Ecumenism has been a major flaw within the post-conciliar Church. It preaches a “fine where you are” gospel and has effectively extinguished all means of classic evangelization. The Mystical Body of Christ is currently bleeding His members as more and more Catholics apostatize from the faith because our leaders are not emphasizing Catholic dogma like extra ecclesiam nulla salus: “outside the Church there is no salvation.” Rather, to reach out to other religions they have held events like the notorious Assisi Prayer Meetings under Pope St. John Paul II as well as the looming paganism within the documents at the heart of the upcoming Amazon Synod. There just is not an emphasis on how important it is for souls to remain aboard the bark of Peter to be saved. There is no longer proper catechesis, the example of heroic virtue in our clergy, or even belief in eternal damnation.
I believe it has everything to do with a warped perception and understanding of just what Catholic ecumenism should be. And we need to look at the efforts of the Martyrs and saints throughout the 2,000-year Tradition of the Church. Which is tied to the doctrine of extra ecclesiam nulla salus and the grave importance of following Our Lord’s command to teach the Gospel to all nations. But with Vatican II we saw a new liturgy which was crafted by a committee of Protestants to make it more palatable to non-Catholics, we’ve seen the Holy Father hold inter-faith prayer events for “world peace,” and now we have a pope who preaches the gospel of the environmentalist cult which permeates modern culture. And this has done nothing but undermine efforts of evangelization. When the average person sees the pope validating the position of non-Christians by praying with them, they see it as an approval of those false religions. So why convert to the Catholic Church when they can remain a Jew, Muslim, or even atheist and be saved? When we have a widespread “new” liturgy which has been so distorted from its original, intended form that many Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, why not just attend a Lutheran service or remain Anglican instead? We even have his excellency, Bishop Robert Barron, preaching the erroneous ideas of Han Urs von Balthasar and universal salvation so that there is no longer a fear of hell or eternal damnation. Need I mention that this sort of universalism was condemned in the early Church as origenism?
This isn’t what ecumenism should be, at all. Ecumenism, in context of the efforts of the missionary saints, is to reach out to non-Catholics and try to find the vestiges of God, to use a phrase of St Bonaventure’s theology, within their own traditions. And then use these vestiges as a means to convert them to the true faith. I’ve spoken on my interest in comparative religion and what shards of truth we may find in them, but this is in no way a commendation of their religion itself being true and good. There must be an emphasis on why they must become Catholic, which does involve some proselytization (a dirty word nowadays). This can come through proper catechesis, so non-Catholics understand why they must convert, as well as providing a living example of the faith like saints such as St Francis Xavier and St Thomas the Apostle who suffered great persecution and even death for the Church. We need a reawakening of the fear of God and fear of hell within the Church. The faithful have to be aware of the true teachings of the Church, in order that they can awaken from their lukewarm state and begin taking the faith seriously. The Catholic Church needs to expose the errors of the other man-made religions in order to prove why people must convert to the Church. Holding their hand and telling them with a smile that God willed them to be where they are does not save souls. If anything, it wounds the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ because it trivializes His Passion and death for the salvation of mankind. It trivializes His efforts to preach the Gospel because no longer are His own Shepherds emphasizing that He founded a single Church which is also His own Mystical Body. To deny that one cannot be saved outside of the Catholic Church is to call Our Lord a liar when He stated, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. ” (Douay-Rheims, John 14:6)
I am not trying to dissuade those who are trying to reach out to non-Catholics and bring them into the Church by saying they must scream about hell and no salvation outside the Church. But these are dogmas that need to be emphasized in order to prove just how serious we take our faith and how seriously we adhere to the mission of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Failing to do so out of fear of human respect not only commits a sin but saves no one’s soul. It is a supremely uncharitable act to avoid evangelizing someone because we would hate to offend their sensibilities. The entire purpose of the Church is to serve as the sole safeguard of salvation between Christ and mankind. As it was intended when He founded the Church on St Peter and gave him the Keys to the Kingdom. I don’t even deny that baptized non-Catholics can be saved, there is certainly some flexibility within Catholic orthodoxy if we look at the point made by Reverend Garrigou-LaGrange:
But if we are treating of all Christians, of all who have been baptized, Catholic, schismatic, Protestant, it is more probable, theologians generally say, that the great number is saved. First, the number of infants who die in the state of grace before reaching the age of reason is very great. Secondly, many Protestants, being today in good faith, can be reconciled to God by an act of contrition, particularly in danger of death. Thirdly, schismatics can receive a valid absolution.
If the question is of the entire human race, the answer must remain uncertain, for the reasons given above. But even if, absolutely, the number of the elect is less great, the glory of God’s government cannot suffer. Quality prevails over quantity. One elect soul is a spiritual universe; Further, no evil happens that is not permitted for a higher good. Further, among non-Christians (Jews, Mohammedans, pagans) there are souls which are elect. Jews and Mohammedans not only admit monotheism, but retain fragments of primitive revelation and of Mosaic revelation. They believe in a God who is a supernatural rewarder, and can thus, with the aid of grace, make an act of contrition. And even to pagans, who live in invincible, involuntary ignorance of the true religion, and who still attempt to observe the natural law, supernatural aids are offered, by means known to God. These, as Pius IX says,
‘We cannot arrive at certitude in this question. It is better to acknowledge our ignorance than to discourage the faithful by a doctrine which is too rigid, to expose them to danger by a doctrine which is too superficial.’
The important thing is to observe the commandments of God. St Augustine “God never commands the impossible. But He warns us to do what we can, and to ask of Him the grace to accomplish what we of ourselves cannot do, and He aids us to fulfill what He commands.”Rev. Garrigou-LaGrange. Life Everlasting, ch.32.
Like Our Lord, I weep over Jerusalem and the sheer number of souls which are casting themselves into hell. If our leadership is not going to evangelize, then it falls to the faithful to do so and there are many traditional Catholics willing to spread the Gospel. I pray every single rosary for the conversion of sinners, which includes non-Catholics and non-Christians because I do not want to see anyone go to hell. But my own subjective desire for the salvation of all men does not mean that many will be saved: ” For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) And many won’t be unless they are shown why they need to convert.
Another Fatima vision concerned what is commonly called the First Secret: the sight of multitudes of souls falling into Hell—–like snowflakes, Lucy said—–because there was no one to pray and sacrifice for them.
This false ecumenism so prominent within the post-conciliar Church has done nothing but cast so many souls into hell and this has everything to do with the inaction of our own priests and bishops. We need to pray for the conversion of sinners, non-Catholics, non-Christians, and even the conversion of our own clergy. May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us all.