Today we finish the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
The document closes with the reassertion that the dignity of the human person and Christian teaching neccessitates treating all with respect:
“The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion.”
Here are the Scripture citations:
1 John 4:8
1 Peter 2:12
And the footnotes:
14. Cf. Rom. 12:18
15. Cf. Matt. 5:45
As we continue on in the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, today we have reached the halfway point of our year-long read through the documents of Vatican II.
We have looked briefly at some of the major Eastern religions (article 2) and Islam (article 3). Today we turn our attention to the Jewish people.
Obviously, we share a lot in common with the Jewish people and the bonds of kinship with them run deep. In this passage, the Council Fathers took some important steps in countering any sentiment of anti-Semitism that might linger in certain quarters:
“True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures.”
There are a few Scripture citations outside the footnotes:
Here are the footnotes:
6. Cf. Gal. 3:7
7. Cf. Rom. 11:17-24
8. Cf. Eph. 2:14-16
9. Cf. Lk. 19:44
10. Cf. Rom. 11:28
11. Cf. Rom. 11:28-29; cf. dogmatic Constitution, Lumen Gentium (Light of nations) AAS, 57 (1965) pag. 20
12. Cf. Is. 66:23; Ps. 65:4; Rom. 11:11-32
13. Cf. John. 19:6
Today we already hit the mid-point of the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
Article 3 is short, but quite significant. This passage addresses Islam and articulates the idea that Muslims “… adore the one God…,” an idea that is controversial to some. Note, the Council is not saying that Muslims and Christians believe the same things about God. That is quite clearly not the case. But we both acknowlegde and worship the same Father and Creator.
Just one footnote:
5. Cf St. Gregory VII, letter XXI to Anzir (Nacir), King of Mauritania (Pl. 148, col. 450f.)
Up today is the next portion of the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
“The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.”
This is the oft-quoted line from Nostra Aetate‘s article 2. Every religion tries to grapple with the recurring questions of humanity and to give guidance in how to live. Not all of this is consistent with Catholic teaching, of course, but not all of it is opposed either. This common ground means we have common goals and a starting point for dialogue.
Article 2 also singles out Hinduism and Buddhism in drawing out these points.
There is one Scripture citation today:
And one footnote:
4. Cf 2 Cor. 5:18-19
Today we take up the second (and shortest) of the Council’s three declarations: the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions.
Note that this document should not be confused with Unitatis Redintegratio, the Decree on Ecumenism, which addresses the relation of the Church with other Christian religions.
In the first of the documents 5 paragraphs, the Council Fathers outline that the purpose of the document is to focus on what the Church holds in common with the other world religions, namely our origin and final goal of being with God. All religions also seek to grapple with the vexing problems we always ask: Who are we? Why are we here?
Here are the footnotes:
1. Cf. Acts 17:26
2. Cf. Wis. 8:1; Acts 14:17; Rom. 2:6-7; 1 Tim. 2:4
3. Cf. Apoc. 21:23f.