RELIGIONS, SECTS AND NEW AGE
How far can we go with ecumenism?
With the ecumenical movement, the current Church renewal, the fashionable open-mindedness, the birth of new religions and sects, people are led to say that all religions are good, when joined in good faith. We were asked to hand out the Gideon Bible in all our Catholic schools. But we refused to do it. During the week for Christian Unity, the students will be invited to attend ecumenical services. We were prompted to distribute leaflets prepared by the Canadian Bible Society of Montreal. These leaflets seem quite sound and safe.
But I am afraid we will cause more harm than good by giving them out. Am I too narrow-minded or too cautious when refusing to hand out literature with no "imprimatur" or that is not strictly Catholic?
There are many points to be considered in your question.
First, "To promote Christian unity is one of the main goals of the holy Ecumenical Council, Vatican II. Christ instituted only one single Church". Yet, Christians are divided. "It is evident that such disunity is contrary to Christ's will" (Ecumenism, 1). The movement toward Christian unity is called the Ecumenical Movement. The Second Vatican Council has decreed guidelines for this movement.
No part of Christ's doctrine is to be compromised. That is what those do through ignorance who generalize that "all religions are good when joined in good faith". There is some truth in the assertion, but we must add that Christ has founded only one Church.
These are the premises! The actual situations must be viewed in the light of these principles.
It is not prohibited to use the Gideon Bible freely given here and there. But it is better to read a good Catholic Bible, complete with footnotes and necessary explanations.
Keep feeding on Catholic literature. However, you may use the leaflets of the Canadian Bible Society you mentioned even though they bear no imprimatur. The imprimatur is not always necessary. I call to your attention the publications of the Catholic Bible Society.
Ecumenical services organized for the Week of Christian Unity would be beneficial to well-informed students who appreciate authentic ecumenism. I congratulate you for your deep sense of membership with regard to the Catholic Church. Too many take this lightly or even resent it.
Without falling into religious indifference, give thanks to the Lord for the Spirit who moves us toward ecumenism.
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