Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dominus Iesus

I would invite readers to visit: for an excellent treatment of the declaration "Dominus Iesus: On The Unicity And Salvific Universality Of Jesus Christ And The Church" issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

This instruction is very important since it warns that, "The Church's constant missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism, not only de facto but de iure (or in principle). As a consequence, it is held that certain truths have been superseded; for example, the definitive and complete character of the revelation of Jesus Christ, the nature of Christian faith as compared with that of belief in other religions, the inspired nature of the books of Sacred Scripture, the personal unity between the Eternal Word and Jesus of Nazareth, the unity of the economy of the Incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit, the unicity and salvific universality of the mystery of Jesus Christ, the universal salvific mediation of the Church, the inseparability - while recognizing the distinction - of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Christ, and the Church, and the subsistence of the one Church of Christ in the Catholic Church." (No. 4).

Christ founded a Church and made it necessary for salvation. And we must avoid any form of religious indifferentism or "pluralistic" theories which suggest that there are many "paths" to salvation, all of which are equally valid. At the same time, as the Church also teaches, "..those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the People of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given (the Jews) and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh (cf. Rom 9:4-5). On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues (cf. Rom 11:28-29). But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator." (Lumen Gentium, No. 16).

As Catholics, we should not only avoid religious indifferentism and false "pluralistic" theories, but we should also refrain from judging anyone's internal guilt. As Gaudium et Spes, No. 28 teaches, "God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts; for that reason he forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of ANYONE."

This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture: " There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?" (James 4:12).

So here's an idea. Let's all admit that there is one God and that we are not Him. And leave the judging to God. When we adopt any other attitude, we are engaging in pride and fostering an "us verses them" attitude. And we've seen the tragic results of such an attitude. My father, a devoted Catholic and career soldier, witnessed firsthand the ovens at Auschwitz and several other concentration camps where innocent men, women and children were burned into ashes simply because they were born Jewish. That was their only "crime."

This is why I have been exposing the radical anti-semitism which may be found at the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond. Standing with my Jewish friends I say along with them: Never again!

Never again.

Paul Anthony Melanson

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