Wednesday, July 11, 2007


The recent statement about the status of the Roman Catholic Church in relation to the other Christian Churches reaffirms the teaching prior to Vatican II; is in accordance with encyclicals written prior to the Council--encyclicals considered by many to be infallible.

When Benedict affirmed the recent CDF statement, he also affirmed the commitment to ecumenism. One awaits his explanation as to how this ecumenism is to develop in light of this newly reaffirmed inequality at the bargaining table.

Now the World Alliance of Reformed Churches has written to Cardinal Kasper requesting an explanation:

We are puzzled by the release of a statement of this kind at this time in the history of the church. At a time of societal fragmentation all over the world, the one church of Jesus Christ in which we all participate ought to strengthen its common witness and affirm our oneness in Christ. The statement released on 10 July unfortunately gives an interpretation of the statement in Lumen Gentium 8 which takes us back to the kind of thinking and atmosphere that was prevalent prior to the Second Vatican Council. This is not good for the mutual trust that is being developed through our bilateral dialogues.

Who can blame them for being confused? It seems that John Paul II was able to hold firmly to two conflicting beliefs at one time--one, that the Church contained the fullness of truth; and two that the Church was just one of many on a road to Christ...a truth that must be presumed in order for ecumenical dialogue to take place. Benedict knows the truth and is willing to defend it. Was John Paul's ability to hold two mutually exclusive truths a reflection of his years of living under Communism?

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