Summer 1968

Page 86

The encyclical of Pius XII, Humani generis (1950), pointed out the danger of what it called, without describing it clearly, "false irenicism." A fairly long tradition stands behind this warning, since fear that Catholics would suffer from too close contacts with other Christians dictated the tone of the encyclical of Pius XI, Mortalium animos ( 1928), Ecumenism may expose as it had previously motivated the attitude of Benedict XV religious indifference; to the feelers for cooperation it never causes it. tended by the initiators of the Faith and Order movement (1918 and 1919). Beyond that, the reaction against the Modernist movement, under + Pius X, naturally discouraged attempts at better understandGEORGE H. TAVARD, A.A. ing between Catholics and Protestants, since Modernism, + as described in the encyclical Pascendi (1907), gathered into one all the bad tendencies at work in the liberal Protes¡ tantism of the times. Still further back, Leo XIII, with excellent intentions toward historical truth and the requirements of sacramental theology, had effectively squashed a reapproachment with Anglicans, with his encyclical Apostolicae curae (1896) declaring Angelican Orders "null and void." Fears die hard. No surprise, therefore, in the fact that the fear of encountering the members of churches issued from


and JeAfjiouj .Jndl/erence