Letter of Cardinal Ratzinger Regarding Dominus Iesus
The declaration presents the principal truths of the Catholic faith in these areas; such truths require, therefore, irrevocable assent by the Catholic faithful; the text also refutes errors, clarifies some ambiguities and points out important questions that remain open to theological investigation and debate. Since it is a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the declaration has a universal magisterial nature.
In asking you to bring the text to the attention of the bishops of your episcopal conference before it is made public, this dicastery is confident that the conference itself, as well as individual bishops, will do everything possible to ensure its distribution and favorable reception, and that particular care will be taken so that, especially by theologians, pastors of souls and members of religious congregations, ambiguous and contrary positions will not be put forward. Particularly in the areas of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and in Catholic universities and faculties of theology, it is essential that the doctrinal contents of this declaration become a point of reference as well as a solid and indispensable foundation for pastoral and missionary work which is convincing, effective and consistent with Catholic teaching.
As an aid in highlighting the principal points of the declaration, this dicastery has also prepared the enclosed synthesis, which should be especially useful in presenting and explaining the text to representatives of the mass media.
The declaration remains confidential until the time of its official presentation, which will be on Sept. 5, 2000, at 12:00 (Central European Time) at the press office of the Holy See.
With gratitude for your assistance in this matter, and with prayerful best wishes, I remain Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Synthesis of the Declaration Dominus Iesus
The Expression Sister Churches
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