The Archbishop’s Communique on “Ecumenism”

We continue with the infallible doctrine of our Church on church unity as opposed to the notions of post-conciliar modernists.

Archbishop Forte says, “ Moreover, Christian unity is inseparable from truth, hence unity-truth-charity are the three poles of a sole path that holds them together.”

“[U]nity-truth-charity are the three poles” of the one and only path which holds them(?) together.   To what does “them” refer?   The “poles”?

So pole #1, pole #2, and pole #3 are the three poles of a path that holds poles number 1, 2, and 3 together?   Try an even more humorous picture:   Imagine three safety pins.  These safety pins are the three pins of a sole piece of cloth that holds the three safety pins together.

Statements like that coming from church officials kind of leave one scratching his head. What he proposes has no doctrinal value whatsoever and may be regarded as mere – but erroneous – private opinion.

As to the first part of the sentence, “…Christian unity is inseparable from the truth”, well, yes, but as we know, those outside the Church cannot agree even amongst themselves what truth is.  According to the Protestant reformers, truth is more or less self-defined by “liberty of conscience”.

Let us turn to the old catechism (The Manuel of the Catholic Church, 1906) for clarity of teaching regarding unity in the Church.  This is infallible doctrine. Note the stress on tradition:

Q.  Has Jesus Christ left us a rule by which we may know the truths He has revealed?

A.  He has; and it is only by following this rule that we are preserved in that one true faith, of which the scripture says, there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” Eph.iv 5.; and “without which faith it is impossible to please God,”  Heb.xi 6.  Hence St. Paul, exhorting all to be of the same mind, that is, to believe the same truth, and to have the same faith, commands us to continue in this rule, as the means to be so; “Nevertheless,” says he, “whereunto we are already arrived, that we be of the same mind, let us also continue in the same rule,” Philil. iii.16.

Jesus teaching the apostles

Q. What is the rule of our faith left us by Jesus Christ?

A. Jesus Christ taught all revealed truths to his Apostles by word of mouth, so it was perfectly easy for them to teach their disciples…Thus, from generation to generation, the pastors of the Church, being thoroughly instructed in all revealed truths themselves by those before them, can communicate the whole, without exception, to their people.

…when the pastors of the Church declare any article of religion, they never give it as their own private opinion, or as what they believe on their own private judgment, but they all protest and declare, that what they teach their people is precisely the same, without addition or diminution, which they received by [Apostolic] tradition from their forefathers.   Their predecessors, from whom they learned these truths, declared the same; and pledged their salvation for the truth of their declaration;  every preceding generation did the same, till we arrive at the apostles themselves; assuring us, in all ages, that they hold it as a damnable sin to add or diminish one single iota from the faith once delivered to the saints.

It is manifest, that a body of people, faithfully observing this rule of [Apostolic, not “living”] tradition, can never vary, alter, or change, any article of their religion; and, therefore, that the faith they hold at present is the self-same that was held in all preceding ages, and first taught by Christ and his apostles. 

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