Sunday, June 15, 2008

New background on the Credo of Paul VI

In his article, "The Credo of Paul VI. Who Wrote It, and Why" (www.chiesa), Sandro Magister sheds new light on the "Credo of the People of God," which was issued by Paul VI in 1968 in response to the upheaval in the Church exemplified by the heterodox Dutch Catechism that emerged at the time. What has now come to light is that the "Credo" was written by Jacques Maritain as a result of a long standing correspondence of 303 letters exhanged between himself and the Swiss theologian and cardinal, Charles Journet. Magister says that Cardinal Georges Cottier – a disciple of Journet, and theologian emeritus of the pontifical household – has already revealed the background of the "Credo" in the international magazine "30 Days," in the cover story of the latest issue.

Magister notes that in one passage of the draft sent by Maritain to the pope, he had "explicitly cited the common witness that the Israelites and Muslims give to the one God, together with Christians," but that in his "Credo," Paul VI simply "gives thanks to the divine goodness for the 'many believers' who share faith in the one God with Christians, without specifically mentioning Judaism and Islam." Among other things, Magister also notes that during the 1950's, "Maritain came close to being condemned by the Holy Office for his philosophical thought, suspected of 'extreme naturalism,' but that "one reason why the condemnation was not issued was that he was defended by Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, who at the time was substitute secretary of state and had a longstanding friendship with the French thinker."

[Hat tip to J.]

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