History of Catholic Ecumenism
from Pope Leo XIII to Pope John XXIII
Since the Fall of Man, human sin has consistently been in conflict with the Will of God. Jesus prayer for the unity of Christians has not been exempt from this unending struggle. The consequence of this strife is that Christianity is separated into three major sections: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. Schism, heresy, and as always, sinful pride are the reasons for these divisions. Yet in every age there are Christians sincerely seeking to follow their Lords commands; thus, each fissure of the Body leads some to seek a reconciliation. Believers come together to fulfill this desire: this is the ecumenical movement. The present century has seen arguably the greatest number of Christians who have recognized the terrible scandal of disunity and attempted to reunite what has been divided. Protestant institutions have especially involved themselves with this movement, resulting in the creation of the World Council of Churches in 1948. On the Catholic side, one major result of the modern ecumenical movement was Unitatis Redintegratio, a decree dealing with ecumenism handed down in 1964 by the Second Vatican Council. This was the first conciliar document ever to deal explicitly with Catholic ecumenism towards both Orthodox and Protestant brethren.
However, Unitatis Redintegratio was not the start of Catholic ecumenism; in fact, it was not even the first official Vatican statement on the matter.(1) The modern attitude of the Catholic Church toward ecumenism was inaugurated by Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903). After him, official Catholic ecumenism progressed and developed, culminating in the promulgation of Unitatis Redintegratio. The three major themes of this document, dealing with the Catholic concept of unity, the Catholic practice of ecumenism, and the Catholic view of the separated churches, had all been previously addressed by the Roman Pontiffs between Leo XIII and John XXIII (1958-1963). Therefore the documents position on these three subjects was the result of the many years of Catholic reflection and thought since Pope Leo XIIIs ushering of the Catholic Church into this modern "ecumenical age".
Catholic Concept of Christian Unity
After being lifted up on the cross and glorified, the Lord Jesus poured forth
the Spirit whom he had promised, and through whom he has called and gathered together the
people of the New Covenant, which is the Church, into a unity of faith, hope, and
charity... - Vatican II, "Unitatis Redintegratio", Art. 2
Throughout her history, the Catholic Church has steadfastly stressed the importance of
Christian unity. Other non-Catholic believers have also affirmed the need
for a united Christianity, but the concept of unity for a Catholic versus a non-Catholic
is radically different. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ founded one visible
Church upon the apostles, with Simon Peter as its head. Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) affirmed
in Mystici Corporis this unchanging tenet of the Church:
He [Christ] entrusted to the Prince of the Apostles the visible
government of the whole society which He had founded...for in virtue of the primacy Peter
is none other than the Vicar of Christ, and therefore this Body has only one principal
Head, namely Christ, who, continuing Himself to govern the Church invisibly and directly,
rules it visibly through His personal representative on earth; so that now...that Church
is built not only on Himself but also on Peter as on its visible foundation.(2)
This description of the Church is at odds in varying ways with the beliefs of all other
Christian bodies. Also, the official teaching of the Church has always been that true
unity can only be realized if all Christians are again united to the Roman Pontiff. This
strong view heavily influenced the Catholic approach to ecumenism. Until Pope Leo XII,
rarely was a praiseworthy word, or even any word, mentioned in papal
documents about those Christians not in union with Rome. For example, in 1758, Pope
Clement XIII wrote an encyclical entitled "The Unity of Christians" (A Quo
Die). Had an encyclical been written in the 20th century with this title, one would
assume that it was an ecumenical document. However, this letter deals not with
non-Catholic Christians, but rather only with certain disuniting problems within the
Catholic Church. In other words, it was assumed in papal documents that unity already
existed with those in union with the successor of Peter, so the only discord to address
would be the potential factions within the Church.
The disagreement existing between Catholics and non-Catholics with respect to unity can
be divided into two categories. The first difference pertains to the governing and
visibility of the Church. Both Orthodox and Catholic Christians believe that the Church is
a visible entity that was established upon the apostles and has been sustained by the
appointment of bishops as successors to the apostles. Whereas the dogma of apostolic
succession is disputed by most Protestant Christians; on the Catholic side, popes since
Leo XIII have continually defended this key teaching of the faith. Since the conviction of
the Church is that Christ Himself appointed the apostles to govern her, Catholic teaching
is that he who purposely disobeys them or their legitimate successors is disobeying
Christ. Also, only Catholic and Orthodox Orders are recognized as valid.(3) Because of
these tenets of the faith, any ecumenical dialogue in which
the Church engages will find her defending the belief that true unity can only be achieved
in a visibly united church under the leadership of legitimate bishops.
It is true that the Orthodox believe in the divine institution of a visible church upon
the apostles. However, they and the rest of non-Catholic Christianity stand in opposition
to the second foundational element of the church as Catholics see it: the primacy of
Peter. "...that the Bishop of Rome", said Pope John XXIII, "as Peters
successor and Christs Vicar on earth, is the focal center of the entire visible
unity of the Catholic Church...is clearly supported by the evidence of the Gospels and by
ancient Catholic tradition..."(4) The teaching that the visible church is governed by
the bishops with the successor of Peter at the head is strongly reinforced in many papal
Always on guard against a false irenicism among Christians, official Vatican statements
dealing with separated brethren clearly and consistently restated that the primacy of
Peter is not something that the Catholic Church can compromise on: it is an unchanging
doctrine of the faith. In spite of this unyielding belief, however, the Church did not
fail to recognize that there were common misinterpretations of this doctrine. Thus, 20th
century popes, knowing that the first stage in true ecumenism is the eradication of
misunderstandings between believers, attempted to proclaim the true teaching of the
primacy of Peter in such a way that all would understand. Pope Leo XIII, for example,
realized that many, especially in the East, may have interpreted the doctrine of Papal
infallibility declared by Vatican I as yet another step in the process of a papal
monarchy. To dispel such fears, he stated:
But if the authority of Peter and his successor is plenary and supreme,
it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of
the Church also "chose twelve whom he called apostles"; and just as it is
necessary that the authority of Peter be perpetuated in the Roman pontiff, so the bishops
who succeed the apostles must inherit their ordinary power. Thus the episcopal order
necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although bishops do not
receive plenary, universal or supreme authority, they are not to be looked upon as mere
representatives of the Roman pontiffs. They exercise a power truly their own and are
ordinary pastors of the people which they govern.(6)
Considering that the major difference between East and West is the authority of the
Pope(7) and the role of bishops in governing the Church, this statement on the authority
of all the bishops was a major step toward reconciliation between the two. The road to
unity cannot be traveled until key beliefs, commonalties, and differences are clearly and
Catholic Practice of Ecumenism
There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion. For it
is from newness of attitudes of mind, from self-denial and unstinted love, that desires of
unity take their rise and develop in a mature way. - Vatican II, "Unitatis Redintegratio", Art. 7.
The rise of the modern ecumenical movement forced the Catholic Church to grapple with
the issue of how to relate to Christians who are not in union with Rome. Although the
Church has continually emphasized the essentiality of the union of all Christians with the
Successor of Peter, the all-too-evident fact is that vast numbers of believing, faithful
Christians are not within this union. With the prayer of Jesus "that they may all be
one" speaking to their hearts, the popes of the past century increasingly tried to
develop standards with regard to non-Catholic Christians. These attempts addressed various
issues, including the relationship between ecumenism and apologetics; the proper level of
Catholic involvement in Protestant ecumenical movements; and the effect reunion would have
upon the Catholic Church.
The teaching of the Catholic Church has always been that she possesses the fullness of
the Christian faith. Implicit in this belief is that those who do not hold all the
Catholic teachings are thereby in error in one way or another. This would necessarily
include all non-Catholic Christians. Thus, in order to bring people into the Catholic
faith, apologetics is necessary; however, ecumenism and apologetics are rarely
complimentary. Early in this century, "ecumenism" and apologetics in official
Church documents still intertwined. Writing in 1894 on the reunion of Christendom, Pope
Leo XIII stressed heavily the necessity of non-Catholic Christians returning to the
"fold". Regarding the Easts rejection of the primacy of the pope, he
stated, "But let them look back to the early years of their existence, let them
consider the sentiments entertained by their forefathers, and examine what the oldest
traditions testify, and it will, indeed, become evident to them that Christs divine
utterance, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church has
undoubtedly been realized in the Roman Pontiffs."(8) Then, addressing Protestants, he
proceeded, "Suffer that We should invite you to the unity which has ever existed in
the Catholic Church and can never fail; suffer that We should lovingly hold out Our hand
to you. The Church, as the common mother of all, has long been calling you back to
her..."(9) These apologetic statements were not uncommon in papal documents, yet have
no parallel in Unitatis Redintegratio, in which the Eastern churches as well as
Protestant churches were not explicitly asked to join the Catholic Church. This is not to
say that the Catholic Church changed her position upon the source of true unity; no, she
still proclaimed that "Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church
only".(10) However, in order to foster ecumenical dialogue "worthy of the
name", the Church saw that apologetics and attempts at conversion were not
appropriate within the context of ecumenism.
Another issue for papal consideration in the first half of the 20th century was the
level of Catholics involvement in Protestant-organized ecumenical activities.
Protestant ecumenical work was more widespread in this century than in any other. With the
Edinburgh missionary conference of 1910 that included many different Protestant
denominations, the modern ecumenical movement was truly born. Quickly the question arose
concerning the extent of Catholic involvement in these affairs. Pope Benedict XV
(1914-1922) was the first to be forced to address this issue when the Catholic Church was
invited to a Protestant ecumenical "Faith and Order" conference in 1919. He
refused to participate in this conference; in fact, the Holy Office issued a decree on
July 4, 1919 prohibiting Catholics from taking part in conferences dealing with Christian
unity being held by separated Christians, unless the Holy See explicitly permitted such
participation.(11) This policy continued under Pope Pius XI (1922-1939), who in response
to another unity conference, issued the encyclical Mortalium Animos. In this letter Pius XI completely rejected the Protestant Ecumenical Movement of his time: "...it is
clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it
anyway lawful for Catholics either to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they
do so they will be giving countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the
one Church of Christ."(12)
Following this strong discouragement of Catholic collaboration in Protestant unity
movements, however, slow movement toward more active Catholic participation occurred in
the years preceding Vatican II. In 1949, the Holy Office issued another decree, entitled Ecclesia
Catholica, that dealt with Catholic ecumenical involvement. This document, in many
ways, appears as a bridge between Mortalium Animos and Unitatis Redintegratio.
Seen in the light of the latter, it appears overly cautious and suspicious; yet in
comparison to the former document, progress is evident. One statement in particular from
the document reveals this: "They [the bishops] should therefore not only carefully
and efficaciously keep this movement under vigilant observation, but also prudently foster
and guide it unto the twofold end of assisting those who are in search of the truth and
the true Church..."(13) This development reached its culmination with a pronouncement
by Pope John XXIII, shortly before Vatican II. For the first time ever, papal permission
was officially granted for Catholic participation in the World Council of Churches
conference, to be held in New Delhi in 1961.(14) In fact, the Council then went a step
further when it not only allowed Catholic participation, but even called such involvement
With the hopes of many running high this century for the real possibility of the
reunion of Christianity, a number of Church documents addressed whether or not there would
be benefits to the Catholic Church should reunion occur. In keeping with the general
attitude of Rome toward any reunion is Pope Leo XIIIs statements in Praeclara
Gratulationis that heavily emphasized the benefits that non-Catholics will gain
if they "return to the fold they have abandoned".(16) This century, however, saw
an awakening in Catholics, from the parish all the way to Rome, to the true benefits that their
Church would gain by reunion. A sampling of this new development can be seen in these
words from Pope Pius XI: "When individual men and whole peoples are thus perfectly
reconciled, the conjunction of the Church will at once be perfected through the
return of all who for whatever reasons have been separated from her."(17) The
benefits to be gained by the Catholic Church from reunion with the separated brethren was
explicitly acknowledged in Unitatis Redintegratio:
Nor should we forget that anything wrought by the grace of the Holy
Spirit in the hearts of our separated brethren can contribute to our own edification.
Whatever is truly Christian is never contrary to what genuinely belongs to the faith;
indeed, it can always bring a more perfect realization of the very mystery of Christ and
This realization by the Vatican that, in some ways, there is something missing from the
church by the disunity of all Christians, was a major step toward reunion. For reunion is
only possible after all sides realize the great scandal that exists due to fragmentation.
Catholic View of Separated Churches
These various divisions...differ greatly from one another not only by reason of
their origin, place and time, but still more by reason of the nature and seriousness of
questions concerning faith and Church order. - Vatican II, "Unitatis Redintegratio", Art. 13.
"Two principal types of division"(19) within the body of Christianity have
existed since the sixteenth century. These two are the separation between East and West,
and the division of the West between Catholic and Protestant. Since the reasons and
origins of these divisions contrast so greatly, the Catholic Church has treated each major
breach in quite different ways. In fact, the Church has been involved in its own
"ecumenical movement" for centuries, making numerous attempts to reunite
with the separated Eastern churches, resulting at various times in either success
or failure. Many of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches are the successful result of
these reunion movements. Two major examples of failed attempts, on the other hand, are the
Second Council of Lyons (1274) and the Council of Florence (1438-1439). Both aspired to
reunite the Catholic and Orthodox churches, and on paper, both succeeded. However, neither
in practice accomplished the desired goal, as disunion triumphed shortly after each
council. The long history of reconciliation efforts between East and West is demonstrated
in the development of ecumenical thought in this centurys official papal documents.
The churches in the East - principally the Orthodox - were the primary target of
ecumenical discussion. Whereas popes before John XXIII were very cautious in statements
directed toward Protestants, many times they showed for the separated Eastern churches
unreserved admiration and praise that is not typical in encyclicals. This sentiment
led to a greater emphasis in papal documents upon the common bonds that the Orthodox and
Catholic share. Statements directed toward Protestants, however, were slow in praise as
well as in attempts at ecumenical dialogue.
Separated Christians of the East
The attitude that the similarities between Orthodox and Catholic believers are to be
emphasized was first strongly enunciated by Pope Leo XIII:
The difference that separates the Eastern Churches from us is not so
great, nay, with few exceptions we are so entirely at one that in defence of the Catholic
faith we often have recourse to reasons and testimony borrowed from the teaching, rites,
and customs of the East. The principal subject of contention is the primacy of the Roman
This emphasis upon commonality continued to be heard from the Vatican after Leo XIII.
Certain features of the Orthodox endeared them to the Roman Pontiffs: "They [the
Orthodox] have faithfully preserved the greater part of divine revelation. Among them is
found a sincere obedience to Christ, a special love of his holy Mother, and the frequent
reception of the sacraments."(21) This concept found culmination in Unitatis
Redintegratios section on the Eastern Christians, which exalted the many
characteristics that the Eastern churches have in common with the Catholic Church.
The praise given to the East early this century should not suggest that ecumenical
discussion between Catholics and Orthodox was fully developed. Although popes were willing
to praise many Eastern traditions and beliefs, Rome did, at times, place the blame for
disunity more heavily upon the non-Catholic East. Pius XI, writing in a 1923 encyclical
dealing with certain non-Catholic Eastern Christians, stated, "On their side the
Roman Pontiffs left nothing undone to bring back these peoples [Eastern Slavs] to
the unity of the Church."(22) Also, this same pope freely used the term
"schismatic" when referring to those Eastern Christians who are not in union
with Rome.(23) These were hardly ecumenical statements of joint responsibility for the
divisions of today. Just 42 years later, however, Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) signed a joint
declaration with Patriarch Athenagoras I stating the co-liability for the separation that
exists between Orthodox and Catholics. This was fast development indeed within the
Clearly this century was one of progress in relation to ecumenism with the East.
Virtually no pope since Leo XIII was lacking in praise of the many commendable
beliefs and traditions that those Eastern Christians separated from Rome still hold. To be
sure, the Catholic desire for reunification had its modern origin in the work of Pope Leo
XIII. His longing that the East and West might again be one set the tone for the
rest of the century. As he stated, "the yearning desire of Our heart bids us conceive
and hope that the day is not far distant when the Eastern Churches, so illustrious in
their ancient faith and glorious past, will return to the fold..."(24) So, in many
ways, the rescinsion of the excommunications of 1054 between the Bishop of Rome and the
Patriarch of Constantinople that occurred in 1965 had its conception in the labors of Pope
Separated Christians of the West
Whereas Pope Leo XIII ushered in the beginning of the modern Catholic ecumenical
dialogue with the Eastern non-Catholic churches, official ecumenical moves toward
Protestant Christians were not quite so forthcoming in this century before Vatican II. In
fact, official statements were at times so ambiguous that some Catholics as well as
Protestants wondered if the Church considered Protestants truly Christian.(25) While one
can see how misinterpretation in this area may arise, a careful reading of the documents
and a placement of them in their historical light makes the true teaching evident. With
the vast number of different doctrines and practices that are to be found among
Protestants, Rome was hesitant to make any sweeping general statements in this area.
However, the Vatican did issue a number of declarations during the reigns between Popes
Leo XIII and John XXIII; these statements deal with a number of practical matters ranging
from the validity of a Protestant Baptism to the validity of Anglican Orders. On a whole,
however, most statements released by the Vatican before the reign of John XXIII did not
explicitly attempt to engage Protestant Christianity in ecumenical dialogue.
Today it is assumed by all involved in ecumenical discussions that the issue of whether
Catholics and Protestants consider each other Christians is resolved. However, no such
assumption existed earlier this century. Many Protestants felt that the Catholic Church
did not consider them Christian, and in fact, many individual Catholics agreed with that
sentiment. One source of the confusion was the difficulty in some Catholic minds as to
whether someone who is technically a heretic (by holding erroneous beliefs) could at the
same time be considered a Christian. For example, Pope Pius XII, stating the requirements
of membership in the Church, added along with Baptism and possessing the true faith,
"those...who have not cut themselves off from the structure of the Body by their own
unhappy act or been severed therefrom, for very grave crimes, by the legitimate
authority."(26) Interpreting this statement and others like it out of context (of
both the encyclical and Church Tradition) lead some to believe that Protestants are not
truly Christian. This is not the teaching of the Church. However, in ecumenical
discussion, it did not always matter what the official teaching of the Church was, but
rather what Protestants thought the official teaching of the Church was. This was
the area of development in official Vatican documents. Rome progressively more clearly
stated its acceptance of a Protestant Baptism that conforms to certain guidelines. The
Church has always affirmed the belief that "Outside the Church there is no
salvation", but Pope Leo XIII (later restated by Pope Pius XI) clearly asserted who
are members of the Church: "Those who have been validly cleansed by the waters of
baptism belong by right to the Church, even if error keeps them apart or disagreement
severs them from fellowship."(27) So, the question becomes, what is a valid
baptism? According to the Council of Trent, it is a baptism that is performed with the
intention of doing what the Church does, regardless of who administers it. The
official teaching of the Church has not changed in this area; the development during the
years leading to Vatican II is the explicit affirmation of this teaching and the
application of it to Protestants.(28)
In reading the official documents regarding the separated Christians of the West,
another shift is evident in the time from Pope Leo XIII to Vatican II. The change was from
highlighting the errors of Protestants to emphasizing the common beliefs that Catholics
and Protestants share. Pope Leo XIII clearly emphasized the errors of Protestantism in Praeclara
Gratulationis(29), and of course, in discussing Protestant ecumenical conferences,
Pope Pius XI, as seen above, wrote very few complimentary remarks in Mortalium Animos.
By the pontificate of Pius XII, however, one can already see some movement toward more
approving remarks about all non-Catholic Christians, both in East and West. One statement
speaking of Protestants by this pope showed definite progress: "without belonging to
the visible body of the Catholic Church, [they] are near to us through faith in Jesus
Christ".(30) Common faith in Christ was the key subject of this shift in emphasis.
With the increase of so many who are hostile to the Christian faith in the 20th century,
the Catholic Church began to realize the important bonds that she truly has with
Protestants. Those who have faith in Christ are, in the most important ways, more united
to each other than to all those who are not followers of Christ. This increasing
recognition of our already-existing unity with Protestants on this significant matter was
crystallized under the pontificate of John XXIII. His concern for ecumenical issues was
evident. Not only did he allow Catholics for the first time to participate in Protestant
ecumenical conventions, he even permitted the presence of Protestant Christians at the
Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. As is evident in Unitatis Redintegratio, no
longer would the Catholic Church emphasize the erroneous beliefs of Protestantism.
Instead, she would primarily proclaim the common faith in Jesus Christ as Lord that all
The Church of God, by a wondrous act of Divine Providence, was so fashioned as
to become in the fulness of time an immense family which embraces all men. - Pope Pius XI, Ecclesiam Dei, Art. 1.
The "ecumenical movement" would not have to exist if all things were in
accordance with Gods Will; if not for the human sins on all sides that caused
division, reunion attempts would not be necessary. But these divisions do exist, and to
fulfill the prayer of Jesus to his Father, men and women have striven to reunite the
separated Body of Christ. Included in those who have sought reunion is the Catholic Church
and her popes, especially in the century leading to Vatican II. Recognizing the great
number of difficulties that exist between believers, the Church attempted a prudent path
that at times was cautious and even suspicious, but always with an eye toward a return to
one fold under Christ. Also, since the divisions occurred for different reasons, popes
reacted accordingly. Knowing that the non-Catholic Eastern churches are indeed very close
to the bosom of the Catholic Church, Rome was quick to praise them and extend a hand of
reconciliation toward them. A great love for the Eastern churches is evident in the
writings of many popes this century, especially Leo XIII, Pius XI, and John XXIII, and
this love translated into many attempts to lessen the distance that separates East and
A greater distance, however, exists between Catholics and Protestants. This obvious
fact was clearly stated in many ways by Rome during the first half of this century. Though
still admitting of these differences, the Church in the immediate years preceding Vatican
II more deeply realized the need to strive earnestly for reunion, and thus began to
acknowledge the many true beliefs and virtues that Protestants possess.
Two popes especially distinguished themselves for their willingness to initiate
ecumenism. Leo XIII, in regards to the East, and John XXIII, in reference to Protestants,
were pioneers in encouraging official Catholic involvement with non-Catholic Christians.
The culmination of these efforts was realized in Unitatis Redintegratio. This
historic document of the Church introduced a new era of ecumenism within Christianity.
Much of the distrust which had existed was removed by its openness toward the separated
brethren. Although many commentators believe this was the first ecumenical action of the
Catholic Church, a closer look reveals that the Church, including many popes, took a keen
interest in ecumenical affairs even before Vatican II. The result is that this century saw
popes and the entire Catholic Church attempt to follow the prayer of Jesus that "they
may all be one".
(1) Due to size constraints, this study will only cover official
Vatican statements in this time frame dealing with Orthodox or Protestant Christians in
general or with ecumenism specifically.
(2) Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, Art. 38.
(3) The encyclical Apostolicae Curae (1896) by Pope Leo
XIII officially declared Anglican Orders invalid.
(4) Pope John XXIII, Aeterna Dei Sapientia, Art. 42.
(5) cf. Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, Pope Pius XII, Mystici
(6) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Satis
Cognitum, p. 381-382.
(7) cf. The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 306.
(8) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 306-307.
(9) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 311.
(10) Unitatis Redintegratio, Art. 1.
(11) George Tavard, "Two Centuries of Ecumenism", p.
(12) Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, Art. 8 (emphasis
(13) Cited in Robert McAfee Brown, "The Ecumenical
Revolution", p. 54.
(14) Brown, p. 54.
(15) cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, Art. 8.
(16) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 306.
(17) Pope Pius XI, Ecclesiam Dei, Art. 22 (emphasis
(18) Unitatis Redintegratio, Art. 4.
(19) Unitatis Redintegratio, Art. 13.
(20) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 306
(21) Pope Pius XI, Rerum Orientalium, Art. 18.
(22) Pope Pius XI, Ecclesiam Dei, Art. 5 (emphasis added).
(23) cf. Pope Pius XI, Ecclesiam Dei, Art. 9,10, etc.
(24) The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 306.
(25) Gregory Baum, That They May Be One, p. 38.
(26) Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, Art. 21.
(27) Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum, Art. 3; cf. Pope Pius
XI, Quas Primas, Art. 18. (emphasis added)
(28) A practical example of this is the case of Fr. Feeney of
Boston in the 1940s. Responding to Fr. Feeneys belief that only baptized
Catholics can go to heaven, the Holy Office responded in 1949 with the "Boston
Letter" which clearly stated the possibility of salvation to those who are not
formally Catholics. cf. Baum, Appendix 1.
(29) cf. The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, Praeclara
Gratulationis, p. 309ff.
(30) Pope Pius XII, Christmas message of 1941, cited from Brown,
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