Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live life with a Franciscan focus.

12 July 2007

Welcome clarity re: Doctrine on the Church 

What an excellent read! The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church is a welcome beacon of clarity on Church teaching over what Lumen Gentium meant by saying that the Church of Christ "subsists in" the Catholic Church.

I found Jeff Mirus' commentary on the document especially helpful, particularly the following:

"Essentially, the Church teaches, and has always taught, that the Church of Christ is fully present only in the Catholic Church, and truly identifiable only with the Catholic Church, but that: (1) Some of the various goods characteristic of Christ's Church, while properly belonging only to the Catholic Church, are also found at work elsewhere, scattered among other bodies; and (2) Some persons who are beyond visible, juridical membership in the Catholic Church can, by virtue of these operative goods (including the action of the Holy Spirit), actually be joined to the Catholic Church in a mysterious way." Read the full article.

Also check out the Vatican's commentary on the document.

This analysis from Inside the Vatican is great:

"In our view, this is part of a continuing series of decisions and initiatives, beginning with the liturgy motu proprio on July 7, 2007, to increase the sense of Roman Catholic identity in the face of many challenges posed by the modern world. The Pope's intent, it seems clear, is to lessen confusion in the Church, and at the same time to reinforce the sense of Catholic identity over against a type of exaggerated ecumenism in which all Christian communities are increasingly, in practice, regarded as equally valid expressions of Christian faith." Read the full article.

Aaaaaannnd Against the Grain has a great colleciton o' resource on the whole dealio. I chortled out loud at the quote included from George Weigel's summary:

"There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NEW in this document. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a theological illiterate who equates ecumenism with political correctness. Period."

Ah, how I love straight-shootin'. :-D

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