Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pope John Was About Unity!

Aren’t we all? Except when this ditty gets thrown out as praise of John XXIII, it’s usually to let us know that Pope John always knew that other Christians and religious were part of Christ’s Mystical Body and didn’t need to convert.

That must be why he called Protestants “those poor souls outside the Church” in his autobiography, Journal of a Soul. Paul Blanshard in his book on Vatican II regarded this as a blatant example of John XXIII’s “reactionary” nature. Of course, Blanshard was also a bigot, but the point stands.

John XXIII was so convinced of how salvific other religions could be that he said the following about 2 minutes into his papacy:

The Saviour Himself is the door of the sheepfold: 'I am the door of the sheep.' Into this fold of Jesus Christ, no man may enter unless he be led by the Sovereign Pontiff; and only if they be united to him can men be saved, for the Roman Pontiff is the Vicar of Christ and His personal representative on earth.

Yeah, this guy was all about unity, just not the hold-hands-and-sing-kumbaya-while-we-ignore-heresy-and-schism unity that so many folks seem to want these days. “Imperfect communion” anyone? If only the above comment at his coronation was the focus of modern ecumenism, how many problems in the Church would evaporate?

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