Saturday, 3 March 2018

Vatican releases slap down document rebuking modern-day heresies

The Vatican has issued a major document slapping down what it sees as modern day heresies.

Placuit Deo, or 'Pleasing to God,' is the first major anti-heresy document for 18 years after the controversial Dominus Iesus was published in 2000.

The four-page letter released on Thursday largely steers clear of the controversies that haunted its predecessor, which was accused of having an air of superiority towards other religions, particularly in its claim that non-Christians 'objectively speaking ... are in a gravely deficient situation' with regard to salvation.

'This document does not wish to directly enter in discussion on the issues regarding Dominus Dei,' said Italian Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, adding that the sole scope of the text is to address means and obstacles to salvation.

'Salvation cannot be simply reduced to a message, a procedure, a gnosis or an interior sentiment,' he said according to Crux.

In effect the document adds theological grounding and weight to Pope Francis' major objections to modern-day religion, particularly what he sees as a resurgence of the ancient heresies of Pelagianism, which believes salvation can be achieved by an individual on his or her own; and Gnosticism, which treated salvation as an inward journey in distancing the individual from the created world and human relationships.

'Faith in Christ teaches, rejecting all claims of self-realization, that [human aspirations] can be fulfilled completely only if God himself makes it possible,' the document said.

It added: 'It is clear that the salvation Jesus brought in his person does not occur only in an interior manner.'

'The place where we receive the salvation brought by Jesus is the Church, the community of those who have been incorporated into this new kind of relationship begun by Christ,' it went on. 'In her we touch the flesh of Jesus, especially in our poorest and most suffering brothers and sisters.'

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