On Episode 11 of ‘Popes Against the Modern Errors” Matthew Gaskin and His Lordship Bp. Donald Sanborn, Rector of the Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida (anticipated to soon be moving to Reading, Pennsylvania) continue their in-depth analysis of the encyclical Mortalium Animos by Pope Pius XI, or “the most anti-Vatican II document that pre-exists Vatican II” (courtesy of Bp. Sanborn).
Sharp-witted insights galore!
True and false charity
The advocates of ecumenism are constantly peddling the idea that being nice to each other is the expression of Christian charity. Therefore, notions such as tolerance and political correctness have been elevated in modern societies and hailed as virtues. In regards to religion, such an attitude has made winning converts to the Catholic faith all the more challenging. Bergoglio himself calls proselytism “solemn nonsense,” while trying to convert the Eastern Orthodox is deemed by him a “sin against ecumenism” (it seems like he is actually not far from declaring missionaries of old religious offenders).
In order to expose this ecumenical charity as completely false and totally at odds with Sacred Scripture, Pius XI expounds the teaching of St. John the Apostle, the champion of fraternal love, according to whom there can be no charity without the True Faith.
No unity without supreme authority
The reason why various Protestant churches lack unity of faith stems from their rejection of the one and universal teaching authority. In the practical order, these various denominations have no profession of faith (interpretation of the Sacred Scripture depends on the choices made by an individual). The only cooperation exercised by these churches is limited to a purely organisational level. The very willingness to submit oneself to the teaching authority of the Church is essentially what makes a Catholic out of a Protestant.
Mortalium Animos is a direct and much-needed condemnation of false ecumenism, the heresy of which has been employed by modernists as one of the driving forces of their subversive ideology (or “the synthesis of all heresies,” as Pope St. Pius X famously called Modernism in his 1907 landmark encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis). However, as Fr. Francesco Ricossa once observed, the death of St. Pius X in the year 1914 was to mark the end of the hard-line approach towards the heresy of Modernism and its supporters. With the reign of Pope Benedict XV and subsequent popes up until 1958 there came the moderate-line party (the heresy of Modernism would be duly condemned but the suspects or perpetrators gently asked to amend their ways rather than being ruthlessly suppressed).
As a consequence of this new approach of the hierarchy, modernists would also alter their own strategy. Under the strict and uncompromising policy of Pope St. Pius X they would operate in the field of ideology, elaborating on modernist notions in theory; with the advent of a considerably lax approach of their superiors, modernists started to put their subversive theories into practice (the French worker-priest movement, the hijacking of the legitimate liturgical movement). Unfortunately, the negligence on the part of the clergy and laity (bemoaned by St. Pius X) greatly facilitated the revolutionary efforts of the modernists.
Unity but on what grounds?
This question must have been keeping Protestants awake at night ever since they broke their ties with Rome. The principal error they have been making in this regard consists of seeking unity without the authority of the Magisterium. Thus, they end up sifting through doctrines, trying to agree upon the fundamental and non-fundamental ones, having no one to make such an authoritative decision.
Pope Pius XI stresses the fact that the Apostolic See has never had anything to do with ecumenical attempts whatsoever. Unity among Christians may be achieved only by the return of Protestants to the True Church of Christ they once left. The Pontiff’s description of the Catholic Church as not being corrupted by any error, and having always preserved Her essential nature is of vital importance for present-day Catholics.
Since we are aware that the condemnation of adultery dates back to the times of St. Paul the Apostle, how can we reconcile Amoris Laetitia with the perennial Magisterium of the Catholic Church?
Are the (still unanswered) ‘dubia’ of any value?
These questions do sound rhetorical. But why were there no dubia issued when Vatican II was still underway? You might be interested in finding out the answer to this one provided by Bp. Sanborn.
The simplicity of achieving true Christian unity
The crucial obstacle for Protestants seems to be their obstinacy in clinging to their ways while expressing some kind of a half-hearted desire to belong to the Church. The Catholic Church has always demonstrated reasonable leniency in Her conduct with those ex-heretics and schismatics who returned to Her bosom (naturally, in the limits of Catholic orthodoxy). These genuine reconciliations had taken place before the destructive fire of ecumenism set the post-Vatican II world ablaze, and having (to a great extent) consumed true Christian charity and zeal for the salvation of souls. The tragic irony of today is that Lutherans, the heretics of old, seem to be the ones still scandalised by Bergoglio’s antics...
The episode ends with a brief discussion of the anticipated political moves in the US and in Europe as of December 2016. How different was the socio-political state of world affairs (and our enthusiasm thereof) only about five years ago when compared with 2020's unfolding of the corona hype and its implications.
If you are interested in finding out about the consequences a layman would face pre-Vatican II for engaging in ecumenical practices, Bp. Sanborn has got you covered!
Moreover, if you are craving for some hilarious remarks about His Lordship’s visit to Catholic-turned-Anglican cathedrals, his dissecting Protestant absurdities with a good sense of humour, or dying to know how to spot a freemason’s tomb, plus some more witty digressions, have a listen to Episode 11 of “Popes Against Modern Errors.”
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