Vatican Releases Statement on Other Religions

September 9, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On September 9, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Cardinal Roger M. Mahony sought Friday to reassure non-Catholic Christians and those of other faiths that the Roman Catholic Church remains committed to interfaith dialogue despite a strongly worded Vatican statement critical of other churches and religions...The Vatican statement, 'Dominus Iesus'--Lord Jesus--said this week that followers of non-Christian faiths have 'gravely deficient' chances for salvation. It also said that other Christian churches have 'defects' but could be instruments of salvation by the 'spirit of Christ' acting with 'grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.'"

Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, commented that the "tone of 'Dominus Iesus' may not fully reflect the deeper understanding that has been achieved through ecumenical and interreligious dialogues over these last 30 years or more." However, "he said it was 'discouraging' to read a headline in The Times last Wednesday that said the Vatican had declared Catholicism the 'sole path to salvation.'" He said that the "declaration does in fact affirm that those who are not formally part of the Roman Catholic Church can, indeed, be saved."