Pope John Paul II has declared that Jesus Christ is the "unique Savior" of the universe, and the church is the "royal road" to salvation, unlike the "incomplete" religions of non-Christians.
The Pope's declaration on the supremacy of the Christian faith is being interpreted as a warning to liberal Catholic theologians who in recent decades have written of the validity of other mainstream faiths.
The Pope was speaking January 28 to the cardinals, bishops and theologians who make up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the Vatican's guardian of dogma) at the end of a major meeting in Rome about "the uniqueness of Christ."
Pope John Paul, speaking in Italian, told the members of the congregation: "In recent years a mentality has emerged in theological and ecclesial circles which tends to relativize Christ's revelation and his unique and universal mediation in the order of salvation.
"In order to remedy this relativistic attitude, we must insist on the definitive and complete character of Christ's revelation … Therefore the theory of the limited character of the revelation of Christ, which can be complemented by other religions, is contrary to the faith of the church."
Those who believed that "the truth about God cannot be grasped and manifested entirely and completely by any one historical religion, not even Christianity" were at odds with the core teachings of the church, the Pope said.
"This position contradicts the affirmations of faith according to which there is full and complete revelation of God's salvation in Jesus Christ," he said.
"It is wrong to consider the church as a path to salvation equal to those of other religions," the Pope added. "It is true that non-Christians—as was pointed out by the Second Vatican ...1
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