The Franciscan Tour of the Holy Land 2014
|The Three Great|
For a few days, we shall be one big happy family of Chrislemews, provided, of course, the lems don't blow up anybody, the ews dont raze any houses, and the Orthodox don't fission on live TV. Since this is the kind of press you can't buy, one hopes everyone will be on their best behavior.
To show you how far the Catholic Church has come -- coincidentally with its decline to a Third World curiosity -- here is a stanza from a hymn written by a great Marian saint, perhaps the greatest, St. Louis de Montfort. In it "Faith" says:
Every heretic I detest,
The pagan, Turk, and the Jew,
The scismatic and the apostate,
Only the Catholic is my good.
The Pope is the Message
Of course, today we cannot endorse such sentiments. To quote the great Catholic theologian John Wayne from the movie McClintock, "I won't."
But if you watch any of the coverage, turn the volume all the way down. Then you will see the reality. Representatives of other major religions for a moment relevant only because of the man they are standing next to, the successor of Peter, the Pope of Rome, Francis. That's not the message Pope Francis' wants to send, but he can't help it. The medium is not the message, and the message is not the message. The Pope himself is the message.
This papacy could be described as one good man's desperate attempt to run away from Peter, but -- unlike the race to the empty tomb with John -- Peter is easily the faster.
The Scandal of Ecumenism
The stark truth is that the Catholic Church does not need any of these people. It is complete, the body of Christ. The others, however, desperately need the Catholic Church.
In fact, there is nothing more important to them. Not the State of Israel, not the Palestinian State, not keeping the Christian treasure of Hagia Sophia from being turned into a mosque, and -- because surely a Protestant or two is along for the ride -- not whatever Protestants would find most important if they ever agreed on anything. Until they cease to be what they are and become Catholic, their salvation depends upon the slenderest of technicalities in the gaseous language of Lumen Gentium.
Ecumenism does nobody any favors. Say you have a friend with a deadly, but treatable illness. Unfortunately, he continues going to a faith healer even as his health declines toward inevitable death. Instead of encouraging him to get real medical treatment, you praise the quack and do everything you can to stop others from telling him the simple truth that unless he goes to a real physician he's going to die. "Shhh! Don't be impolite!" you hiss at your friends.
Why would you do this? Perhaps you really are more afraid of appearing impolite than seeing your friend die a preventable death. Perhaps you have concluded, like your friend, that medical science isn't what it's cracked up to be. Perhaps you have some noble scheme that will be furthered by your friend's lamentable death. The Bear has long suspected there are elements of each of these in the ecumenical and inter-faith Catholic push.
The Bear said the Catholic Church does not need other religions. But the Bear doth not wax polemical at their adherents. They are brothers and sisters trapped below decks in a sinking ship. It is enough to make even a Bear's heart break to watch Catholic prelates and opinion leaders standing on the deck of the unsinkable Barque of Peter, cocktails in hand, waving politely as the screws and fantail of the non-Catholic Titanic slowly slide beneath the waves.
Truth is a Hell of an iceberg.
Don't forget to watch the clip. The Bear won't sing St. Louis de Montfort's hymn.