The New Ecclesiology?


#1

I was directed to a website called traditionalmass.org, from which I extracted the below quotes. To me, these teachings directly contradict the infallible ordinary magisteriums teaching that the Catholic Church IS the Church of Christ and that the one true Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church, period.
Anyone see things a little differently?
Love,
Jaypeeto3

quotes:
The new ecclesiology is, as I have said, a product of ecumenism. You cannot do ecumenism with the ecclesiology I have just described, in which all non-Catholic religions are perceived as death-ships, Titanics bound for the mud below. The mania for ecumenism drove the progressive theologians even in the 1930’s toward a theology whereby all religions had a certain value, to the extent that they all possessed some religious truth.

A pioneer in this thinking was Dom Beauduin, a Benedictine. Most prominent however, was Henri de Lubac, whose theology was condemned under Pius XII, but which later became the very teaching of the Council under Montini. De Lubac was later made a “cardinal” by Wojtyla. Yves Congar, a Dominican, was also influential. Ratzinger has become the most notable of all of the promoters of the new ecclesiology, writing two major documents which describe it, his 1992 Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of the Church Understood as Communion, and his 2000 Dominus Jesus. Both of these were approved and signed by Wojtyla. Both contain explicit heresies concerning the Church.

What is the new ecclesiology? Here it is in summary:

· The Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are not one and the same thing, since non-Catholic churches belong to the Church of Christ, but not to the Catholic Church.

· The Church of Christ “subsists in” the Roman Catholic Church, inasmuch as the Roman Catholic Church has the “fullness” of all of the elements of the Church of Christ.

· The Church of Christ, although it does not subsist in non-Catholic churches, because they lack the “fullness,” is nevertheless found in these non-Catholic churches in an imperfect way.

· Non-Catholic churches are therefore truly “particular churches” which make up, together with the Roman Catholic Church, the one Church of Christ.

· The Roman Catholic Church is in “partial communion” with these non-Catholic churches, to the extent that they have elements of the Church of Christ, such as valid sacraments and true doctrines.

· Non-Catholic churches are “means of salvation” to the extent that they preserve the genuine elements of the Church of Christ.

· In those non-Catholic churches that have a valid Eucharist (e.g., Greek Orthodox), the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church becomes present every time they offer a valid Eucharist.

Non-Catholic churches which are not subject to the Roman Pontiff (which means all of them) are “wounded” because of this lack of subjection. Yet they continue, despite their repudiation of the Roman primacy, to be “particular Churches,” i.e., member-churches of the big Church of Christ.


#2

The terminology used is somewhat ambiguous, but I don’t see any problems with the general message.


#3

It seems that most of the items in the summary you have posted are addressed in section IV of Dominus Iesus as follows:

The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ… which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as ‘the pillar and mainstay of the truth’ (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him”. With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that “outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth”,
that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that “they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.

  1. Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.
    The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.

On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery,
are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church. Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.

“The Christian faithful are therefore not permitted to imagine that the Church of Christ is
nothing more than a collection — divided, yet in some way one — of Churches and ecclesial communities; nor are they free to hold that today the Church of Christ nowhere
really exists, and must be considered only as a goal which all Churches and ecclesial
communities must strive to reach”. In fact, “the elements of this already-given Church
exist, joined together in their fullness in the Catholic Church and, without this fullness, in
the other communities”. “Therefore, these separated Churches and communities as such,
though we believe they suffer from defects, have by no means been deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church”.

The lack of unity among Christians is certainly a wound for the Church; not in the sense that she is deprived of her unity, but “in that it hinders the complete fulfillment of her universality in history”.

A notable difference between the summary and the official document is that the summary uses the term *Roman Catholic * while the document says Catholic. There are twenty-some different rites in addition to the Roman Rite and they all are in union with the pope and therefore belong to the Catholic Church. So I would surmise that all of their “new ecclesiology” arguments are suspect.


#4

The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.


It is the above statement that I believe cannot be reconciled with the infallible ordinary magisterium up through Pius XII.
A new teaching cannot legitimately prescind or lessen an already established dogma. That would not be doctrinal development, but reversal. This new teaching above represents a variation of the
BRANCH Theory (that the Church of Christ ALSO exists outside the Catholic church, such as in the Orthodox bodies although not in communion with Rome), which Branch theory had already long been solemnly condemned as heretical by the Magisterium.
Love, Jaypeeto4 (aka Jaypeeto3)


#5

My perception is that the document is portraying a different relationship between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church than the relationship between the Church of Christ and the Orthodox Church(es). The “Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church” which has the connotation that the church of Christ is integral to, lives in, exists in and receives it substance from the Catholic Church i.e. the Church of Christ cannot exist without the Catholic Church (and vice versa). Whereas in the Orthodox Church “the Church of Christ is present and operative”, denoting that the Orthodox Church draws from the Church of Christ as an outside source. i.e. The Church of Christ could exist without the Orthodox Church because there is not the same integral relationship as it has with the Catholic Church.

Therefore, the nuances, in the language used, seem to indicate that the Orthodox Church is not a branch but rather like a leech that can derive some of the benefits of the Church of Christ without being directly connected to either the Church of Christ or the Catholic Church.


#6

Therefore, the nuances, in the language used, seem to indicate that the Orthodox Church is not a branch but rather like a leech that can derive some of the benefits of the Church of Christ without being directly connected to either the Church of Christ or the Catholic Church.


I see your point, but I don’t think John Paul II saw it that way.
I think he viewed those schismatic bodies as actually part of the Church of Christ. For example, when he met with the Armenian “catholicos” he referred to the schismatics as
"the Bride of Christ in Armenia," which I don’t think he would have said if he thought they were comparable to leeches.
Love, Jaypeeto3


#7

No need to put Catholicos in quotation marks, as it’s the proper term for Armenian Patriarchs, whether Catholic or non-Catholic.

With that out of the way, the fact is that the Eucharist and other Sacraments are very real and valid in the other Apostalic Communions, and that makes Christ present in them in a very real sense. It also means that God’s Grace is working in them even if they don’t represent the full Church of Christ.

I take strong exception to them being called leeches, but I do think there is a valid distinction to be made between Christ’s Church operating as intended, i.e. in full communion, and Christ’s Church operating in seperation, which it is not intended to do. In Sacramental reality, all Apostalic Churches share in the Life of Christ, but in Ecclesiastical reality, the Catholic Communion operates as the fully united Communion.

It’s therefore not incorrect to call the Armenian Apostalic Church the “Bride of Christ in Armenia”, because it is the Apostalic, Christian continuation of the Church in Armenia, regardless of its unity with Rome. We Apostalic Christians are all still the Bride of Christ, collectively, we just have some significant issues to work out as humans.

None of that implies that the Catholic Church doesn’t continue the fullness of the Faith, and stand as the legitimate and proper continuation of the Church, wounded or no (I obviously don’t accept any kind of branch theory, even as an Armenian :stuck_out_tongue: )

Peace and God bless!


#8

I am sorry, I did not mean to be derogatory by using the term “leeches”. It was the best allegory I could come up with to show that the churches not in full communion take their sustenance from the Church of Christ but do not have the same integral relationship with the Church of Christ as the Catholic Church does.


#9

Although JPII was a great pope, he often, in the view of many, went a little overboard in his pursuit of eccumenism.


#10

[quote=volzcpa]I am sorry, I did not mean to be derogatory by using the term “leeches”. It was the best allegory I could come up with to show that the churches not in full communion take their sustenance from the Church of Christ but do not have the same integral relationship with the Church of Christ as the Catholic Church does.
[/quote]

Fair enough. I know how hard it can be to come up with proper imagery and terms, trust me. Apology accepted, and all is forgiven :slight_smile:

Peace!


#11

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