128 – “If we are honest in presenting our convictions, we will be able to see more clearly what we hold in common. New avenues will be opened for mutual esteem”

Over the last three years we have all accompanied Francis’ constant efforts to hold out a hand toward other religions in an attempt to foment ecumenical dialogue with surprising and novel implications. This invariable fixation of his pontificate – for which he dedicates considerably more time than to the other pastoral initiatives we had become accustomed to in former pontificates – is undertaken while insisting on the necessity to ‘cooperate with all people of good will’ in order to open ‘opportunities for dialogue, which is essential if we are to know, understand and respect one another.’

Faithful to his plans, the Bishop of Rome has made it clear on repeated occasions that we are obliged to unite our efforts for the construction of a culture of encounter and peace. However, from the Catholic standpoint – which is the only one that really matters to a baptized person desiring to save his soul – things take on a different perspective. When a high-level ecclesiastical figure speaks to the world, his intent may be none other than to preach Christ, and Christ crucified. His words and example, as well as the enthusiasm that his person tends to inspire, are all founded on the link that unites him closely to God, whose authority he officially represents.

The Magisterium of the Church, to which we have had recourse along these three years, with great profit, in all the questions that recent events have been raising, makes it clear that the mission of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is to teach all peoples the Gospel, without eliminating any of the moral consequences inherent to its proclamation. Therefore, ecumenical dialogue should be understood as an opportunity to present the path of conversion toward Jesus Christ to non-believers; not as a search for neutrality, for compromise and confabulations between Greeks and Trojans.

Francis’ frequent and irrepressible incursions within the field of ecumenism reveal very different intentions. We have heard him repeat the same inter-confessional litanies in which he invokes human values much more often than the name of Jesus Christ, and in which the saints with their prayers for us and the Church don’t seem to be included. He rarely mentions anything suitable to his position, and fills his speeches with statements that could be easily and better gleaned from other sources.

It is time to reflect with a spirit of faith on what Francis is saying, so that his ecumenical proposal as well his conciliating speeches may be understood in light of their grave consequences. Above all, we should consider them in light of the will of God, the only factor that should motivate us to work for the good of our neighbor.

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors
I – The Mission of pastors is to attract non-Catholics to the practice of the true religion. Falsely interpreting divine and human rights through accords and agreements is to go against Christ
II – If ‘we are honest in presenting our convictions’, then we must announce the Gospel without modeling it according to the world, and should seek the conversion of all peoples by the acceptance of Christ’s sovereignty
III – Fomenting ‘healing and unity’ requires true conversion to Christ. In what does this conversion consist?
IV – True conversion demands a renouncing of harmful dominant tendencies: it is impossible to adapt Christ to our theories and to those of others


I – The Mission of pastors is to attract non-Catholics to the practice of the true religion. Falsely interpreting divine and human rights through accords and agreements is to go against Christ


Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

All men may attain to salvation by faith, baptism and the fulfilment of the commandments

Saint Pius X

Pastors must avoid seeking cowardly neutrality made up of weak schemes and compromises to the injury of divine and human rights
The duty that has been imposed upon bishops of bringing back human society to the discipline of the Church…

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

…and of keeping pure and whole the deposit of faith

Gregory XVI

In these evil times the shepherds must never neglect their duty; vigilance and united effort against the common enemies
You must stand as a wall against everything that raises itself against the knowledge of God

Benedict XVI

Being a Bishop means knowing how to resist the wolves

Sacred Scripture

Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock!

II – If ‘we are honest in presenting our convictions’, then we must announce the Gospel without modeling it to the world, and should seek the conversion of all peoples by the acceptance of the Christ’s sovereignty


Sacred Scripture

Repent!
Do not conform yourselves to this age

Pius XII

Avoid unnecessary and harmful changes of expression which modify the substance of the truth

Benedict XVI

Jesus did not proclaim a grace without conditions

John Paul II

Cooperation that does not lead to conversion and baptism is in vain
Conversion is expressed, from the outset, in faith which is total and radical

III – Fomenting ‘healing and unity’ requires true conversion to Christ. In what does this conversion consist?


Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

If the word is contradicted by behavior, its acceptance will be difficult
Christ requires a complete adhesion of the intelligence, will, feelings, actions and future plans
Conversion signifies a reform of thought and deeds

Synod of Bishops

After the encounter with Jesus, everything is different as a result of metanoia, conversion

International Theological Commission

Jesus announces a new justice: imitation of the ways of the heavenly Father

IV – True conversion demands a renouncing of harmful dominant tendencies: it is impossible to adapt Christ to our theories and those of the others


John Paul II

Society will only be renewed with the renewal of the human heart: by the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist

Benedict XVI

Be careful lest Christ become just one more name to adorn our theories

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Conversion of the heart is expressed in visible signs
Conversion to God is impossible without repugnance toward evil

Benedict XVI

Christians are called to swim against the tide

Related studies

  • 158 – If we concentrate on the convictions we share, and if we keep in mind the principle of the hierarchy of truths, we will be able to progress decidedly towards common expressions of proclamation, service and witness. How many important things unite us!

  • 157 – “Solidarity becomes a way of making history in a life setting where conflicts, tensions and oppositions can achieve a diversified and life-giving unity”

  • 146 – “That all the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine may live in peace and harmony, and that the Catholic communities in the country may contribute to this, in such a way that our Christian brotherhood may become increasingly evident”

  • 143 – “Orthodox and Catholics are united not only by the shared Tradition of the Church of the first millennium, but also by the mission to preach the Gospel of Christ in the world today”

  • 142 – “There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates us to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes”

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