Just read Unitatis Redintegratio, the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism. Wow. Maybe it is just me, but that document was all over the place. To call it vague is an understatement. I would go as far as saying that it is a dangerous document when taken on its own, without the benefit of the lens of Sacred Tradition and the Magesterium of the Church through which to view it. Here are some particularly problematic passages::
“All in the Church must preserve unity in essentials. But let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth. In all things let charity prevail. If they are true to this course of action, they will be giving ever better expression to the authentic catholicity and apostolicity of the Church.”
So, is this saying “Do not address heresy?” Would this have been the correct approach to the Arian heresy?
“10. Sacred theology and other branches of knowledge, especially of an historical nature, must be taught with due regard for the ecumenical point of view, so that they may correspond more exactly with the facts.
It is most important that future shepherds and priests should have mastered a theology that has been carefully worked out in this way and not polemically, especially with regard to those aspects which concern the relations of separated brethren with the Catholic Church.”
Hmmm… I am just starting down the road of reading a lot of the documents of the Church … .next up is Pascendi Dominici Gregis which I am sure will be a nice contrast to Unitatis Redintengratio. And that is my concern … that there IS a contrast … that there IS a lack of consistency in the teachings, a rupture, if you will. How do we as good Catholics, eager to do the right thing, approach this? I guess that I am looking for someone to show me the continuity… please, none of the “you have no choice if you are in communion with Rome” dribble. I understand that … and if that is in fact true, which I do believe, then explaining the continuity should not be a problem.