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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

It is Time to End the So-Called “Irreversible” Ecumenical Damage

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Common Ecumenical Prayer (Lund, Sweden, 2016)  (Vatican Media) Common Ecumenical Prayer (Lund, Sweden, 2016) (Vatican Media)

Among many other disturbing statements in the Roche/Francis Responsa ad Dubia, we find a reference to the so-called “irreversible” nature of liturgical reform:

“When Pope Francis (Address to the participants in the 68th National Liturgical Week, Rome, 24 August 2017) reminds us that ‘after this magisterium, after this long journey, We can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible’ he wants to point us to the only direction in which we are joyfully called to turn our commitment as pastors.”


As many knowledgeable Catholics recognized, there is a stunning disconnect here: if the anti-Catholic infiltrators who tried to replace the Tridentine Mass thought nothing of abandoning St. Pius V’s Quo Primum, why should we believe that their haphazard liturgical reforms — so full of scandal and disastrous fruits — are “irreversible”? And how is it that the reformers who have blasphemously blamed the Holy Ghost for all of their progressive innovations now declare that the Holy Ghost can never guide the Church back to tradition?

We can begin our exploration of the so-called “irreversible” nature of the liturgical reform (and the accompanying ecumenical movement which provides a primary justification for it) with a quote from The American Catholic Revolution: How the 60’s Changed the Church Forever, by Fr. Mark Massa, SJ:

“On the morning of November 12, 1962, the great French theologian Yves Congar stood dumbstruck in the vast basilica of St. Peter’s on the Vatican Hill in Rome. More than two thousand bishops had just voted on a document that would permanently change the way the Catholic Church would celebrate its public worship. By the extraordinarily lopsided vote of 2,162 to 46, they had officially approved the new document on liturgy and worship, Sacrosanctum Concilium, which would be published in the United States as ‘The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.’ Congar, a canny reader of church politics as well as a world-class theologian, recognized revolution when he saw it. ‘Something irreversible has happened and been affirmed in the Church,’ he uttered in astonishment to those around him.”

As we now know, most of the Council Fathers who approved Sacrosanctum Concilium had no idea that it would lead to the revolutionary Novus Ordo Missae that Paul VI introduced years later. But Congar surely understood that the Freemason in charge of the reform process, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, planned to create a Mass designed satisfy non-Catholics rather than honor God. He would have also known that many people would eventually see the terrible fruits of the reforms and wish to reverse them, hence his use of the word “irreversible” — he and those who followed him were letting us know that they were taking the Church in a new direction and would never veer from that course while they remained in power.

There is something off-putting when people use the word “irreversible” favorably to describe changes they are spearheading.

Before considering a chronological list of quotations showing how John Paul II, Cardinal Kasper, Benedict XVI, and Francis use the word “irreversible” to bolster their reforms, it is worth pausing to consider the word’s typical connotation. We often hear the word “irreversible” in terms of something we must avoid; indeed John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis each used the word in other contexts to promote initiatives to avoid “irreversible” damage to the environment from “climate change” (formerly “global warming”). The word generally suggests that many people will wish to change the trajectory of a particular process — when faced with its bad consequences — and will be unable to do so. So there is something off-putting when people use the word “irreversible” favorably to describe changes they are spearheading.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that promoters of the “Build Back Better” project also speak in positive terms of the “irreversible” nature of their changes. To cite one example among many, we can see the following from the White House:

“President Biden set ambitious goals that will ensure America and the world can meet the urgent demands of the climate crisis, while empowering American workers and businesses to lead a clean energy revolution that achieves a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and puts the United States on an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050.”

Biden, his handlers, and the entire assembly of Great Reset lunatics routinely tell us that they will change everything for the worse and that there is nothing we can do about it.

Biden, his handlers, and the entire assembly of Great Reset lunatics routinely tell us that they will change everything for the worse and that there is nothing we can do about it — this is also the essence of the bizarre way in which the Vatican II reformers assure us that their anti-Catholic reforms are “irreversible.” With that in mind, we can turn to the chronological list of some of the most prominent uses of the word to promote the Vatican II reforms, beginning with John Paul II:

“Please say to those whom you represent, and to everyone, that the commitment of the Catholic Church to the ecumenical movement, such as it was solemnly expressed in the Second Vatican Council, is irreversible.” (22 October 1978, John Paul II, Address to Delegations of Other Christian Churches)

Here in New Zealand you have experienced the strength of the commitment which the Catholic Church brings to the ecumenical movement, a commitment which I assure you is irreversible. . . . It is a journey in which the Churches and Ecclesial Communities taking part must have a genuine respect for one another and for their gifts and traditions, helping each other towards that unity in faith which alone can enable us to be one Church and to share in one Eucharist.” (24 November 1986, John Paul II, Apostolic Pilgrimage)

For the Catholic Church, ecumenism is henceforth an urgent and irreversible task, a witness to fraternal love lived with patience, ‘a duty of the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love’ (Ut unum sint, 8).” (7 December 1996, John Paul II, Address to the Bishops of Romania)

You, dear Brothers, Pastors of a Catholic community which is a minority among other Christians, are called to promote with special zeal the path of ecumenism which now irreversibly marks the disciples of Christ in the spirit of his priestly prayer: ‘that they may all be one’” (18 September 1999, John Paul II, Address to the Bishops of Latvia)

The movement of encounter and clarification, which has been carried out with all the baptized brethren, is irreversible. It is the power of the Spirit who calls all believers to obedience, so that unity may be an effective source of evangelization.” (27 February 2000, John Paul II, Address to Conference Studying Implementation of the Second Vatican Council)

“Today's meeting reinforces our dedication to pray and to work to achieve the full and visible unity of all the disciples of Christ. Our aim and our ardent desire is full communion, which is not absorption but communion in truth and love. It is an irreversible journey for which there is no alternative:  it is the path of the Church.” (12 October 2002, John Paul II, Common Declaration of John Paul II and His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist)

We can briefly interrupt the cataloging of John Paul II’s invocations of the so-called “irreversible” nature of the reforms to see how the infamous Cardinal Kasper echoed the same idea:

“Separated Churches and Christians no longer meet as enemies or competitors; Christian brotherhood among us was rediscovered. This is an irreversible process, and in a world that becomes more and more one world there is no realistic alternative to ecumenism.” (17 May 2003, William Cardinal Kasper, Keynote Speech of the Society of Ecumenical Studies)

Back to John Paul II:

“We are full of hope that the Lord will bring to completion the work of re-establishing the unity that he inspired. For her part, the Church of Rome will adhere to the irreversible choice of the Second Vatican Council which embraced this cause, this duty.” (26 November 2003, John Paul II, Message to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I)

Benedict XVI continued John Paul II’s insistence on the “irreversible” nature of the ecumenical movement:

Let us go forward with hope. In the footsteps of my Predecessors, especially Paul VI and John Paul II, I feel strongly the need to reassert the irreversible commitment taken by the Second Vatican Council and pursued in recent years, also thanks to the activity of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The path to the full communion desired by Jesus for his disciples entails, with true docility to what the Spirit says to the Churches, courage, gentleness, firmness and hope, in order to reach our goal.” (25 April 2005, Benedict XVI, Address to Delegates of Other Churches and Ecclesial Communities of Other Religious Traditions)

The commitment of the Catholic Church to the search for Christian unity is irreversible.” (2 Pt 1:2).” (16 June 2005, Benedict XVI, Address to Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia and the Members of the Delegation from the World Council of Churches)

Interreligious dialogue, as I pointed out with determination at the beginning of my Pontificate, is an irreversible venture for the Catholic Church, which ‘wants to continue building bridges of friendship with the followers of all religions in order to seek the true good of every person and of society as a whole’” (1 December 2005, Benedict XVI, Address to Ambassador of Finland)

I reaffirm the irreversibility of the ecumenical option and the inevitability of the interreligious encounter. I praise the most correct application of synodal collegiality and the regular ascertainment of ecclesial growth inspired by the new-found religious freedom.” (9 June 2007, Benedict XVI, Visit to Organization for the Oriental Churches)

As regards the irreversibility of the ecumenical choice and the unbreakability of the interreligious choice, which I have often repeated, I want to emphasize on this occasion how they draw nourishment from the movement of ecclesial charity.” (21 June 2007, Benedict XVI, Address to Assembly of Organizations for Aid to the Eastern Churches)

Together with the Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II and the representatives of the Armenian, Lutheran and Anglican communities, we fraternally renewed our reciprocal and irreversible ecumenical commitment.” (9 June 2010, Benedict XVI, General Audience)

Esteemed Brothers, dialogue among Christians is an imperative in our day and an irreversible option of the Church. In the meantime, as the Second Vatican Council recalled, prayer, conversion and the sanctification of life must be at the heart of every effort to promote unity (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 8).” (10 September 2010, Benedict XVI, Address to the Bishops of the Brazilian Episcopal Congress)

This dreadful list is sufficient to illustrate the pattern, which has a curious resemblance to the way in which the Build Back Better and Great Reset architects impose their tyrannical policies.

A few years later, Francis began his own insistence on the “irreversible” nature of the reforms, but broadened his references to include a “re-reading” of the Gospel, in addition to the ecumenical movement and liturgical reform. Even if his predecessors were less explicit, they all knew that these “irreversible” changes are inextricably linked together.

“‘Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture,’ says the pope. ‘Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible. Then there are particular issues, like the liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo. I think the decision of Pope Benedict [his decision of July 7, 2007, to allow a wider use of the Tridentine Mass] was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” (19 August 2013 Interview of Francis by Fr Antonio Spadaro)

This anniversary coincides with that of 50 years from the closing of the Second Vatican Council, which was an updating, a re-reading of the Gospel from the perspective of contemporary culture. It produced an irreversible movement of renewal which comes from the Gospel. And now, we must go forward.” (3 March 2015, Francis, Letter to the Grand Chancellor of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina)

“There are also areas to which the Catholic Church, especially after the Second Vatican Council, is particularly committed. Among these is Christian unity, which is ‘an essential requirement of our faith, a requirement that flows from the depth of our being believers in Jesus Christ.' It involves a ‘journey,’ yet, as was also stated by my predecessors, it is an irreversible journey and not a going back.” (21 December 2017, Francis, Christmas Greetings to the Roman Curia)

“A shared commitment to ecumenism is an essential requirement of the faith we profess; it stems from our very identity as Christ’s followers. As disciples, following the same Lord, we have increasingly come to realize that ecumenism is a journey and, as the various Popes have repeatedly stated since the Second Vatican Council, a journey that is irreversible. This is not an optional way. Our unity grows as we make this journey.” (19 January 2019, Francis, Address to Members of the Ecumenical Delegation from Finland)

Dear friends, may this commemoration of the person and work of Cardinal Bea be a stimulus to strengthening our irreversible commitment to the quest for unity between Christians, and to promoting in concrete ways renewed friendship with our Jewish brothers and sisters. With these prayerful good wishes, I invoke upon you and your work the abundant blessings of the Most High.”  (28 February 2019, Francis, Address to Participants at the Meeting Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Death of Cardinal Agostino Bea)

“In its first article, the Augsburg Confession professes faith in the Triune God, expressly referring to the Council of Nicaea. The Nicene Creed is a binding expression of faith, not only for Catholics and Lutherans, but also for our Orthodox brothers and sisters and for many other Christian communities. It is a treasure we hold in common. Let us make every effort to ensure that the 1700th anniversary of that great Council, to be celebrated in 2025, will give new impulse to the ecumenical journey, which is God’s gift and for us an irreversible commitment.” (25 June 2021, Francis, Address to Delegation of the Lutheran World Federation)

But is the ecumenical movement really irreversible? If so, why would they have to keep trying to convince us it is irreversible?

This dreadful list is sufficient to illustrate the pattern, which has a curious resemblance to the way in which the Build Back Better and Great Reset architects impose their tyrannical policies: despite every indication that the reforms are motivated by bad will, promoted by deceit, and producing horrid fruits… full steam ahead!

But is the ecumenical movement really irreversible? If so, why would they have to keep trying to convince us it is irreversible? Perhaps they are trying to convince themselves, but undoubtedly they also seek to discourage those of us who know better. Congar, John Paul II, Kasper, Benedict XVI, and Francis all knew that their anti-Catholic reforms would hit a dead end if enough Catholics stood up and insisted on Catholic Truth.

All Catholics must defend the Faith, but priests and bishops must lead the way in standing up against the errors that afflict the Church — otherwise the silence of the shepherds is more persuasive than the cries of the flock. Those priests and bishops who still have the Faith know that these so-called “irreversible” commitments to reform are nonsense, flatly contradicted by actual Catholic teaching. They should also know that Pius XI’s 1928 encyclical on religious unity, Mortalium Animos, sets forth the immutable Catholic teaching opposed to the ecumenical novelties of the reformers. Pastors could do far worse than to read the entire encyclical from the pulpit, but we can grasp its unmistakable defense of the Faith from a few excerpts:

“Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be ‘one.' . . . 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.”

“We were created by God, the Creator of the universe, in order that we might know Him and serve Him; our Author therefore has a perfect right to our service. God might, indeed, have prescribed for man's government only the natural law, which, in His creation, He imprinted on his soul, and have regulated the progress of that same law by His ordinary providence; but He preferred rather to impose precepts, which we were to obey, and in the course of time, namely from the beginnings of the human race until the coming and preaching of Jesus Christ, He Himself taught man the duties which a rational creature owes to its Creator.”

“These pan-Christians who turn their minds to uniting the churches seem, indeed, to pursue the noblest of ideas in promoting charity among all Christians: nevertheless how does it happen that this charity tends to injure faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems to reveal in his Gospel the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and who never ceased to impress on the memories of his followers the new commandment ‘Love one another,’ altogether forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt version of Christ's teaching: ‘If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him: God speed you.’ For which reason, since charity is based on a complete and sincere faith, the disciples of Christ must be united principally by the bond of one faith. Who then can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinions and private judgment, even in matters which concern the object of faith, even though they be repugnant to the opinions of the rest?”

“So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it. To the one true Church of Christ, we say, which is visible to all, and which is to remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it.”

“You, Venerable Brethren, understand how much this question is in Our mind, and We desire that Our children should also know, not only those who belong to the Catholic community, but also those who are separated from Us: if these latter humbly beg light from heaven, there is no doubt but that they will recognize the one true Church of Jesus Christ and will, at last, enter it, being united with us in perfect charity.”

The “irreversible” reforms are true abominations that lead to hiding or distorting the Catholic Faith, embracing LGBTQ morality, enabling sacrilegious Communions, supporting the Great Reset, and — in the name of an ecumenism that embraces every other religious belief and practice — banishing the Tridentine Mass and Traditional Catholics.

So Mortalium Animos explicitly and unambiguously opposes the “irreversible” ecumenical movement promoted by Congar, John Paul II, Kasper, Benedict XVI, and Francis. One must therefore choose: either you take the immutable Catholic Faith expressed by Pope Pius XI, or you take the so-called “irreversible” anti-Catholic innovations led by the reformers.

Today, God is allowing us to see more clearly than ever that the “irreversible” reforms are true abominations that lead to hiding or distorting the Catholic Faith, embracing LGBTQ morality, enabling sacrilegious Communions, supporting the Great Reset, and — in the name of an ecumenism that embraces every other religious belief and practice — banishing the Tridentine Mass and Traditional Catholics. If we are too timid or embarrassed to stand up for the Church in the face of such anti-Catholic absurdities we deserve to see it completely eclipsed by its vile enemies.

But all is not lost. If enough priests and bishops faithfully teach the truths of Mortalium Animos, explaining that the greatest charity we can show to non-Catholics is to bring them the true Catholic Faith, we could reverse the ecumenical damage caused by Francis and his predecessors. This requires Faith and fortitude, but God will provide the grace to those who sincerely seek it.

And, as Pope Pius XI wrote to end his encyclical, the Blessed Virgin Mary will be our help in this and all else:

“In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be ‘careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

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Last modified on Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.