In this group members will read and discuss Papal Documents together. Great opportunity to examine various key encyclicals and other writings!

  • This week’s description of the Church provides several distinct characterizations, all of which indicate that its essence is basically the “body” or presence of Christ in the world of here and today.

    1. The Church is called to announce and establish the Kingdom of God (compare Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15–16).
    2. It is the sign and instrumen…

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  • This week’s reading:

    The mission of the Church is “to proclaim and establish among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth, the seed and the beginning of that kingdom”.  On the one hand, the Church is “a sacrament — that is, sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of unity of the entire human race”.  Sh…[Read more]

  • Having just got back from the dedication – alas, and not the baptism – of my grandson, I was once again plunged into the evangelical Protestant world. It always sets me longing for us all to be one some day. Today we had the wonderful singing in full voice of choruses praising the Lord, we had the dedication of a little one to God, a sermon…[Read more]

  • This is an expansion and extension of last week’s passage. Its message is that there is only one authentic vehicle of the Christian religion, the Catholic Church, but that other entities may participate in it in partial fashion. The Orthodox Churches, along with a few others which have preserved a true priesthood and sacraments, are closest to a…[Read more]

  • This week’s passage:

    Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by a…[Read more]

  • This week’s passage is what I consider the “heart” of the document. It is directly relevant to Protestant–Catholic relations and ecumenical dialogue. It affirms that there is only one true Church, which has a physical and historical connection with the historical Christ and the original Apostles. But it also points up the fact that, as we saw sev…[Read more]

  • This week’s passage:

    The Lord Jesus, the only Saviour, did not only establish a simple community of disciples, but constituted the Church as a salvific mystery: he himself is in the Church and the Church is in him. Therefore, the fullness of Christ’s salvific mystery belongs also to the Church, inseparably united to her Lord. Indeed, Jesus C…[Read more]

  • Not infrequently it is proposed that theology should avoid the use of terms like “unicity”, “universality”, and “absoluteness”, which give the impression of excessive emphasis on the significance and value of the salvific event of Jesus Christ in relation to other religions.

    It is heart breaking when Christians adopt this approach. It is more hea…[Read more]

  • This week’s passage:

    Not infrequently it is proposed that theology should avoid the use of terms like “unicity”, “universality”, and “absoluteness”, which give the impression of excessive emphasis on the significance and value of the salvific event of Jesus Christ in relation to other religions. In reality, however, such language is simply being…[Read more]

  • Sorry for missing last week! 😳 We had parent-teacher conferences, and it slipped my mind.

  • If they follow some truth, then they are following Christ somewhat, for Christ is Truth.

    I think you’re on to something, Jennie.  This is, in fact, where I see the spiritual value of my teaching.  As the children learn, they draw nearer to the Truth and, barring pride, so draw nearer to Christ.  I think it was S. Augustine who said that pride is m…[Read more]

  • I took the passage to mean one thing, and you took it to mean another thing.

    […]

    My ducks are not often in a row.

    That is exactly the value of this group!  And you needn’t worry about your fowl: from what I can see, they are very orderly!

    This is not to say that John’s vision of the intercession of the saints is wholly off base. […] Stil…

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  • Well, congratulations to my ducks which actually happen to be in a straight line tonight. Yippee! Extra duck feed all around! (Hopefully it goes to the ducks’ waists and not my own).

    Seriously though, this is one of the areas where I found the Catholic idea of inclusion of other religions – even if it is only somehow, mysteriously, through…[Read more]

  • I haven’t commented much here in recent weeks due to a combination of factors, the most important of which are demands on my time from other quarters and an escalating problem with migraines.

    Regarding the statement in this week’s passage referring to “in what way the historical figures and positive elements of these religions may fall withi…[Read more]

  • I am finding some of the writing in this document rather obscure to my old middle-aged mind. I took the passage to mean one thing, and you took it to mean another thing, John. Lol.

    Bearing in mind this article of faith, theology today, in its reflection on the existence of other religious experiences and on their meaning in God’s salvific p…

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  • I want to start the discussion by answering my last question:

    Are there any examples in traditional Christianity of a manifold cooperation in salvation?

    Absolutely!  The prime example is the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has won and continues to win many souls to Christ.  There is, however, a fundamental difference in character b…[Read more]

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