Benedict XVI’s 1993 program for a one-world ecumenical church.
It would have gone unnoticed by all but the insiders, if the review 30 Days and the newspaper Il Sabato had not given it some publicity. It is fortunate that they did. What I intend to discuss is the meeting which the “Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, Joseph Ratzinger, held in Rome on January 29, 1993, at the evangelical cultural center of the local Waldensian community. The complete text of the meeting between Ratzinger and Professor Paolo Ricca, a Waldensian, can be found in the review 30 Days, No. 2, 1993, pp. 66–73. The title chosen by the editors for the article is significant — “Ratzinger, the Ecumenical Prefect”. One should also read the interview of the Lutheran theologian Oscar Cullmann by Il Sabato No. 8, February 20, 1993, pp. 61—63, which was given the title, likewise a significant one, “The Son of Luther and His Eminence”.
For the readers of Sodalitium I will present a summary of “Cardinal” Ratzinger’s ideas about the Church and ecumenism. It was this same Ratzinger who honored Bishop Guérard des Lauriers by “excommunicating” him. Anyone who wishes may verify the sources in the publications mentioned above, and see for himself whether or not it is the Catholic faith which Ratzinger now professes.
Cullmann speaks through Ratzinger
When Pope St. Leo the Great intervened at the Council of Calcedon by means of his legates, the Council fathers said: “Peter speaks by the mouth of Leo”. Having read the text of Ratzinger’s meeting with the Waldensians and Cullmann’s interview, one can say that Cullmann is speaking through Ratzinger. The words are Ratzinger’s, but the ideas are Cullmann’s. No wonder then that the Waldensians agree with him 99 percent, if not 100 percent (Ricca, 30 Days, p. 69).
But Who is Cullmann?
Cullmann was born in Strasbourg in 1902, in the homeland of the Protestant reformer Bucer, whom Cullmann readily makes reference to. (Il Sabato, p. 61). His sees in his birth in the province of Alsace an act of divine providence, since that region is half Protestant, half Catholic. He studied theology “under the guidance of Loisy at Paris” (Ardusso, Ferretti, Pastore, Perone. La Teologia Contemporanea, Marietti 1980, p. 108). The excommunicated modernist Scripture scholar could not have been a good teacher. Bultmann, the great “de—mythologizer” of the Gospels (Il Sabato, p. 63), was assuredly worse. It was to Bultmann that he presented his doctoral thesis on “Formgeschichte”, a method of exegesis invented by Bultmann. “Bultmann said that it was the best presentation of his Formgeschichte” (p. 63). Cullmann later broke “sharply” away from Bultmann, because the latter interpolated the Scriptures by means of existentialist philosophy, whereas Cullmann did not accept any interpolation. Yet Cullmann did not at all abandon the Protestant interpretation of Holy Scripture, or the “Literary Forms Method” (Formgeschichte) of Bultmann, according to which the task of the exegete is to discover the essential nucleus of the Bible: Cullmann sees it as the history of salvation” (Ardusso, op. cit., p. 110).
He taught as a professor of the independent faculty of Protestant theology at the Sorbonne in Paris (1948—72), among other places, and was later a member of the Waldensian theological faculty at Rome. He took part in the Second Vatican Council as an observer, and Paul VI called him “one of my best friends” (Il Sabato, p. 62). “During Vatican II, Cullmann, who was a personal guest of the Secretariat for the Unity of Christians, aided in determining the scriptural, christocentric and historical orientation of conciliar theology...more recently, Cullmann has proposed a model for a ‘Community of Churches’ in his work Unity Through Diversity (Brescia, 1988). Ratzinger praised this model during his meeting with the Waldensians of Rome on January 29” (p. 62).
He knew Ratzinger during the Council, and considered him “the best of the so–called periti, the experts...with the reputation for being an avant-garde progressive” (ibid. p. 63). From that time on they corresponded with each other, at first with regard to exegetical problems; later, states Cullmann: “We corresponded more frequently, and increasingly turned our attention to a discussion of my proposed model of ‘unity by means of diversity’, and as we mentioned earlier, the Cardinal has praised this model both in private and in public” (p. 63). Cullmann looks back with particular pleasure to a letter which he received from Ratzinger stating “I have always learned” from your works, “even when I was not in agreement with you”. This Cullmann sees this as a sign of their “unity in diversity” (ibid. p. 63). “Cullmann’s mission...is to number himself among those who have contributed the most to the dialogue between Catholics and Protestants” (Ardusso, op. cit., p. 112), though he himself remains firmly attached to heresy, explicitly denying the infallibility of the Catholic Church, and the primacy of jurisdiction of Peter and his successors (cf. Ardusso, op. cit., p. 112; Il Sabato, p. 62). Thus he is a bridge between Catholics and Protestants...in order to make the Catholics become protestants, and at the same time having them believe that they are still Catholic: “united” yes, but ...“in diversity”.
Ratzinger’s Speech to the Waldensians
Having taught at Rome in the Waldensian theological institute, Cullmann of course knew the Waldensians in Rome. Perhaps he was the one who suggested to his “disciple” Ratzinger that they would make a good audience for his speech explaining and disseminating their common ideas.
The topic of Ratzinger’s meeting with Professor Ricca on January 29 was twofold. It primarily concerned ecumenism in general and its solution to the question of the papacy, which is needed in order to revive the ecumenical movement, now in a crisis. It also discussed how we can bear common witness to the faith.
I will sum up Ratzinger’s thoughts, then discuss them individually in greater detail:
1) Ecumenism is necessary, fundamental, and indisputable
2) The papacy is the hindrance to ecumenical progress
3) The ultimate aim of the ecumenical movement is “The unity of the churches within the Church”.
4) This ultimate aim will be achieved in ways as yet to us unknown.
5) The more immediate goal of ecumenism is an intermediate step, that is, the model proposed by Cullmann of “unity in diversity”.
6) This intermediate step will be reached through a continual “return to the essentials.”
7) This “return to the essentials” will be aided by a reciprocal purification on the part of the churches.
“Ecumenism is irreversible”, as Karol Wojtyla loves to repeat. Joseph Ratzinger goes even further: “God is the primary agent of the ecumenical movement” and “ecumenism is more than anything else a fundamental attitude, a way of living the Christian faith. It is not just one particular aspect of the faith among many others. The desire for unity and the commitment to it both belong to the structure of the same act of faith because Christ came to unite the children of God who were dispersed” (30 Days, p. 68). Ecumenism (or reunification of christians as Pius XI called it) is not perceived as a “return of the dissidents to the one true Church of Christ, from which they had the misfortune to separate themselves at some point in the past” (Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Mortalium Animos, Jan. 6, 1928), or merely one method or undertaking among others of the Church’s activity. It is an essential element of Christian life and part of the act of faith itself. According to Ratzinger, one cannot have the Faith without being ecumenical; yet according to Pope Pius XI, one cannot have the Faith and be an ecumenist: “To favor this opinion [ecumenism], therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God” (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos).
Ricca, the Waldensian, clearly addresses the problem (nor does Ratzinger contradict him): “The crisis of the ecumenical movement is essentially due to the fact that the churches have not changed sufficiently for ecumenical purposes....For ecumenism certainly requires, along with the patience of which Cardinal Ratzinger spoke, some very profound changes. Once a certain point is reached, either the church will change, or progress of the ecumenical movement enters into a state of crisis....Of course, this holds true for all the churches” (30 Days, p. 71). Hence he is saying that either the Church will perish, and ecumenism will live, or the Church will live, and ecumenism will perish – for if the Church changed substantially, it would perish. Now ecumenism is irreversible; therefore the “Church” as it is now, and especially the way it was before the Council, must perish. Thus we come to the question of the papacy, which must likewise change with the Church, or perish.
Paul VI said it, as the heretic Ricca is pleased to recall. “As everyone knows, the papacy is the crucial point of the ecumenical question, because on the one hand it is the foundation of Catholic unity, while on the other hand, if I may express myself somewhat harshly, it prevents the unity of all christians [i.e., it prevents ecumenism — F.R.]. I must say that Paul VI had the courage to clearly acknowledge this in an address in 1967, in which he said, precisely, (and I believe that he was the only pope to say this) that the papacy is the greatest obstacle to ecumenism. It was a very noble address [says a heretic! — F.R.], not only because of this admission on his part, but in its entirety. The question of the papacy has brought the ecumenical movement to a complete halt” (30 Days, p. 70). Therefore, if a dogma of the Faith which happens to be the “foundation of Catholic unity” is an obstacle, indeed the obstacle to ecumenism, then Paul VI, Ratzinger and all of us ought to conclude that the ecumenical movement must perish. For it is impossible that a truth revealed by Christ for the purpose of being the foundation of the unity desired by Him could at the same time be an obstacle to unity. In fact the papacy is not an obstacle, but the sole means of becoming united to the one, true Church: “Furthermore, in this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors” (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, ). Ironically, the only one to point out that what they are discussing is in fact a dogma was the Protestant, Ricca.
Ratzinger knows this, and cannot therefore speak quite as freely as his “colleague”, as he calls Ricca. So he evades the issue at first. “I think that the papacy is without doubt the most tangible symptom of the problems we face, but it can only be properly understood when seen in a broader context. Thus I do not think that addressing this issue directly, [as was done in the preliminary notes — F.R.] will leave us with a way out” (30 Days, p. 66). In other words, if he brought up the First Vatican Council and what was defined there, this ecumenical utopia would collapse, the equivocators would distance themselves from him, as would Cullmann, and true Catholics would get wise to the whole scheme. So he beats around the bush and refers back to Cullmann’s plan for “unity in diversity”. We will discuss this further on.
Yet sooner or later Ratzinger must come back to the question of the papacy. And what does he suggest? Certainly not the primacy of jurisdiction which the Faith attributes to the pope. “According to our faith,” Ratzinger explains, “the ministry of unity has been entrusted to Peter and his successors” (30 Days, p. 68). But what does this “ministry of unity” consist of? Ratzinger does not say. For the Church it consists in the primacy of jurisdiction of the pope over all the faithful.
For Cullmann, it would consist at most — how generous of him — of a primacy of honor; this proposition is, oh by the way, heretical (DS 2593): “I believe that the petrine service is a charism of the Catholic Church, and that it is something from which we Protestants should also learn” — Cullmann says to Il Sabato — but then he continues: “The pope is the bishop of Rome and as such one could concede to him a leadership role in this scheme for a ‘community of churches’ which I have proposed. Personally I would see his role as being a guarantee of unity. He could accept this if he did not have jurisdiction over all of Christianity but a primacy of honor instead” (30 Days, p. 62).
According to Ricca, there are three possibilities: “Either the pope remains and will remain...more or less what he is today..., in which case we must conclude that the unity will be a final gift given to us by Christ when He returns [translation: “Us, submit to the pope? Not on your life!” — F.R.], or the papacy will be altered into a type of ecumenical version of it...Hitherto the papacy has served as the center of Catholic unity; henceforth it shall be the center of unity for all christians... [in this system, the pope would be the president of a new ecumenical church — F.R.]. The third possibility, however, is that the pope will remain what he is today, yet will not claim to be the center and fulcrum point of christian unity, but only of Catholic unity...The churches could mutually recognize one another as the churches of Jesus Christ, really united to one another and really different from one another, and periodically they could all meet in a truly ecumenical council...” [in this system the pope would be at the head of one christian church among the other churches united in an ecumenical council — F.R.] (30 Days, p. 70–71).
What does Ratzinger think is the role of the pope? As I have shown, he remains silent, or rather fails to defend the teaching of the Church (which is Ricca’s first possibility), indicating instead that the third possibility is to be a stepping stone, with the second thesis as the final goal. For the time being, Ratzinger explains how “the orthodox [heretical and schismatical — F.R.] churches should not change much in their internal structure, almost nothing in fact, if they unite themselves with Rome,” (30 Days, p. 68) “and as far as their substance is concerned, that holds true not only for the orthodox churches, but also for those born of the Reformation (30 Days, p. 69). He even went so far as to study, along with some Lutheran friends, various possible models of a “Catholic Church of the Augsburg Confession” (which follows the Protestant heresies of the Augsburg Confession, a sort of Protestant “creed” presented to Charles V by the heresiarch Melanchthon) (30 Days, p. 68).
Doesn’t all of this sound remarkably similar to the heretical proposals made by Cullmann and Ricca, and in particular to Ricca’s second model? We would have a Church presided over by a “pope” with an “orthodox” wing which would remain “orthodox”, and a Protestant wing which would remain Protestant. On the other hand, according to Ratzinger, the “orthodox” (and, mutatis mutandis, the Protestants) “have a different way of assuring the unity and stability in a common faith, different from ours in the Catholic Church of the West” (30 Days, p. 68). What Ratzinger is referring to, in the case of the “Orthodox,” is their liturgy and monasticism.
Now, who does not realize that the liturgy and monasticism among the “Orthodox”, like the Bible among the Protestants, are not sufficient to guarantee unity and the Faith? In fact, despite the liturgy, monasticism, and the Bible, they are schismatics (without unity) and heretics (without the faith)! To wish to reduce the dogmas of the Faith and the action taken to preserve them, namely the condemnations of error by the Holy Office, of which the Pope is the prefect, to characteristics peculiar not to the universal Catholic Church, but to its western (and Roman) branch, is a very serious error! And the quotes from the “orthodox” theologian Meyendorff (who criticizes universalism in its Roman form, but who also criticizes, as he says, “the regionalism as it developed in the history of the Orthodox churches”. (Ratzinger in 30 Days, p. 68) hardly serve as an assurance of the “ecumenical prelate’s” catholicity. Basically, Meyendorff is proposing the same aberration as Ricca: the churches, all of them, including the Catholic Church, must undergo a profound change to ensure the progress of ecumenism.
In short, Pius XI hit the nail on the head when he wrote:” There are indeed some who recognize and affirm that Protestantism has with inconsiderate zeal rejected certain articles of faith and external ceremonies which are in fact useful and attractive, and which the Roman Church still retains. But they immediately go on to say that the Roman Church, too, has erred, and corrupted the primitive religion by adding to it and proposing for belief doctrines not only alien to the Gospel but contrary to its spirit. Chief among these they count that of the primacy of jurisdiction granted to Peter and to his successors in the See of Rome. There are actually some, though few, who grant to the Roman Pontiff a primacy of honor and ever a certain power or jurisdiction; this, however, they consider to arise not from the divine law but merely from the consent of the faithful. Others, again, even go so far as to desire the Pontiff himself to preside over their mixed assemblies. For the rest, while you may hear many non–Catholics loudly preaching brotherly communion in Jesus Christ, yet not one will you find to whom it even occurs with devout submission to obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ in his capacity of teacher or ruler” (Pius XI, Mortalium Animos). Reading this text, one would think the Pope were speaking of Cullmann. As is evident, the Protestants have not taken one step forward from 1928 to today, whereas we find ourselves confronted with the open–arms ecumenism of the Novus Ordo, and its “pope” racing from one “multicolored” religious meeting to another.
But let us return to Ratzinger. In order to avoid the problem of the papacy, he first speaks about ecumenism, whose ultimate aim is obviously the unity of the churches in the one Church (30 Days, p. 66). We are tending towards the unity of the Church of God” (p. 67). Yet Ratzinger’s logic is flawed from the start, since if there is only one true Church, then what good are the other churches? Is this “one true Church” the Catholic Church or isn’t it? Or is the Catholic Church one of the “churches” which must unite themselves more and more to form the “one true Church? In the first case (one true Church = the Catholic Church), the aim has already been achieved, the Church is already “one”, and ecumenism has no purpose but the abjuration on the part of heretics and schismatics of their errors, and there are only sects, conventicle “churches” which are not to unite themselves but disappear.
In the second case, (the one true Church = a more or less close union of “churches” which are more or less different from one another) Ratzinger is serving up the error condemned by Pius XI in Mortalium Animos: “And here it will be opportune to expound and to reject a certain false opinion which lies at the root of this question and of that complex movement by which non—Catholics seek to bring about the union of Christian Churches. Those who favor this view constantly quote the words of Christ, ‘That they may be one...And there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John XVII: 21; X: 16), in the sense that Christ thereby merely expressed a desire or a prayer which as yet has not been granted. For they hold that the unity of faith and government, which is a note of the one true Church of Christ, has up to the present time never really existed, and does not exist today. They consider that this unity is indeed to be desired and may even, by cooperation and good will, be actually attained, but that meanwhile it must be regarded as a mere ideal. The Church, they say, is of its nature divided into sections, composed of several churches or distinct communities which still remain separate, and although holding in common some articles of doctrine, nevertheless differ concerning the remainder; that all these enjoy the same rights.” Can the “ecumenical prelate” explain himself? Does he believe that the one true Church of Christ already exists, and that it is the Roman Catholic Church, or not?
Unfortunately, I fear that he has already explained what he meant. The ultimate goal, the union of the churches within the Church, lies in a future both distant and unknown. “Therefore the goal, the aim of every ecumenical effort is to attain the real unity of the Church [doesn’t this already exist? or is it only apparent? or unreal? — F.R.], which implies a multitude of forms which we cannot yet define” (30 Days, p. 66). Elsewhere he states: “For the time being I do not dare suggest any concrete, possible and imaginable realizations of this future church” (30 Days, p. 68).
As a Protestant, Ricca was of course very pleased to hear Ratzinger’s ideas, for they fit in very well with his own thinking. After recalling the eight centuries of strife between Catholics and Waldensians, he added, “well then, why are we all here together? We are here together because, if it is true that we well know who we are, and know well enough who we have been, we do not know, however, who we will be. It is this very reserve on the part of Ratzinger in not proposing models, that is, the very attitude of not knowing, which binds us together. The Waldensians and the followers of Vatican II are united — in not knowing what the future of the Church will be like! For, as Ricca explained, either the churches will change or the ecumenical movement will die out. That a Protestant admits of the idea of a yet unknown Church of the future — fine. But a Catholic? How can he possibly reconcile that with the indefectibility of the Church? What other model of the Church can he present to the protestants than the one desired by Christ and founded upon Peter? How can a “cardinal” not know what the Church ought to be like, when it was founded by Christ two thousand years ago? One could say that Ratzinger has the same notion of the Church that Teilhard has of God: the Church does not exist...yet, but it is evolving towards its omega point, the final goal of the ecumenical movement.
The Church of the future, therefore, will be one (in its pluriformity). Sometime in the future. What about in the meantime? We are in an “intermediate time” (30 Days, p. 66) of “unity in diversity”. “In my opinion,” explains Ratzinger, “this model could be described by the well—known term “reconciled diversity”, which is very similar to the my dear colleague Oscar Cullmann’s thoughts on the matter” (p. 67). We have already seen what sort of model of the Church Cullmann has proposed, and later on we will hear about Ratzinger’s. Suffice it to say that Ricca readily understood the gist of Ratzinger’s proposal: “I would like to state first of all,” states Ricca “that I am 99% in agreement, if not 100%, with what Cardinal Ratzinger has had to say. Indeed, I am glad and very satisfied to hear this, for it can serve as a starting point: as you all know, this concept of reconciled diversity is of Lutheran origin” (30 Days, p. 69). Thus Ratzinger wishes to lead us to an unknown church of pluriformity, modeled after a Lutheran concept of the Church.
But how is this “reconciled diversity” to be attained in practice? It is not a matter, admonishes Ratzinger, of “being content with the current situation”, to resigning ourselves to the differences between us.
What is needed in this dynamic process is perseverance in “walking together, in the humility which respects the others, even where we have not yet achieved a compatibility in church doctrine or practice; it consists in the willingness to learn from each other and to accept each other’s corrections, in joy and thanksgiving for each one’s spiritual treasures, in a permanent essentialization of one’s own faith, doctrine and practice, which must be continually purified and nourished by Scripture, while we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord...” (30 Days, pp. 67–68). How many contradictions in so few lines! How can we “walk together” if we think and act differently? How can the “seat of truth,” the Church of Christ, learn things which she does not yet know, and even be corrected, by heretics? How can the Church “respect” heresy and schism, which are sins? What distinguishes us from the protestant sects and the “Orthodox” is their very adherence to heresy and schism. Lastly, what does Ratzinger mean by “essentializing” (permanently!) the faith? This idea is at the center of his thought, and is not just his alone: “the search for the Wesen, the essence of Christianity, has been a typical search of German theology for more than a century. This search is exemplified in the works of L. Feurbach (1841), A. Harnack (1900), K. Adam (1924), R. Guardini (1939), M. Schmaus (1947), and in Karl Rahner’s recent proposal of a synthetic formulation of the Christian message. Similar to the attempts mentioned earlier, Ratzinger’s search for the essence of Christianity clearly bears the mark of its era, which has more and more come to be called “the post–christian age”. It is characterized not so much by the negation of this or that truth of the faith, but rather by the fact that the faith as a whole seems to have lost its spirit, its capacity to interpret the world, compared to other religions which seem to have been more successful in supplying its believers with an answer to the spiritual questions of our times” (Ardusso, op. cit., p. 457).
In reality, every attempt to “essentialize” the faith risks destroying it. Pius XI wrote, in opposition to the ecumenists: “It is never lawful to employ in connection with articles faith the distinction invented by some between ‘fundamental’ and ‘non—fundamental’ articles, the former to be accepted by all, the latter being left to the free acceptance of the faithful. The supernatural virtue of faith has as its formal motive the authority of God revealing, and this allows of no such distinction. All true followers of Christ, therefore will believe the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God with the same faith as they believe the mystery of the august Trinity, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff in the sense defined by the Ecumenical Vatican Council with the same faith as they believe the Incarnation of our Lord. That these truths have been solemnly sanctioned and defined by the Church at various times, some of them even quite recently, makes no difference as to their certainty, nor to our obligation of believing them. Has not God revealed them all?” (Mortalium Animos).
Ratzinger does not clearly explain what the essence of the faith is supposed to be, nor what “superstructure” is (in Ardusso, op. cit., p. 458, what is essential is to “present oneself as the church of the faith completely at the service of those liberating themselves from the superstructure which obscures the authenticity of its face”).
In his conclusive reply, however, Ratzinger specifies that his “thought coincides with Professor Ricca’s” (30 Days, p. 72) with regard to “the word essentialize”. We must truly return to the heart of the matter, to the essentials, or put differently, the problem of our times is the absence of God, and thus our greatest duty as christians [Catholics and non–catholics together — F.R.] is to bear witness to the living God.” (30 Days, p. 73). To be sure, as christians of all (or almost) denominations would probably agree about this one point, the existence of God, and “the reality of the final judgment and of eternal life” (p. 73). This “compelling factor” necessarily “unites”, because “all Christians are united in faith through which God has revealed Himself, incarnate in Jesus Christ” (30 Days, p. 73). (For the condemnation of this idea of bearing common witness to the faith, see Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos).
But how will this continual “essentialization” come about? For Ratzinger, this positive process originates with the other “churches”. The Catholic Church would thus be continually purified...by heretical sects...so for now, while we await the pluriformous unity of the future, it is good that we have some (reconciled) diversity.
Ratzinger continues: “Oportet et hæreses esse” says St. Paul. Perhaps not all of us are ready yet for unity, and we need a sort of thorn in our side, provided by the diversity of the other, to awaken us from a divided and splintered Christianity. Perhaps it is our duty to be a thorn in each other’s side. There is a duty to let oneself be purified and enriched by the other...Even at this moment in history where God has not given us perfect unity, we acknowledge one another, our brothers in Christ, the sister churches, we love each other’s community, we meet in a process of divine education in which the Lord uses the different communities for each other’s good, to make us capable and worthy of definitive unity” (30 Days, p. 68).
Thus, according to Ratzinger, God supposedly wills that “heresies” exist. (In fact, He only permits their existence, as he permits that of evil.) Hence, for Ratzinger, God wills at this time the divisions within Christianity, its different communities, for one perfects the other. Hence the Catholic Church would be “revived”, “purified”, “enriched”, and no longer “divided”, thanks to the heretical sects of which the Lord makes use. And conversely, the Catholic Church would interact in the same manner with the other churches, and have the same effect upon them. All are in the dialectical march towards the indefinite future unity of a Church yet unknown which will result from this process.
The primitive Church, according to Ratzinger, is a model for this future church, but nothing more. It was united “in the three fundamental elements: Sacred Scripture, the rule of faith, and the sacramental structure of the Church” (30 Days, p. 66), and, as far as the rest is concerned, it was most diverse. Was it not also united in submission to the magisterium and the papacy? Did it not have the same faith, something which is not the case with Protestants and “Orthodox”?
Ratzinger is asking us to adhere to an unknown church of the future modeled after a falsified picture of the ancient Church, so that in actuality, we will abandon the eternal and immutable Church of Christ.
If Ratzinger does not know towards what sort of future these “thorn—in—the—side” churches are heading while they “essentialize” one other, Pius XI will tell him. The Pope spoke in the encyclical Mortalium Animos, which Ratzinger dared to declare in conformity with Vatican II.
“The ecumenical or pan–christian movement leads to naturalism and atheism”, and prepares “a self-styled christian religion which differs like night and day from the unique Church of Christ.” “It is the avenue to the neglect of religion, to indifferentism, and to modernism.” “It is stupidity and foolishness” (Mortalium Animos). But let us not pin all of the blame on Ratzinger, for he is merely a faithful interpreter of Vatican II, as is Karol Wojtyla. This latter individual is the alien body who must be expelled from the Church, the spouse of Christ, and whom the forces of sanity in the Church will undoubtedly reject. As for us, we wish to belong to the Catholic Church and not to the heterodox phantom church of unity through diversity, cooked up by Oscar Cullmann and his heterodox disciple Joseph Ratzinger.