1. Preliminary Remarks
At the beginning of February 2019, our Holy Father was the first Pope to visit the Arab Crescent to celebrate a holy mass for 180,000 people in the sports stadium of Abu Dhabi.
Previously, he had signed the 'Explanation of Forbearance' with the great-man of the Egyptian Al-Aznar University; It says, among other things: "Pluralism and diversity in religion, color, gender, ethnicity and language are in line with a wise divine will with which God created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to confessional freedom and the freedom to be different are derived. "[https://www.vaticannews.va/en/papst/news/2019-02/papst-franziskus -abu-dhabi-joint-explanation-grossimam.html]
Some Christians, such as the schismatic FSSPX [https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/kommuniqué-des-generalober-der-priesterbruderschaft-st-pius-x-45347], are now wondering if this wording is a mistake or . can lead to errors.
2.Nature and grace: the Catholic theme par excellence
The nature of man is severely wounded in his image by original sin, but it is possible for him, with the help of reason, to recognize that there is a God.
And it is possible for us humans to realize that we can not keep the law of God with our own resources.
The Apostle to the Apostle Paul says in his Epistle to the Romans that we humans are all capable of natural knowledge of God through the proof of creation: "Since the creation of the world, its invisible reality is perceived in the works of creation with reason, its eternal power and deity. Therefore, they are inexcusable. "(Rom 1,20)
In short, no one can apologize that he did not know about God.
And further: "For though they did know God, they did not honor him as God and did not thank him, but fell into their thoughts of nothingness and their incomprehensible heart was darkened." (Rom 1:21)
In other words, the natural knowledge of God does not lead to the salvation of man; because we humans are so profoundly evil that we just push God aside.
Absolutely, we need God's supernatural grace to be saved. Conversely, however, our human nature must first come to its right, for the basic human intentions of reason and conscience must be healed.
The principle of St. Thomas is: "Grace does not destroy nature, but builds upon it and perfects it" ["'Gratia non destruit, sed supponit et perficit naturam' (STh I, I, 8 ad 2; I, 2 , 2 ad I; De Veritate 14, 10 da 9) "(quoted from Siebenrock, 606, footnote 51).]
3.What does the Council of Trent say about nature and grace?
Since the greatest council of all time, the Tridentinum, it has been stated against Martin Luther that man as a likeness of God is seriously ill, but the basic intuitions of the will, reason and conscience have been preserved in remnants.
The decree De iustificatione [DH 1520-1583.] Mentions the entire range of all natural aids of God.
Gratia praeveniens, the term preceding the Grace, refers to the aid of the Holy Spirit, auxilia gratiae, in reference to reason: preaching the Word of God in the gospel, spiritual books, inspirations of thoughts, as well as memories of past incidents, etc.
Eternal Providence is also to be mentioned here, so that the seeker will find a church at all. in the Arab Crescent is not easy, or can travel abroad.
This preparation for the incorporation of the Gentile in Jesus Christ, praeparatio gratiae, is absolutely necessary, because without real knowledge of God through reason, there can be no genuine love of God.
Nature and grace are not just like a ladder leading to the tree, but nature always remains the foundation that is healed by the supernatural grace and becomes even more beautiful because it is perfected.
Only when the seeker agrees to his salvation in Jesus Christ is the sacramental supernatural grace given: Gratia sanctificans. Baptism, confession and the Eucharist enable us to truly love God.
4.What does the Second Vatican Council say?
It says nothing other than what the holy church has always taught. Only it specifies some things, e.g. on the question of religious freedom.
The Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitas humanae, states unequivocally: "We believe that this one true religion is there in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it to all people" ["Hanc unicam veram Religion subsistere credimus in catholica et apostolica Ecclesia, cui Dominus Iesus munus condredidit eam ad universos homines diffudendi "(Translation and Latin text after, The Second Vatican Council, 437).]
In a word, the Council Fathers did not see the slightest difference between the claim of the Catholic Church to be the only true religion and the freedom of religion.
Thus, Dignitas humanae teaches: "According to their dignity, all men, because they are persons, i. with reason and free will and therefore increased by personal responsibility, pushed by their own nature and held by a moral obligation to seek the truth [...] So the right to religious freedom is based not in a subjective constitution of the person, but their nature That is why the right to be free lasts even in those who do not satisfy the obligation to seek the truth and to cling to it; and their exercise must not be impeded, as long as only the just public order is respected. "[Documents of the Second, 439; see. also KKK 2104-2109.]
The reasoning is simple: human free will itself is the reason for religious freedom.
Let us remember the Fall.
5.Religion freedom in paradise
Adam and Eve knew all about God in Paradise, but wanted a little more insight. There was one fruit of the tree of knowledge. The devil in the guise of the serpent first seduced Adam and Eve Adam - and already the first two people had created a new religion (compare the third chapter in the first book of Moses). Let's call them: God religion No.2. Because God is not enough, it must be a bit more, a special revelation, plus'.
Adam and Eve no longer worshiped the one true God, but their sensual desire, their belly.
The apostle Paul mentions the same connection in relation to the early Christians: "their God is the belly" (Phil 3:19).
In a word, we Christians also sin when they seek the plus, the more, and are not immune from false idols. Religious freedom is therefore always necessary for us Christians as the freedom of repentance and repentance.
6.God's omnipotence and omniscience
We have seen that the proposition that "pluralism and the diversity of religions" is a "wise divine will" is not heretical at all.
For the perfect foundation of world history is the wisdom of God. For in eternity our merciful Father in Heaven knew that Adam and Eve would sin.
Far from being embarrassed by the devil, our Heavenly Father has thought of the greatest of all: salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Yes, Heavenly Father has once again surpassed Nature by perfecting it.
Saint Thomas wrote in the sentence above, according to which the grace of God perfected human nature: "Gratia [...] perficit naturam" [S.o.].
So instead of suffering a defeat, God the Father created a still more beautiful Paradise by improving the world of man for the better.
And He did so by creating a new heaven and a new earth, as the Evangelist John writes in the twenty-first chapter, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away." (Rev 21,1).
7. We pray for SSPX
We have seen: far from being a heretic, the Holy Father has done what is His office, to feed the sheep and proclaim the gospel.
Let us pray for SSPX leaders that they return to the flock of Christ and refrain from making false accusations by repenting.
-The Documents of the Second Vatican Council, Bilingual Study Edition, ed. v. Peter Hünermann, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 2012.
-Heinrich Denzinger, Compendium of Creeds and Church Teaching Decisions, Freiburg-Basel-Wien 40.Aufl. 2005 (DH).
-Siebenrock, Roman A., Theological commentary on the Declaration on the Church's attitude to the non-Christian religions Nostra Aetate, in: Herder's theological commentary, Volume 3, Freiburg-Basel-Vienna 2005, 591-693.
About the Author: Stephan Gröne, I was born 1966 in Berlin, Capital of Germany. At the age of 25 I found Jesus Christ. I studied ‚Protestant Theology‘ with a Diploma at Humboldt-University.
As a Protestant I preached the Gospel. I teach religion in public schools and had a research contract with University of Zurich (Switzerland) to analyse paradoxes and write a book on it: ‚Gödel, Wittgenstein, Gott: Paradoxes in Philosophy and Theology‘.