The Vatican has delivered a severe warning to a Belgian Jesuit priest for his views on religious pluralism.

The Vatican has asked Jacques Dupuis to remove "ambiguities" from his teaching which "could lead a reader to erroneous opinions" and raise doubts about Christ's saving power.

In a notification released this week and signed on January 24 by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the 73-year-old Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared that Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism, a book published by Father Dupuis in 1997, gives rise to "difficulties on important doctrinal points" that had often been defined in church teaching.

The four-page notification, which is available on the Vatican's Web site (, states that while other religions hold some truth, ultimately they also derive from the founder of Christianity. "It is consistent with Catholic doctrine to hold that the seeds of truth and goodness that exist in other religions are a certain participation in truths contained in the revelation of or in Jesus Christ. However, it is erroneous to hold that such elements of truth and goodness, or some of them, do not derive ultimately from the source-mediation of Jesus Christ."

The notification is likely to offend some followers of other faiths as it states that "according to Catholic doctrine, the followers of other religions are oriented to the church and are all called to become part of her."

Under pressure from the Vatican, Father Dupuis has signed the notification which will be placed in future editions of his controversial book. The book was originally published in English, French, and Italian. There have been further editions in all three languages, as well as in Portuguese and Spanish. ...

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