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October 21, 1995     Arkansas Catholic
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October 21, 1995

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Pagel0 October21, 1995 ~i~NTERN~= - ATIO'NAL ARKANSASqt~CATHOLICl &l~" I lmm ' ~ Theologl ration available to non-C.hnstlans Pope John Paul II called on Mexi- By Cindy Wooden been published yet, commission members Abraham, Moses and the prophets of ~e can Cathofics celebrating the 100th an- CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE in early October moved ahead with a Old Testament, which Christians share " niversary of the coronation of the im- age of Our Lady of Guadalupe to let Gospel values penetrate their nation's so "chl life. Peace and coexistence in Mexico, he said, "require the practice of true social justice which gives each one their due through an equitable distribution of goods and solidarity with the poorest and, at the same time, promoting the responsible participa- tion of all in the destiny of the na- tion." Pope John Paul's message came in a letter addressed to Archbishop Norberto Rivera Can-era of Mexico City and to all the bishops, priests, religious and faithful of the Church in Mexico. The Vatican plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Vatican H docu- ment on the priesthood with a six-day symposium and a prime-time television extravaganza. The Oct. 23-28 sympo- sium will bring together some 250 priests and bishops from around the world to discuss the key teachings in VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catho- lic Church preaches that there is no sal- vation without Christ But it also preaches respect for other religions and the "sav- ing grace" God may offer through them. Thirty years after the close of the Sec- ond Vatican Council, some of the world's leading theologians are taking a deeper look at the truth of the two statements and how to reconcile them. Gone are the days of a superficial adherence to the ancient maxim "extra ecclesiam nulla salus" ("outside the Church there is no salvation"). A year ago, the International Theologi- cal Commission gave its final approval to a document on "universal salvation" -- how God, through Christ, offers redemp- tion to all humanity. Dominican Father Georges Cottier, secretary-general of the commission, said preliminary vote on a draft of another document --- on the relationship between Christianity and other religions. The new document, set for final amendments and adoption at the commission's 1996 meeting, uses faith in salvation through Christ as the starting point for discussing the merits and limits of dialogue with other religions. Father Cottier told Vatican Radio, "This is the basic principle: There is no salvation without Christ, but the grace of Christ borne by the Holy Spirit, as the council said, has its ways of touching men and women who have not heard the Gospel; and, in fact, the Church, with the council, has recognized the positive and valid elements found in the other great world religions." The theological commission was not the only group working on the question in early October. La Ci ta Cattolica, a with Jews. , .] tells But the history of God s revelation] Poss saving action was "progressive and there , nati, fore needed to be brought to perfection' son That came with Jesus of Nazareth, wla0 of was neither a prophet nor a wise ran ." that but the Son of God made man, the very raat word of God." ~d The new theological study is not and ply an academic or spiritual exercise; it ~ atio a response to the new ponularity of so# theb traditional religions, suc~i as Islam ~d Buddhism, and the burgeoning numl aor of new religious movements, t0ta The question remains, as civilta Catto//ca put it: qf God wants all men women to be saved, adhering to CIr. tim with faith and belonging to his chur~ wor how does this saving will work for t like who do not believe in Christ and do xt0t ~o all11 belong to his church The basic answer to the questionis the document will probably be released Jesuit magazine that often reflects Vatican "It's a mystery." far before the end of the year. The decision thinking, ran a 14-page editorial Oct. 7 But, the article said, "Catholics belie j wo, to publish the document is made by the titled, Christianity and other religions. God, with his saving grace, acts beyOtl] in ( Congregation for the Doctrine of the The article drew a distinction between the visible boundaries of the Church aao do "Presbyterorum Ordinis," the decree Faith, which oversees the commission's Judaism and the world's other majorreaches all men and women, uni'. on the ministry and life of priests. One bishop and one ,priest representing work religions, pointing out that Christians them to Christ and invisibly gatherLnl~ as~ each of the world s episcopal confer- Even though the document has not recognize that God revealed himself to them into his Church." to ! ences will discuss how the teachings . " ay Mary rs ave eenimpleme.te. we" c Catholics, Methodists s model for all believe lenges to the priesthood which have arisen in the last 30 years, Vatican or- LONDON (CNS) -- Methodists and Both Churches believe that Mary was"We call Mary blessed because oftl ,e ganizers said. Catholics disagree on fundamental doc- a virgin when she conceived Jesus, but great things that God has done for la.e trines about Mary, Mother of Jesus, but some Methodists do not accept her per- Any privileges claimed for Mary. ! A Bosaian Catholic priest said be- they agree that she is a model for all petual virginity Nor does the Methodist from her unktue vocation to 0e .,, lief in GOd gave him the strength to believers, says a new joint tradition accept the Catholic belief in the mother of the iVlessiah, the bearer i t.[ survive 80 days in three Serbian prison Catholic-Methodist study paper. Assumption -- that at the end of her the world of the Word made flesh. camps. "I observed that people who The report, "Mary, Mother of the earthly life Mary was assumed body and isthe redeemed mother of the Redee prir believed in ,,God came through this hell Lord: Sign of Grace, Faith and Holiness," soul into heaven. Mary is the "model for the individ a ke, more easily, said Father Stjepan Sosic. was ublished jointly by the Catholic The report points out that Methodists believer, responding with obedient ~o P __ -- ,. "No Catholic, so far as I know, killed Truth Society and the Methodist Pub-have never accepted the Immaculate faithful love to the grace of God,' it .s~i~ himself in the camp. Those who didlishing House as a discussion document Conception of Mary as "a doctrine of"She sums up the faithful disciple~/'t~ th; -- and,,there were many -- were all for eo le in both churches and for joint faith firmly grounded in the Scriptures, and effect holiness to which each Je,, atheists, he said. Father Sosic, 47, re- P P P It ~e study groups, but Methodists and Catholics can affirm is called and embodies in herse , it Its author is Father Michael Evans, a vocadon and destiny of the church,(h comated his 1992 prison camp experi " - together much that it can say about the encesmMex enger0ftheHo/ySp/m, aPolish Catholic member of the British doctrine of salvation and of Christ's says. --ts th., Catholic magazine The priest said he ........ re reSev 10 ..... " . . _ Methodist-Roman Catholic Comrmttee. church. " In so manv wavs, Mary p :.a was aetamea Dy t osnxan ero troops on ..... - - man beu, . . . The reoort, oubhshed in In Catholic teaching, the Immaculate what it means to be a tufty hu pr June 8, 1992, while driving to gave t_ m- . " " - deeW ...... mld-Seotember, acknowledges docmnal Concepuon means that Mary was con- -- woman or man --- nffhdy and munlon to a ctvm~ Oarlsmoner near ...~_ ,~ . ..... , . , _ .~ , ,, . u . th~ /u x t :_ r..,._ : .... i..._, ctttterences, ceIvect w mout onglnm sin. relateO to too, says me repor ._~ gbre NTERTAINMENT ....... 6 9 By Henry Herx CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE NEW YORK (CNS) --The Marian ap- paritions at Medjugorje in 1981 place the local pastor in conflict with Yugoslavia's communist authorities in the movie dra- matization "Gospa" (Penland). FatherJozo Zovko (Martin Sheen), the parish pastor, does not at first give much credence to the children's reports of see- ing Our Lady, which translates as "Gospa" in Croatian. But he is impressed by the faith of the pilgrims who throng the little town because of the reported visions. As atheists, the communist officials cer- tainly don't believe in miracles but the growing numbers of pilgrims coming to this Croatian town in multiethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina make them increas- ingly apprehensive. Arrested and put on trial, Father Zovko's attorney (Michael York) elo- defends his client but the corn- 9 The screenplay by Ivan Aralica and Paul Gronseth is centered on the pastor rather than the apparitions, perhaps because they have as yet not been declared authentic. cNs photo h~a r~a~nd Morgan Fairchild and Martin Sheen star in"Gospa," a film about the miracles at Medjugorje. Though Sheen gives a fine perfor- mance as a good priest who has no wish to be a martyr, the script is based upon his being a political victim, not so much for his religious faith as for his siding with Croatian nationalism. munist judges aren't listening. However, the Croatian people and the rest of the world are and ultimately the communist regime realizes that Father Despite the religious setting, the dra- matic conflict is between a Croat who happens to be priest and an evil regime which happens to be dominated by Serbs. W] 1 ) gives dramatic testimony to the natiOt % istic animosities which have tor~u~,c former Yugoslavia into zones of eu"t as cleansing, trt~t~~, Putting that aside, the script a simple melodrama of good be~x~l~t versus evil communists, with no~aat~tber at characterization except for ' (2 Zovko's heroic perseverance. 'e for The result is an insoirational .-,,s , * ueS[lo~" those who men t bothered by q _.,de fa of credibility or troubling nation " tendencies. - s~ With pedestrian direcuon by J Sedlar, the Croatian I'A interesting location [ Medjugorje's parish church and where the apparitions were first Because of some stylized violence murky political machinations, Catholic Conference classificatiOn -- adults and adolescents. The Picture Association of America