Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Adventures in Ecumenism

March 20th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

A couple of interesting ecumenical and interfaith activities taking place in the clusters of Lourdes/St. Anne and St. Thomas More/Queen of Peace were brought to our attention this morning. Let’s take a look at these events.

The first has already come and gone, but deserves our attention nonetheless. Our Lady of Lourdes, under the leadership of Sr. Joan Sobala SSJ, held yet another ecumenical service at St. Thomas Episcopal church in Brighton. This time, the event was an “ecumenical” Ash Wednesday service. Below is a scan of the advertisement:

Why are we holding an Ash Wednesday liturgy in a Protestant church? Seeing as how it is required for a priest to bless the ashes for them to be considered a sacramental; if a priest did not bless the ashes for Catholics in attendance, then the people would not have received a sacramental. A reader asked about the reception of ashes: “Did the Catholics go to the left side of the Church and the Episcopalians to the right? “

Second, the churches in these clusters are in the middle of a Lenten retreat which focuses on learning how other faiths pray to their respective god(s). Here is an ad:

Click above to enlarge

For the most part, I would say that learning about how these other beliefs pray does little to help us with our own prayer life as Catholic Christians. The only exception would be Judaism, since our Church has its roots in this faith. There could be some benefit to learning about Hindu and Muslim prayer if this is done in a way so as to contrast this prayer with our Catholic prayer and to emphasize how the prayer of these religions is incompatible with our own. This could be especially useful toward combating the New Age infatuation that is present among a number of Diocese of Rochester pastoral ministers and priests. However, I highly doubt that these sessions were conducted in such a way, especially since these sessions are being taught by leaders of the various religions.

It is unnecessary for us to turn to other religions in order to learn how to pray since our Lord has already taught us:

“This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts,as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6: 9-13)

By the way… I wonder if people from these religions will come to our churches and learn how we Catholics pray to our God?

It seems that the DoR ecumenical/interfaith efforts is more about indoctrinating Catholics into respecting other faiths than to bring the Gospel message of Christ to others. I hope that upon receiving our new bishop in 2012 we can refocus our ecumenical efforts. Our work with other faiths should be to bring back the lost sheep to Christ’s Church, not to tempt our own to leave the Church for false or incomplete religions. The former is the work of Christ while the latter is the work of Satan.

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