“Ego sum veritas …”

Today it is politically incorrect to condemn heresies: anathema sit is viewed as harsh, intolerant, and incompatible with Christian love.  Many are those who oppose any condemnation of the most blatant dogmatic heresies and moral aberrations in the name of charity, claiming that charity should have precedence over truth.

1This is a position that should be challenged, for Truth and Charity cannot be severed: they are two facets of the God-Man: Christ says He is the Truth, and St. John tells us that God is Love.

No one else in the history of the world, neither Buddha, nor Moses, nor Mohammed, has dared say: “I am the Truth”.  True charity is essentially linked to an ardent desire to share Truth with all of our beloved brothers.  Not to care whether they live in Truth or in error is a deplorable lack of Charity.  He who is in the Truth cannot keep it to himself as his own private possession, for Truth is “ours” never “mine”.  It is inconceivable to pretend that we love our neighbour without feeling what St. Paul calls “caritas urget nos” (love urges us on) to share the blessing we have received.  Christ ordered His disciples to teach all nations (Truth) with love.  It is sheer illusion to believe that we can truly love another person while leaving him in error concerning what matters most: our knowledge of God.

3In the course of her history, the Church has often used the words anathema sit in condemning errors concer-ning the nature of God and His holy teaching.  Every single one of these condemnations had the stamp of a “charitable anathema” – for to warn men of the fearful danger of being in error concerning Him is a charitable act par excellence.

Today, the whole emphasis is on “salvation”.  Catholic doctrine has always taught that those afflicted by invincible ignorance can be saved if they follow their conscience and are faithful to the dictates of the natural law. But salvation is only one crucial issue that should make us not forget that man’s primary duty is the glorification of God, and God cannot be properly glorified if our knowledge of Him is tainted with error.  To preach love without an explicit reference to Truth is to misunderstand the true nature of love which tells us that “we should all be one” in the truth.

Christ said to the Samaritan woman that “… the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth …” (John 4:23)


13 Responses to ““Ego sum veritas …””

  1. 1 booklady July 7, 2009 at 22:15

    Well-written Gabriella! I think it’s a reflection of the overall immaturity of our current age that we — and I include myself here because I know how often I squirm and struggle under His loving gaze — view Charity as distinct from, and superior to, Truth. As we mature, hopefully, we are graced with the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit and begin to see that all-encompassing Love can only be found in immutable, unchangeable Truth; they only exist in each other.

    Caritas et Veritas! booklady

  2. 2 Corrado Trinci July 8, 2009 at 08:25

    It is interesting that one of the things we rarely discuss in polite company any more is religion. Indeed religion is seldom even preached any more especially in Catholic churches. What is mostly preached is a kind of bland egalitarianism or a social ‘gospel’ in which the purpose of religion is mainly to make the world better. Also,an explanation for any lack of discussion about the Truth of religion is that we prefer not to disturb anyone and be ‘politically correct’.
    As Fr. James Schall S.J. writes, with much perception, ‘The Catholic Ecumenical movement itself, as it popularly has worked itself out, has become in many ways not so much a serious confrontation with religious differences and the importance of these differences but a kind of good fellowship in which everything is left as it was. If something is true, however, and it can be shown to be true, then we need to change our minds about it. We need to do something about our errors, about our lives based on them. I do not mean to disparage custom or historic ways of human living. But they need testing. This is why the Apostles were to be fishers of men and to go forth to all the nations.’ Food for thought!

  3. 3 Mannono July 8, 2009 at 12:20

    In this relative society of ours, people close an eye to objective reality and scorn anyone who fights for it. The politically correct thing to do is to treat your beliefs as subjective and allow for the option that whatever someone else believes (even if different) should be accepted because it can and does work for him. Salvation therefore for society, if there is such a thing, can be achieved in many ways. This is not so. There is only one truth. God is one.
    Ecumenism fails in finding this objective truth. Society expects the result of all these ecumenical gatherings to be the long awaited realisation that we can do whatever we want and be fine in the end when we die. And so far ecumenism seems to have strived just for that. At least that’s what every catholic is made to believe. Therefore ecunemism has failed. Ecunemism should be more closely related to apologetics, looking at the differences amongst religions and trying to figure out which ones are wrong instead they look at similarities and try to conclude that we are all the same.

    The truth shall set us free.

  4. 4 churchmouse July 8, 2009 at 14:32

    Beautifully written, Gabriella. Thank you for reminding us that it is a work of charity to proclaim the true Gospel and teachings to others. We don’t hear that enough these days, especially from the pulpit.

    Also agree with the comments above, particularly with regard to relativism (Modernism — a heresy).

  5. 5 Katherine Jane July 8, 2009 at 14:40

    I agree with you all. It is simple, ecumenism, even as practiced by Popes of the last 40 years, blurs distinctions, waters down doctrine, and creates confusion and division. Its goal is to make a false unity in the division. Could it be any more obvious? Take for example the utter and complete hysteria that caused Jewish newspapers to print woodcuts of absurd medieval cartoons depicting Jews carrying out occult ceremonies on Christian children. As if it was universally believed then, as if it will be now because of one prayer asking for conversion! Could we have any more sign that ecumenism and dialogue is a failure?

  6. 6 Bill Turner July 8, 2009 at 14:55

    I believe that we cannot and should not throw “the baby out with the bathwater” and reject ecumenism all together. We must remember there was a time (before our time) when Catholics and Protestants would not pray together or even befriend one another. We do not want to revert back to those times. There are ways to reach out to those of other faiths in a spirit of charity, to even worship together on some level, while still maintaining that the Catholic Church is the one true Church. It is a fine line, yes, and a path that must be tread with sensitivity and discernment. However, remaining in our separate camps in a spirit of religious division will not yield the fruit of conversion either. We must pray that our Church leaders will find the proper balance.

  7. 7 Katherine Jane July 8, 2009 at 15:00

    Well sure, nothing I said is against that. My only point was that Ecumenism is so fruitless that after 40 years of it the dialogue partners are so confused about Catholicism that real Catholicism is somehow offensive. That is a problem!

    I have no problem speaking with a protestant. I’m a retail manager and I have people who work for me who are homosexual, protestant, orthodox, wicca, buddhist and muslim. You can bet I dialogue with them on a regular basis, when I can and when it is possible. I never however let them believe something false for the sake of getting along. That is the difference.

  8. 8 Raman Chakravorthy July 8, 2009 at 15:11

    I have no idea if the past Popes really wanted people to convert to Catholicism. Sometimes it seems so and others times not.

    Studying this issue it seems like the past 40 years of Popes would like to be so nice and friendly with other religions that they would eventually convert because of these kinds of relations without any explicit indication of the necessity of joining the Church for salvation.

    I mean seriously. When Pope John Paul II was meeting up with person X of religion Y did he ever evangelize them? I never saw it. I never here of any ecumenical events where evangelization is explicitly employed. Why do people think that if are nice enough and talk to other religious enough without explaining the need to convert to Catholicism they will eventually convert? This makes it seem like we accept their error because we are not explaining why they are wrong and further there is no mention that there is no salvation outside the Church. What’s the result? Indifferentism begins to spread in some way, shape or form and it is spread now.

  9. 9 A. Oliver July 9, 2009 at 15:09

    God is LOVE. He created all things because he is love. He created mankind because he loves us so much that He sent his Son to die for each one of us so we can have salvation.

    As St Augustine says : Love God and do what you will.

    Therefore it is not religion that saves us but how we live our lives. I am sure there are a lot of good muslims as well as jews etc etc etc……..otherwise we would say or question : how can God be Love if no one is saved except through the Catholic Church ?

    I know a lot of good Christians who are not catholic and better than some of us catholics……..so it boils down to love God and neighbour and not to religion.

    Just thinking !!!!!!! Antonella (written from Corrado’s computer whilst on holiday here in Harare)

    • 10 Marcie July 9, 2009 at 16:50

      @ Oliver:

      “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
      “He who is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23).
      “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in Heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
      “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
      “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9).
      “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:18)

      For a more specific reply to your “just thinking”, please read Dominus Jesus (6 Aug 2000) – the Pope’s declaration on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church.


  10. 11 Cinzia July 10, 2009 at 07:27

    Well!! I’m listening and learning more each day … thanks to this sensational, fantastic blog and also to all the various comments. You are one amazing bunch of people!!!

    Thank you !!

    and keep up the great work all of you … I honestly have nothing to contribute that would be of any usefulness to anyone because I am VERY confused about issues such as these (modern relativism, ecumenism, political and religious correctness), so best I keep my mouth shut and do the listening instead.

    God bless and cheers to all from the land down under where I find myself in exile …. (hmmmm)

  11. 12 collegegirl July 10, 2009 at 07:35

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