Vatican II vs. Florence

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“Each conciliar document has a fundamentally different intention, the former focusing on Christian unity with the East, not formally commenting on the subject of other religions, and the latter systematically and thoroughly commenting on that matter; given their different intentions, there is clearly no contradiction here. The assumptions each council makes are also starkly different. The former assumes that its audience has no excuse to leave the visible Church because the Gospel has been thoroughly embedded into society. The latter, on the other hand, addresses a post-Christendom world and recognizes the value other religions can serve as preparation for Christ. There is no discontinuity here, either. Florence’s scope is confined to Coptic Christian audiences, and its expression of NSOC is arguably directed at Christians who are considering leaving the Church. Lumen Gentium is addressed to the universal Church, as well as non-Christians. Thus, the differences in scope also signify no discontinuity. Florence’s expression of NSOC was soundly rejected by both theological and magisterial authorities, whereas Vatican II’s has (so far) been staunchly defended; there is no discontinuity here. Finally, the theological beliefs like invincible ignorance that the Florentine Fathers believed in, even if Cantate Domino did not acknowledge them, are invoked by Lumen Gentium, which demonstrates continuity between their theologies.”

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