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Statement on Dominus Jesus
By Bishop Fellay, SSPX Superior General


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published, last August 6, a document treating of the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and of the Church. This document has provoked a rather violent reaction in progressive circles and outside the Church, in the majority of the communities who are interested in ecumenism.

In effect, this document reminds us forcefully and re-imposes numerous points of traditional Catholic doctrine on the subject. At the same time, these truths of Faith are strongly moderated by other propositions that have Vatican II as their only source. (The general principles of Nostra Aetate, Lumen gentium, Gaudium et spes are spoken of). The principles acquisitions of the last Council concerning the relations of the Catholic Church with other religions, both Christian and non-Christian, are presented as if they had been perfectly integrated into the Catholic Faith.

The same things that have been said of the Council can be applied to Dominus Jesus:

Two theological traditions that, deep down are incompatible, entered into collision (Bishop Henrici, La maturation du concile, Communio). The real problem is so unusual for a Catholic that we can easily understand the instinctive blindness that enables one to escape from it: the will to be faithful to two councils that are so clearly divergent one from the other is quite simply impossible.[1]

This contradiction in the text is clear, especially when it treats of the unicity of the Catholic Church. The identity between the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church does indeed seem to be clearly affirmed, when it speaks of the historical continuity between the Church founded by Our Lord and the Catholic Church of today (§16). But it is at the same time denied by the "subsistit in". (§16 & 17). Cardinal Ratzinger himself declared last Spring that continuity does not exist between the "est" (which affirms this oneness of the Church) and the "subsistit in" (which enables, alongside the one true Church, other churches to be considered as "true". Cf. §17).[2]

In effect, in the same text Cardinal Ratzinger affirms on the one hand that the subsistit is the foundation of ecumenism[3] and on the other hand that this subsistit is in contradiction with the traditional est:

Since sin is a contradiction, we cannot in the final analysis fully resolve from a logical point of view this difference between subsistit and est. In the paradox of the difference between, on the one hand, the Church’s singularity and concrete realization, and on the other hand the existence of an ecclesial reality outside the unique subject, is reflected the contradictory character of human sin, the contradiction of division.[4]

It is consequently not difficult to conclude that ecumenism, whose foundation is in contradiction with the traditional doctrine, as its promoters admit, is itself just as opposed to traditional doctrine.

We find in Dominus Jesus a tragic confirmation that an indescribable darkness covers the Vatican. Never in times past has contradiction been taught, even less that which is recognized as such.

This document, despite the praiseworthy intention of condemning abuses, will be of no helping in resolving the doctrinal crisis as it intends to do, for it only teaches true doctrine halfway, which means in a falsified way.

Menzingen, October 29, 2000
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