Author Anonymous

According to the Second Vatican Council, “Ecumenism” is a term that signifies “a movement towards unity.” (1) The Council asserts that this movement has been aroused by the Lord and fostered by the Holy Spirit. (2) Further, the Council teaches that this is not merely composed of individuals, but it is a “corporate” movement, thus entire bodies of separated Christians are being formally inspired by the Holy Spirit towards the restoration of Christian unity. (3) More specifically, the term “ecumenical movement,” says Unitatis Regintegratio, “indicates the initiatives and activities encouraged and organized, according to the various needs of the Church and as opportunities offer, to promote Christian unity.” (4) This movement is also described as, “a response to the gift of God’s grace which calls all Christians to faith in the mystery of the Church according to the design of God who wishes to bring humanity to salvation and unity in Christ through the Holy Spirit.” (5)

These assertions give rise to some pressing questions. Has there ever been acknowledged by the Church a formal operation of the Holy Ghost outside of the Church that was evinced by a tangible “movement” of “corporate” bodies? Do these bodies desire Catholic unity understood as conversion to the Catholic Church or do they envision some other kind of unity? The Council seems to admit a diversity of opinion among the various sects regarding the end or motive of this movement by stating this desire is manifested “in different ways.” If it is the latter, can this “movement” really be said to be of the Holy Ghost? Is this assertion within the competence of the Magisterium, i.e. is it of faith and morals or even remotely related to the object and purpose of the teaching office, especially in view of its transient character? How can we know for certain that each and every subjective disposition is really faithful to this “call” of the Spirit?

To engage in the ecumenical movement is to presuppose a preexisting unity. Dialogical irenicism is the primary mechanism by which those who are separated become conscious of that which unites the two subjects. As Cardinal Kasper puts it, “The Catholic understanding of ecumenism takes as its starting point the already existing unity and the already existing partial communio with the other churches and ecclesial communities.” (6) To encapsulate this new discovery of the theologians of Vatican II, there was needed a certain reformulation of ecclesiological doctrine. This principally occurred in Lumen Gentium, 8, wherein it was stated that the Church of Christ “subsists in” the Catholic Church. Thus, Pius XII’s doctrine in Mystici Corporis which unequivocally affirmed that the Mystical Body of Christ is (est) the Catholic Church, was ignored in favor of new ecumenical considerations. Cardinal Ratzinger explains the reason,

In the distinction between subsistit and est is hidden the entire ecumenical problem…the difference between subsistit and est also embraces the drama of ecclesial division: for while the Church is only one and really exists, there is being which is from the Church’s being—there is ecclesial reality—outside the Church. Because sin is contradiction the difference between subsistit and est cannot, in the final analysis, be completely resolved logically.” (7)

Thus a two pronged effort was afoot to recreate an image of the Church based upon the realizations of ecumenism, namely the concept of communio (or full/less-full communion) (8) and that of subsistit in which describes the indestructible invisible union in the Mystical Body of Christ of all Christians, since the Church’s “being” cannot be divided. The historical, philological and emotional divisions which have arisen could not substantially alter this ecclesial reality. (9)

Karol Wojtyla sought to articulate the matter Christologically.

Humanly speaking they appear irreversible and insurmountable; but it must be remembered that ecumenical action and a truly ecumenical attitude can be born only of hope, based on faith, that, although the Church is divided by men, in the mind and will of Christ it is one and undivided. With the help of grace, and notwithstanding present and past divisions, men must hope that they will one day restore the Church to that single and undivided state. (10)

Thus, the source of the invisible union that binds all Christians together, of whatever sect or creed, is ultimately found in the will of God. In another work, the future Pontiff boldly stated that, “The Church of our day has become particularly conscious of this truth [transcendence of the human person –Ed]; and it was in the light of this truth that the Church succeeded, during the second Vatican Council, in re-defining her own nature.” (11) Thus, ecumenism rests upon the vital distinction between the invisible Church of Christ and the visible Catholic Church. (12) The scandal of disunity pertains to the visible manifestation of such a divine union, or the lack thereof.

From this new consciousness, the Council could then state that, “liturgical actions most certainly can truly engender a life of grace and one must say, can aptly give access to the communio of salvation.” Furthermore, “It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation.” (13) Though they follow logically from the ecclesiology of the Council, these affirmations seem to objectively transgress the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. For Pius XII stated again in Mystici Corporis, “It follows that those are divided in faith or government cannot be living in the unity of such a Body, nor can they be living the life of its one Divine Spirit.” (14) If it can happen, per accidens, that an individual soul be saved without being a visible member of the Catholic Church by means of so-called baptism of desire, it does not follow that we can exaggerate this possible fact, to the point of deforming dogma, and pretend that there are sects formally separated from the Church which can bestow salvation on its members per se. In fact, those souls are not really outside the Church at all, but we can never know their identity. If we err in their identity, it pertains to fact, not law. Such a conception renders Catholic dogma meaningless and destroys the distinction between a “true disciple” and a “false disciple.” I know of no other way to utterly disorient the purpose and meaning of membership within the Catholic Church. Another fundamental presupposition behind these affirmations is the presumption of good-will among all individuals who are visibly separated from the Catholic Church. But according to the principle of canon law, which is reduced to a principle of reason, where the transgression of law occurrs, guilt is presumed in the external forum.

In order to comprehend the difference in ecclesiological perspectives, it will do well to hear from pre-Vatican II authorities explaining what was previously taught.

Regarding membership of the Church vis-à-vis non-Catholics, Tanquerey states,

All theologians teach that publicly known heretics, that is, those who belong to a heterodox sect through public profession, are excluded from the body of the Church, even if their heresy is only material heresy. (15)

Van Noort states that,

Public heretics are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of the Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of the three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as a requisite for membership in the Church. (16)

He mentions “three factors” necessary to establish membership in the Church, namely one must profess the same faith, receive the same sacraments and be subject to the hierarchy organized under Peter, the head of the Church. All three conditions are necessary for membership in the Catholic Church. (17) If one of the three conditions for membership were lacking, it would substantially negate the others, even though one could materially still claim to possess them. Note that being in a state of grace is not one of the conditions enumerated. This is because not all mortal sin excludes a soul from the Church—they are still members, though they are lifeless. Regarding those who were visibly separated from the Catholic communion, the Church had traditionally abstained from assuming the internal character of persons. “Of the state of mind and of the intention, the Church does not judge, as they are interior; but in so far as they are apparent, she must judge them” (18) The empirical fact of separation was the evidence in the external forum that furnished the rational presumption of internal separation, most especially in the Church’s public rites and authentic magistracy. Canon George Smith addressed the notion of the “soul of the Church” as applied to those outside the fold, “What are we to think of this since we have heard that, ‘It has sometimes been argued that non-Catholics in good faith may be said to belong to the soul, as distinguished from the body, of the Church.’ In the previous essay it has been pointed out that this is not an entirely satisfactory way of viewing the matter, as the distinction in question is not free from ambiguity. It lends itself to the false antithesis between an “invisible” and “visible” Church, and suggests that one might belong to Christ’s Mystical Body without being incorporated, simultaneously and in the same degree, in the visible Catholic Church—which is impossible.” (19) ‘Impossible’ because of the fact that the Body and Soul of the Church are indissolubly united—to be cut off from the former, meant severance from the latter.

The Church is composed of two elements—visible and invisible. These two natures were formally united and inseparable, “compacted and fitly joined together” as St. Paul put the matter (Eph. iv. 15-16). (20) The Mystical Body of Christ and the Catholic Church were taught to be one and the same. (21) From this fact, it followed that to be cut off from this body, was to be cut off from salvation. (22) The sacraments were held to be fruitless outside the one fold, save in extraordinary circumstances. This was because God could not formally give grace, the instrument of His salvific will, outside His only Son’s Body, the Catholic Church. This would be tantamount to positively willing the existence of false sects who place falsehood into God’s own mouth. (23) Hence also, any notion involving Christian unity necessarily meant the conversion of those separated to the Roman Catholic Church for this same Church possesses and indestructible unity, perfectly fulfilling the will of God and of Jesus Christ. If it is materially true that many elements of sanctification are found outside the visible Body of Christ, it would be rash to affirm that they formally retain salvific power; unless such a separation is supposed to be of no real consequence save one of utility. (24)

In the Decree on Ecumenism, no mention is made of the work of conversion of those outside to the one Church of Christ. Rather, it is stated that ecumenism is the work of a convergence of all Christians to Christ; it is the renewing and restructuring of all institutions with this end in view. (25) We now must search for “full visible unity” rather than work for the conversion of souls outside the Church. Communicatio in sacris is now seen to be the manifestation of that already existing unity, the unanimous prohibition of this practice by the historical Catholic Church notwithstanding. (26) So entrenched has ecumenism become that Canon law, the new Catechism, and even the sacred Liturgy have all been re-oriented so as to accommodate new ecumenical perspectives. (27) The language of the Church has substantially been abandoned: the term “faithful” and “faith of Christ” are applied indiscriminately to non-Catholics, “heretics” and “schismatics” has been replaced by “separated brethren” and even “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” This is clearly an abuse of theological language unheard of in the past. (28)

Has the Catholic Church ever addressed the ecumenical movement or its underlying principles? Indeed on several occasions. The first of these disciplinary measures (which is ultimately founded on immutable principles) came from Pius IX in 1864 who was alerted to the fact that Catholics were attempting to join this movement. At the time, a group of Anglicans had initiated a society with a purpose to, “’procure’, as they say, the unity of Christianity, established at London.” (29) The holy Pontiff went on to say, “Indeed, formed and directed by Protestants, it is animated by that spirit which expressly avows for example, that the three Christian communions, Roman Catholic, Greek-schismatic, and Anglican, however separated and divided from one another, nevertheless with equal right claim for themselves the name Catholic.” What can be seen from this description is the ecclesiology of Vatican II in nascent form. They predicated this society for the procurement of unity based upon the idea that there exists a fundamental communion already existing as an invisible entity as it were.

He continues, “Indeed, the society itself indicates to all its members the prayers to be recited and to the priests the sacrifices to be celebrated according to its own intention: namely, that the said three Christian communion, inasmuch as they, as it is alleged, together now constitute the Catholic Church, may at some time or other unite to form one body….” Note the intention prayed for is not conversion to one visible, true Church of Christ, ascertainable by the senses, but rather for the convergence of all into a hitherto unknown unity. This is describing that “unity” for which all Catholic after Vatican II are to “search” out in dialogue with the representatives of all the various sects claiming the name Christian. Pius IX laments further, “But, that the faithful of Christ and the clergy should pray for Christian unity under the leadership of heretics and what is worse, according to an intention, polluted and infected as much as possible with heresy, can in no way be tolerated.” He ends by telling Catholics that they should shun this movement because “those sympathizing with it favor indifferentism and engender scandal.”

Pius XI, in the year 1928 issued an encyclical entitled Mortalium Animos which treated the ecumenical movement born outside the Church ex professo as well. He begins noting a parallel between those men of his day who were engaged in attempting to unite humanity in a peaceful concord based upon commonality of origin and nature and those who were engaged in similar efforts within religion itself, Christianity in particular. And so, “For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission.” (30) What was his judgment? “Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.” (31)

We see here that he determined this movement was based upon at least two premises: 1) all religions are considered to be more or less good and 2) all religion as such, manifests and signifies a certain inborn sense and need for the divine which ultimately leads to God. This is nothing less than the Modernism condemned by Pius X in Pascendi. If we look at the overall thrust and pastoral orientation of the Second Vatican Council, we can see a sketch of this same picture. All forms of Christianity are more or less good because they engender a life of grace and are objectively significant and important in the “mystery of salvation.” What of other religions? The Council describes them in terms of the goodness they provide humanity and their practitioners. From these “pastoral perspectives” one can easily deduce that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy. Could this be the reason that induced Jean Guitton, a close friend of Pope Paul VI, to accuse the Council of imbibing modernistic tendencies? (32)

From the formal adherence to such a movement, Pius XI continues,

it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion. (33)

But, because of the fact that,

some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians” he thought it necessary to formally declare what Catholics ought to hold regarding the matter.

Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians. (34)

From these words above, we are forced to face a very grievous problem of conscience; indeed, we must choose our path. For concerning the very same subject there is an insurmountable contradiction of opinion. We have, on the one hand, conciliar and post-conciliar Popes not only praising the ecumenical movement as inspired by the Holy Spirit, but even going to far as to re-orient every facet of life within the Church in terms of ecumenism itself. On the other hand, we can see pre-conciliar Popes and other authorities, condemning not only the movement itself (for they have never desired to convert to the Catholic Church) but even its very foundations and principles as evil, dangerously fallacious and destructive to revealed religion. It seems obvious to this writer that the unheeded warnings of previous Roman Pontiffs and Catholic theologians have caused incalculable harm to the Roman Catholic Church. This abandonment and forgetfulness has induced a crisis of identity among both the hierarchy and the faithful at large. In the end, it is those outside the one fold of Jesus Christ who will suffer most for this utter lack of prudence and lust for unfounded novelty on the part of a great many bishops and priests. Their ignorance will never change immutable truth, it will never alter reality; a reality that will face every man upon the final breath—there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Any hope of unity will only come by way of conversion and return to the same Church of Jesus Christ. Any movement that causes and even rests upon such confusion, indifference and heresy certainly does not have as its source God, the Author of order and Truth itself, but rather the infernal enemy—the Father of lies, who has always been the Instrument of Destruction.



1. Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, <>;sec. 1, para. 2

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid. n. 4

5. Cassidy, Cardinal Edward, and Titular Bishop of Thibar PierreDuprey. “Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism,” n. 9 Pontifical Council for Christian Unity; 1993. 15 Apr. 2007 <>.

6. Kasper, Card. Walter. “The Decree on Ecumenism—Read Anew After 40 Years.” Internet Office of the Holy See; 2004. 15 Apr. 2007

7. Ratzinger, Card. Joseph. Proclaiming the Truth of Jesus Christ: Papers from the Vallombrosa Meeting. Washington D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, Inc., 2000. pp. 27-28.

8. “The fundamental idea of the Second Vatican Council and especially of the Decree on Ecumenism is: communio. This is essential to the correct understanding of the talk of “elemente ecclesiae”. This phrase gives a quantitative, almost materialistic impression, as though one could count these elements and check whether the number is complete. This “ecclesiology of elements” was criticised already during the Council and even more so after the Council. But Unitatis redintegratio did not stop at this point; the Decree on Ecumenism does not view the separated churches and ecclesial communities simply as entities which have retained a limited stock of elements, different in each instance, but able to be quantitatively determined; rather, it sees each as an integral whole which gives expression to those elements within the totality of its ecclesiological understanding.” See n. 6, supra. at fn. 4.

See also the Balamand agreement, which was never formally or publicly repudiated by the Vatican and can still be found on it’s website:

In the spirit of the ecclesiology of communion and because of the fact that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, it was observed that, in the effort to re-establish unity, what is involved is achieving together the will of Christ for those who are His disciples and the design of God for His Church, by means of a common search for full agreement in faith. It is not a question of seeking the conversion of persons from one Church to the other. This latter type of missionary activity, which has been called “uniatism”, cannot be accepted either as a method to follow or as a model for the unity which is being sought by our Churches…

In fact, especially since the panorthodox Conferences and the Second Vatican Council, the re-discovery and the giving again of proper value to the Church as communion, both on the part of Orthodox and of Catholics, has radically altered perspectives and thus attitudes. On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church – profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops – cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches. “Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue Between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church: Seventh Plenary Session.” Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. 15 Apr. 2007.

This is surely one of the more gross examples what the ecumenical movement has wrought in the Church.

9. “Yet however much human culpability has damaged communion, it has never destroyed it. In fact, the fullness of the unity of the Church of Christ has been maintained within the Catholic Church while other Churches and ecclesial Communities, though not in full communion with the Catholic Church, retain in reality a certain communion with it.” Cassidy, Cardinal Edward, and Titular Bishop of Thibar PierreDuprey. “Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism.” 1993. Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. 15 Apr. 2007.

10. Wojtyla, Karol. “Chap. IV.” Sources of Renewal. 1st U.S. Edition ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, pp. 319-320.

11. Wojtyla, Karol. “Chap. II.” Sign of Contradiction. New York: The Seabury Press, 1979. P. 17. He took this idea with him into the Papacy. “It is a grief indeed that Christians are not yet united in the profession of the one apostolic faith and therefore cannot yet celebrate together the one Eucharist. However, although that full visible unity must be our urgent goal, we have already a fundamental unity in the communion which is a share in the triune life of God and which comes to us through our one baptism into the death and the Resurrection of Christ. Do we take that seriously enough? It ought to be the motive which impels us to find the right ways to work for a full visible unity. It ought also to impels us to work together in every way possible and to express even now that which already unites us and which can be the source of peace in the world.” Paul II, John. “Address of John Paul II to the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey.” 15 Apr. 2007.

12. “…those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error” Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Satis Cognitum, para. 3.

13. Unitatis, para. 3

14. Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter, Mystici Corporis, para. 22

15. Tanquerey, A., and J.B. Bord. “Tract IV.” Manual of Dogmatic Theology. Vol. I. Belgium: Desclee Company, (1959). Pg. 160

16. G. Van Noort, S.T.D., and J.B. Bord. “Chap. II.” Dogmatic Theology, Vol. I: Christ’s Church. 5th ed. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1957. Pg. 2

17. “If indeed the baptismal character is in itself sufficient to incorporate a man into the Catholic Church, nonetheless this effect in an adult depends on a double condition. The first is that the social bond of unity in the faith be not hindered by heresy, whether formal or merely material.” L. Billot, S.J., De Ecclesia Christi (Rome, 1927), Thesis xi, p.296.

18. Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter, Apostolicae Curae, Sept. 13, 1896. “Therefore, even if, in her pastoral care, as a good mother, she is inclined to hope of an “at least unconscious desire” of belong to her when she finds souls that are in danger of death (Dom. M. Prummer, O.P., Manuale theologiae moralis, Vol. 1, No. 514, 3) nonetheless, juridically, the Church does no presume this membership in normal situations. For this reason she demands, ad cautelam, their abjuration of schism or heresy when they return to the Catholic Church (CIC 1917, Can. 2314 n. 2). She has all the more reason not to presume the good faith of those same dissidents when they are considered as a constituted body in a community visibly separated from the Catholic Church, for which ecumenism allows.” Fellay, Bernard, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, Franz Schmidberger, et al. “From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy.” The Angelus XXVII(2004): p. 14.

19. Canon George D. Smith, D.D. Ph.D. “Chap. XX.” The Teaching of the Catholic Church, Vol. II. 16th ed. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1964. Pg. 708-709

20. “For this reason the Church is so often called in Holy Writ a body, and even the body of Christ – “Now you are the body of Christ” (I Cor. xii., 27) – and precisely because it is a body is the Church visible: and because it is the body of Christ is it living and energizing, because by the infusion of His power Christ guards and sustains it, just as the vine gives nourishment and renders fruitful the branches united to it. And as in animals the vital principle is unseen and invisible, and is evidenced and manifested by the movements and action of the members, so the principle of supernatural life in the Church is clearly shown in that which is done by it. From this it follows that those who arbitrarily conjure up and picture to themselves a hidden and invisible Church are in grievous and pernicious error” Satis Cognitum, para. 3.

21. “If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ — which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church — we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ” – an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.” Mystici Corporis, para. 13. See also Pius XII, Humani Generis, n. 27, wherein he states, “Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.” By this, the Holy Pontiff implies that this definition of the Church is binding upon all faithful Catholics.

22. The Church of Christ, therefore, is one and the same for ever; those who leave it depart from the will and command of Christ, the Lord – leaving the path of salvation they enter on that of perdition. “Whosoever is separated from the Church is united to an adulteress. He has cut himself off from the promises of the Church, and he who leaves the Church of Christ cannot arrive at the rewards of Christ….He who observes not this unity observes not the law of God, holds not the faith of the Father and the Son, clings not to life and salvation” (S. Cyprianus, De Cath. Eccl. Unitate, n. 6). Satis Cognitum, para. 5; “See what you must beware of – see what you must avoid – see what you must dread. It happens that, as in the human body, some member may be cut off a hand, a finger, a foot. Does the soul follow the amputated member? As long as it was in the body, it lived; separated, it forfeits its life. So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a heretic – the life of the spirit follows not the amputated member” (S. Augustinus, Sermo cclxvii., n. 4). See also Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Mortalium Animos Jan. 6, 1928, para. 15 “Whosoever therefore is not united with the Body is no member thereof, neither is he in communion with Christ its Head.”

23. There is a distinction made between the fruitfulness and validity of the sacraments. Receiving the fruit of a sacrament means to receive sanctifying grace; merely valid sacraments do not produce their intended effect e.g. an unfruitful but valid baptism does not regenerate the soul, but imprints a character. See St. Thomas, Summa Theologica III, q. 67, a. 5 “So that two unbaptized persons may baptize one another, one baptizing the other and being afterwards baptized by him: and each would receive not only the sacrament but also the reality of the sacrament. But if this were done outside a case of urgency, each would sin grievously, both the baptizer and the baptized, and thus the baptismal effect would be frustrated, although the sacrament itself would not be invalidated.”

This doctrine is also found within the traditional papal magisterial. Pope St. Leo the Great: “For they who have received baptism from heretics, not having been previously baptized, are to be confirmed by imposition of hands with only the invocation of the Holy Ghost, because they have received the bare form of baptism without the power of sanctification. And this regulation, as you know, we require to be kept in all the churches, that the font once entered may not be defiled by repetition, as the Lord says, ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ And that washing may not be polluted by repetition, but, as we have said, only the sanctification of the Holy Ghost invoked, that what no one can receive from heretics may be obtained from catholic priests.” (Letter CLIX, chap. VIII).

Leo repeats this injunction in Letter CLXVI. chap. 2. and Lett. CLXVII. Cf. also the Council of Florence: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

24. For an example of this forgotten distinction between possessing something from a formal vs. material aspect, we read, ““A distinction is made between formal apostolicity…and material apostolicity. This last means apostolic origin but with a lack of legitimate continuity, in so far as it is separated from Peter living in the Roman pontiff, to whom the bishops are subject just as the Apostles in their time were to Peter. The schismatic Oriental Church, styled the “orthodox” church, has only material apostolicity.” Parente, Pietro, Antonio Piolanti, and Salvatore Garofalo. “”Apostolicity”.” Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology. First English Edition ed. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1951. Pg. 18. Without adhering to this logical and real distinction, Catholic dogma is in peril of total negation.

25. “In the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio, the Instruction of 1949 is never mentioned, and the word return, reditus, never occurs. It is replaced by the idea of convergence. That is, the different Christian denominations, including Catholicism, should turn not to each other but towards the total Christ who is outside of all of them, and upon whom they must converge.” Amerio, Romano. Iota Unum. Kansas City, MO: Sarto House, p. 550.

26. “The Holy Office therefore observed that the Council of Carthage forbade praying and singing (psallendum) with heretics. The Supreme Congregation stated that participation in schismatic and heretic worship is ‘universally prohibited by natural and divine law…(from which) no one has the power to dispense …(and with respect to this participation) nothing excuses.’ Those who so participate must seek absolution in the sacrament of penance.” Cf. Collectanea S. Congregationis de Propaganda Fidei seu Decreta Instructiones Rescripta pro Apostolicis Missionibus (Ex Typographia Polyglotta, Roma, 1907), vol. I, p. 99, n. 311 (1729). ” Allen, Craig (nom de plume). ” The Latin Mass—A Journal of Catholic Culture.” 2006. Keep the Faith, Inc. <>

27. “The promulgation of the new Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church (1983) and of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (1990) has created in ecumenical matters a disciplinary situation for the faithful of the Catholic Church which is partly new. In the same way, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” recently published (1992), includes the ecumenical dimension as part of the basic teaching for all the faithful of the Church.” Cassidy, Cardinal Edward, “Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism.” 1993. See also “It is desirable that the structure of services of this kind [ecumenical prayer meetings—Ed.] whether confined to Catholics, or held in common with our separated brethren, should conform to the pattern of community prayer recommended by the liturgical revival. [Cf. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, for ex. Nn. 30, 34, 35.]” Ad Totam Ecclesiam [Directory Concerning Ecumenical Matters: Part One] n. 35, May 14, 1967.

28. If it is true that Leo XIII and Pius XII used the term “separated brethren” on occasion, it also remains true that they did not substantially alter theological connotations accompanied by the terms, indeed, they retained such language elsewhere, using the benign reference in a relative, not absolute fashion.

29. Pius IX. Letter of the Sacred Office to the Bishops of England. Ed. Henry Denzinger. 30th ed. Herder & Co., p. 428.

30. Mortalium Animos, para. 2.

31. Ibid.

32. “When I read the documents relative to the Modernism, as it was defined by Saint Pius X, and when I compare them to the documents of the II Vatican Council, I cannot help being bewildered. For what was condemned as heresy in 1906 was proclaimed as what is and should be from now on the doctrine and method of the Church. In other words, the modernists of 1906 were, somewhat, precursors to me. My masters were part of them. My parents taught me Modernism. How could Saint Pius X reject those that now seem to be my precursors?” Jean Guitton, Portrait du Père Lagrange, Éditions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1992, pp. 55-56.

33. Mortalium Animos, para. 2

34. Ibid.

Pending Approval.