A Case Study In Modern-Day
by I Shawn McElhinney
I would not be so concerned if this were something from outside the Church. But when each one takes as his mission to criticize everything, when each one sets out to rewrite dogma and morality according to his own wishes, the Church disintegrates. When the center of unity becomes the target of the most impassioned attacks, each one feeling that he has the right to criticize the successor of Peter before the whole world on any point whatsoever, the Church herself is therefore wounded. Those who take this liberty do not fully realize what they are doing. Regardless of what pretext they may invoke, however, they are turning their backs on the gospel of Christ, and they scandalize, in the fullest sense of the word, many of their brethren.
Whether they wish to or not, they encourage the formation of small groups whose sectarian pretensions are equalled only by the poverty of their spirituality. The weakening of faith is coupled with the decomposition of the Christian community. They insult all those who hold on to what their faith requires of them as Christians. Inasmuch as it depends on them, they ruin the Church. A Church in which this form of disorder exists and where such morals are accepted is doomed. This is an examination of a recent letter from Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay of the SSPX to Cardinal Castillo Hoyos of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei commission. The intention is to present a case study in modern day Donatism. The letter is posted in its entirety and some clarifying commentary has been added to bring up some points worth a brief examination. Bishop Fellay’s words will be in Georgia font and in smaller bold print. All references to myself, when needed, will be indirect.
You cannot deny that you know that in the city of Rome the Chair was first conferred on Peter, in which the prince of all the Apostles, Peter, sat ... in which Chair unity should be preserved by all, so that he should now be a schismatic and a sinner who should set up another Chair against that unique one. Of course it is almost a given that Bishop Fellay will say "but we have not set up a rival to the pope the way the Dontatists did". But he would be mistaken. You see, the Donatists did not have an anti-pope or someone claiming to be pope either. St. Opatus was referring to the bishop who acted as pope among the Donatists. He was known as Donatus the Great and was revered by his followers. Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia said about him:
The Donatist party owed its success in great part to the ability of its leader Donatus, the successor of Majorinus. He appears to have really merited the title of "the Great" by his eloquence and force of character. His writings are lost. His influence with his party was extraordinary…In his lifetime he is said to have greatly enjoyed the adulation he received, and after death he was counted as a martyr and miracles were ascribed to him. Donatus was basically the Archbishop Lefebvre of the Donatist faction. What was the fate of the Donatists viz. the judgment of Rome??? Again the Catholic Encyclopedia is cited:
Pope Melchiades summoned fifteen Italian bishops to sit with him. From this time forward we find that in all important matters the popes issue their decretal letters from a small council of bishops, and there are traces of this custom even before this. A small note: how dare Pope Melchiades practice the "heresy" of collegiality, a concept declared by Archbishop Lefebvre to be "against tradition"!!!
The ten Donatist bishops (for we may now give the party its eventual name) were headed by a Bishop Donatus of Casae Nigrae…On the third day the unanimous sentence was pronounced by Melchiades: Caecilian was to be maintained in ecclestiastical communion. If Donatist bishops returned to the Church, in a place where there were two rival bishops, the junior was to retire and be provided with another see. The Donatists were furious. A hundred years later their successor declared that Pope Melchiades was himself a traitor, and that on this account they had not accepted his decision; though there is no trace of this having been alleged at the time. But the nineteen bishops at Rome were contrasted with the seventy bishops of the Cathaginian Council, and a fresh judgment was demanded. As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said "it is de ja vu all over again". How dare the Fathers act so uncompromisingly towards the Donatists when the group claimed that they were not in schism. Why if declaring the pope a traitor gave the Donatists an excuse to not accept his decision, than the SSPX has merit in their refusal to accept the verdict of Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. However, if the Donatists were wrong in opposing the pope’s judgment, than the SSPX are wrong today. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The two situations are virtually identical. Both involved parties which sought to "purify" themselves from the rest of the Church (as if they were somehow "more holy" or "more traditional") and both rejected the judgment of the pope as to their standing viz. communion in the Church. But there is no need to stop with the Donatists when there is so many other wonderful examples of the SSPX’s allies over the centuries. Shall we list a few of them???
St. Hippolytus was not a schismatic, why no he was "preserving tradition". (It was Pope Callistus I who was the schismatic, who was selling the Faith down the river.) The Acacian schism was not the fault of the Emperors and the entire Eastern Patriarchy. (Instead, it was the popes who were the ones in schism.) As for Photius and Popes Nicholas I, Hadrian II, and John VIII, why we know it was Photius who was "preserving tradition" and the Popes who were controverting it. Likewise with the Eastern schism - it was not Constantinople who was at fault it was Rome. (Need Fr. Martin Luther and his accusation of the pope being if not "anti-christ" then at least "his apostle" be mentioned??? After all, it is not as if Fr. Luther did not have his own excuses for failing to heed the authority of the Apostolic See.)
Yes the amazing shredding cloak of the Catholic Church over the centuries…somehow she survives despite being "wrong" so many times. The aforementioned situations were far less cut and dried than the SSPX situation in 1988. Therefore, if we call into question the judgment of Pope John Paul II on the status of the SSPX being in communion with him, than we have a free hand to call into question a lot of the events of the past. Or we can be consistent and recognize that all the other groups claiming that they were not in schism did not change the objective fact that they were. We know this the same way we know that the earlier schismatics and heresarchs were wrong: judgment against them was rendered by the Supreme Authority.
Minor censures though were another matter completely - and is another example of how fine distinctions are lost on the 'traditionalist' such as Bishop Bernard Fellay. It is funny that self-styled 'traditionalists' go out of their way to pontificate as to the extent of the pope’s infallibility (as if infallibility is the criterion of obedience). They narrow the infallibility of the pope down to the most minimal of degrees then presume that a censure from the Holy Office is somehow an infallible condemnation with regards to the theologians of the twentieth century whom they personally do not like. Yet there are even Catholic apologists of a 'traditionalist' bend who are in communion with Rome who would lump Congar and de Lubac in with others such as Teilhard or even Rahner: two parties who can rightfully be listed as if not Modernist then at least Modernist-sympathizing or ambiguous. Courtney-Murray, though ultimately unable to reconcile his thesis on Church-State relations (which unfortunately is often taken as the teaching of Vatican II on Religious Liberty), was not unwilling to be obedient to the Magisterium (unlike someone like Kung or Lefebvre). Nonetheless, the mere censure from the Curia is hardly as authoritative as the Roman Pontiff himself passing judgment on the objective standing of a party in the Catholic Church. If the Popes declare in a formal manner that a certain party does not have his communion, then they are in schism.
God will judge those who would rebelliously set up another Chair against the Chair of Peter and not repent of this before they die. This does not only mean going to the extent of setting up an antipope though. Indeed any group which severs the bond of sacred communion with the Roman Pontiff puts the salvation of their adherents in serious jeopardy. One of the principles of the Church throughout history is to draw the truth from error and this has included the previously condemned heresies and erroneous philosophies. Heresy is evil and evil is a perversion of the good. But every heresy has some grains of truth to it as heresy is best described as the most vile of lies: the half-truth. In opposition to a complete lie (which is not as successful in snaring unsuspecting victims), a half-truth contains truth to it mixed in with its error. As St. Vincent of Lerens in his Commonitory explained it:
For [heretics] know that the evil stench of their doctrine will hardly find acceptance with any one if it be exhaled pure and simple…They do, in fact, what nurses do when they would prepare some bitter draught for children; they smear the edge of the cup all round with honey, that the unsuspecting child, having first tasted the sweet, may have no fear of the bitter. So too do these act, who disguise poisonous herbs and noxious juices under the names of medicines, so that no one almost, when he reads the label, suspects the poison. This is why the Magisterium has historically extracted what is true from false theologies and philosophies. She does this to preserve what is true and leaves the errors by the wayside. The first step in this process is to condemn the errors themselves. (This was done with the errors of the post-Enlightenment period by the pre-Vatican II popes as well as by Vatican I.) The next step is to filter from the errors what is true. St. Thomas Aquinas did this with Aristotelian philosophy and the Arabic philosophies of Averros and Avicenna. The Magisterium both in the papal Magisterium of the Popes before Vatican II, at Vatican II, and since the Council have likewise done this with the errors of Rationalism, Antiquarianism, and Modernism. The wolves since the Council have wrapped themselves up in the "fleece" of Vatican II and have preached a Gospel that the Council in no way taught. (A point this writer and the other aforementioned authors have dealt with repeatedly.) Bishop Fellay is right that there is a lot of error masquerading as "truth" today. He however errs in ascribing these problems to what the Council taught or the tired pathetic excuse that the Council’s documents were "ambiguous". Language can always be twisted regardless of the intentions of the authors and that Vatican II had a few apparent ambiguities is hardly irregular. All Councils and Magisterial documents have them to some extent. The documents of Vatican II read just fine for the most part. There are a few spots that could be argued are ambiguous but that is common to all General Councils and the CDF can add a few clarification notes where needed to correct this situation.
But was the approach taken by Vatican II to draw from these erroneous philosophies the seeds of truth that they contained therefore an erroneous approach??? Certainly not. This is what St. Thomas Aquinas did with Aristotle, and what St. Augustine and the earlier Fathers did with Plato. And this is what St. Paul did in his preaching at Mars Hill along with St. John’s Gospel incorporating the Greek theology of the Divine Logos in explaining Our Lord as the "Word of God". (See John 1:1 for a Scripture verse read at the end of every Tridentine Mass which affirms this.) The Church’s approach has not changed. It is only those who claim to be "preserving tradition" who have too much tunnel-vision to see the forest for the trees.
[A]ll those teachings - on faith and morals - presented as true or at least as sure, even if they have not been defined with a solemn judgment or proposed as definitive by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Such teachings are, however, an authentic expression of the ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff or of the College of Bishops and therefore require religious submission of will and intellect. They are set forth in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of revelation, or to recall the conformity of a teaching with the truths of faith, or lastly to warn against ideas incompatible with these truths or against dangerous opinions that can lead to error.
A proposition contrary to these doctrines can be qualified as erroneous or, in the case of teachings of the prudential order, as rash or dangerous and therefore "tuto doceri non potest".At a bare minimum one can qualify the assertions of the SSPX as "erroneous", when they controvert the teachings of the Council in the various documents set forth. The Decrees were primarily (though not exclusively) promulgated to warn against ideas incompatible with the truths of the faith and against dangerous opinions which can lead to error. The Declarations of teaching from the Council (of which there were three set forth) are even higher in authority then the Decrees. These were set forth primarily to arrive at a deeper understanding of revelation (most notably Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra Aetate, which specifically set forth to develop doctrine). The Constitutions are of the highest authority and deal with fundamental aspects of the faith. Included among these fundamental documents is a Constitution on the Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), and a primarily (but not exclusively) Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes). There were also two Dogmatic Constitutions as mentioned previously. (One on the Church and one on Divine Revelation which were promulgated by the Council to finish the work of Vatican I.) This writer dealt with the two Dogmatic Constitutions — which form part of the Church’s Credo - in his treatise. They were addressed with regards to several teachings contained therein that were clearly set forth definitively (and thus infallibly) in a non-defining manner. But levels of infallibility are not what makes these documents authoritative. Instead, what makes them binding is the authority of the Pope who promulgated them with his Apostolic authority as Pastor of the Universal Church in union with the Fathers of the Sacred Council.
Authority is not contingent upon a teaching being infallible. This ironically is a version of one of the errors condemned in Bl. Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus. Error twenty-two read as follows: "The obligation by which Catholic teachers and authors are strictly bound is confined to those things only which are proposed to universal belief as dogmas of faith by the infallible judgment of the Church." The modification of the modern 'traditionalist' error stems in presuming that infallibility is the criterion of truth. This is not true at all and has never been viewed as a legitimate opinion to hold by the Magisterium.
Bishop Fellay has again confused truth with infallibility. A truth does
not have to be infallible to be true. Nor does it have to be infallible
to command obedience. But as we have already dealt with this common 'traditionalist'
(and liberal/modernist) error, there is no need to rehash it at this point.
APPENDIX ANNOUNCEMENT MADE BY THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COUNCIL AT THE ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY THIRD GENERAL CONGREGATION 16 NOVEMBER, 1964
A query has been made as to what is the theological qualification to be attached to the teaching put forward in the schema The Church, on which a vote is to be taken.
The doctrinal commission has replied to this query in appraising the modi proposed to the third chapter of the schema The Church:
As is self-evident, the conciliar text is to be interpreted in accordance with the general rules, which are known to all. On this occasion the doctrinal commission referred to its Declaration of 6 March, 1964, which we reproduce here:
Taking into account conciliar practice and the pastoral purpose of the present council, the sacred synod defined as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals, which it has expressly put forward as such.
Whatever else it proposes as the teaching of the supreme magisterium of the Church is to be acknowledged and accepted by each and every member of the faithful according to the mind of the Council which is clear from the subject matter and its formulation, following the norms of theological interpretation.
The following explanatory note prefixed to the modi of chapter three of the schema The Church is given to the Fathers, and it is according to the mind and sense of this note that the teaching contained in chapter three is to be explained and understood.In other words, any teaching pertaining to faith or morals that is set forth expressly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium as binding is binding. This does not mean that there is any necessary formula to indicate that it is set forth of course. For practical purposes a simple "this synod teaches" or a similar expression is adequate to convey the intention of the synod to hand on binding teaching if it is a matter of faith or morals. Anything else proposed was to be accepted in accordance with the mind of the Council as made clear by the subject matter and its manner of formulation. The "norms of theological interpretation" would clarify that there are different levels of teaching in the three different documents promulgated. (In order of authority would be the two Dogmatic Constitutions followed by the two regular Constitutions. Following these would be the three Declarations of teaching. Following these would be the nine Decrees.) The documents of the Council have differing levels of teaching within them and thus, different theological qualifications. This writer goes over the situation to some extent in his treatise outlining a number of teachings in both Dogmatic Constitutions that are set forth definitively. This is ascertainable by virtue of the language used in their formulation, and the documents in question (Dogmatic Constitutions: by their very nature dealing with issues of faith and morals). This does not mean that only Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum contain definitive teachings of course, only that those teachings are the most obvious - by virtue of the form of teaching used — to have been set forth infallibly. (Their incorporation into the Catechism of the Catholic Church as doctrine only underscores this assertion.)
However, the predominant approach to the Vatican II Council was to reaffirm previous teachings in more modern idioms for greater understanding. There was also the expressed intention of developing doctrine in a few areas (the Constitution Gaudium Et Spes and the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae to name a couple that come to mind) as well as settling some theological controversies. The latter was dealt with primarily in the two Dogmatic Constitutions. The Church is infallible with regards to theological conclusions and there were several theological controversies that Vatican II took a distinct position on which were later incorporated into the Catechism of the Catholic Church as doctrine. These doctrines though undefined would be infallibly rendered.
It is nuances such as these that theological amateurs do not properly comprehend. And beyond a shadow of doubt, the theological formulation of Bishop Fellay and others within the SSPX is deficient in proper understanding on these matters. That unfortunately is not a franchise that they own the exclusive rights to since even Tridentine Catholics make mistakes in these areas. So do many so-called "conservatives". (And the errors of the liberal dissenters on this score are legion.) Because of this, we have a Magisterium to guide us and divine assistance is not lacking simply because a certain teaching is not set forth in a recognizably definitive manner. This is why religious submission of mind and will to the teachings of the ordinary magisterium pertaining to matters of faith and morals is required. True "Traditionalists" do not seek to skirt this obligation or explain away its necessity with arguments borrowed from heretics and schismatics.
Just as Scripture having God as its Author cannot contain any errors (and does not properly understood), a General Council has as its soul the guidance of the Holy Spirit with regards to what is finally promulgated as binding. And all sixteen documents of the Second Sacrosanct Vatican Ecumenical Synod bear the ratification of the Sovereign Pontiff. Therefore, they are free from doctrinal or moral error and to assert otherwise is to go against the unanimous consensus of the Church on the protection of the Holy Spirit of the doctrinal and moral teachings of a General Council. (An assertion that would be gravely erroneous if not proximate to heresy by the norms of theological interpretation.)
This author in his treatise outlined about forty such examples of 'traditionalists' making these kinds of text-snipping criticisms. In every case when the document can be retrieved and the sitz im leben ascertained, there can be shown to be an error on the part of the 'traditionalist' or the statement in context has an obvious orthodox understanding to it. These examples by Bishop Fellay would almost certainly not prove to be exceptions to the rule.
"The way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren. It is, of course, essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety. Nothing is so foreign to the spirit of ecumenism as a false irenicism, in which the purity of Catholic doctrine suffers loss and its genuine and certain meaning is clouded.
AT THE SAME TIME, the Catholic faith must be explained more profoundly and precisely, IN SUCH A WAY AND IN SUCH TERMS AS OUR SEPARATED BRETHREN CAN ALSO REALLY UNDERSTAND." No contradiction of the teaching of the past is present in any doctrinal sense. The policies have changed but that is hardly an irregular occurrence historically. Before Nicaea appropriated and defined the term homoousian in an orthodox manner it was a condemned heretical proposition. The same is the case with ecumenism as the Catholic Church defined it at Vatican II. Pope Pius XI dealt with ecumenism as the Pan Christians defined the term. Vatican II defined the term in a completely different context and set out principles to govern the movement accordingly. (Which in countless cases were ignored.) The differences are clear for those who take five minutes to study the manner with any degree of objectivity. Just because most ecumenists practice the kind of ecumenism that Pope Pius XI condemned is not the fault of Vatican II, which reaffirmed the condemnations of Pope Pius XI and referred to them as "foreign to the spirit of ecumenism". See the quote above for the context or the treatise of the author which examines larger sections of Unitatis Redintegratio. There are no doctrinal contradictions on ecumenism whatsoever between Mortalium Animos and Unitatis Redintegratio. This writer covers this subject in detail in his treatise and also in the essay Distinctions of Outlook.
[I]n spite of so much that is good in them, in spite of their sense of duty, their tenderness of conscience on many points, their benevolence, their uprightness, their generosity, they are under the dominion (I must say it) of a proud fiend; they have this stout spirit within them, they determine to be their own masters in matters of thought, about which they know so little; they consider their own reason better than any one's else; they will not admit that any one comes from God who contradicts their own view of truth. What! is none their equal in wisdom anywhere? Is there none other whose word is to be taken on religion? Is there none to wrest from them their ultimate appeal to themselves? Have they in no possible way the occasion or opportunity of faith? Is it a virtue, which, in consequence of their transcendent sagacity, their prerogative of omniscience, they must give up hope of exercising? This writer would be interested in Bishop Fellay telling him how what 'traditionalists' do is ANY different in principle then what Protestants habitually do. (Unlike most Protestants a true "Traditionalist" would know better.)
Cardinal Yves Congar's intellectual and spiritual stature, as one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, has been enhanced with the publication of his memoirs of the difficult years, when he was subjected to sanctions by his superiors.
Cardinal Congar (1904-1995) was one of the great theologians of the Second Vatican Council and a pioneer in fields such as ecumenism and the theology of the laity. John Paul II made him a cardinal in 1994, for his long and faithful service to the Church.
Entitled "Journal d'un theologien," published by the French Dominicans' Cerf, the book covers Father Congar's writings from 1946-1956, in which he reveals the restrictive measures and increasing isolation to which he was subjected, by order of the Holy Office, on behalf of his religious superiors.
Father Congar's journal includes a detailed listing of the ecclesiastical sanctions he was bound to obey, without ever having had the possibility of knowing the specific accusations against him. Yet THIS approach taken by the Curia does not bother Bishop Fellay and his allies??? The article also noted that "Father Congar reacted to the measures with anxiety and, at times, anger, although he always obeyed". This is much more then can be said about Archbishop Lefebvre, who rebelled against the Vatican from 1976 until the day he died. Yet Congar and other who obeyed the censures they were assessed with (such as de Lubac, and Blondel) are vilified by self-styled 'traditionalists' while disobedient rebels such as Fr. Feeney and Archbishop Lefebvre are praised for their refusal to obey the sanctions put upon them. The word "hypocrisy" comes to mind to put it frankly.
With regards to conversions, this is another area with more complexities then a "trad" can generally handle. To start with, it is not possible for any individual to convert another individual. Conversion is the sole action of the Holy Spirit. The most any individual can do is present the truth to another person in a charitable manner and in language and concepts that they can readily understand. How can one aid in enlightening the conscience of a person using terms or principles that are antiquated or which run counter to the person’s understanding of the meaning of terms??? Are we preaching to them a Faith or a culture???
As long as self-styled 'traditionalists' insist on pushing a culture rather than the Catholic Faith, their attempts will for the most part be fruitless. As for the comments of Bishop Tauran, his statements can have both an orthodox and a heterodox interpretation. Without seeing the text of the speech and knowing the target audience he was addressing, it would not be possible for the reader to know what the Bishop meant. It would appear heterodox at first glance but this author’s treatise is filled with debunking supposed "errors" and "contrary condemned statements" set forth by self-styled 'traditionalists'. Let us take a closer look at a few of the underlying factors here with the text of the comment from the Zenit News Agency on June 6, 2001:
Manila (Fides) - The role of religion is to promote and respect and understanding in our societies: religions should never be misused to instigate hatred or violence. This statement was made by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Holy See Secretary for Relations with States, on June 4, at a meeting with religious leaders in Manila at the Catholic Nunciature. The papal representative was in the Philippines to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the Holy See.
The Archbishop recalled that the present Pope has been dedicating enormous energy and time for the past 23 years as head of the Catholic Church, to tear down walls that have separated people of different religions. "Pope John Paul II has done this in his fervent desire to restore unity within Christianity and to establish significant relations with non-Christian believers," the Archbishop said. He said that besides promoting harmony among peoples, religion also plays an important role in the promotion of justice. "These two elements, harmony among peoples and justice within society, clearly defined by the Pope, are principles which guide our relations with all religions", Archbishop Tauran explained. A believer of a different religion to our own is a person to be understood, "leaving to God the role of illuminating the conscience." Religions should not be in competition with each other, they should be like "brothers and sisters walking hand in hand to build channels of fraternity and a peaceful world in which to live and to work, Archbishop Tauran said. Did Bishop Fellay know that this was said in the context of a conflict between the Philippine government and Islamic secessionist groups??? If not then he should have before citing the passage. This is why it is necessary to take into account the sitz im leben of a situation and not simply resort to proof-texting.
As any credible Scripture scholar can tell you, when there is a question as to the meaning of a certain passage, recourse must be had to parallel passages that could help in clarifying the interpretation of the passage in question. The same principle applies to ascertaining the interpretation of a given passage. On May 27, 2001 (ten days before the passage that Bishop Fellay cited), Bishop Tauran was in Moscow, Russia presiding at a concelebrated Mass. Here is the Zenit news story on the theme of his homily, which helps shed some light on this issue:
Moscow (Fides) - A vigorous call for Christian unity was voiced to Catholics in Moscow by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Holy See secretary for relations with states, appointed Papal Envoy for celebrations in the Russian capital to mark the tenth anniversary of the re-organisation of the Church of Latin Rite in Russia. In his homily during Mass which he presided on Sunday May 27 in the Church of the Immaculate Conception concelebrating with about twenty bishops, including Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Apostolic Administrator for northern European Russia and a number of priests, Archbishop Tauran said: "The history of the Church through the centuries is fundamentally a story of witness to Christ in every language and every nation, the story of a Church "walking amidst the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God". And you, dear people of this land - he added - know the cost of witness and sufferings borne for Christ, like the apostles".
The Church, Mgr. Tauran said "must dialogue with the world" and "the source of this dialogue with the world and with the Russian society of today is God’s conversation with mankind. WE MUST LEARN TO "SPEAK" CHRIST IN EVERY LANGUAGE, IN EVERY CULTURE AND LAND, including Russia, so that every person will come to know that they are loved by God who calls them to enter his Kingdom. This is the one piece of Good News that people long to hear". Dialogue, he continued, "is certainly never proselytism or propaganda. Jesus never forced himself on anyone and his disciples, in turn, must be discreet and show respect for others." But at the same time, "it would be lack of respect not to share with others what we have discovered, not to answer their questions about our faith, about life, the future". On behalf of the Pope he thanked Catholics in Russia "for your commitment to keep and nourish the Catholic faith". "But here in Moscow - he added - we cannot forget that our Catholic community lives side by side with the Russian Orthodox Church, in which most Christians in Russia have their spiritual roots. Christians united render more credible to the message Jesus entrusted to us: a message of reconciliation with self, with others, with God. Together we are called to be signs of God for the world.
As one of the Holy Father’s co-workers - I am aware of his longing for unity among Christians and also of the special esteem he has for the faithful of the Orthodox Church. No difficulty, misunderstanding, or event of the past or present should prevent us from regarding each other with trust and sincerity as true brothers and sisters. We are not competitors, we must not see others ONLY as persons to be converted. We are all pilgrims and, as God watches over us, we try to love as Christ loved. To succeed there must be mutual attention, delicacy and respect. We must love as Christ loved, learning to be reconciled with one another so that together we may open the door of the Church to all who come knocking." Present at the Mass were representatives of the Orthodox Patriarchate and of the city’s Lutheran, Jewish and Muslim communities. Bishop Tauran is the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Holy See. This is not the same as the Secretary of State (that would be Cardinal Sodano) but the same degree of diplomacy is required. In seeking to provide a reasonable investigation into this matter, it becomes quite clear that Bishop Tauran, far from dissuading evangelization instead actively promotes it. But we are not talking about proseltyzing or propaganda here. We are not talking about seeking to convert people in the sense of playing down the warts of Church history or misrepresenting the positions of other people in the process. No, authentic evangelization means LISTENING to people. Do not tell your Lutheran or Buddhist neighbour what he 'believes'. LISTEN TO HIM. Ask questions. In the process answer any question he has about your faith. Bishop Tauran is right that the role of illuminating the conscience belongs to God alone. Those who think that they actually can convert anyone are only fooling themselves. The best they can do is explain the faith to others in a charitable manner and in ways that their brethren can understand it. Of course most stock 'traditionalist' explanations are loaded with buzzwords and create a climate of polarization. Like it or not our brethren of other faiths do not define many of the key theological terms the way we do. Therefore, we have to accommodate our discourse to them in ways that they can understand it. This does NOT mean sacrificing the truth but instead doing as the Apostle exhorted in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 9:
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. This is Catholic ecumenism properly conducted in a nutshell!!! And it is clearly in accordance with the professed position of Bishop Tauran. His statement in this light can be considered to be vindicated from Bishop Fellay’s presumption of unorthodoxy.
So in essence Cardinal Kasper’s words (like Bishop Tauran’s) can have an orthodox sense. We have to learn to live together not merely co-exist in isolation from one another. An orthodox sense of the passage would claim that in the absence of explicit Christian faith, following the dictates of prevenient grace and adhering to the Torah may be a road to salvation for the Jews. By no means can it be presumed so of course. Only through love is salvation possible to anybody. After all, love is the fulfilling of the Law. This is where the most important of the theological virtues comes into play. Charity "is a supernatural virtue, infused into our soul by God, by which we love God above all for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God" (Pope St. Pius X Catechism: Answer to Q 42 on Charity). While the exact wording of his statement may seem problematical, it would help to look at the fuller context of the passage to understand better the mind of Cardinal Kasper. Here is a link to the speech:
If one reads carefully at the above link, they will see the cardinal say:
Besides the already mentioned main problem raised by Dominus Iesus, there are other questions that I cannot deal with in this paper, since they would need a much more thorough discussion. These questions have already been object of our dialogue and should be on the agenda also in the future. In this context, I can only mention them, without claiming to solve them. Neither has Dominus Iesus the intention to enter these issues: they are beyond its intra-theological and intra-catholic intention.
One of these questions is how to relate the covenant with the Jewish people, which according to St. Paul is unbroken and not revoked but still in vigour, with what we Christians call the New covenant. As you know, the old theory of substitution is gone since II Vatican Council. For us Christians today the covenant with the Jewish people is a living heritage, a living reality. There cannot be a mere coexistence between the two covenants. Jews and Christians, by their respective specific identities, are intimately related to each others. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOW TO ENTER THE COMPLEX PROBLEM OF HOW THIS INTIMATE RELATEDNESS SHOULD OR COULD BE DEFINED. SUCH QUESTION TOUCHES THE MYSTERY OF JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN EXISTENCE AS WELL, AND SHOULD BE DISCUSSED IN OUR FURTHER DIALOGUE.
The only thing I wish to say is that the Document Dominus Iesus does not state that everybody needs to become a Catholic in order to be saved by God.
On the contrary, it declares that God’s grace, which is the grace of Jesus Christ according to our faith, is available to all. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, i.e. the faithful response of the Jewish people to God’s irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his promises. 
He is insane who rises or acts contrary to this Vicar who holds the keys of the blood of Christ crucified. Even if he was a demon incarnate, I should not raise my head against him, but always grovel and ask for the blood out of mercy. And don’t pay attention to what the demon proposes to you and you propose under the color of virtue, that is to say to want to do justice against evil pastors regarding their fault. Don’t trust the demon: don’t try to do justice about what does not concern you. God wants neither you nor anyone else to set themselves up as a righter of the wrongs of His ministers. He reserves judgment to Himself, and He reserves it to His Vicar; and if the Vicar does not do justice, we should wait for the punishment and correction on the part of the sovereign judge, God Eternal. No one should accuse another of heresy (or even schism) haphazardly. The irony is that the SSPX goes through a maze of convoluted rationale to explain why they are not schismatic (and if they are not than neither were the Donatists or the Old Catholics). Then they expect a single snipped quote absent its context to be adequate to pass sentence on the orthodoxy of Bishop Tauran, Cardinal Kasper, or others in the Church. This is profoundly hypocritical. At the very least they owe Bishop Tauran and Cardinal Kasper the same degree of latitude on the subject of their orthodoxy as they claim viz. their state of legitimacy in the Church. At least Bishop Tauran and Cardinal Kasper do not have an Apostolic Letter of the Roman Pontiff pronouncing on their objective status in the Church the way the SSPX does. But then if we give everyone the degree of latitude that the SSPX is demanding, we would have no schismatics at all. We would arguably have no heretics either at least not subjectively. And at the same time we would gut the very concept of Church authority and be little better than the Reformed Protestants who profess allegiance to the Church "except when she departs from the Gospel". The latter being a standard decided upon by the individual Reformed or a certain Reformed denomination of course as SSPX considers themselves to be a "Magisterium" de facto. The historical parallels are eerie and outlined in this writer’s treatise. They are not to be taken lightly by anyone who professes a filial devotion to the Church.
Either say that faith is not necessary now at all, or take it to be what the Apostles meant by it, BUT DO NOT SAY THAT YOU HAVE IT, AND THEN SHOW ME SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, WHICH YOU HAVE PUT IN THE PLACE OF IT. In the Apostles' days the peculiarity of faith was submission to a living authority; this is what made it so distinctive; this is what made it an act of submission at all; this is what destroyed private judgment in matters of religion. If you will not look out for a living authority, and will bargain for private judgment, then say at once that you have not Apostolic faith. And in fact you have it not; the bulk of this nation has it not; confess you have it not; and then confess that this is the reason why you are not Catholics. You are not Catholics because you have not faith. 
I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your Blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built! This is the house where alone the Paschal Lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the Ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails… He that gathers not with you scatters; he that is not of Christ is of Antichrist. Until you and the Society can stand up and make such a Profession of Faith, you will remain cut off from the bond of communion with the Catholic Church. Rome has offered you her communion under certain conditions and is willing to grant you a tremendous degree of legal autonomy in the process. To refuse this is only to cement in the mind of faithful Catholics that you indeed have no interest in rejoining the Catholic Church. And until that happens you do not the work of God for you cannot have Him for your Father if you refuse the Church as your Mother. Quid pro quo.
In the face of the evidence and contrary to all justice they attribute to that most faithful Shepherd of the Church ideas, which are not ideas of reform, but which are even destructive of the teaching and discipline of the Church. There are many things that can be corrected and modified in Catholic life, many doctrines that can be studied more deeply, completed and expressed in more comprehensible terms, many rules that can be simplified and better adapted to the needs of our times. But there are two matters beyond argument; the truth of the Faith, authoritatively sanctioned by Tradition, and by the ecclesiastical magisterium, and the Constitutional law of the Church. Obedience must be given to the ministry of pastoral government, that Christ established, and that the wisdom of the Church has developed and extended in the various members of the mystical and visible body of the Church, to guide and strengthen the many component parts that make up the People of God. Therefore: renewal, yes. Arbitrary change, no. History of the Church, ever living and new, yes. Historicism destructive of traditional dogma, no. Theological integration according to the teaching of the council, yes. Theology deriving from arbitrary subjective theories often borrowed from hostile sources, no. A church open to ecumenical charity, to responsible dialogue, to the recognition of Christian values among our separated brethren, yes. An irenic theology that betrays the truth of the faith, and adopts certain negative principles which have contributed to the separation of so many Christians from the centre of unity of the Catholic communion, no. Religious liberty for all in civilized society, and liberty of personal adherence to religion according to the well- considered choice of the individual conscience, yes. Liberty of conscience as the criterion of religious truth, without reference to the authenticity of serious and authorized teaching, no. And so on. [Pope Paul VI (circa 1968)]Dedicated to Saints Augustine of Hippo and Opatus of Milve
 Fr. Henri de Lubac, SJ: From a speech titled "Crisis in the Church" (May 29, 1969)
(While Fr. De Lubac was censured by the Holy Office at one point, at no time were any of his theses actually condemned to the knowledge of this writer. Despite the injustice of his treatment, he did not cease to render obedience towards his superiors. This is something that dissidents such as Bishop Fellay, the SSPX, Remnant, and others of a similar mould can and should learn from.)
 St. Optatus of Mileve: The Schism of Donatists, 2:2-3 (c.A.D. 367), in GCC, 55*
 The Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Donatists" authored by Dom. John Chapman (c. 1913)
 The Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Donatists" authored by Dom. John Chapman (c. 1913)
 The Catholic Encyclopedia: From the article "Donatists" authored by Dom. John Chapman (c. 1913)
 St. Vincent of Lerins: Commonitory, Ch. 24 (c. A.D. 434)
 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone: "CDF Commentary on the Professio Fidei" (c. 1998)
 Vatican II: Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" - Explanatory Note (November 21, 1964)
 Vatican II: Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio" §11 (November 21, 1964)
 Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman: From his sermon "Faith and Private Judgment" from the Discourses to Mixed Congregations series (c. 1849)
 Zenit News Agency: excerpt from the article "Theologian Yves Congar´s Heroic Silence" (March 25, 2001)
 International Fides Service - June 15th 2001 - No 4252, NE 336
 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
 Cardinal Kasper: ILC Meeting, New York, 1 — 4 May 2001 "Exchange of Information" Session Dominus Iesus
 St. Catherine of Siena: Letter to Barnabas, Viscount Lord of Milan Letters, Vol. I. Letter No. 28
 Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman: From his sermon "Faith and Private Judgment" from the Discourses to Mixed Congregations series (c. 1849)
 St. Jerome: To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15:1-2 (A.D. 375), in NPNF2, VI:18*
All citations from the Church Fathers indicated with a * were taken from Joe Gallegos’ web-site Corunum Apologetics Web-site which specializes in Patristic Studies: http://www.cin.org/users/jgallegos/contents.htm
The citations from the Catholic Encyclopedia article "Dontatists" were obtained at the following link: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05121a.htm
The citation from St. Vincent of Lerens can be located at the following link: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/
The citation from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone's "CDF Doctrinal Commentary on the Professio Fidei" was obtained at the following link: http://www.memorare.com/liturgy/ratz.html
The citation from the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution "Lumen Gentium" was obtained at the following link: http://www.rc.net/rcchurch/vatican2/lumen.gen
The citation from the Second Vatican Council's Decree "Unitatis Redintegratio"
was obtained at the following link:
The citations from Ven. Cardinal John Henry Newman’s sermon "Faith and Private Judgment" were obtained at the following link: http://www.newmanreader.org/works/discourses/discourse10.html
The citation from Zenit was obtained at the following link: http://zenit.org/english/archive/0103/ZE010325.htm#3894
The first citation from International Fides Service was obtained at the following link: http://www.fides.org/English/2001/e20010615c.html
The second citation from International Fides Service was obtained at the following link: http://www.fides.org/English/2001/e20010601c.html
The passage from 1 Corinthians 9 was obtained from the following link: http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=1COR+9&language=english&version=KJV&showfn=off&showxref=off
The quote from Cardinal Kasper was obtained at the following link: http://www.chretiens-et-juifs.org/Documents_Dialogue/IJCLC_KASPER_Dominus_Iesus.htm
©2001, "A Case Study in Modern Day Donatism", written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.