Pope's Words Before Angelus




Before reciting the Angelus, at the end of the Mass celebrated for the canonization of the blessed in St. Peter’s Square, John Paul II spoke to those present about the recent "Dominus Iesus" document:

1. The saints who were raised today to the glory of the altars urge us to look at Christ. They lived rooted in faith in him, the redeemer of all men, the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father and has revealed him (see John 1:18). The saints invite us to confess him joyfully, to have a heartfelt love for him, and to witness to him.

With the declaration "Dominus Iesus" (Jesus is the Lord), which I approved especially at the summit of the Jubilee Year, I wished to invite all Christians to renew their adherence to him in the joy of the faith, unanimously witnessing that he is, today and also tomorrow, "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Our confession of Christ as the only Son, through whom we ourselves see the face of the Father (see John 14:8), is not arrogance that shows contempt for other religions, but the joyful recognition that Christ showed himself to us without any merit on our part. And, at the same time, he has urged us to continue to give that which we have received and also to communicate to others that which was given to us, because the Truth that was given and the Love that God is belong to all men.

We confess with the Apostle Paul "that there is salvation in no other name" (Acts 4:12). The "Dominus Iesus" declaration, in the wake of Vatican II, shows that with this the salvation of non-Christians is not denied, but explains its ultimate source in Christ, in whom God and man are united. God gives light to all in a way appropriate to their interior and environmental situation, granting them saving grace through ways known to him (see "Dominus Iesus," VI, 20-21). The document clarifies the essential Christian elements, which do not obstruct the dialogue, but show its basis, because a dialogue without foundations would be destined to degenerate into empty verbosity.

The same is also true for the ecumenical question. If with Vatican II, the document declares that "the one Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church," it does not intend with this to express little regard for the other churches and ecclesial communities. This conviction is coupled with the understanding that this is not human merit, but a sign of the fidelity of God who is stronger that human weaknesses and sins, which we solemnly confessed before God and men at the beginning of Lent. The Catholic Church suffers, as the document states, by the fact that true particular churches and ecclesial communities, with precious elements of salvation, have separated from her.

Thus the document expresses once again the same ecumenical passion that is at the basis of my encyclical "Ut Unum Sint." It is my hope that, after so many mistaken interpretations, this heartfelt declaration will finally be able to achieve its clarifying function, as well as that of openness.

May Mary, to whom the Lord on the cross entrusted to all of us as Mother, help us to grow together in faith in Christ, redeemer of all men, in the hope of salvation, offered by Christ to all, and in love, which is the sign of the children of God. ZE00100104

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