"ONCE truth itself has been recognised, all ‘--" who wish to return to it will find in the Church a Mother ready to concede with all possible liberality whatever can be conceded in the fields of liturgy., traditions and discipline."
These were the words of Cardinal Bea, speaking in Paris at the closing of the Church tinily Octave last week.
In his speech to an audience including Cardinal I.eltin and many other members of the French hierarchy, Cardinal Bea made the following points:
I. Following St. Paul, the Coonail will treat truth and love as inseparable.
2. The Church cannot renounce the dogmas of the Roman primacy and infallibility.
3. The Council can. nevertheless, help towards the knowledge of "the whole truth. sometimes misunderstood through misunderstood theological terminology. Philosophic systems may often have affected the religious thinking of our separated brethren and made it hard for them to understand Catholic teaching. Sometimes our own theological assertions. within which lie a definitive and unchanging truth, are to be explained through historical circumstances and present a certain aspect of doctrine rather than the abundance and depth of the truth of he sought."
4. It will he necessary to search for the elements. which in our time arc most important for our separated brethren, from out of the treasure of revealed truth.
5. Biblical science today is likely to diminish many present differences.
6. Pope John has created a climate of opinion helpful towards the realisation that the Church of Rome understands the Papal primacy not as a desire to dominate, but as a diaconia, a service.
7. Addressing our separated brethren, the Cardinal said: "All who have been validly baptised in Christ. even outside the Catholic Church. have been, by that baptism. organically linked to Christ and His Mystical Body: despite our ecclesiastical. theological and human differences, they are our brothers since we know that we depend solely on the grace of Jesus Christ Our Lord".
8. "The Church holds herself to be compelled, not only by Christ's formal order. but by a sacred duty of charity, to help our separated brothers to find the road that leads to that fullness of grace. This duty derives from no imperialism. wish to dominate. totalitarianism, desire for prestige, but from a genuine and true motherly love."
9. "The generations that have been horn since the great separation cannot find their way in that unbelievable mingling of authentic religious aspirations. human passions and lively personal or political i interests. It is quite simply impossible to measure the degree of culpability that falls on each person. Let us rather leave tranquil the past and busy ourselves in regaining what has been lost: the unity of all Christians."