Cardinal Levada comments upon reactions to Roman document on “Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church”

Source: FSSPX News


“This document is a working document for use inside the Church and which does not at all mean to lower the other faith communities,” he declared. He emphasised that the document contained “elements of truth.”

Recalling that “the Church of Christ subsists only in the Catholic Church,” Cardinal William Levada, successor of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger  at the head of the Congregation of the Faith was doing no more than take up the thesis expounded by his predecessor in the Dominus Jesus Declaration of 2000. The American Cardinal thus recalls that the other Christian denominations, if they are not without “elements of truth and sanctification,” do not offer the “fullness” of Salvation. Since they do not recognize the primacy of the pope, Orthodox Churches suffer from “deficiencies.” As for the Protestants, they can constitute only “ecclesial communities.”

According to him, these principles have been reaffirmed in order to fight against “erroneous interpretations” of the Second Vatican Council in ecumenical matters. It was not a question of hindering the dialogue with the other Christian denominations, but of dialoguing while respecting “the identity of the Catholic faith.”

Cardinal Cottier, former theologian of the Pontifical Household, answered I.MEDIA agency saying: “There is nothing new” in the text which simply meant to reiterate “useful clarifications” concerning the Catholic Church in response to “some interpretations lacking clarity” on the part of certain theologians. Even if these undiplomatic statements (…) hurt some people” the position of the Catholic Church in the ecumenical dialogue needed to be clarified. The pope wished thus to avoid  “a certain ambiguity hovering over” the dialogue. – Listening to the Swiss prelate we might believe that the document gives useful precisions clearing up “interpretations lacking clarity”, and clarifying things so that it leaves no more room for “ambiguity”; he forgets that the commentary annexed to the Roman document recognizes that it is providing a paradoxical presentation of this conciliar ecumenism which attempts to “harmonize two doctrinal affirmations” which are different, and in this case, divergent: “The Church of Christ is the Catholic Church” AND “the other Christian communities are ecclesial realities which are neither empty nor full.” (Sources: cipa/imedia)