the one below? It was taken recently, on March 6, 2008, at the Vatican, published by L’Osservatore Romano. Benedict XVI, Head of the One Holy Catholic Church, exchanges embraces and kisses with Schismatic patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I before a meeting at the Vatican. After a half hour of conversation, the two leaders – presented as equals, acting as equals – went to the tiny Chapel of Urban VIII near the papal library and prayed aloud together.

Benedict embraces schismatic patriarch Bartholomew

Benedict embraces schismatic patriarch Bartholomew I before praying together in the Vatican
Then Bartholomew meandered on to the Jesuit-run Pontifical Oriental Institute to lecture Catholics on “theology, liturgy and silence,” telling them how the spiritual experience of the Schismatics supposedly responds to the needs of the modern man. At the end of his pep talk for so-called “Orthodox” Church traditions, Bartholomew issued a warning to Catholics that we should not undertake “provocative initiatives” in ministry in the joint effort to restore unity. That is a way to say, “Please stop all conversion activity.”

This was by no means the first of such encounters of Benedict XVI. Au contraire, they have been common. He embraced this same Bartholomew, for example, two years ago in Istanbul and held a solemn prayer service with him in the schismatic Church of St. George.

Also in Turkey, Benedict XVI joined an Islamic mufti in prayers under the towering dome of Istanbul's Blue Mosque. Upon arriving at the synagogue in Cologne in 2005, he participated in a Jewish prayer. In January of this year Pope Ratzinger and Protestant Samuel Kobia, general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), came together to pray at an ecumenical Vespers service at the Rome Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. He and the Protestant minister united to close the Week of Christian Unity, at which Conciliar Popes have prayed with schismatics and heretics since 1967.

Benedict XVI praying at a mosque

Praying at a mosque in Turkey

Benedict at the Cologne synogogue

At the Cologne synagogue: prayer with the Jews
The official schedule of Benedict XVI on his 4-day trip to the US (April 15-19) shows him praying twice with leaders of false religions. One day he will lead an inter-faith meeting with 200 leaders from Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu communities at the JPII Cultural Center. The next day he presides over an ecumenical meeting in St. Joseph’s Church in New York.

How can the faithful in the pews realize that Catholicism is the only true faith through which salvation comes when our religious leaders – including the conciliar Popes – are hobnobbing and praying with leaders of all the false religions?

Ask the typical post-Vatican II Catholic if a man can be saved in another religion, and the answer will be in the affirmative. Perhaps with only one proviso: he must be sincere. However, this is not the age-old Catholic teaching that there is only one God, one Revelation, one Faith and one Church. Rather, what today’s Catholic hears and sees is a new teaching based on Vatican II that affirms the false religions could also have their own gods, revelations and legitimate interpretations.

The present Pope is always speaking against relativism but his ecumenical actions, I fear, are nothing but relativism, and they speak louder than words.

Style versus substance

Now, I would not expect progressivist or conservative Catholics to protest against these ecumenical meetings and prayer sessions with heretics, schismatics and pagans. They justified and hurrahed the embraces of all the conciliar Popes. Why not accept the same actions by Benedict? Both progressivists and conservatives are traveling on the same ship. What I don’t understand is the silence of the traditionalists over the actions of Benedict XVI and their serious doctrinal implications.

I am pleased to see that Benedict’s style is less extravagant, his liturgies more sacral, his actions less clownish than most of the Bishops and priests we see around us in the Conciliar Church. But this is mere style, not substance. He continues to say the Novus Ordo Mass and insists that it be accepted as the Ordinary Mass even by those who are allowed to say the Tridentine rite. The Mass of the future clearly is the Novus Ordo. Its supposedly legitimacy is not allowed to be questioned. The Conciliar Revolution continues, albeit in liturgy at a slower pace.

Benedict visits and prays with protestant Samuel Kobia

Ratzinger prayed with Protestant Samuel Kobia, WCC Secretary, to close the 2008 Week of Christian Unity
As for ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, it is crystal clear that the Conciliar Revolution continues at the same pace. The doctrinal implication of ecumenism is simple: it destroys the unity of the Catholic Faith by implying that principles of other religions can correct, complete or be placed alongside Catholic dogma. By no longer taking a missionary position of converting people to the truth Faith and a militant attitude against the error, the Church denies her own mission.

These are very serious consequences. So serious, in fact, that they were an important factor in causing many concerned Catholics to take a position of resistance against “the teachings of Vatican Council II and the post-Conciliar Popes that are objectively opposed to the prior ordinary and extraordinary Papal Magisterium.” (Resistance Statement in We Resist You to the Face, Los Angeles: TIA, 2000).

To my knowledge, the resistance was not just a position asking for the return of the Tridentine Mass alongside the Novus Ordo. All the consequences of ecumenism and the adaptation of the Church to the Modern World were targeted as well. In these fields also, the new teachings of Vatican II contradict the age-old unchangeable teachings of the past.

This Pope continues along the same path of promoting ecumenism, adapting the Church to the Modern World – Won’t he be here in the U.S. next month supporting the ideal of the Modern World at the U.N.? – and accepting the principles of the French Revolution. These positions were clearly condemned by the past Magisterium. As Catholics we continue to have the duty to question and to resist.

My question then, is simple: Why the silence in face of continuing error? Where is the Catholic resistance?


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Posted March 31, 2008

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