Summary of Dominus Iesus

Below is a brief summary of the Declaration by the Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith entitled Dominus Iesus.

Paragraph 2:  The Church’s dialogue with non-Christian religions does not replace its mission to the nations.

Paragraph 4:  Religions pluralism endangers the Church’s missionary efforts.  Relativistic attitude towards truth is a problem, as well as reading Scriptue outside of the Tradition of the Church and the Magisterium.

Paragraph 5:  Jesus completed and perfected Divine revelation.  No further public revelation is needed.

Paragraph 6:  It is contrary to the faith to say that Christianity must be completmented by other religions.

Paragraph 7:  Faith is inseperable from assent to the whole truth revealed by God.

Paragraph 8: Only inspired texts are the canonical books of the Bible.

Paragraph 11:  The unicity of the Sacrifice of Christ is affirmed.

Paragraph 14:  Salvation is in Christ alone.  “It must therefore be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith that the universal salvific will of the One and Triune God is offered and accomplished once for all in the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.”  Salvation beyond Christ is outside of the Catholic Faith.

Paragraph 16:  The fullness of salvation belongs to the Church.  “And thus, just as the head and members of a living body, though not identical, are inseparable, so too Christ and the Church can neither be confused nor separated, and constitute a single “whole Christ”.”  The unicity of the Church must be affired.  “Therefore, in connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith.”  Catholics are required to affim the continuity between the Church Jesus established and the Catholic Church.  There is only one Church.  “The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity — rooted in the apostolic succession — between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: “This is the single Church of Christ”.  The Church of Christ “continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church.”

Paragraph 17:  Churches that maintain apostolic succession are true local Churches.  The Church of Christ is present and operateive in these local Churches. “Therefore, there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him.58 The Churches which, while not existing in perfect communion with the Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is, by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are true particular Churches.59 Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative also in these Churches, even though they lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic doctrine of the Primacy, which, according to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the entire Church.”  Communities without apostolic succession are not truly Churches.  “On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery,are not Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ, through the integral profession of faith, the Eucharist, and full communion in the Church.

Paragraph 20:  The Church is necessary for salvation.

Paragraph 21:  False elements in non-Christian religions constitute an obstacle to salvation.

Paragraph 22:  Non-Christian religions are in a gravely deficient situation.

Paragraph 23:  All are required to seek the truth and embrace it.  “Especially in those things that concern God and his Church, all persons are required to seek the truth, and when they come to know it, to embrace it and hold fast to it”.

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