The Other Side of the Ecumenical Coin

Reporting via Sandro Magister of La Chiesa --Comments by three very important figures on the implementation of ecumenism and interreleligious dialogue:

ROMA, February 7, 2005 – Almost during the very same days when the frailty of John Paul II filled the Church with apprehension, two books and a conference focused attention on three important Christian authors who have expressed, and still do, a radical critique of the weaknesses of today’s Church, even though they love it and obey it wholeheartedly.

These three are Romano Amerio, a philosopher, Divo Barsotti, a mystic, and Inos Biffi, a theologian. The first is Swiss, the other two Italian.

"…Amerio – who was a consultant for the bishop of Lugano at Vatican Council II – also wrote two important books on the Church of today. The first, “Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century,” edited by Riccardo Ricciardi in 1985, 658 pages, can be considered the masterpiece of the so-called “traditionalist” critique of the contemporary Church:

And yet Dossetti’s and Barsotti’s visions were frequently different. Dossetti was the linchpin of “conciliar” Catholicism in Italy, a proponent of a radical reform of the Church from a monarchical to a democratic model, of a rejection of “Constantinian” Christianity, of an abandonment of the great theology of the Middle Ages in the name of a return to the Fathers of the first centuries, especially the Eastern ones.

This is how Fr. Barsotti’s vision of Vatican Council II is represented in the book published by his community:

" Furthermore, the bishops said immediately that they did not intend to condemn anyone: but this meant renouncing their service as guardians of the faith, as the keepers of divine Revelation. The bishops should not take the place of the theologians; they have another function: the episcopate should tell us what we must believe and what we must reject. …] Because the bishops did not put in first place their function of approving or condemning, the documents of Vatican II have a language that is more theological than doctrinal. For example, in certain pages of ‘Gaudium et Spes,’ there is a reasoning almost like that of a sociologist, or a journalist. Moreover, the documents are a mixture of three or four different theologies…the Church needed to face the culture of the world, and the Holy Spirit prevented error from being introduced into the documents; but even if everything in Vatican II is correct, that doesn’t mean that everything was opportune."

Barsotti is also critical about interreligious dialogue:

“I have written to the pope, twice, that I did not have a favorable impression of the interreligious meeting in Assisi in October of 1986. I told him: ‘Your Holiness, I don’t have a television at home, not even a radio, but the day after the conference in Assisi I saw on the front page of ‘Avvenire’ a photograph showing Catholics venerating the Dalai Lama, as they do Your Holiness.’ There is a danger of losing distinctions: the Dalai Lama is like the pope for many believers, so the people can no longer tell the difference or recognize what is specific to Christianity.”

"…He is, in fact, primarily a man of great spirituality, a mystic, with supernatural flashes that sometimes illuminate his daily life. He has a particular sensitivity for Eastern mysticism: Serge of Radonez, a Russian, is the saint after whom he named his house in Settignano, on the outskirts of Florence.

One of his closest friends is former Bologna archbishop Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. who said: “Ecumenism has frequently degenerated into a desire for harmony which has obscured the Catholic character of the creed. Even through imprudent or questionable actions, a widespread and practical conviction of the equivalence, or near equivalence, of the Christian confessions and the other religions is being created. One thing that contributes to this is the frequently repeated, equivocal appeal to the ‘one God’, who supposedly unifies the great monotheistic religions. Nothing could be more erroneous: the one true God is the God of Jesus Christ: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Christian Trinity, which, for example, is blasphemy for Muslims, an extremely serious offense against God.”

“One thinks of the contents of certain episcopal programs, which are frequently reduced to plans of ‘welcoming,’ in which Jesus Christ – who is the First – is an occasion to speak above all of the ‘last’. One thinks also of episcopates understood as a measure of the success of ‘movements’, or considered as rewards and honorific offices. … One thinks] of the clamorous misinterpretations the world makes in trying to understand the Church, and also of the sometimes unacceptable, sometimes questionable historical blame accorded to the Church, which have elicited a vain and deleterious emphasis on forgiveness, and have created an image of the Church as sinful.”

Those are interesting quotes. I’d say I agree with them. The idea of ecumenism is good, but it’s implications are bad (or at least how it’s been carried out in recent times). I fear that Truth is often compromised in the name of “peace” and “unity.” I think the idea of ecumenism was to work toward the goal of bringing all Christians back together–fine, that’d be great, i can deal with that. But it seems to have turned into this unorthodox idea that all religions are essentially good. I love the Holy Father and know he means well, but when he does things like kiss the Koran, it sends a strong message that ends up confusing the faithful. I can’t tell you how many times people say, “didn’t your pope kiss the koran? doesnt he think that all religions lead to heaven?” i want to defend the Church, but I often find myself secretly agreeing. I want to say, “Yeah, it seems like our modern Church does think all religions lead to heaven!” I just keep faith that the Holy Spirit will lead the Church back to orthodox views on other religions. It’s possible to love people without compromising Truth.

Not being a Catholic, but being presented with challenging reasons to doubt the continuity of the faith among many of the magesterium, I present these quotes, humbly, wanting to promote peaceful dialogue, please.

Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino,"
1441, ex cathedra:
“The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and
preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic
Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and
schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go
into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the
devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the
Church before the end of their lives.”

“Therefore the Holy Roman Church condemns, reproves,
anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of
Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or
contrary views.”

Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (# 23), June
29, 1943:
“For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such
as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of
the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy.”

Pope Gregory XVI, “Mirari Vos”

  1. Now We consider another abundant source of the
    evils with which the Church is afflicted at present:
    indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all
    sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is
    possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul
    by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as
    morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter,
    you will drive this deadly error far from the people

    A schismatic flatters himself
    falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in
    the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would
    reply to such a man: “The branch has the same form
    when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what
    profit for it is the form, if it does not live from
    the root?”[20]

St. Peter Canisius (+1521-1597):
On False Ecumenism:

“Better that only a few Catholics should be left,
staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they
should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in
collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity
with the open foes of our faith.”

Now, as St. Vincent of Lerins said in his Commonitory, Chapter 5, Paragraph 12
Who of us may dare to unseal the Sacerdotal Book sealed by Confessors,
and consecrated already by the martyrdom of numbers, which they who had
been compelled by force to unseal afterwards resealed, condemning the
fraud which had been practised upon them; while they who had not
ventured to tamper with it proved themselves Confessors and martyrs? How can we deny the faith of those whose victory we proclaim?"

Well, need I say more? I’m confused. Ecumenicism that’s against the Catholic faith, or just be like people are saved perhaps in a large scale outside of the Cahtolic Church, like Cardinal Ratzinger is quoted as saying in his biography. I’ll post it later.
How can we deny the faith of those whose victory we proclaim?

Dear Sophia,

Thanks for posting this. It is well worth a serious reading and I am planning to do that and get back to you.

Sophia

Thank you for posting, I think I fall in with the persons quoted, as I think dialogue is great, but as long as it is not at the expense of the weakening of our Catholic faith-Faiths and doctrine that have been past down for centuries and is or shall I say-Was the teachings of the church until Vatican II. I also feel that we need to take a good hard look at where we stand as it pertains to our dealings with the NON-Catholic Faiths-As each and every time I read a quote from Lumen Gentium or from other Vatican II documents, I get amazed and discouraged that these faiths are not condemned, but , as per the Document on Religious Freedoms-We are told otherwise. I totally agree-when you read these documents, there is no doctrine in it-it is like a little story that is being told-like I want you all faiths of the world to play nice in the sand box-and no where does it reinforce the Catholic faith, it rambles on and on about the half truths of the Moslems, how they worship God and actually mention our Lady-Like …Gee that is so Great…Lets all have a Party that the Koran actually says a few good things about Our Lady. Who really cares? The Moslems actually say that the Koran is the Third Testament-Where is that mentioned or about jihad? Or about the killing of persons who refuse to convert to Islam?

How this language could actually be inserted into a councillar document for all Catholics to base their faith on is amazing

[quote=HagiaSophia]Reporting via Sandro Magister of La Chiesa --Comments by three very important figures on the implementation of ecumenism and interreleligious dialogue:

ROMA, February 7, 2005 – Almost during the very same days when the frailty of John Paul II filled the Church with apprehension, two books and a conference focused attention on three important Christian authors who have expressed, and still do, a radical critique of the weaknesses of today’s Church, even though they love it and obey it wholeheartedly.

These three are Romano Amerio, a philosopher, Divo Barsotti, a mystic, and Inos Biffi, a theologian. The first is Swiss, the other two Italian.

"…Amerio – who was a consultant for the bishop of Lugano at Vatican Council II – also wrote two important books on the Church of today. The first, “Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XXth Century,” edited by Riccardo Ricciardi in 1985, 658 pages, can be considered the masterpiece of the so-called “traditionalist” critique of the contemporary Church:

And yet Dossetti’s and Barsotti’s visions were frequently different. Dossetti was the linchpin of “conciliar” Catholicism in Italy, a proponent of a radical reform of the Church from a monarchical to a democratic model, of a rejection of “Constantinian” Christianity, of an abandonment of the great theology of the Middle Ages in the name of a return to the Fathers of the first centuries, especially the Eastern ones.

This is how Fr. Barsotti’s vision of Vatican Council II is represented in the book published by his community:

" Furthermore, the bishops said immediately that they did not intend to condemn anyone: but this meant renouncing their service as guardians of the faith, as the keepers of divine Revelation. The bishops should not take the place of the theologians; they have another function: the episcopate should tell us what we must believe and what we must reject. …] Because the bishops did not put in first place their function of approving or condemning, the documents of Vatican II have a language that is more theological than doctrinal. For example, in certain pages of ‘Gaudium et Spes,’ there is a reasoning almost like that of a sociologist, or a journalist. Moreover, the documents are a mixture of three or four different theologies…the Church needed to face the culture of the world, and the Holy Spirit prevented error from being introduced into the documents; but even if everything in Vatican II is correct, that doesn’t mean that everything was opportune."

Barsotti is also critical about interreligious dialogue:

“I have written to the pope, twice, that I did not have a favorable impression of the interreligious meeting in Assisi in October of 1986. I told him: ‘Your Holiness, I don’t have a television at home, not even a radio, but the day after the conference in Assisi I saw on the front page of ‘Avvenire’ a photograph showing Catholics venerating the Dalai Lama, as they do Your Holiness.’ There is a danger of losing distinctions: the Dalai Lama is like the pope for many believers, so the people can no longer tell the difference or recognize what is specific to Christianity.”

"…He is, in fact, primarily a man of great spirituality, a mystic, with supernatural flashes that sometimes illuminate his daily life. He has a particular sensitivity for Eastern mysticism: Serge of Radonez, a Russian, is the saint after whom he named his house in Settignano, on the outskirts of Florence.


.”
[/quote]

I agree with the fact that the Faith should never be watered down in ecumenical talks. But I disagree that the Faith has in fact been watered down. I don’t see any of the ecumenical overtures the Catholic Church has done with any of the non-Christian religions as anything more than obedience to God’s commandment to love our enemies or pray for our enemies.

The early Church Fathers only had good things to say about what was indeed good about non-Christian religions, while condemning what was evil. The attitude of the Catholic Church stays true to that wise and discerning tradition of the Fathers.

As far as the God of the Muslims being the same God as the God of Christians, I also believe that this is true. It is simply that the Muslims do not accept all of God’s revelation about Himself. Thus, though the God of the Muslims may SUBJECTIVELY be not the same God as the God of Christians, He is still OBJECTIVELY the same God. The same case with the Jews.

We should be careful not fall into the Marcionite and Gnostic error of falsely dichotomizing the God of the OT and the God of the NT. Wherever the belief of One, Supreme Being exists, that same ONE God is being worshipped by all regardless of subjective naming. Who can deny that even St. Paul recognized that the Supreme and unknown God of the Greeks was the self-same God he worshipped?

There is only one thing that has occurred in the past that seems to go outside the bounds of normal and true ecumenical relations - that the Pope kissed the Koran. But his seeming transgression is only apparent. The Pope did not bless the Koran nor approve any of its teachings that are opposed to Christianity. It was simply a traditional sign of respect, nothing more. Certain naysayers of the Catholic Church made a mountain out of a molehill. The Pope’s sign of respect was no more “evil” than Abram’s sign of respect for Melchizedek.

There is something about the Melchizidek episode that most people don’t take into account. Melchizidek was a priest, not of the God of the Hebrews, but the God of the Canaanites. However, like many other polytheistic ancient religions, the Canaanites recognized a Supreme Being above all other gods. THIS is the God of Whom Melchizedek was a priest, and He was not distinguished from the God that Abram worshipped.
God bless,
Greg

I think the ecumenical movement is apostate and extremely dangerous in general. It is the same ecumenical movement condemned outright by early 20th century popes, with the only difference being that the Christian denominations which comprise it are now much farther away from the faith and morals of the Bible than they were earlier in this century. I came into the Catholic Church from the Presbyterian Church (USA), which is part of the National and World Councils of Churches, and many in leadership roles in the PC(USA) were pushing homosexuality, goddess worship, ordination of practicing gays and lesbians, promotion of abortion, etc. It has gotten worse since I was a Presbyterian. All the Catholic involvement in the ecumenical movement hasn’t resulted in these denominations coming one bit closer to the True Faith. They are, in fact, becoming more and more heretical and apostate with each passing day. I wish the Catholic Church would withdraw from the ecumenical movement.

Love, Jaypeeto

Dear Jaypeeto,

I would definitely say the Church should stay in the ecumenical circle. You speak of whole churches, forgetting that many individuals from those churches have indeed crossed the Tiber. The Catholic Church’s closer ties and communications with non-Catholics in general is definitely a spiritual boon for the entire world. I wonder what would have occurred if Jesus separated Himself from sinners? I suppose Jesus would not have any followers today.

God bless,
Greg

Difficult chapter, I think that is positive and necessary the dialogue between the diverse christian churches but dialogue with islam, budhism and others, I think that isn´t positive, because so many people begin to think that all is the same, and this isn´t good, greetings

Greg, that’s interesting about Melchizedek.

What Church Father quotes can you bring up to back up what you say? I can think of maybe some things in Augustine’s “City of God” but that’s just a single work of one Father.

Not being difficult, just asking.

Rob

I am all for ecumenical talks and discussions with Orthodox and Protestant groups-as they are our lost bretheren with a hope to be one again some day-but I have deep suspicion of the talks and meetings with the Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Moslems-those that have DENIED Christ-that is scriptual, it all goes back to Our Lord who states that no one gets to heaven but through me-but then we have all of this misleading talk from Vatican II on-after being condemned by each and every Pope before-that we all worship the same God and we all can be get to heaven, it is a direct contradiction and all Catholics-I would say 90% if you gave them an anonomous pole to send in, if asked if they wished that we would stop this nonsense with the non Christian religions, would vote 9-1 in favor of and repeal this insane dialogue and teaching that is going on

[quote=GAssisi]Dear Jaypeeto,

I would definitely say the Church should stay in the ecumenical circle. You speak of whole churches, forgetting that many individuals from those churches have indeed crossed the Tiber. The Catholic Church’s closer ties and communications with non-Catholics in general is definitely a spiritual boon for the entire world. I wonder what would have occurred if Jesus separated Himself from sinners? I suppose Jesus would not have any followers today.

God bless,
Greg
[/quote]

Dear Rob,

Please be patient as I gather my sources.

Dear BullDogC,
How do you propose we approach non-Christians outside of ecumenism? How do we get them to hopefully accept the Christian faith if we don’t maintain friendly and respectful contact?

God bless all,
Greg

GAssissi,

That’s fine, take your time. I hope to put the Card. Ratzinger quote up tomorrow (thursday pm).

For your question about Ecumenicism addressed to BullDog, let me throw in my thoughts.

I’m not Catholic, and I don’t think that there is one single cut and dry answer.

You even have Apostle Paul, while he was certainly not backing down, rather he was challenging the very root beliefs of the Greek philosophers at Mars hill in Acts 17, and stirred interest, yet others sneered at him. He was preaching repentance and the resurrection. He didn’t back down, but he didn’t go about it in a harsh way, saying “you’re a bunch of scoundrels!” He challenged them at the root of their beliefs, and that time he happened not to get stoned or anything.

Yet, in Acts, Paul, after preaching to the people, was stretched out and about to be scourged. Being as a shrewd as serpents (Matthew 10:16), as Christ had commanded His disciples, he got out of it, to live to preach another day, but he realized that his obedience was to God, to the Gospel, and not to tickling men’s ears to the old Adam.

So, there’s more to those passages, yes. But, a false ecumenicism is, I formally proclaim, is not ecumenicism. It is rather lying, bearing false witness to our neighbor.

One of the hardest things I will face as a Catholic, I suppose, will be the change in the relationship with my Protestant former friends. Not that they won’t be my friends, but I have to view them as outside the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist, without the continual application of Christ’s blood (I John 1). But in order to be consistent, I see no way around it, and still have them hold any respect for the teaching authority of the Church, and the holiness of the Eucharist. They are guilty, as Augustine says, of the sins that they were forgiven for in their Baptism (On Baptism Against the Donatists, Book 1, Chapter 12). And that’s me now also. If I were to spill my blood for Christ tonight, I’m still outside the Church, I should repent and formally join, but I’m not there yet. At least, that’s the way I understand it.

No need to be rude. That’s sinful, don’t be rude. Just be clear. That is the best way to clear up any vagueness. People are easily offended by the clear presentation of the Gospel without any rashness on our part. And that’s too bad, but that’s the way it is often! The Blessed Apostle Paul was clear. As was Stephen (Acts 6 &7).

I agree with you, Bulldog.

It’s one thing to keep a close relationship with non-Catholics who profess Christ as Lord in hopes of reuniting them, but it’s certainly another to talk with Muslims, Buddhists, etc in such a way that they will NEVER realize their religion is FALSE. That’s the problem with this “ecumenical” movement. I’m all for evangelizing and spreading the Gospel–but that’s just it–this ecumenical movement has silenced the Gospel because we don’t want to offend anyone. Well Jesus certainly offended people with His message, and he got Himself killed for it! I say our Church should be doing the same. It doesn’t mean we have to be rude about anything, as some people suggest that sharing the Gospel is rude. But we should NEVER tell someone that their religion is highly respected because it’s peaceful or whatever. That’s a lie. Why would I respect any religion that leads people anywhere but to Christ? I would never! No, I’m not a rad-trad. Yes, I adhere to the Pope. But I simply hope and pray for the day that this ecumenical sinfulness will come to an end, and Christ, not Almighty World Peace, will be proclaimed once again by the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.

PS: if you want to see just how scary this ecemical thing has become, go to the Vatican’s website and search for documents from the World Day of Peace in Assisi. I’ll try to post some quotes from the prayers read by our very own Pope.

[quote=BulldogCath] but as long as it is not at the expense of the weakening of our Catholic faith
[/quote]

That is one of the reasons that the CDF issued Dominus Iesus. It is clear, brief and makes no bones about what Catholicism holds.

There are a few points I would make about ecumenism:

  1. It has never been properly iimplemented in the catechesis of the “in-the-pew” Catholic in many instances, thus it is:

  2. Misunderstood, wrongfully interpreted and

  3. Causes people to think syncrestically

  4. The purification of memory that the pope speaks of must come with it - and in order to do that a “trust” between people and groups must be established. We are in that stage of it now as well as moving forward into some agreements and understandings. Unfortunately the crimes of excess or inappropriate application committed in the name of ecumenism have as I’ve mentioned before “poisoned the well” of understanding in many cases.

  5. Those who are ecumenists must understand the fears, the objections and the misunderstandig of those who are wary of it; those who are not ecumenists must understand that the church is now committed, there will be no going back, and so IMO it is better to work to shape it properly rather than leave it and pretend it isn’t already here. There are dangers, the are pitfalls because it is unknown and untried territory.

  6. A mutual problem of both sides is they forget - they are not in this alone. God’s will and His guidance will be with us. Unfortunately sometimes we forget that and act as if it is ALL up to us. Those who seek to use ecumenism as some sort of cover for their nefarious agendas will in the end be seen for what they are; those who resist it completely will be left out of the mainstream of Catholic action and thought. It will like all movements, produce change, change also produces unease, unfamiliarity, and some discomfort. It is so much easier to have a black and white page in the book, this is right, this is wrong, we are right, you are wrong. In fact, ecumenism is nothing more than an extended family, it has it’s good members, it’s postive days – it has its loser relatives, its bad days of estrangement and difficulties.

  7. Unfortunately formal catechesis or deep reading and studying of their faith ended on the day for many Catholics when they left their formal educations; scandals, excesses, lousy implementation, the turmoil of post Vatican II has left a bitter taste in the mouth of many No more change they scream, I want my rock, my security, my position - I know what the Church is, I know what I believe, let me alone.

This is not life - anything stagnant eventually dies, choked off by the lack of new blood and bad oxygen. So we are now in Peter’s barque, heading as the pope says “duc in altum” - and it isn’t easy - but "one fold, one shepherd — “that they all may be one” tells us what God wants - we have to acknowledge that He will be with us on the trip.

When I first came here I remember typing into one of my posts, that every forum needs what every church needs, a left, a middle and a right. It creates friction sometimes, but it also provides balance. And so often when I think of this pope, I think of John Bosco’s dream and I believe this is the pope he envisioned in that dream. It’s a tough journey but compared to the price that believers have paid over the centuries for what they profess, it isn’t the hardest generation – just yet. I suspect that will come later.

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]I agree with you, Bulldog.

It’s one thing to keep a close relationship with non-Catholics who profess Christ as Lord in hopes of reuniting them, but it’s certainly another to talk with Muslims, Buddhists, etc in such a way that they will NEVER realize their religion is FALSE. That’s the problem with this “ecumenical” movement. I’m all for evangelizing and spreading the Gospel–but that’s just it–this ecumenical movement has silenced the Gospel because we don’t want to offend anyone. Well Jesus certainly offended people with His message, and he got Himself killed for it! I say our Church should be doing the same. … .
[/quote]

It’s interesting that you mentioned Muslims, because at Medjugore, when someone asked one of the seers who Mary thought in the room was most pleasing to God, Mary indicated to the seer, a Muslim cleaning women. Not that Mary was saying Islam is correct but it shows that to God, religion or religious organizations is something that man mad up, not what God made up. Christ’s Peace

Does anyone seriously think that Pope John Paul II is unaware of the opening sentence of Vatican II’s, Decree On Ecumenism?
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. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.

Is the Pope unaware of these statements from Dominus Iesus?In treating the question of the true religion, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: “We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all people. …

“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”.

A blanket statement that the Muslim religion is FALSE, is in itself, false. Not everything teaching that Muslims believe is false. When the Muslim religion first appeared, it was considered to be a defective form of Christianity, something not unlike a modern day Protestant denomination. The truths that are contained in the Muslim religion are truths that are held by Catholics, and one cannot condemn all the teachings of the Muslim religion without also condemning truths that Catholics confess. It is proper for Catholics engaged in ecumenical dialog to acknowledge the truths that are confessed by different religions. It is also true that ecumenical dialog must never be a vehicle for advancing religious indifferentism.** THE CHURCH AND THE OTHER RELIGIONS
IN RELATION TO SALVATION**

With the coming of the Saviour Jesus Christ, God has willed that the Church founded by him be the instrument for the salvation of all humanity (cf. Acts 17:30-31). This truth of faith does not lessen the sincere respect which the Church has for the religions of the world, but at the same time, it rules out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another’”. …

Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary”. Inter-religious dialogue, therefore, as part of her evangelizing mission, is just one of the actions of the Church in her mission ad gentes. Equality, which is a presupposition of inter-religious dialogue, refers to the equal personal dignity of the parties in dialogue, not to doctrinal content, nor even less to the position of Jesus Christ — who is God himself made man — in relation to the founders of the other religions.

Dominus Iesus

[quote=wcknight]It’s interesting that you mentioned Muslims, because at Medjugore, when someone asked one of the seers who Mary thought in the room was most pleasing to God, Mary indicated to the seer, a Muslim cleaning women. Not that Mary was saying Islam is correct but it shows that to God, religion or religious organizations is something that man mad up, not what God made up. Christ’s Peace
[/quote]

Medjugorje is not a good example I’m afraid, it is a private apparition, optional for those who wish to believe in it. It therefore does not teach theology nor purport to - in fact one of the problems with it is the banality of the messages which purport to “instruct”.

[quote=HagiaSophia]Medjugorje is not a good example I’m afraid, it is a private apparition, optional for those who wish to believe in it. It therefore does not teach theology nor purport to - in fact one of the problems with it is the banality of the messages which purport to “instruct”.
[/quote]

I agree that officially, it is optional and has no official recognition so far. But also so far nothiing that has come from it has anything contrary to existing Church doctrine, and the ‘fruits’ of the apparitions is one an increase in faith and two a great source of conversions.

As far as any meaningful messages, that remains to be seen as some of the messages have far reaching consequences. I would agree that many of the messages are not earth shattering but non descript messages to carry on in prayer etc.

However, should the time ever come when the Church officially recognizes that the appraritions are authentic, as it has with Lourdes and Fatima (and there is the possibility that the magisterium may never sanction them), the more dire messages will or should have some meaning for the Church as well as the rest of the world.

As far as Muslims and other religions goes, the messages do encourage everyone to convert as soon as possible. And although the messages acknowledges the pontiff as Peter’s successor and for the most part acknowleges the Catholic Church as Christ’s Church, the call to conversion is not explicitly mentioned as a call to the Catholic Church (at least not the messages I’ve read about).

Rather they are a call to change one’s heart and attention from the things of this world to focus on God and her Son Jesus. This of course is my interpretation of what I’ve read about. Most if not all of the conversions have been to the Catholic Church, but as far I know none of the messages say become Catholic or you’re toast.

Even IF that was said, and I seriously doubt that Our Lady would ever say such a thing, it would be contrary to what Pope John Paul II has been saying about other Christians and other faiths.

Christ’s Peace

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