Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Such are the wages of ecumenism

It was surely a mistake to admit this man to the communion of the Catholic Church.

Melancholicus had hoped — O, the naivete of the boy! — that when Tony Blair became a Catholic, he would convert to the Truth, repent of his errors, and reform himself; that in the conduct of his public life he would do the Church proud; that he would be, as it were, a great “catch” for the holy Roman Church.

But it seems that in switching his adherence from the Church of England to that of Rome, Mr. Blair has merely followed his personal taste rather than religious convictions of any depth, because to all intents and purposes, he is just as secular in his outlook now as he was before he was received into the Church.

Accordingly, he has since been a great disappointment — even an embarrassment — as a Catholic, and Melancholicus finds himself hoping that (fingers crossed!) the established church will soon take him back again.

Now the fellow has gone and established a “faith foundation” in New York which — as far as Melancholicus can see from its homepage and its description in the media — is a veritable sty of Sillonism, an organisation which will not advance the Catholic religion one iota, nor attract to it a single convert, but will instead sow the seeds of secularism and godlessness under the guise of promoting some vague and generic “power of faith”.

Let us now hear Catholic World News on the subject:

Blair's new foundation will fight religious extremism

New York, Jun. 2, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair has launched a new foundation dedicated to fighting against religious extremism and harnessing the power of faith to fight against poverty and disease.

Speaking in New York at the formal opening of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the former British leader said there is "nothing more important" than ensuring mutual understanding in the world and fostering cooperation among different religious groups.

Blair said that in addition to enlisting religious support for global development projects, his new foundation would fight against extremism in religion -- not only in Islam, but in every religious tradition. "Though there is much focus, understandably, on extremism associated with the perversion of the proper faith of Islam, there are elements of extremism in every major faith," he said.

It seems that Mr. Blair’s attitude is that a little bit of religion is quite alright, even to be recommended, but let us not commit the cardinal error of taking religion seriously, since that results in ‘extremism’.

It is quite clear that Mr. Blair’s faith foundation is quite unapologetic in treating all religions as essentially the same — hence, he is quick to offer excuses for Islam (islamist violence is a “perversion” of the “proper faith” of Islam, not part of the “proper faith” itself, despite the life of Muhammad and the testimony of the Qur’an) and has no hesitation in mollifying the Mahometans by assuring us that “there are elements of extremism in every major faith”. Well, fallen human beings are still fallen human beings regardless of the religion they profess, so anyone might be capable of violent acts, but can Mr. Blair explain to us the obvious disproportion between number of atrocities carried out by adherents of Islam as against the adherents of all other religions combined?

Clearly, all religions are not the same — it is a plain fact that they teach different and mutually-exclusive things, and that each religion expects a different standard of conduct and behaviour from its adherents. This truth is an embarrassment to the likes of Mr. Blair, since it is self-evidently divisive.

Hence, anything that divides man from his neighbour, anything that introduces division, must be suppressed. An insistence upon religious truth is by its nature considered ‘divisive’, and so must be eschewed like the plague. What the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has at its heart is the promotion of a single universal religion devoid of dogmas and creeds, to which all can belong, and centred upon the temporal needs of humankind in the here and now. Taking one’s own religion seriously, and claiming that it alone possesses truth while rival faiths are false is something this anthropocentric approach above all cannot tolerate, and so all religions — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and the rest — must be blended together in a syncretic mass such that each will lose its distinctive characteristics in favour of identification with the whole.

Needless to say, Roman Catholicism — the faith only recently embraced by Mr. Blair — is not exempted from such treatment. A strange position indeed for any man calling himself a Catholic.

But Mr. Blair is not so much a Roman Catholic as he is a Conciliar Catholic — and there is a world of difference between these two, since Roman Catholicism and Conciliar Catholicism are two different religions.

Accordingly, one cannot really blame our recently-received convert for this execrable blasphemy, at least not exclusively, since this essentially secular ideology of all men working together in harmony in order to realise paradise here on earth has been extolled and promoted even by the Roman pontiffs ever since the halcyon days of the ’sixties, in what Mark Fellows has described as ‘the papal vision’. Paul VI and John Paul II were the most enthusiastic proponents of this worldly ideology, but it also marred the pontificate of its originator, John XXIII, and, despite the damage it has done to the Church, is not completely absent from the teaching of even the present incumbent of the Apostolic See.

For is it not true to say that, if the Catholic Church had maintained her traditional stance vis-a-vis other religions, that it would not be possible today for any Catholic (except a dissident) to fall into such errors and delusions as our recent convert, Mr. Tony Blair?

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