By Diocesan John
When I grew up we were taught in Catholic Schools about the unity of the Catholic Church under the Authority of the Pope. We were united in Faith and Doctrine and knew exactly where we stood in relation to God and His Church. We accepted the Authority of the Pope in defining Faith and morals and knew where this authority came from ini S|cripture. Matthew 16 Thou art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it and I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven so that what you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven……” We noted in Scripture that Paul referred to Peter as Caiphas (Head), and that he was the first to speak at Pentecost. Those of us who went into the matter further found Pope Clement in 96AD telling the Corinthians that they could not appoint their own priests to replace those who had been appointed to them by the Apostles and other Eminent Men. He presumed he had the power to do this since he was the successor of Peter in Rome, which as St Ignatius of Antioch pointed out held the truth ‘because of its superior eminence’, that is as the See of Peter.
Ini the 70’s and 80’s I found myself at talks by supposed ‘scholars’ who told their audience that the Pope was not superior in Authority but in Love. If anyone can work out what this means do let me know. But apparently just denying the authority part made people feel better. For me it was a reminder that Jesus chose fishermen to lead his Church and not the learned and wise, just people who were as little children. But why was this happening. I will not go into the question of what had happened in the Vatican and the infiltration from Communists and Freemasons but how the powers there realised that by promoting Ecumenism they could destroy the Authority of Peter and the certainty of the Catholic Faith.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I was versed in the Church Teachings and was at a loss at that time as to the interpretations of Vatican II which were being introduced. Perhaps the worst attacks were the attacks on Devotion to Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. I could not work out why such errors had reached such a national scale until I learned of a college in London that Cardinal Heenan had set up to which all the Dioceses of England and Wales had been invited .Education Services, teachers, diocesan representatives and others. Cardinal Heenan was innocent of what happened since he believed that it was all in accordance with Vatican II. ~It took from 1967 until 1974 for him to realise what was going on despite many protests. He trusted the priest in charge and his trust was betrayed as in many other European Dioceses The Church Fell. But what did they replace the Catholic Faith with? The rush was towards Ecumenism. Now I am glad to say I have many Protestant friends and indeed in the 1950.s I was attended a service in a Presbyterian Church with some friends to show my open mindedness. And may I say that in the 1970’s in England I had more friends in one Protestant Church than I had in the Catholic one and indeed that may still be the case. I feel free talking to Protestants since I know just where they are in their Faith and they know where I am. `I cannot say that I find this relaxation among many of my Catholic friends who never were where I was and never questioned the changes. But there is a danger when Ecumenism is not approached in an honest way.
The whole aim of the New Church seemed to be to drive out Catholic practices, genuflecting, kneeling, adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and indeed once we had a vicar invited to the Church to tell us about the Bible which we had once been forbidden to read and knew nothing about. What was happening was a dumping down of the Catholic Faith in order that we could be One Big Christian Church. And let us forget that the Holy Spirit is suppoed to be the Sprit of Truth, He just comes to make us all happy together. What we are heading towards is a Christian church with the lowest common denominator of belief. We already have scrapped the Jesus of Scripture in favour of a cuddly Jesus. What will this Ecumenical Church achieve? Since the foundation is distorted it will achieve nothing. Still there is the honest ecumenism where Catholics can talk about their devotional practices, but this will always be frowned ujpon in Catholic circles. They believe Protestant respect their approach. The truth is they do not. Like me, they want Catholics to be honest.