Andrea Tornielli reports today in Il Giornale that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is about to release a Doctrinal Document stating in definitive and clear terms the interpretation of the Lumen Gentium passage according to which, "Haec ...unica Christi Ecclesia ... in hoc mundo ut societas constituta et ordinata, subsistit in Ecclesia catholica" ("this ...one Church of Christ ... constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church")
"The Church of Christ is the Catholic one"
The Church of Christ is not distinct or distinguishable from the Catholic Church, which is the only one to possess "all elements of the Church instituted by Jesus". The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will confirm it next week, responding to "doubts" [dubia] raised in the past few years. The doctrinal stand of the former Holy Office ... should be accompanied by an authoritative theological comment on the pages of L'Osservatore Romano.
At the center of the debate is once again the meaning of the verb "subsists", used by the Council in the Constitution Lumen Gentium, where it is said that the only Church of Christ "subsists in the Catholic Church" (in Latin, "subsistit in"). Words which, in the course of the years, have suffered several interpretations, including the one according to which Jesus in reality had not thought of founding a Church and, in case he had, it would have afterwards divided itself in various Churches and ecclesial communities. Therefore ... , there would not be the true Church of Christ anymore, but only several expressions of it.
This recurrent thesis has already been repeatedly denied by the Popes. In 1973, with the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae, of Paul VI; in 1985, with the notification of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on a book of liberation theologian Leonardo Boff; in 1992, with the Letter to the Bishops Communionis Notio, and, finally, in 2000 ... , with the declaration Dominus Iesus, approved by John Paul II.
Nonetheless, the doubts return cyclically ... .
I.Media informs that it will be released on Tuesday, July 10 (France-Presse dispatch/La Croix).