Written by Sherry
Friday, 28 September 2007 07:58
Dr. Philip Blosser asks an excellent question in the middle of a long discussion with Janice Kraus:
"Let's get to the point: Here's a Catholic teaching and tradition. I would like you to comment on it. It says:
"... Catholics must gladly acknowledge and esteem the truly Christian endowments from our common heritage which are to be found among our separated brethren. It is right and salutary to recognize the riches of Christ and virtuous works in the lives of others who are bearing witness to Christ, sometimes even to the shedding of their blood. For God is always wonderful in His works and worthy of all praise."
But wait. That's not all:
"Nor should we forget that anything wrought by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our separated brethren can be a help to our own edification. Whatever is truly Christian is never contrary to what genuinely belongs to the faith; indeed, it can always bring a deeper realization of the mystery of Christ and the Church."
Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) (1964), I, 4.
Janice, what do you think Mother Church is teaching us here? Which "truly Christian endowments" and "riches of Christ and virtuous works" among our separated brethren do you think could be described as "genuinely [belonging] to the faith," "wrought by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of our separated brethren" and, moreover, could be considered as "a help to our own edification" as Catholics, bringing us to "a deeper realization of the mystery of Christ and the Church?"
Note, first, that the Decree is not even discussing Catholic converts here, but non-Catholic Christians; and, second, that the Decree is not stating merely that certain endowments and works of non-Catholic Christians are compatible with Catholic teaching or belong to "our common heritage, but that they may serve to edify Catholics. Your comments, please."
And we'd love to hear from you as well . . .