Thursday, March 1, 2018


This should bring relief to those of us concerned about Catholic orthodoxy in our current Magisterium. A link to the entire document at the end of the article:

Placuit Deo: Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Certain Aspects of Christian SalvationPlacuit Deo: Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Certain Aspects of Christian Salvation 

Faith in Christ defaced by neo-pelagianism and neo-gnosticism

In a Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, drawing on the tradition of the faith and the ordinary magisterium of Pope Francis, considers “some aspects of Christian salvation that can be difficult” for the modern world to understand.
By Christopher Wells
A new document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith highlights “some aspects of Christian salvation that can be difficult to understand today because of recent cultural changes.”
The Letter, entitled Placuit Deo, is dated 22 February, the feast of the Chair of Peter, and is addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church --and more generally, to all the faithful.

What is neo-pelagianism? What is neo-gnosticism?

Placuit Deo focuses especially on two modern tendencies: on the one hand, a kind of “neo-pelagianism,” an individualism that believes human beings can save themselves; and, on the other, a form of “neo-gnosticism,” a vision of salvation that would consist entirely in interior union with God, while disregarding relationships with other people, and with all of creation.
Pope Francis, the Letter recalls, “has often made reference,” in his ordinary magisterium (or authoritative teaching), to these two tendencies, which “resemble certain aspects of two ancient heresies,” without being identical to them. “Both neo-Pelagian individualism and the neo-Gnostic disregard of the body deface the confession of faith in Christ, the one, universal Saviour.”

God's plan of of salvation

After considering how the contemporary world views Christian salvation, the heart of the Congregation’s Letter lays out the human desire for salvation; the unique role of Jesus Christ as Saviour and salvation; and salvation in the Church, the Body of Christ. In this way, it explains God’s plan of salvation through Christ and His Church, emphasizing both the work of freeing us from sin and raising us up to sharing in the divine life of the Trinity. It also points out the necessity of the sacramental “economy” through which God desires to save the human person.
This vision of Christian salvation, in contrast to the tendencies toward neo-pelagianism and neo-gnosticism, necessarily calls Christians to be missionary. This includes “sincere and constructive dialogue” with those who believe in other religious traditions, while continuing to await “the definitive coming of the Saviour.”

Humanity's final destiny

“Total salvation of the body and of the soul is the final destiny to which God calls all of humanity,” the Letter concludes. “Founded in faith, sustained by hope, and working in charity, with the example of Mary, Mother of the Saviour and first among the saved, we are certain that ‘our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.’ ”
The full text of Placuit Deo can be found on the Vatican website.


Gene said...

Many of us former Calvinists/Jansenists have been screaming this for decades. This was once a primarily Protestant problem. Since Vat II, the Church has merrily leaped on board.

Victor said...

"...'neo-gnosticism,' a vision of salvation that would consist entirely in interior union with God, while disregarding relationships with other people, and with all of creation."
This sounds like more post-Vatican II babble talk, which defines man not as a social animal as Aristotle did, but as a community animal. I sometimes wonder if the reason V2 did not condemn Communism was because many at the Council were actually fond of the community aspect of the Communists.
Gnosticism has received so many definitions lately that the word may even be meaningless. However, the reason why the word derives from "Gnosis" is because Gnostics at the time of the early Church claimed that salvation was through a secret knowledge of sorts. The New Testament is basically a liturgical book, composed of the readings read at the early liturgy and later canonised. Readings that spoke of "secret knowledge" were rejected because they were thought to be of Gnostic origin.
The neo-Gnosticism the Prefect speaks about sounds a lot like classical Christian mysticism, which the post V2 Church does not know what to do with. The mystic does not so much rely on active participation in the liturgy as a community of the people of God, as on the grace of God for direct union with Him.

Marc said...

As a semi-pelagian, this makes me feel excluded.

Bean said...

Neo-Gnosticism, they name is traditionalism. (Thy nickname is fideism.)