The Australian Catholic Bishops' spokesman on ecumenism has said last week's 'Dominus Iesus' declaration from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is merely a restatement of long-held teachings.
    Bishop Michael Putney, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations, said: "What Cardinal Ratzinger has done is to put together in a concise way all of the statements which mark out the boundaries around a Catholic approach to ecumenism and interfaith relations."
    Speaking to The Catholic Leader, the Brisbane auxiliary bishop said that parts of the document are simply reiterations of what was said in the Vatican II decree on Ecumenism.
    The 36-page declaration states that there is a tendency among modern Christians to consider Christ just one manifestation of God, and to elevate other religions as equally valid pathways to salvation, downplaying the role of Scripture and the institution of the Church.
    Bishop Putney said: "What I think has happened is that many people were unaware of these aspects of Catholic teaching. When they read these all together, they were somewhat surprised and have reacted."
Catholic Leader
15 Sep 00

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