Press gets it wrong
FREE Catholic Classes
But an unheralded three-page document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) with the vague title, "Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church" created a pastoral brouhaha that is still reverberating.
In truth, it was not the document itself. Rather, it was the overheated and undernuanced media coverage of the document, particularly a story by The Associated Press that created the firestorm of commentary.
The AP's lead sentence was that Pope Benedict XVI "reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation."
We are hearing from parishes around the country about the tears and anger provoked by this story, not to mention family discord and ecumenical ire.
We encourage Catholics -- indeed all Christians -- to read the brief CDF document (www.vatican.va).
Perhaps the key quote in the document, at least in response to the misguided upset provoked by the news story, is taken directly from the Second Vatican Council: "It follows that these separated churches and communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church."
Pope Benedict has clearly stated his concern about the kind of relativism that permeates society and even sectors of the church today, and he has also made it clear that he wants to affirm what the Second Vatican Council really taught, not what people think it taught. This document is clearly intended to accomplish both goals.
If ever Catholics needed a reminder of why they should not get their news about the church from the secular press, The Associated Press has provided us with exhibit one. The Catholic media is, unfortunately, ignored by most Catholics today, who get their Catholic news from non-Catholic sources. The fact that so many Catholics seem surprised by this unassuming document's claims is evidence of the ongoing catechetical crisis we find ourselves in, and a further affirmation of the value of sound Catholic media.
If we may be permitted one complaint, the Vatican should have been better prepared to handle the pastoral confusion this document's release unfortunately created. Slipping it into the public domain on the eve of the Roman summer holidays without commentary, indeed with no visible effort to "control the spin" that would have been easily predicted, was not helpful.
We continue to be impressed by the intellectual vigor of this pontificate, but in the modern media age, it is not simply waging battle over theological abstractions. It is engaged in a struggle for hearts, minds and souls. The very problems that provoked this document should have been warning enough that its dissemination would demand pastoral as well as theological acumen.
Our Sunday Visitor
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.