103 – It won’t be theologians who bring about unity among us. The Holy Spirit brings about unity. I join you as just another participant

‘The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power’. These are words of wisdom from the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae of Vatican Council II. And what is theology if not the search and explicitation of divine truth? Really, theological reflection revives faith, for the truth offered by Revelation surpasses the capacities of human knowledge, but does not oppose reason. A theology that is not founded on speculation and study is not theology. That is why the theologian’s vocation is inspired by the Holy Spirit and its goal is to achieve, in communion with the Magisterium, an increasingly profound comprehension of the Word of God contained in Scripture, inspired and transmitted by the living Tradition of the Church. Theologians may not present a theological reflection that contradicts these elements. Consequently, its discourse regarding the unity of Christians and of ecumenism should not be different from that which the Holy Church teaches, as we have already seen in other posts and will now recall. Even less so may the Pope, as visible head of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, be just ‘another participant’ among the pastors of protestant sects…



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

I – Theology is a natural consequence of the search for the truth
II – The unity of Christians is only possible within the only true Church of Christ
III – The Pope is not ‘just another participant’ among Evangelical Pentecostal Pastors

I – Theology is a natural consequence of the search for the truth

John Paul II

There exists a moral obligation to seek the truth and to adhere to it

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Faith professes truth, and reason investigates truth
Only divine knowledge terminates the natural desire of humans for the ultimate end
Theology, or sacred science, is a science of revelation
Sacred doctrine is a science that is more speculative than practical - it is more concerned with divine things than with human acts
Theology: a speculative science which derives its certitude from the light of divine knowledge

Pius X

Among the many and varied subject matters offered to a spirit avid for the truth, Sacred theology has the first place

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Theology is something indispensable for the Church
Theology is obedient to the impulse of truth, arises from love, and seeks to be communicated

Sacred Scriptures

Faith comes from what is heard

John Paul II

The theologian should reject those philosophical opinions which cannot be reconciled with the faith
The effort of theologians must be inspired by the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom
Theology is a service to the Church, and is actively involved in the prophetic mission of the Church
Faith is in a sense an ‘exercise of thought’
The Catholic theologian may not create a bridge between Scripture and the preoccupations of the present without the mediation of Tradition

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium, each in its own way, contribute effectively to the salvation of souls
Theologians provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God
The study of Sacred Scripture is the soul of sacred theology
Theologians must seek for ways of communicating doctrine to the men of their times

Pius XII

Theologians have the serious duty of protecting divine and human truth
The sacred Magisterium is the proximate and universal norm of faith to any theologian
Speculation, which neglects the deeper investigation of sacred deposit, becomes sterile

Paul VI

The theologian should be attentive and docile to the light of the Holy Spirit

Benedict XVI

We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The due freedom of theologians must always be limited by the Word of God as is faithfully preserved and expounded in the Church

Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)

There must never be recession from understanding of the sacred dogmas under the specious name of a deeper understanding

Saint Athanasius

Anyone who separates from faith of the Catholic Church is no longer a Christian either in fact or in name

II – The unity of Christians is only possible within the only true Church of Christ

Sacred Scripture

If anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed

Pius IX

To pretend that men can gain eternal salvation in any religion, is to pretend agreement between Christ and Belial
In their deceit they repeatedly declare Protestantism to be only another form of the same true religion of Christ, thereby just as pleasing to God
Mutually disagreeing religious societies separated from the Catholic Church can in no way be said to be part of the same Church
Condemnation from the Syllabus
A very grave error: to believe that men living in error and separated from the true faith and from Catholic unity can attain eternal life

Pius XI

Beneath the enticing words of pan-Christians lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed
Many affirm they would willingly unite to the Church of Rome, but do not turn from false opinions whereby they stray from the one fold of Christ
Impossible: union with those who retain their own opinions. Can those who follow contrary opinions belong to the same fold?
So great a variety of opinions is an easy step to the neglect of religion
The union of Christians is in the return to the true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it

Paul VI

The Gospel message does not permit indifference, syncretism or accommodation
The danger of a dialogue that weakens our attachment to our faith and makes vague compromises

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The sacred mystery of the unity of the Church is like a standard lifted high for the nations to see it
Our separated brethren are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body
In dialogue it is essential that the doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety
There exist important differences between these ecclesial Communities and the Catholic Church, especially in the interpretation of revealed truth
The unity in which Christ brings together the whole Church is in the teaching of the apostles
The Catholic Church is necessary for salvation
This one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The only true union is achieved by the return of the dissidents to the one true Church of Christ
Do not imagine that Christ’s Church is nothing more than a collection of churches and ecclesial communities
The unicity of the Church founded by Christ must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The great richness of diversity of the Church’s members is not opposed to unity

John Paul II

True ecumenical activity in no way means giving up the treasures of divine truth of the Church
The universal activity of the Spirit is inseparable from the Church
Proclaiming Christ and interreligious dialogue should not be confused or regarded as identical
Other communities do not possess the fullness of the Catholic Church
Ecumenical dialogue is a dialogue of conversion, absolutely avoiding all forms of facile ‘agreement’ without clear presentation of doctrine

Benedict XVI

A type of dialogue totally foreign to the thinking of the Second Vatican Council: irenism and indifferentism
The principle of unity, the Holy Spirit, is manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety

International Theological Commission

The way of dialogue between religions cannot in any way pledge itself to syncretism

John Paul II

Christians today feel lost, confused, perplexed and even disillusioned… Real heresies in dogmatic and moral fields have created doubts and confusions

III – The Pope is not ‘just another participant’ among Evangelical Pentecostal Pastors


Some men clearly occupy the foremost place

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

All Christians indiscriminately are not endowed with an equal spiritual power …how much more the Pope

Boniface I

The Council did not dare establish anything above the office of the Pope

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)

Full power was given to the Pope to feed, rule, and govern the universal Church

John Paul II

From sincere humility, be conscious of the dignity of the Papacy

Vatican Council II (XXI Ecumenical)

The Vicar of Christ has full, supreme and universal power

Benedict XV

Peter is the common teacher and rector of all
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