Greek mythology tells of the daughters of Phorcys, god of the sea. These lovely seductresses had the bodies of birds and the heads of women. The sirens lived on a rocky island and spent their lives singing.
The song of the sirens was so seductive that those who heard it were irresistibly drawn to its source and foundered on the rocks. Only Odysseus, the Greek hero, was able to pass their island in safety. He managed this by following the advice of the sorceress Circe, who cautioned him to plug the ears of his companions with wax and have himself firmly tied to the mast of their ship so that he could hear the songs with no danger.
Even before Vatican II, the Roman sirens were singing sweet songs in their efforts to seduce their 'separated brethren' to come back to the bosom of Mother Church. One such example was Orientalis Ecclesiae, Pius XII's valentine to the Eastern Church.
Since Vatican II, Rome has been flooding the world with counciliar and papal documents (Fides et Ratio, Unitatis Redintegratio, Ut Unum Sint, etc.) and lesser writings all intended to lure what Rome loves to call her "separated Brethren" back home.
Some may wonder to whom the RCC refers when she uses the term 'separated brethren.' Someone asked the Catholic Information Network's Father Mateo for a definition. His reply, published on CIN's web site, was:
For those of you who, like me, are able to recall the days before Vatican II, these conciliatory words may seem strange. When I was a kid, I don't recall non-Catholics being labelled 'separated brethren.' They were called heretics or schizmatics or, and this was the worst epithet of them all, Protestants. We were warned to have nothing more to do with such people than was absolutely necessary. Even to attend a Protestant church wedding or funeral required a special dispensation, lest one find himself excommunicated.
The threat of excommunication, swung like a headsman's axe in my youth, now seems to have been put back in its sheath, at least for the moment, and now those who bear Rome's label of 'separated brethren' are once again good guys. Good guys, but lacking somewhat in their religious beliefs and observances.
Sadly, some evangelical Christians and others are succumbing to the sweet song of the sirens who sweet croon from the banks of the Tiber. We saw evidence of this with the founding of the World Council of Churches on 23 August 1948. Since that time, the WCC has grown to include some 336 church groups. One would expect to see Catholic and Orthodox churches represented in such a group, after all, membership affords opportunities to work toward the re-establishment of RCC hegemony over a very large portion of the earth. And, of course, smaller regional assemblies are well represented, as are 'national churches' of Europe. What is surprising, to me at least, is the number of Reformed churches, ones normally considered conservative and Bible-centered, that are listed on the roles of the WCC. That so many different churches, with such disparate doctrines, could join together, apparently without regard to those doctrinal differences, is astonishing to me.
What does it take for a church to become a member of the WCC?
According to the WCC's official web site, prospective members are required to show evidence of a "sustained independent life and organization" and "constructive ecumenical relations" with other churches within their own countries. Member churches are normally expected to have at least 25,000 members, though churches with at least 10,000 members may be associate members.
When a church joins the WCC, the rules declare it signifies the body's "faithfulness to the basis of the Council, fellowship in the Council, participation in the life and work of the Council and commitment to the ecumenical movement as integral to the mission of the church".
And the singing of the Sirens is heard all across the earth.
In mid-August, 1999, the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, America's largest Lutheran denomination, voted to enter a broad agreement with the Episcopal Church. Under the terms of the agreement, described as being more of a marriage than a merger, the two churches would fully recognize each other's members and sacraments, exchange clergy when needed and join in missionary and social service projects. The 'marriage' won't be a done deal until it is accepted by the Episcopal General Convention in July of 2000.
The sweet song of the Sirens is echoing through the halls of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States. Recently, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople and worldwide spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, requested the resignation of Archbishop Spyridon, head of the church in the USA. Bartholomew, who appointed Spyridon just three years ago, was reacting to growing rebellion from the American branch of his church, who objected to Spyridon's autocratic rule. The new head of the GOC in America is Metropolitan Demetrios Trakatellis, an ecumenist with close relations to the RCC.
Do all Catholics dance to the tune of the Roman sirens? I reckon not, for at least one, a 'seer' who is revered by some RCC faithful for her frequent conversations with 'Our Lady of the Roses' and her Son, Jesus, passed along words she claimed were spoken to her by Rome's earth goddess Mary. Among the multitude of utterances attributed to Mary, were these:
In all honesty, it should be mentioned that the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, through Bishop Mugavero, failed to authenticate the Apparitions of Our Lady and Our Lord to Veronica Lueken at Bayside, Queens, New York. That doesn't stop those who worship their Lady of the Roses, however, for they have repudiated the findings of the Archdiocese, which they claim were arrived at without due process. So, religious liberals are being drawn to the sweet sound of Rome's siren call, perhaps believing they can safely unite with the RCC in some things while still retaining intact their own distinctives. Perhaps some even believe they can use their ecumenical relationships to evangelize the Roman faithful. Not very likely, for as Canon 752 of the new Code of Canon Law warns:
A sort of "catch all" law is Canon 752, which reads:
The committed Roman Catholic, and that certainly includes the church hierarchy, will not budge from their allegiance to the Pope and to the heretical doctrines of the Magisterium. That means that all those who would unite ecumenically with the RCC must be prepared to compromise their own doctrines. And how can that be done without falling into apostasy?
True Christians should eschew all efforts to seduce them into uniting in any way with the demonic Roman cult. Not only is that biblical (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), it could actually help to bring about the eventual destruction of the Whore on the Tiber. At least, that is what happened as a consequence of Odysseus' outsmarting the Sirens who, upset by his escape, threw themselves into the sea and perished.
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