2007-12-14 12:41:03

Notification issued by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

(14 Dec 07 - RV) Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), US Cardinal William Joseph Levada, presented the document, entitled a Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelization to journalists in the Vatican’s Press Office Friday at Noon.

The Cardinal Prefect said the note is a result of conversations with Bishops around the world, addressing some specific concerns which seem to undermine the fulfilment of Christ’s missionary mandate.

He said “The anthropological implications of evangelization address two key factors of human existence: freedom and truth. Human dignity requires that the search for this truth respect human freedom of conscience. It follows then that evangelization must never resort to “coercion or tactics unworthy of the Gospel” . At the same time he pointed out, “Religious liberty requires that evangelization not be impeded by restrictive measures”.

Cardinal Levada continued : “For Christian evangelization, “the incorporation of new members into the Church is not the expansion of a power-group, but rather entrance into the network of friendship with Christ which connects heaven and earth, different continents and ages.” In this sense, then, “the Church is the bearer of the presence of God and thus the instrument of the true humanization of man and the world.” Cardinal Levada summarised that when individual persons decide in conscience to enter the Catholic Church, their decision should be respected without accusing the Catholic Church of a negative form of proselytism.

Finally, Concluded the Cardinal Prefect, the importance of Christian witness to holiness and charity is essential if evangelization is to be credible.

Dominican Priest, Father Joseph Augustine Di Noia, is CDF undersecretary, says that the document first began as a project under the then prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in attempts to clarify one fundamental problem: “The fundamental problem is a pluralistic theology of religion which essentially states that all religions are equally valid in leading a person to salvation, so that the Church and Christ cannot claim that Christianity has some special path to salvation, but that each path is valid for people let’s say who are born into it culturally or socially . That fundamental error was addressed by the document Dominus Iesus, but now the missionary implications are being addressed in this document”

Hear Cardinal Levada's intervention: RealAudioMP3

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