23 October 2022

Christ is King ... but not in Neasden

There is an Internet record (Independent Catholic News November 23 2009) recording a visit made by Archbishop Nichols to a Hindu Temple in Neasden on Saturday 21 November 2009, the Eve of the Novus Ordo celebration of Christ the King. Here is a paragraph.

"Yogvivek Swami guided the Archbishop around the Mandir complex, including the sanctum sanctorum where the Archbishop offered flowers at the altar to the deities. He then moved to the deity of Shri Nilkanth Varni (Bhagwan Swaminarayan) where he joined Yogvivek Swami in praying for world peace and harmony".

The account, which is long and detailed, reads like an official statement or communique. I don't know my way terribly well around the Internet ... can any reader clarify whether this is an official account which perhaps appeared on the Westminster or CBCEW websites before being, er, removed?

If it were accurate, it would interestingly illustrate the difference between the Christus Rex of Pius XI (Quas primas 1925), with its emphasis on the exclusive Lordship of Christ, and the Novus Ordo Christ the King of Bugnini, which would apparently be compatible with idolatrous/syncretistic cultic activity. If it is indeed true that Bugnini belonged to the syncretistic 'Masonic' cult, this would hardly be surprising..

Pius XI quoted the words of Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ."


Bill Murphy said...

Father John,

Here is the official account of that visit, still out on the Archdiocese of Westminster website 13 years later. So the Archdiocese leaders apparently see nothing wrong with it. It is not identical to the passage you quote, but it is similar.

There are colourful photos galore of the visit on the Internet - Google Vincent Nichols Neasden Hindu.


Peter said...

I never understood hoe ecumenism could advance Catholicism.

John said...

Certainly I could prefer this be a procession with the Eucharist to celebrate Christ, the King. Even so, our separated brothers are obviously not prepared to pray as Catholics. ...Far better for His Excellency to pray with our separated brothers on one occasion than shun them.

John said...

I could wish that such an event had been a group of Catholics conducting a procession for Christ, the King. Still, t'would seem our separated brothers are not yet prepared to pray as Catholics. ..Far better for His Excellency to pray with our separated brothers on occasion than to shun them.

John said...

Ecumenical efforts never intend someone's immediate conversion to Catholicism. Instead, these efforts aim for warm(er) relationships between people. By this, those of other faiths have greater cause to more thoroughly examine both their own faith tenets and those of Catholic faith. ...One may hear of the fruits of these efforts at times with Marcus Grodi's Journey Home show. It's not as vigorous and reliable a means of evangelism as other means, yet it's not utterly and completely worthless.

Michael Leahy said...

John, he ought not to have given an offering to false gods.

Moritz Gruber said...

Ecumenism, whatever we say about it, is strictly restricted to "within Christianity". There is still some rather interesting sense in the fact that in Rome, the "Pontifical Council for Christian Unity" is responsible for ecumenism and Jews, with the Jews being a bit of an afterthought; but that's the utmost boundary.

Which is why we can say a lot about it, about Ecumenism that is. We are, obviously, quite excused if we sigh at the very mention of the word, because it so very often means either "don't just be content with not at the moment mentioning that you are in the right and they are in the wrong, but explicitly state there were no such thing" or also "rather than Holy Mass, let's have an Ecumenical Service, isn't that much better because that's for all of us", or indeed a schimaera of "the" Christian Church of which the Catholic Church would be a subgroup. In reality, that body is the Catholic Church, period, which is why she is called Catholic; and of that Catholic Church, say, trads and charismatics are subgroups (and they do really like each other). Separated-breathren belong, according to the Second Vatican Council, to this Church in a crooked manner; what they certainly do not belong to is a supergroup called the Ecumenical Christian Church or what not, because there is no such thing.

So, our sigh when hearing "ecumenical" is understandable. But there are good things about ecumenism. When Queen Victoria died, the English Catholic bishops said that she was a Christian and quite possibly in good faith and therefore the Catholics should pray for her, but it were not possible to say a requiem for her because that's a no-go for non-Catholics. Queen Elizabeth has had Catholic requiems; she has had at least one vetus-ordo Catholic requiems: she was a Christian and quite possibly in good faith and therefore the Catholics should pray for her (so far nothing has changed), which means that a requiem can be said for her (this, apparently, has changed, and changed rightly).

So, actual ecumenism really is a detailed, debatable topic.

Syncretism with idol-worshipping pagans is not. Please don't call it ecumenism.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

"Phoenis from the Ashes, H.J.A. Sire (ppg 381-388) rightly takes John Paul II to task for his syncretism and one can read JP II's rationale/defense of his fetid festival at Assisi at the Holy See website and its shocking to read it - and not just because of its citing of Vatican aTwo to justify syncretism but his advice to all religions to plan their worship services so as not to offend members of other faiths or atheists.

Lord have mercy...

Didn't Jesus understand that Truth divides?

coradcorloquitur said...

The on-the-spot actual practice of ecumenical endeavors---from all that I have read and witnessed---is, at the least offensive, a glossing over if not an atenuation of Catholic doctrine (and practice). The only admirable (and true) ecumenical fruit we have seen in the last half century of feverish ecumenical activity and endless talks, conferences, documents, etc., is the happy creation of the ordinariates of former Anglicans/Episcopalians. And that most happy development came as a result of heart-felt Anglican disillusionment (and alarm) with the growing apostasy in their church---now for all to see in full view---and not through institutional ecumenical efforts. The many happy cases of individual conversions are a separate matter, and likely unconnected to formal ecumenism. In fact, some prominent figures in the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical project have openly said that the reason they were not supportive of the establishment of the ordinariates for former Anglicans is that "they were not the right kind of Anglicans" (in short, they too Catholic and traditional; not the liberal types they favored and felt comfortable with). Father Hunwicke has alluded to and quoted this sentiment in this blog. The intended or unintended aim of the ecumenical project seems to be rank irenicism, and, as such, a direct contradiction of the Church's magisterial prohibition over the past two centuries until Vatican II of such initiatives as dangerous to the Faith of Catholics. Recent history has witnessed to the sound basis for that prohibition. An honest evaluation of the fruits of ecumenical efforts (traditionally prohibited but for the past half century raised to the level of a false "uberdogma") will show mostly religious indifference, irenicist scandal such as the one that Archbishop Nichols participated in, the horror of the Pachamama, the weakening of the faith of Catholics, an insult to the Church, and a contradiction of the Lord's injunction that our yea should be yea and our no should be no as well as James's scriptural admonition to avoid heretics. But the only sin that liberal "Catholics" recognize and denounce is intransigence in defense of the purity of the Faith. One must wonder what they do with nearly 20 centuries of Catholic firmness in defending the purity of the Faith and with the intransigent witness of countless saints and martyrs. Go no further than to the sacrifice (often the ultimate sacrifice) of the hallowed English, Welsh and Irish martyrs who preferred penury, abuse, ostracism, and death to even setting foot in the usurped, new Anglican parishes which were built by and for Catholics and where they and their ancestors has worshipped as Catholics for centuries. Yes, indeed, "what hath truth to do with error?"

TomG said...

"Separated brothers/brethren" has never been understood to apply to non-Christians. And I agree totally with Michael Leahy.

John said...

"'Separated brothers/brethren' has never been understood to apply to non-Christians."

I was using VERY generous terminology.
...And most ecumenical efforts aim to extend such extraordinary generousity and charitable intent. They rarely succeed as intended.
I quite agree that I've never been terribly impressed with the results of most ecumenical efforts. ..Even so, I understand the Council Fathers at Vatican II to have approved such. I'm well aware of the critiques of both the Council and Pope St John Paul II in consequence. Even so, I have seen no evidence that either the Council or our late Holy Father encouraged anyone to abandon Catholic faith to fulfill this goal. Quite the contrary. Such ecumenical efforts come closer to being sidelines than main events.
Still, ..better to pray with another, even poorly, than not at all.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Have you taken a look at what is going on in Rome today?

John Vasc said...

Nowhere at all in the documents of the Second Vatican Council can any approval be found for attending idol worship, or any ceremonies of other faiths. Ecumenical *dialogue* with our *Christian separated brethren* is what the document 'Unitatis Redintegration' propounds: 'The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only....For it is only through Christ's Catholic Church, which is "the all-embracing means of salvation," that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation.'

Which is pretty clear.

coradcorloquitur said...

To anyone with clear judgement and solid Catholic Faith it should be clear that the faith of the Faithful is put in unnecessary danger by engaging in what the Church from the time of the Reformation (at least) has condemned as "communicatio in sacris." To presume that the faith of Catholics in general is so strong as to be immune from the contagion of heresy or indifferentism when praying jointly with the "separated brethren" is just that: the sin of presumption.

Moritz Gruber said...

Dear coradcorloquitur,

while the Church in times past has had obvious good reasons to forbid praying together, as you explain, that particular part is ius ecclesiasticum and she does not at present do so. It simply remains for us to be strong in faith enough.

Also, it is not that difficult to hold up the thought: "We're Catholic, and Catholicism is the truth, but alas those whom I pray together with and whom I assume to be good Christians, which they probably are, don't see that." At least not difficult if that much was clear at the onset; which however is not a guarantee in ecumenism. If it is, though, the danger is in my view not so much that one suddenly wakes up an indifferentist, but rather that one inadvertently using prayers formulated in a manner that contains slight heresies or are touched by them; words have meanings. It becomes heavily problematic as soon as sermons are concerned, of course.

After all, it has always been clear that not only offering Holy Mass as a priest, but also assisting at Mass is a particular (and very high) act of worship in its own right, and that act of worship can be validly done by a baptized nonCatholic but not by someone unbaptized. An baptized nonCatholic does need to go without sacramental Communion, but he can "have", if you pardon the expression, all the rest of it. On that grounds, and seeing that also nonliturgical, unformalized prayer has always been part of the praying of the Church, it may be more dangerous, but it cannot in principle be forbidden to have also that with them.