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On Religious Unity


For since the mystical body of Christ, in the same manner as His physical body, is one, compacted and fitly joined together, it were foolish and out of place to say that the mystical body is made up of members which are disunited and scattered abroad: whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member of it, neither is he in communion with Christ its head.

Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII On the Mystical Body of Christ

[June 29, 1943]

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed. "For in one spirit" says the Apostle, "were we all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free."  As therefore in the true Christian community there is only one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, and one Baptism, so there can be only one faith. And therefore if a man refuse to hear the Church let him be considered - so the Lord commands - as a heathen and a publican.  It follows that those who 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.

St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chapter 29:

Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff that aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and by preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these acts are proper to a superior.

Surveying the state of Christian and pan-religious ecumenism, Romano Amerio, a peritus at Vatican II, had this to say:

[Iota Unum, p. 578]

The present temper of ecumenism, involving an effective renunciation of an expansion of the Catholic faith, is clearly evident in John Paul II's speeches in Nigeria in 1982: there is no mention of conversion to Christ, but in a special message to Muslims, which was not actually received by any Muslims or in any way replied to, the Pope hoped for cooperation between the two religions "in the interests of Nigerian unity" and "to make a contribution to the good order of the world as a new civilization of love." As we have noted, harmony in the world is no longer presented in terms of a single religion, but of a single civilization ... .

 200 years after Trent, Pope Pius VI condemned various errors of the illicit Synod of Pistoia in his Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei. Among the Synod's many errors, Pius VI identified:

[Denz. 1533]

The proposition of the Synod by which it shows itself eager to remove the cause through which, in part, there has been induced forgetfulness of the principles relating to the order of liturgy, "by recalling it [the liturgy] to greater simplicity of rites, by expressing it in the vernacular language or by uttering it in a loud voice," as if the present order of the Liturgy, received and approved by the Church, had emanated in some part from the forgetfulness of the principles by which it should be regulated.

Pius VI condemned this as "rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favorable to the charges of the heretics. ..."

Pope Paul VI's admission about the New Mass, which violates all previous teaching about the Mass:

[Audience address of November 19, 1969]

We wish to draw your attention to an event about to occur in the Latin Catholic Church: the introduction of the liturgy of the new rite of the Mass This change has something astonishing about it, something extraordinary. This is because the Mass is regarded as the traditional and untouchable expression of our religious worship and the authenticity of our faith. We ask ourselves, how could such a change be made? What effect will it have on those who attend Holy Mass? Answers will be given to these questions, and to others like them, arising from this innovation.

In his audience address of November 26, 1969, only a week later, Pope Paul could not have been more explicit in his intention to depart from the Church's ancient liturgical Tradition and just how momentous an event it would be for what the Church was losing:

We ask you to turn your minds once more to the liturgical innovation of the new rite of the Mass A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. So what is to be done on this special and historical occasion? First of all, we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. ...

It is here that the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church's

St. Pius X:

We felt a sort of terror considering the disastrous conditions of humanity at the present hour. Can we ignore such a profound and grave evil, which at this moment much more than in the past is working away at its very marrow and leading it to its ruin? ...Truly whoever ponders these things must necessarily and firmly fear whether such a perversion of minds is not the sign of announcing, and the beginning of the last times... [E Supremi]

Pius XI:

With God and Jesus Christ excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man,... the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that society is tottering to its ruin because it no longer has a secure and solid foundation. [Quas Primas]
Pius XII [after the end of WWII]:

We are overwhelmed with sadness and anguish, seeing that the wickedness of perverse men has reached a degree of impiety that is unbelievable and absolutely unknown in other times. [Letter of February 11,1949].

Venerable brethren, you are well aware that almost the whole human race is today allowing itself to be driven into two opposing camps, for Christ or against Christ. The human race is involved today in a supreme crisis, which will issue in its salvation by Christ, or in its destruction. [Evangeli Praecones, 1950]

On Religious Unity


In reference to the 1920 ecumenical movement that began with some Protestant churches and which, sadly the modern Church has adopted for its own:

This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed. And here it seems opportune to expound and to refute a certain false opinion, on which this whole question, as well as that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring about the union of the Christian churches depends. For authors who favor this view are accustomed, times almost without number, to bring forward these words of Christ: "That they all may be one. And there shall be one fold and one shepherd," with this signification however: that Christ Jesus merely expressed a desire and prayer, which still lacks its fulfillment [Although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ For if, as they continually state, they long to be united with Us and ours, why do they not hasten to enter the Church, the Mother and mistress of all Christ's faithful? Nn. 4, 7, 11

Klaus Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background (Harrison, NY: Foundation for Catholic Reform, 1993), p. 107:

A Catholic who ceased to be an active member of the Church for the past generation and who, having decided to return to the Church, wants to become religiously active again, probably would not recognize today's Church as the one he Ii had left. Simply by entering a Catholic church, particularly if it happens to be one of ultra-modern design, he would feel as if he had entered a strange, foreign place. He will think that; he must have come to the wrong address and that he accidentally ended up in some other Christian religious community.

  Melchior Cano, Theologian of the Council of Trent:

Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See - they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.