ORthodox perspective of Traditionalist Catholics
#41
Gerard, I think the contradiction Silouan is referring to concerns the implications of John Paul's statement. He says:

"For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation."

In essence, what he says is that (1) salvation in Christ is accessible (2) without being formally part of the Church.

The Church has always distinguished between visible and invisible, and actual and virtual membership, but I am not familiar with a distintion between formal and informal membership. "Formal" and "informal" refer to different attributes of the Church's visibility, but not to individual persons' membership. She teaches, for examle, that one can be an invisible member of the Church, and She even distinguishes between virtual and actual (such as when it concerns intention), as the theologians have taught, but that is not the same as being informally part of the Church. All must be formally attached to the Church, if one insists on making a distinction (though I am not aware that any distinction even exists), but we, as humans with limited knowledge, may not know that they are attached. Such an attachment is invisible, but not informal. We get a glimpse of how John Paul defines "formal" attachment to the Church when he says that it "enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation." This is a very dangerous theological path to thread, since it sits upon a very slippery slope. It implies that God will mold the Church to their circumstances rather than that they mold themselves to Christ's Church.

I am not arguing that the statement is heretical, but I do see why Silouan would find it troubling.
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Re: ORthodox perspective of Traditionalist Catholics - by INPEFESS - 05-14-2012, 12:58 AM



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