A Short Catechism of the "New Theology" by John Vennari (August 1998 issue) What is the New Theology? The New Theology is a false "religious" system that became popular among Catholics in Europe from the 1920's onward. Because it was rec- ognized as resurgent modernism, it was kept under a lid by the Vati- can and was condemned by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis. Its primary founders were Maurice Blondel, Father Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar. It enjoys an undeserved popularity today. What is the main contention of the partisans of the New Theology? In 1950, THE THOMIST published an article by Father David Greenstock that warned against the New Theology. He explained that "The main con- tention of the partisans of this new movement is that theology, to re- main alive, must move with the times" and that "traditional theology is out of touch with reality." Their hallmark has always been scorn for the Magisterium. How do they scorn the Magisterium? The Popes have consistently taught that the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Scholasticism) is the irreplaceable basis for Catholic teaching. In his Encyclical PASCENDI, Pope St. Pius X said that Scholasticism was THE REMEDY for modernism. He further warned, "We admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside St. Thomas ESPECIALLY IN METAPHYSICAL QUESTIONS without grave disadvantage." Yet the founders of the New Theology were unanimously resolved that the Aristotelian on which Thomism is based must be aban- doned in favor of new philosophical systems. Why is this fatally flawed? Father Greenstock shows that modern philosophies cannot be "synthes- ized" into Catholic theology because "most people outside the Church suffer from an almost complete incapacity for logical thought. Their basis for argument is sentiment rather than reason. ...This incapacity (for logical thought) is a direct result of these modern philosophies which we are now asked to adopt and to baptize - an impossible task." Where is the difficulty? Father Greenstock explained, "we are asked to substitute for the clear metaphysical notions of Aquinas thefluid concepts of modern philosophies, and it is indeed very difficult for us to see how that can be done without harm to the unchangeable doctrines of the Faith." Can any examples be given of how the rejection of Thomist philosophy threatens Catholic theology? One example among many is that it can destroy the Catholic teaching on the Real Presence in the Eucharist as defined by the Council of Trent. How? Our definition of transubstantiation reads that the ACCIDENTS of the consecrated bread stay the same - it still looks, smells, feels and tastes like bread. But the SUBSTANCE is no longer bread, but the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. SUBSTANCE and ACCIDENTS are foundational terms of Thomistic/Aristotelian metaphysics. Our dogmatic definition of the Eucharist is based on these terms. If these meta- physical terms are not considered stable, and are now subject to new definitions and new meanings, then the very foundation of our doctrine on the Eucharist is shaken, and the definition of the Eucharist will change. Garrigou-Lagrange pointed out that the rejection of Thomistic philosophy places many doctrines in jeopardy such as original sin, sanctifying grace, the finality of the particular judgment and even truth itself. Has this rejection of the Council of Trent's teaching of the Eucharist actually happened? In 1946, Father Garrigou-Lagrange quoted one advocate of the New The- ology who said that transubstantiation was conceived of and defined by the scholastics (Thomists) and that "their doctrine is inadmissable." Who was Maurice Blondel? Maurice Blondel [1861-1949], a layman, ultimately formulated the phi- losophy on which the New Theology is based. In order to "win over mod- ern men" who reject objectivism (the submission of the mind to object- ive reality) Blondel formulated a "subjectivist" philosophy, more in line with other modern philosophies. How did he do this? By stating that religion is not something that goes from the head to the heart (objective reality), but from heart to head (subjective). He said, "nothing can enter man which does not come from out of him and correspondence in some way to a need he has of expansion." Hence anything supernatural (sanctifying grace) that is in man ultimately comes from the nature of man himself. What's wrong with that? St. Paul says "Faith comes by hearing" - that is, it comes from God presenting reality to man and then man accepting it. Also sanctifying grace(our created participation in the Divine Life of God)is not NAT- URAL to us. It is a free gift that is above our nature (more on this later). Neither Faith, nor the supernatural life of grace is "inside" man" already. Yet Blondel said "NOTHING can enter man which does not come from out of him." Blondel's teaching, in fact, is an extension of the Modernist notion of "Divine Immanence" condemned by Pope St. Pius X. That's why many refer to Blondel as a "neo-modernist". Was Blondel in good faith? The great Dominican, Father Garrigou-Lagrange believed that Blondel was not in good faith. Blondel manifested the trademarks of a modern- ist: 1)Blondel quoted texts of St. Thomas to make them mean the oppo- site of what they say; 2) he repeatedly met well-argued criticism from his adversaries with a mere categorical denial; 3)he continually clai- med to be misunderstood; 4)he was always "explaining" how his thinking is really orthodox, so that to this day it is disputed what he is act- ually saying; 5) years later, he admitted to Fr. Henri de Lubac that he purposely diguised his true ideas in order to escape certain cen- sure from Church authorities. Who was Father Henri de Lubac? Father de Lubac [1896-1991] was a Jesuit who saw in Blondel's teach- ing the basis of a New Theology. Blondel has rejected Thomistic phil- osophy, and de Lubac would incorporate this into a new system that would reject Thomistic theology. Did the New Theology have any sympathizers in high places? Even though Pope Pius XII had warned against these new teachings, the Vatica Secretary of State, Msgr. Montini, gave encouragement to the New Theology. At the same time, Montini was also conducting back-door dealings with the Stalinists, again, contrary to the will of Pius XII. What is the heart of de Lubac's New Theology? Building on Blondel's philosophy, de Lubac taught that the supernat- ural is a necessary perfection of nature, without which nature is frustrated in its essential aspirations. This means that the super- natural is NEEDED to complete nature which remains incomplete without it. Hence, the supernatural is not a gratuitous gift but a part of nature owed to nature; in other words, the supernatural is not super- natural but natural, and lies within the bounds of nature. Why is this wrong? The catholic Church teaches that the whole supernatural order of grace is exactly that: gratuitous-a sheer gift of God. Nature may be capable or well-suited to supernature, but it in no way strictly re- quires grace which is of a different order, infinitely superior, and given by God, as God wills, in a manner essentially independent of the received nature. This New Theology leads to pantheism. In 1981, in his book Gehtsemane, the lone voice of CARDINAL SIRI got right to the heart of de Lubac's confusion. He warned that if de Lubac's theology is taken to its logical conclusion, "it would mean either that Jesus Christ is not God, or that man is Divine - again, modernism! Was de Lubac in good faith? Father Garrigou-Lagrange exposed de Lubac's errors in his 1946 arti- cle "Where is the New Theology Leading Us?," pointing out that this new theology is just a re-hash of modernism. De Lubac simply responded with insults and mockery, accusing Garrigou-Lagrange of having "simpl- istic views on the absoluteness of truth." When Pope Pius XII condemn- ed de Lubac's theology in Humani Generis, (#'s 29,30,32,34), de Lubac simply stated that this was "highly one-sided...it doesn't concern me." But wasn't de Lubac a great expert on the Fathers of the Church? Writing in THE THOMIST (1950) Father David Greenstock warned that the only reason that the leaders of the New Theology overwhelm the reader with the Greek Fathers is in order to GET AROUND St. Thomas Aquinas, whom they actually disdain, no matter how much they pledge their de- votion to him. Anything else about de Lubac? Henri de Lubac was an avid defender of the evolutionist/pantheist Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard also propogated great confusion regard- ing the natural and supernatural orders, claiming that nature EVOLVES into supernature - again, modernism! Can Teilhard be defended as orthodox? Not at all. How is it possible to defend a man who makes pantheistic statements such as, "Catholicism deceived me with its narrow definit- ions of the World...THE WORLD around me BECOMES DIVINE..." Did de Lubac have any regrets? At the end of his life, he started to wonder if perhaps he hadn't allowed himself to stray into forbidden doctrine. He wrote, "This per- iodis as full of error as any...maybe I should have concentrated more on essentials...for the last seven or eight years I have been para- lyzed by the fear of confronting head on, in concrete fashion, the essential problems in their scolding reality. Out of wisdom or weak- ness? Was I right or wrong? By then however, he had already done his damage. Today, his cult lives on. Who was Hans Urs von Balthasar? Father von Balthasar was a disciple of the New Theology whose books are EXTREMELY popular within "conservative" circles. In the 1930's, he developed a powerful aversion to the scholastic theology of St. Tho- mas. He then became greatly influenced by Karl Barth, the famous Prot- estant thinker. Von Balthasar made Christ, rather than the Catholic Church, the center of Christian unity-as if Christ could somehow be divorced from His one true Church-hence, paving the way for "Catholic" ecumenism. He favored and incorporated the philosophy of Hegel, which is the philosophy of "becoming" (never ending movement), as opposed to the sound Thomistic philosophy of "being". never-ending movement, con- stant flux - again, modernism. What effects did this have? Many. One of the most serious is that it established a new principle of "Living Tradition" which holds that Tradition, and therefore doct- rine, can change. Father Boulliard, a disciple of the New Theology said, "A theology which is not current[does not keep changing]will be a false theology." Did these thinkers have any influence on Vatica II? These thinkers were THE influence on Vatican II. In his book Vatican II Revisited, Bishop Aloysius Wycislo, a rhapsodic advocate of Vatican II, writes that "Pope Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis had... a devastating effect on the work of a number of pre-conciliar theolog- ians." Wycislo then rejoiced that "theologians and biblical scholars, who had been 'under a cloud' for years, surfaced as periti(thelogical experts advising the Bishops)at Vatican II." This despite the Council rules that no theologian who had ever been under suspicion should be admitted as a theological expert at the Council. Wycislo mentioned by name these theologians as Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, John Courtney Mur- ray, Yves Congar, Edward Schillebeeckx, and HENRI DE LUBAC. Did their Theology prevail? Yes. Father Henrici, S.J., an advocate of the New Theology said that de Lubac's theology "which insists on the non-opposition between nat- ure and supernature...BECAME THE OFFICIAL THEOLOGY OF VATICAN II." Further, Father Henri Boulliard, another disciple of the New Theology, wrote in triumph that the word "supernatural" does not appear in any of the major documents of Vatican II. Who were some other admirers of the New Theology? At Vatican II, two prominent admirers were Father Joseph Ratzinger from Germany and Archbishop Karol Wojtyla from Poland. As these two men advanced in today's Church, so did the influence and acceptance of the "New Theology," despite its condemnation by Pius XII. In the 1980s, de Lubac and von Balthasar were both named Cardinals, without ever having to retract their dangerous doctrines. Disciples of the New Theology fill many theological chairs at Catholic universities world- wide. Doesn't the fact that some of these men were named Cardinals guarantee their orthodoxy? No. Church history is replete with examples of various types of un- sound men being promoted to high position - Judas being the first. But why do some of the advocates of the New Theology sometimes sound somewhat conservative? Because they don't always take the principles of their flawed system to their logical conclusion. The New Theology is subjectivist by nat- ure. Hence there are "conservatives" and "progressives" within the New Theology, just as, St. Pius X warned, there are "conservative" and "progressives" within Modernism. (Pascendi #27). Further, Blondel, Teilhard de Chardin and others have admitted that they disguised their new doctrine under traditional sounding terminology. Where has the New Theology led us? As the clear-sighted Father Garrigou-Lagrange warned in 1946, it has led straight back to modernism. Further, as Suzanne Rini rightly ob- serves, the New Theology should not even be called a "theology" since it is simply resuscitated gnosticism. What have been the results? The Vatican II church of ecumenism and neo-modernism, showcase of the "New Theology", is in shambles. Boulliard's principle that "a theology that is not current(always changing)is a false theology" is in full force with Vatican II's "continuous aggiornamento". Theological con- fusion now reigns, especially since von Balthasar, de Lubac, et al, are now considered "conservatives" as opposed to the "extreme liber- als" like Hans Kung, Charles Curran, and Richard McBrien. Those who hold the uncompromising Catholic faith of Garrigou-Lagrange, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Pius XII and their predecessors are sneered at as "extre- mists-on-the-right" and "integrists." What do we do? Hold fast to the traditional Catholic Faith. Don't bother reading de Lubac, Von Balthasar, or ANY disciples of the New Theology. IGNATIUS PRESS is the main publishing house for mainstreaming the leaders of the New Theology into the English-speaking world. Why waste time read- ing these suspect men when there are so many thoroughly orthodox saints and authors to read? Is there any hope? Scripture teaches "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it." Since the New Theology is built on lies, sooner or later, it will all come crashing down upon itself. In the meantime, our duty is to pray for those infected with these erroneous ideas, live the Fatima Message and keep the Catholic Faith, as the Athanas- ian Creed admonishes, "integral and inviolate". References: "Where is the New Theology Leading Us?" - Father Reginald Garrigou- Lagrange, O.P., Angelicum, 1946.(English translation, Catholic Family News, Aug. 1998). "They Think They've Won" - si si no no's 10 part series on the New Theology. (Originally published in 1993 in Italy, English translation by the Angelus Press, 1994). "Thomism and the New Theology", David Greenstock, T.OP. The Thomist, 1950. Pascendi Dominici Gregis (Encyclical against Modernism), Pope St. Pius X, 1907. Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII, Aug 12, 1950. Denzinger - The Sources of Catholic Dogma, Herder, 1955. Reality, A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought, Father Reginald Garrigou- Lagrange, O.P. Herder, 1950. Gethsemane: Reflections on the Contemporary Theological Movement. Cardinal Siri, Franciscan Herald Press, 1981. Vatican II Revisited:Reflections by One Who Was There, Bishop Aloysius Wycislo, Alba House, 1987. Taken from: Catholic Family News M.P.O. Box 743 Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14302 Catholic Family News is published monthly - 12 issues per year. Subscription price, $24.00 per year. Sample copy available upon request.
Vatican II vs. the Unity Willed by Christ by John Vennari (from December 2000 issue) Note: What follows is an edited transcript of a portion of the speech, "The Church of Christ is One", given at the CFN Conference, November 2000. The speech was commentary on the march 12 "Day of Pardon" that contained an apology for alleged "Sins that Have Harmed the Unity of the Body of Christ". The presentation noted that this ambiguous "apol- ogy" ended up asking more questions than it answered, and discussed the "apology" within the framework of four basic questions that it raised. Presented here are two of the four questions addressed. The answers to these two questions reveal that Vatican II promoted a vers- ion of "Christian Unity" that is diectly opposed to the positive will of Christ. Here we will ask, 1) What is the unity among Christians willed by Christ? 2) Did Vatican II and its ecumenical orientation advance or hinder the unity willed by Christ? The answer to the first question must be sought in Scripture and Tradition; and most importantly, in the defined and infallible dogmas of the Catholic Church, as well as the teachings that flow from these dogmas. There are three EX CATHEDRA papal pronouncements that outside the Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three is from Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447), who infallibly taught at 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, heretics, and schismatics can never be partak- ers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire 'which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her;... no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." 1 It is doctrinally defined that SALVATION and UNITY exist only within the Catholic Church. Likewise, the CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT speaks of the Catho- lic Church as ONE 9as one of the four marks of the true Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic). It describes this "oneness" by quoting St. Paul: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". (Eph. 4:5) 2 Elaborating upon the teaching of Trent, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, has given the finest definition of what consti- tutes the nature, membership and unity of Christ's Church. Bellar- mine's formula is recognized as THE MOST PRECISE scholastic definition of the Church to this day. 3 Saint Robert explained that Christ's one true Church is the Catholic Church, and this Church is a PERFECT SOC- IETY: "The Church is one, not twofold, and this one true [Catholic] Church is the assembly of men united in the profession of the same Christian faith and in the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of legitimate pastors, and in particular, that of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff." 4 Bellarmine makes it clear that UNION OF BELIEF is necessary for the true Church; that is impossible to have a conception of "church" in which some members accept defined doctrines (such as Papal Primacy or Transubstantiation) and others do not. Bellarmine's definition demon- strates that the Catholic Church is a visible, hierarchial society that does not need to go outside of itself for anything. It is a per- fect society within itself, and outside of this Catholic Church, there is no salvation. The Catholic Church has consistently taught this doctrine as part of its ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium for 2,000 years, right into modern times. Blessed Pope Pius IX repeated forcefully this doctrine while combatt- ing the growing liberalism of his day: "We must mention and condemn again that most PERNICIOUS ERROR which has been imbibed by certain Catholics who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith and are seperated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to the Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of Our Lord, (Matt 18:17; Mark 16:16; Luke 10:16; John 3:18) as also from the words of Saint Paul (2 ) and of Saint Peter (2 Peter 2:1). To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch. 5 Modernists have tried to get around this by claiming that the Church of Christ is actually bigger than the Catholic Church. This heretical concept of the "Church of Christ" being larger than the Catholic Church was countered by Pope Pius XII when he insisted, without ambig- uity, that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are one and the same. In fact he pronounced this doctrine twice within the short span of 7 years. In the 1943 encyclical MYSTICI CORPORIS, Pope Pius XII taught that "the true Church of Jesus Christ...is the One, Holy, Catholic, Aposto- stolic Roman Church." 6 This clearly means that the Church of Christ is not composed of the Catholic Church and other "Christian" denomi- nations. Pope Pius XII reiterated this doctrine in his 1950 encyclical HUMANI GENERIS: "THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH ARE ONE AND THE SAME THING". In the same paragraph, Pius complained of those who "reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation." 7 Along the same lines, the eminent theologian, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton published in 1954 an article entitled "The Meaning of the Word Church" in which he explains that the Catholic Church is the only religious body that can actually call itself a church, because the word 'church' has a very definite--a meaning that was in the mind of Our Lord at the time, a meaning that was understood by the Apostles. It is the kingdom of God on earth, the assembly of the people of the Divine Covenant, the continuation (and the SUPERSESSION) of the Is- rael of the Old Testament, the one social unit established by Christ outside which there is no salvation. 8 In light of what has been said regarding Church unity, we can under- stand why Pope Pius XI taught in MORTALIUM ANIMOS: "...UNITY CAN ONLY ARISE FROM ONE TEACHING AUTHORITY, ONE LAW OF BEL- IEFS AND ONE FAITH OF CHRISTIANS ... There is but ONE WAY in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering THE RETURN TO THE ONE TRUE (CATHOLIC) CHURCH OF CHRIST OF THOSE WHO ARE SEPERATED FROM IT ..." 9 Vatican II This, then, leads us to the next question: DID VATICAN II, AND ITS ECUMENICAL ORIENTATION, ADVANCE OR HINDER THE UNITY WILLED BY CHRIST? We will answer by quoting some fascinating material from the 1960's. The first is a 1963 article from THE THOMIST, entitled "Unity: Special Problems, Dogmatic, Moral" by Father David Greenstock, a superb theo- logian. THE THOMIST, a scholarly theological journal, was publishing special issuess in 1963 discussing the Second Vatican Council. Father David Greenstock was a clear-thinking Thomist who, as early as 1950, recognized the unorthodox threat of the so-called "New Theology" of Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar. 10 He also identified the danger of the ambiguous ecumenical language that was emanating from theologians at the Council. The 1963 article opens with Father Greenstock quoting an unnamed Bishop of Darwin who complained on his way back from the Council that "some modern theologians are turning somersaults backwards in their anxiety to please non-Catholics. He (the bishop) pleaded with the orthodox theologians to take up their pens in order to offset such writings." 11 Greenstock said, "too many of our modern theologians are trying to bring into being a new 'situation' theology, to fit modern needs. We are frequently told ... that orthodox theology, especially if it takes the shape of SCHOLASTICISM, is one of the main obstacles to reunion." He spoke of the pressures being exerted to "adapt our theology, both in concept and in language, to ecumenical needs ..." (When we speak of "schlasticism" we are speaking of Thomism, which is the system of philosphy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Pope Saint Pius X, in his encyclical condemning Modernism, taught that scholasticism is THE REMEDY to modernism. 12 This explains why modern- ists and progressives nurture a positive aversion to Thomism, as we shall see.) Throughout the entire 1963 article, Father Greenstock is still speak- ing in terms of what true Christian unity should be: to "bring back to the unity of the true Church those who are at present outside it." He rightly observed that this is the only purpose for "ecumenical dialo- gue". Reunion, he stresses, cannot be "attained without COMPLETE UNITY IN THE FAITH." It is "distressing",he laments, "to notice that some Catholic theologians do not seem to realize the importance of this." In order to combat the ecumenical and progressivist theologians runn- ing roughshod over the Council (in compliance with the Bishop of Dar- win who asked orthodox theologians to "take up their pens" against these new trends), Greenstock presented six basic principles that the Catholic theologian must follow regarding so-called "ecumenism". Again, the goal always is to present the Catholic position without am- biguity, in the clearest possible terms, in order to facilitate the conversion of the non-Catholic to the one true Church of Christ. Six Basic Principles Here we will outline Father Greenstock's points: 13 1)"Fidelity to the dictates of HUMANI GENERIS ... together with a rejection of the temptation to use THE ECUMENICAL EXCUSE AS A WEAPON FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF SCHOLASTICISM AND THE CREATION OF A NEW 'SITU- ATIONAL' THEOLOGY." As will be demonstrated, the progressivist theologians have done pre- cisely that! They've abandoned scholastic theology for the sake of a new "ecumenical" theology, and they've abandoned scholastic language for the sake of what they call "pastoral language." 14 Its language is so ambiguous and muddy that it tells the sheep to go north and south at the same time, and then issues an endless eries of "clarifications" trying to explain what it really means. The final "clarification" usu- ally tells us that to go North and South at the same time is actually to travel in the same direction - thanks to "new insights into the profundity of cartography as mystery." 2)"A realization that there is no basic division between theology and faith." This is an interesting and important point that we do not have time to discuss in this presentation. 15 3)"There is now an even greater need to return to the basic princip- les of Saint Thomas, that reason is an instrument by which we can ex- press and deduce the virtual content of revelation. It would be an ERROR OF THE FIRST MAGNITUDE to neglect the development of Neo-Thomism in favor of some vague new theology." Father Greenstock stressed that the scholasticism of Saint Thomas is a "glorious part of our Catholic inheritance" and that it is "our finest instrument for precise thought and careful definition - both of which are essential to bring the faith to our seperated brethren." Contrast this with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who admits he had an aversion to St. Thomas. He wrote, "I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to be too closed on itself, too impersonal and ready made." 16 In Ratz- inger's seminary studies, rather, "a large place was accorded to lit- erature and to contemporary philosophico-scientific thought." 17 In light of these statements by Ratzinger, it is obvious that the "modern" theologians who Father Greenstock was combatting were the Rahners, Ratzingers, Wojtylas, 18 DeLubacs, the entire liberal clique of Vatican II. Of these progressives, Greenstock warns: "Modern theologians have nothing to offer which can compare with this [Thomism] and it should serve as a model of theological writing at the present day." Sadly, as will be demonstrated, scholastic terminology was deliberately re- jected at vatican II. 4)"In this connection, every theologian would do well to read and di- gest G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Speaking of the great theological 'wars' of the past and of the reasons for them, he says: 'It is enough to notice that, if some SMALL mistake were made in doctrine, high blunders might be made in human happiness. A sentence wrongly phrased about the nature of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe. A slip on the definitions might stop all the dances, might wither all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs. Doctrine had to be carefully defined with- in strict limits, even in order that man might enjoy general human liberties. The Church had to be careful, if only that the world might be careless." 19 "We are in much the same position today;" cautions Greenstock, "one slip now may cost us years of effort". Father Greenstock was truly prophetic. He said further, "It is necessary to explain to our seper- ated brethren in simple language the doctrines of the Church, together with the fact that she dare not depart from them by one iota! 5)"We must not give non-Catholics the impression that the great Conciliar decrees of the past can be modified or made easier for their acceptance by a new expression of those truths in more modern lang- uage. This would imply that such decrees are capable of radical reform -- which is untrue." He then warned of the danger of the new "ecumenical language" by quoting the Protestant Dr. Visser't Hooft who admitted, "THE SIMPLE ABC'S OF ECUMENISM" is that "THERE IS NO ECUMENICAL LANGUAGE WHICH IS COMPLETELY UNAMBIGUOUS." 20 "There is, of course, only one real answer to it" says Greenstock, "clear definition of terms! We are forced back to Neo-Thomism in the end." 6)"The need is for clear, definite exposition of the true Catholic position, without fear or favor, yet with all due charity" and that we must not give non-Catholics "the impression that the Catholic Church is ready to betray her dogmatic mission." Greenstock is stressing fidelity to Catholic doctrine; and to schol- astic terminology as the finest means of expressing that doctrine with precision, without ambiguity or compromise. All of this, he reminds us, is to facilitate the return of non-Catholics to the one true Church of Jesus Christ: "REUNION TO A CATHOLIC MUST MEAN UNITY IN FAITH AND WORSHIP. TO IMPLY THE OPPOSITE IS TO DESTROY THE TRUTH AND BETRAY CHRIST." Further, he emphasizes the need for an uncompromising fidelity to the decrees of the Council of Trent and to Vatican I. "Above all" he says, "there should be no attempt to create a new ecumenical theology to fit the ecumenical situation". Throughout the entire article, Father Greenstock is unyieldingly faithful to the perennial Catholic teaching of the necessity of the non-Catholic abandoning his false religion and becoming a member of the true Church of Christ for unity and salvation. In this, Father Greenstock is reiterating the teachings expressed infallibly by the Popes throughout the centuries; and as especially expressed in Leo XIII's SATIS COGNITUM, Pius XI's MORTALIUM ANIMOS, and Pius XII's 1949 INSTRUCTION ON THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT which stated clearly: "True reunion can only come about by the return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ" 21 (the Catholic Church). A NEW UNITY Again, then, the same question: did Vatican II promote this unity willed by Christ? We find the answer in an article that appeared in an ecumenical pub- lication, the International Jewish-Christian Documentation Service (SIDIC), which is from a Catholic association "founded in Rome in 1965 at the request of a group of expers of the Second Vatican Council fol- lowing the promulgation of NOSTRA AETATE", to promote Catholic-Jewish "dialogue". 22 In 1999, it published a special issue on the subject, "Fundamentalism and Extremism: Challenges for the 21st Century". It was a survey of those within various religious groups who have resisted ecumenism; including those from Judaism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism. Under the heading "Integralism and Fundamentalism: Christians Con- fronting Ecumenism", it spotlighted, as the central figure fighting ecumenism within Catholicism, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. When explaining the reasons for Archbishop Lefebvre's refusal to acc- ept ecumenism, the journal made an amazing admission: "Lefebvre's refusal to accept ecumenism originates in CLEAR TEACHINGS from the Magisterium: the encyclical SATIS COGNITUM of Leo XIII (1896); the encyclical MORTALIUM ANIMOS of Pius XI (1928); the Dec. 20, 1949, instruction of the Holy Office regarding ecumenism. The ONLY ECUMENISM accepted by Lefebvre and his followers is that which strives for the unconditional return of the members of other confessions to the one Church of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church. THIS HARDENED SECTARIAN- ISM IS PRECISELY THE KIND OF LOGIC WHICH VATICAN II, THROUGH PROFOUND REFLECTION ON THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH, REFUSED TO ACCEPT. Though rooted in Tradition [sic] the scope of the Council's reflection WAS WITHOUT PRECEDENT IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY. For integralists, ecumenism is one of the funda- mental betrayals by Vatican II." 23 The journal admits openly: * that Lefebvre rejected the Council's ecumenism because it contra- dicted the clear teaching of the Magisterium that preceded it for centuries, * that Vatican II refused to accept the Catholic position that it was necessary for the non-Catholic to convert to the Catholic Church for unity and salvation, and * that this is "without precedent" in the history of Christianity. (It should be obvious that Vatican II's new teaching is not "rooted in Tradition" as the journal falsely asserts.) A PROGRESSIVE BOASTS OF VICTORY This leads us, then, to another question. Did this ecumenical jour- nal "misrepresent" the Council's teaching? In order to answer this, we will turn to one of the progressive theo- logians at Vatican II, who was involved in drafting the documents, and who can tell us what was in the minds of those men who drafted the documents. What were the true intentions of the architects at Vatican II? In 1966, Paulist Press published a revealing little book entitled THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II. The book's author is the progr- essivist theological peritus from Vatican II, Father Joseph Ratzinger (who is now Cardinal Ratzinger). Ratzinger here explains that the Council texts Lumen Gentium (which is the Council's document on the Church) and the Decree on Ecumenism, are absolutely linked. The groundwork for ecumenism was established within Lumen Gentium, so that the ecumenical initiative and orientat- ion could follow. 24 Ratzinger writes: "The text on the Church was favorably predisposed toward ecumenical thinking in that its basic theological line was ecumenical." 25 He is telling us, as one involved with the drafting of the documents, that the basic text of Lumen Gentium is ecumenical. He continues: "It also attempted to slough off particularisms coming from Latin and SCHOLASTIC sources and to keep the door open on all legitimate theological questions." 26 Here we see what Father David Greenstock was warning against in his 1963 article. The goal of the progressives was to get rid of SCHOLAS- TICISM, because the precision of scholasticism does not allow them to formulate their new, sloppy, unorthodox ecumenology. It doesn't allow them to play fast and loose with the terminology. On the same page, Ratzinger says: "The title of the text no longer referred in schloastic fashion to the "nature of the Church", but spoke rather of its "mystery". This is another trend we see since Vatican II. Before the Council, we spoke precisely of the "nature of the Church", which had a strict def- inition. Now, instead, we speak of the "mystery of the Church". Before the Council, we spoke of the unchangeableness of Sacred Tradition. Today, however, we talk about the "mystery of living tradition". This is a semantic tactic to introduce confusion. The progressives take our defined certitudes, they turn them into vague "mysteries". Once they do this, they can do anything they want with the terminology. It is precisely what is happening here. Ratzinger then addressed the question of who is really a "member" of the Church. Again, he admits that he and his liberal clique played games with the language" "The FIRST SCHEMA of 1962 still clung to the traditional scholastic formula which saw membership in the Church as dependent on the the joint presence of three prerequisites: baptism, profession of faith and acceptance of the hierarchy headed by the Pope. (That's Saint Robert Bellarmine's precise definition, Ed.). Only those who met these requirements could be called members of the Church. Obviously, this was a very narrow formulation." 27 We see how dead on-target was Father David Greenstock who warned that the liberals want to abandon scholasticism so as to create a new situational (ecumenical) theology. It's precisely what we have here with Ratzinger and the Council. Ratzinger continues: "...the result was that the notion of 'member of the Church' could applied only to Catholics. With such an answer to the question of Church membership, it became very difficult to describe the Christ- ian dignity of the non-Catholic Christian...Accordingly, modificat- ions were made in the text submitted in 1963 to the Council Fath- ers." 28 Regarding "modifications in the text", the original draft of Vatican II's Lumen Gentium reiterated Pius XII's teaching that the "Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church". The progressivist theologians at Vat- ican II, to the delight of the Protestant observers at the Council, changed the sentence to "THe Church of Christ SUBSISTS in the Catholic Church." This new wording was hailed as a great victory for ecumen- ism. 29 The term "subsists" is deliberately ambiguous and admits to a definition of "Church" as being bigger than the Catholic Church, that "in some mysterious way", includes non-Catholics. Ratzinger elaborates on other changes that were made to accomodate the new, ecumenical orientation: "The new text avoided the expression 'member of the Church' HALLOWED BY LONG USE IN CATHOLIC THEOLOGY. Use of this expression would have immediately aroused the scholastic theologians, who saw this notion as necessarily including the three above-mentioned prerequisites. In view of these difficulties, the decision was made to avoid this con- troversial term." 30 This is precisely what Father Greenstock was warning against. They've abandoned scholasticism in order to bring in a new ecumenical langu- age. Suddenly a precise term that used to give us certitude is now a "controversial term" that we must discard. Ratzinger continues: "The new text describes the relationship between the Church and non- Catholic Christians without speaking of 'membership'. BY SHEDDING THIS TERMINOLOGICAL ARMOR, the text acquired a much wider scope." 31 BY SHEDDING THIS TREMINOLOGICAL ARMOR? Again, we see that Father Greenstock was truly a prophet! Ratzinger then mentions that the new text submitted to the Council Fathers in 1963 spoke of the "multiple internal ties" among Christ- ians, such as Baptism, belief in Christ as the Son of God and Savior, and belief in Sacred Scriptures as Divine Revelation. This is somethimng they are just discovering? The fact is that heretics have ALWAYS shared many common beliefs with Catholics. This is what heresy is. It ACCEPTS much of the truth, but REJECTS or CORRUPTS a portion of it. Saint Thomas Aquinas defines her- esy as "a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas." 32 However, liberals such as Ratzinger have attempted to turn these "multiple internal ties" from something negative into something "posi- tive". It is spin-doctoring, pure and simple. Ratzinger goes on: "The new text now says unmistakably and clearly, although in passing, that these Christians exist not merely as INDIVIDUALS, but in Christ- ian communities which are given positive Christian status and eccles- ial character." 33 Now, that statement is LOADED! The Catholic Church had always dealt with Protestants as INDIVIDUAL heretics. It never recognized them as a valid religious group, because their so-called "church" or "ecclesial community" is actually a fict- ion. A group of Protestants is simply a gathering of individuals who have become interiorly convinced of their salvation in Christ. They do not really constitute a "church". In September of 1868, just before Vatican I, Pope Pius IX issued a public letter entitled IAM VOS OMNES that was addressed "to all Prot- estants and other non-Catholics". He was not inviting them to the Council, but urged them to consider the event of the Council as an op- portunity to convert to the one true Church. Pius called the letter "TO ALL PROTESTANTS..." He chose that title on purpose. He addressed them as INDIVIDUALS, because he rightly refused to recognize that they, in their groups, constituted valid "churches" or "ecclesial com- munities. Commenting on this text in 1959, Msgr. Fenton pointed out that Pius IX chose these words deliberately because Protestant groups "are not Christian churches" but are actually "heretical assemblies." 34 This explains why Ratzinger is so smug that "the new text now says... clearly...that Christians exist not merely as individuals, but in Christian communities, which are given positive Christian status and ecclesial character." This is a progressivist revolution that thrills him to the very marrow of his bones. Ratzinger then explains that the Constitution on the Church and the decree on Ecumenism form ONE teaching, and ONE new ecumenical orient- ation. "The text on the Church was kept open primarily because it was to be supplemented by a text on ecumenism which would develop a viewpoint only hinted at in the Church text. Taking both texts into account, we can view in a positive light the undeniably limited ECUMENICAL outlook of the schema on the Church." 35 Later, he makes the absurd statement: "The ecumenical movement grew out of a situation unknown to the New Testament and for which the New Testament can therefore offer no guidelines." 36 Now wait a minute! I thought the purpose of the Council was to return to the "pristine purity" of the Apostles. Here, however, Ratzinger is asserting that if we look to the pristine purity of the Apostles, the only thing they have to tell us regarding the ecumenical movement is that they have nothing to tell us. This is a lie anyway. The Apostles had plenty to say on the Catholic's duty to shun reli- gious camaradarie with heretics. Saint Peter, in his Second Epistle warns "There shall be among you lying teachers who shall bring in sects of perdition." (2 Peter 2:1) Saint John: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, nor say to him, God speed you." (2 John 1:10) Saint Paul, warning of heretical teachers, said "I know that after my departure, ravenous wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock ... Therefore watch." (Acts 20:28,29,31) In Philippians 3:2, Paul says, "Beware of dogs", and these dogs are the same false teach- ers as those whom he called "ravenous wolves." Thus, Ratzinger is not telling the truth. 37 What he is admitting, however, without saying it openly, is that Vatican II's ecumenism has NO BASIS in Sacred Scripture. Ratzinger then sums up the new teaching of the Council: "...the recognition of a plurality of Churches within the Church im- plies two lines of change: "(a) The Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality. He must also recognize the need for a thorough Catholic renewal (translation: revolution, Ed.), some- thing not to be accomplished in a day. This requires a process of opening up, which takes time. Meantime, the Catholic Church has no right to ABSORB the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to." "(b) A basic unity - of Churches that remain Churches, yet become ONE Church - MUST REPLACE THE IDEA OF CONVERSION, even though conver- sion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it." 38 There you have it. Ratzinger is telling us, as one of the drafters and major influences of Vatican II (as a co-worker with Karl Rahner) that Vatican II teaches that CONVERSION IS AN OPTION. The non-Catholic need not con- vert to the true Church for salvation or for unity. Again, this is why Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism, rather than giving a precise definition, speaks vaguely of "The Mystery of Church Unity." 39 Now, has Cardinal Ratzinger changed his views since then? In 1990, during a visit to Brazil, Cardinal Ratzinger gave an inter- view to the press, who asked him "What are the most marked differences between the ratzinger of Vatican Council II and the Ratzinger of today?" In other words, who has changed more? Ratzinger replied, "I do not see a real profound difference between my work at Vatican Council II and my present work." 40 To the journalist Vittorio Messori, in 1984, Ratzinger admitted that since the Council, he "has not changed." 41 This past autumn, after issuing DOMINUS IESUS, Ratzinger still defen- ded using the word "subsist" to describe the Church. In a recent interview with the German newspaper FRANKFURTER ALLGEM- INE, Cardinal Ratzinger explained, "Vatican II did not use Pius XII's expression, according to which 'the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Christ'. Instead, it preferred the expression 'The Church of Christ subsists in the Catho- lic Church...' because," he said, "it wished to 'AFFIRM THAT THE BE- ING OF THE CHURCH AS SUCH IS A LARGER IDENTITY THAN THE ROMAN CATHO_ LIC CHURCH'." 42 We can see that it is the same Ratzinger with the same progressive message. He may not be as cocky as he was in 1966, but he's promoting the same flawed teaching. He is saying that the Church of Christ is broader than the Catholic Church and not strictly identical with it. Here, then, is the main point. THIS FLAWED TEACHING ON CHRISTIAN UN- ITY IS THE TRUE TEACHING OF THE COUNCIL. It was the intention that was in the minds of those who drafted the documents, and they constr- ucted the texts accordingly. 43 As such, it is a head-on collision with what the Catholic Church has taught on unity and salvation for 2,000 years. Thus, in answer to our question: Vatican II teaches a doctrine of Christian unity that is contrary to Scripture, contrary to Sacred Tradition, contrary to the express and positive will of Jesus Christ. Msgr. Fenton's Warning In the October 1962 issue of the AMERICAN ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW, the renowned theologian, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, published an art- icle entitled "The Virtue of Prudence and the Success of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council." 44 It is the only article I've read from the period which leveled the sober warning: DO NOT THAT JUST BECAUSE THIS COUNCIL HAS BEEN CALLED, IT WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE A SUCCESS! Fenton noted that the announcements regarding the upcoming council always called upon the faithful to offer prayers for its success. He was worried, however, that the call for prayer lacked any note of urgency. It seemed as if the call for prayer was nothing more than a formality. No, Fenton remonstrated, the faithful must pray diligently for the success of the Council, because there is the real possibility that the Council may be a failure. He said that many "imagine that the Council will automatically be a success, and that, as a result, there is no particular need of any prayers for the attainment of the ends for which it was conceived and summoned. Many seem to have imagined that the calling of an ecumenical council was like pushing a magic button, which would automtically and painlessly do away with all the difficulties being faced by the true Church of Jesus Christ during the second half of the 20th Century. And, as is obvious from a study of the history of previous general councils, and from the consideration of the very nature of the Catho- lic Church, it is plain that there could be no more serious misconcep- tion. The fact of the matter is that the success of the ecumenical council really depends on the effectiveness and the ardor of the pray- ers of the faithful." He then lays out what the Council will have to achieve in order to be considered a success: "In order to be successful, in order to accomplish the purpose for which it has been called into being, the ecumenical council must speak out effectively and adequately against the doctrinal aberrations which are endangering the faith, and hence the entire spiritual life, of the faithful at the time the council is working. "Furthermore, in the disciplinary field, it is impossible for an ecu- menical council to attain its purpose unless it sets forth regulations and directives which tend to achieve the following objectives. "FIRST, these disciplinary must be such as to make it easier for the faithful in the state of friendship for God to advance in His love. "SECOND, they must be so calculated as to make it easier for those who are members of the Church and who are not living the life of grace to return to the friendship of God. "AND FINALLY, they must be such as to aid in the conversion of non- Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ." In the same vein, he elaborated, "those who are not favored with mem- bership in the Church (should) be able to see even more clearly that the presently existing visible Catholic Church is really the one and only supernatural kingdom of God on earth." Again, he warns, "It is by no means automatically certain the council will be successful, speaking from the point of view of this supernat- ural prudence." As if predicting the future, Fenton closes: "it is possible that the Council might act other than with the fulness of supernatural prud- ence. It is possible that, seen in this perspective, it may not be successful." Tragically, the Council has been a failure on the very points pin- pointed by Msgr. Fenton. The Council DID NOT speak out effectively against the doctrinal aber- rations of the time. In fact, it made everything far worse, due to its liberalization and Protestantization of doctrine. As a result, it has shattered the interior unity of Catholics who have never been more divided among themselves. As far as disciplinary measures: 1) The Council HAS NOT made it easier for the faithful in their friendship of God to advance in His love. If anything, tens of thous- ands of Catholics have ceased practicing their religion since the Council because of the progressivist revolution that the Council gene- rated, especially regarding liturgy. 2) The Council HAS NOT made it easier for fallen-away Catholics to return to the Church. In fact, as already noted, the liberal reforms from the Council have generated a massive falling away of Catholics from the practice of the faith, not to mention the mass defections of thousands of priests and religious away from their sacred vocation. 3) The Council HAS NOT been an aid in the conversion of the non- Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ. We see that Cardinal Ratzinger admitted openly that the Council DID AWAY with the notion that it is necessary for non-Catholics to convert to the one true Church of Christ for unity and salvation. Thus, the Council has been a failure. Its ecumenism, a disaster. So, rather than APOLOGIZE for our renowned Catholic ancestors who had the proper understanding of Christian Unity and acted accordingly, it is Vatican II for which our Church leaders should offer a great apol- ogy, along with a firm purpose of amendment, to conform their teach- ings, their actions, their policies, and their liturgies so as to pro- tect and promote once again the traditional and true teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Footnotes: 1) The Bull CANTATE DOMINO published by Pope Eugene IV, Feb. 4, 1442, Council of Florence 2) THE CATECHISM OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, (Tan Books) Page 102. It is worth noting that the New (1994) Catechism's section on the "oneness" of Christ's Church DOES NOT include this quotation from Saint Paul. Furhter, it is this section of the New Catechism that contains some of the worst "ecumenical" exhortations. See New Catechism, #'s 813 - 822. 3) For a superb theological treatise that demonstrates this comprehen- sively, see "The Scholastic Definitions of the Church", by Msgr. Jos- eph Clifford Fenton, (Parts I-III) published in the AMERICAN ECCLESIA- STICAL REVIEW (Washington, D.C.) July, August, September, 1944. 4) DE CONTROVERSIIS CHRISTIANAE FIDEI ADVERSUS HUIS TEMPORIS HAERET- ICOS, TOM I, (Ingolstadt, 1586). QUARTAE CONTROVERSIA GENERLIS LIBER TERISUS, DE ECCLESIA MILITATE, cap. 2, col 1263. English translation cited from "Scholastic Definitions of the Church", Part II, by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, AMERICAN ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW, AUGUST, 1944. 5) Quoted from THE CATHOLIC DOGMA by Father Michael Muller (Benzinger Brothers, 1888), p. xi. Emphasis added. 6) MYSTICI CORPORIS, Pope Pius XII, N.C.W.C. ed.,1943, No. 13, p. 8 7) HUMANI GENERIS, Pope Pius XII, N.C.W.C. edition, 1950, No.27, p.12 8) "The Meaning of the Word Church" by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton. First published in the AMERICAN ECCLESIASTICAL REVIEW, Oct., 1954. Re- published in its entirety in Catholic Family News, November, 2000. (Reprint #528 available from CFN for $1.75. 9) MORTALIUM ANIMOS, Encyclical on Fostering True Church Unity, Pope Pius XI, from THE POPES AGAINST MODERN ERRORS, (Tan, 1999) 299-301. Emphasis added. 10) See "Thomism and the New Theology", David Greenstock, T.O.P. THE THOMIST, 1950. 11)