Rejecting Conciliar Leaven

As I’ve said in numerous venues many times, the conciliar text often conveys the doctrine of the faith admirably. It does, however, contain any number of propositions that the responsible Catholic must reject given their ambiguity and their likelihood of inviting error, similar to the way in which a censor librorum is compelled to withhold a nihil obstat.

Altogether, these problem texts constitute more than a little leaven.

Let’s take a look at a noteworthy excerpt from the Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican II, article 3:

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

For clarity sake, let’s enhance what is being said by substituting nouns (in italics) for pronouns:

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using the separated Churches and Communities as such as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

To enhance the clarity of this section just a bit more, let’s substitute specific ecclesial terms (in italics) for the general references:

It follows that the schismatic Churches and heretical Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using the schismatic Churches and heretical Communities as such as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

Finally, let’s provide some real world examples (in italics) wherever possible:

It follows that the schismatic Churches and heretical Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using the likes of the Greek and Russian Orthodox schismatic Churches, and the communities of the heretics such as the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Bible Fellowship Community in Kettleton, South Dakota, as well as the Assemblies of God as such as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

Does anyone still wonder why this text must be rejected?

 

 

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