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PROGRESSIVIST DOCUMENT OF THE WEEK


Card. Dulles: The Faith can be Relegated
to a Secondary Plane

In a talk given at the University Notre Dame, 1977, Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, stated that inter-confessional unity requires the Faith to be relegated to a secondary plane and change whenever necessary.

At right, the frontpiece of the book Toward the Church of the Third Millennium. Below, we present our translation of the highlighted Italian text.


If the Church is conceived more in terms of an answer and a process, and less in terms of substance and conservation, then greater possibilities will open for diversity and innovation ...

If the dynamic vision of the Church is valid, it indicates the way to a third style of ecumenism. According to this conception, it is not essential for the churches to remain perpetually attached to a supposed apostolic patrimony or bound to a universally binding series of normative doctrines, ministries, or sacramental rites, because all these forms can be changed according to the inspiration of the Spirit. Christian unity does not mean uniformity. Ecumenism demands that the churches avoid hostilities and reciprocal indifference.


(Avery Dulles, "Ecumenismo: Problemi e possibilità per il futuro," in Verso la Chiesa del terzo millennio, Brescia: Queriniana, 1979. p. 118)

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Posted on July 26, 2008


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