|previous article in this issue||next article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: On Juridical Elements in Theology
Author(s): RODES, Robert E. Jr.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Date: summer 2003
On September 5, 2000, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its Declaration, Dominus Jesus on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. The object of this document was evidently to check an incipient syncretism that its authors had discerned in the unfolding of interreligious dialogue and Christian ecumenism. It condemns claims that religious pluralism can be dejure as well as defacto, that there are means of salvation other than that offered through the action of Christ, and that the Roman Catholic Church as we know it is only one of the corporate manifestations of the Universal Church. This is not the first warning to come out of the Vatican regarding overly facile ecumenism. Many of the same points were made by the Congregation in Communionis Notio (1992), and by the Pope himself in Redemptoris Missio (1990). But this document is sharper, more forceful, more querulous if you like, more peppered with italicized insistence on the duty of Catholics to accord the obedience of faith to the pronouncements of the magisterium regarding the status of other religions and other religious bodies. Naturally, it has received more comment than the earlier strictures. A good deal of the comment has been negative, ranging from disappointment to Schadenfreude.