The Decrees of Vatican II Compared
with Past Church Teachings regarding:

NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS

Ecumenism  |  Non-Christian Religions  |  Sacred Scripture

Education  |  Religious Liberty  |  Liturgy

The attitude of the Catholic Church towards pagans, Mohammedans and Jews has always been clear — there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Even supposing a person were invincibly ignorant of the true Church, he must still follow the natural law to be saved (implicit baptism of desire). It is evident, according to Catholic theology, that these false and immoral religions are opposed to the natural law. The Fathers of the Church, as well as many true Popes, have been quite strong in their condemnation of these religions, and especially of Mohammedanism and Judaism, which have persistently attacked the Catholic Church throughout history. The Council Fathers of Vatican II, however, have not only implied the salvation of heretics and schismatics, but also praised these other false religions in their “Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.” The opening paragraph of this declaration strongly suggests that, yes, salvation may be found outside of the true fold. It states:

“One also in their final goal: God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, and His saving designs extend to all men against the day when the elect will be united in that Holy City ablaze with the splendor of God, where the nations will walk in His light.” The meaning of this last phrase does not at all agree with a similar phrase found in Sacred Scripture.

Vatican II Decree on Non-Christian Religions

(P.2) “From ancient times down to the present, there has existed among diverse peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human life; at times, indeed, recognition can be found of a Supreme Divinity and of a Supreme Father too. Such a perception and such a recognition instill the lives of these people with a profound religious sense. Religions bound up with cultural advancement have struggled to reply to these same questions with more refined concepts and in more highly-developed language.

“Thus, in Hinduism men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an unspent fruitfulness of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight toward God.

“Buddhism in its multiple forms acknowledges the radical insufficiency of this shifting world. It teaches a path by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, can either reach a state of absolute freedom or attain supreme enlightenment by their own efforts or by higher assistance.

“The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in these religions... The Church therefore has this exhortation for her sons: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of the Christian faith and life, acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these men, as well as the values in their society and culture.”

(P.3) “Upon the Moslems, too, the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God, living and enduring, merciful and all-powerful, Maker of heaven and earth and Speaker to men... Consequently, they prize the moral life, and give worship to God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting?”

(P.4) “As this sacred Synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it recalls the spiritual bond linking the people of the New Covenant with Abraham’s stock.

“Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred Synod wishes to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit above all of biblical and theological studies, and of brotherly dialogues.

“Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as if such views followed from the Holy Scriptures.”

In fact, however, these views do follow from Holy Scripture, as pointed out by St. Bruno in the next column. What greater curse could fall upon a nation than to hand down from generation to generation a religion and heritage which is based upon rejection of the true Messiah?

The Council Fathers also tried to add the phrase, “or guilty of deicide“ immediately after the words “should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God,“ but met with much opposition. It was decided to eliminate the word deicide from the Christian dictionary.

In opposition to the “spiritual patrimony,” which, according to the Vatican II decree, Christians are supposed to have in common with Jews, are the following quotations from the Talmud, the Jewish “holy book:”

“And be it known that Christian people who follow Jesus, although their teachings vary, are all worshippers of idols” (Perusch, 78c).

“In those palaces of the fourth heaven are those who lamented over Sion and Jerusalem, and all those who destroyed idolatrous nations... and those who killed off people who worship idols are clothed in purple garments so that they may be recognized and honored” (Zohar I, 38B and 39a).

Past Infallible Church Teaching on Non-Christian Religions

Hinduism, Buddhism and many other Eastern religions are pantheistic by nature. In opposition to the praises accorded to these religions by the Vatican II decree are these Canons of the First Vatican Council in the First Chapter of its Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith:

“1. If anyone denies that there is one true God, Creator and Lord of things visible and invisible: let him be anathema.

“2. If anyone dares to assert that nothing exists except matter: let him be anathema.

“3. If anyone says that God and all things possess one and the same substance and essence: let him be anathema.

“4. If anyone says that finite things, both corporeal and spiritual, or at least spiritual, emanated from the divine substance; or that the Divine Essence becomes all things by a manifestation or evolution of itself; or, finally, that God is a universal and indefinite being, which by determining itself makes up the universe which is diversified into genera, species and individuals: let him be anathema.”

It should be remarked that in no way can it be said that the followers of these religions make a “loving, trusting flight toward God;” the gods they worship are pantheistic deities — devils in reality — and, ultimately, themselves. What greater insult can there be offered to the true God than the worship of man, which is the ultimate purpose of the religious practices of Hinduism and many other Eastern religions?

The numerical references of the following refer to the Syllabus of Errors, by which Pope Pius IX condemned and proscribed the following errors:

“15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.

“16. Men can find the way of eternal salvation and reach eternal salvation in any form of religious worship.

“17. Good hopes, at least, must be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who in no way belong to the true Church of Christ.”

It should also be pointed out that the Moslems or Mohammedans, who, according to the Vatican II decree, “prize the moral life,” have been notorious for their habit of murdering Christians throughout history. The following quotations give the Church's teaching concerning the Jews:

“...the following propositions...are condemned and proscribed:

“Error #60. Christian doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal” (Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane — Syllabus of Modernist Errors).

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water, seeking rest and not finding he saith: I will return into my house whence I came out...The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold more than Jonas here’ (Luke 11:24,32). The Lord spoke to us this similitude that He might show us that the evil and adulterous generation of the Jews, because of their hard and unrepentant hearts, would be condemned, not alone by the Ninivites, but also and rightly by the other Gentiles. Since this impious generation knew not that it should repent, but daily grew more wicked, its last state was worse than its first. And this they themselves likewise implied when they said of our Savior: ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children’ (Matt. 27:35). So shall it be unto this most wicked generation as it was to this man who was possessed by an unclean spirit” (St. Bruno, Commentary on Luke 11).

 

Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI
Mater Dei Seminary
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Ecumenism  |  Non-Christian Religions  |  Sacred Scripture

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    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...

 

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