Rome & Relativism

'Dominus Iesus' & the CDF

On September 5, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released the declaration Dominus Iesus: On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. The statement restated and reaffirmed the church’s understanding of the unique revelation of Jesus Christ and the Catholic church’s status as the ultimate guardian of that revelation. In judging other Christian churches inadequate and other religions "gravely deficient," the declaration seemed to revert to a triumphalistic language not used by Rome since before Vatican II. Ecumenical dialogue partners have raised questions about the meaning of Dominus Iesus, while many Catholics worry that it is yet another effort to quash theological exploration, especially among theologians engaged in dialogue with Eastern religions and those writing on the question of religious pluralism generally. Commonweal asked three theologians, two Catholic and one Protestant, to assess Dominus Iesus. Their evaluations follow.




Martin E...

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About the Author

Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is Associate Professor of Theology Emeritus at Boston College.