VATICAN CITY (CNS): Responding to sharp criticism from other religions and other Christian Churches, Pope John Paul II defended a Vatican document on salvation, saying its affirmation of Christ as the one true saviour was “not arrogance”.
Speaking at a midday blessing last Sunday, the Pope said the document had been subject to “mistaken interpretations”. He said the text, far from being an effort to weaken interreligious or ecumenical co-operation, offered a framework for meaningful dialogue.
“The document clarifies the essential Christian elements, which do not obstruct dialogue but illustrate its foundations, because a dialogue without foundations would be destined to degenerate into empty verbosity,” he said.
“Our confession of Christ as the one Son, through whom we see the face of the Father, is not arrogance that shows contempt for other religions, but a joyful recognition that Christ revealed himself to us without any merit on our part,” he said.
The document, published on September 5 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, affirmed that the Church of Christ exists fully only in the Catholic Church. It rejected the idea that “one religion is as good as another”.