Do these bolded sections sound like the words and actions of a diabolical anti-Catholic anti-pope and Cardinal?
Or do they sound more like Traditional Catholic statements and actions made by these men that Sede-ism has no credible explanation for? http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/19632?eng=y
John Paul II and the Other Religions: From Assisi to "Dominus Iesus"
by Sandro Magister
Tokyo, June 18, 2003
There are some events that John Paul II, and he alone, has wished should take place. He has desired them and brought them into being, for the first time in papal history and against the will of many members of the Church of his time - cardinals, bishops, priests, and faithful. It is likely that no other pope will reproduce them, at least not in the same way.
He carried out the first of these very special events at Assisi on October 27, 1986. He called to his side representativesrom the most varied religions in the world and asked them to pray for peace - each to his own god. The multicolored swath of religious men in Piazza San Francesco, with the pope among them dressed in white, was a potent symbol.
But it was a dangerous symbol as well. Even though the idea was far from John Paul II's intention, the message that came out of this meeting, for many, was one of a kind of United Nations of faiths. It seemed to speak of a multireligious coexistence in which each faith was as good as the other, and among which the Catholic Church took its place as an equal.
The declaration triggered an earthquake. From without, the champions of secularism accused the Church of intolerance. From within, charges of anti-ecumenism sprang forth. This was a sign that "Dominus Iesus" had pinpointed a real malady in the Church, one that was discovered in Assisi and that had its destabilizing effects in Asia, and even more so in the Indian subcontinent. But let's take things in order.
The first event on this rocky road was staged in 1986, in the town of Saint Francis. John Paul II made the announcement on January 25, and the critical reactions came immediately, especially within the Vatican Curia. But the pope wouldn't be bridled, and entrusted the management of the event to one of his trusted cardinals, one of the few who agreed with him on this point, the French cardinal Roger Etchegaray, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The liturgical aspect was handled by Virgilio Cardinal Noé, the previous papal master of ceremonies. The scenographic and organizational aspects of the event were entrusted to the community of Sant'Egidio and the Focolare movement, both seasoned engineers of media events and already at the center of an international network for relations with non-Christian religions.
On October 27, television stations all over the world broadcast the images of the event that the pope had so strongly desired: pilgrimage, fasting, prayer, peace among peoples and religions. John Paul II even revived a medieval tradition by invoking on that day a "divine truce," a halt in the use of arms on all war fronts throughout the world. It so happened that practically no combatants paid attention, but the symbol outweighed reality, and the image of the pope praying with the heads of so many different religions established itself as one of the most powerful signs of his entire pontificate.
But at the same time, critical reservations about the event were taking shape. The event in Assisi added fuel to the fire through some of its more excessive gestures. Some of the city's churches were allotted for the prayers of Buddhists, Hindus, and African animists, as if these buildings were neutral containers, void of any indelible Christian value. The Buddhists set up a shrine of Buddha on the altar of the local Church of Saint Peter. The absence from Assisi of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the prefect for the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was not improperly interpreted as the self-distancing of the cardinal who, by his office, is the custodian of sound Catholic doctrine. The pope himself did not escape criticism. There were those who recalled that in February of that same year, during his voyage to India, he had given speeches of unprecedented openness toward that country's religions, and at Bombay had even let a priestess of the god Shiva anoint his forehead with a sacred Hindu symbol. A few of those who complained about this were Indian bishops. One of them, from Andra Pradesh, said, "The pope knows Hinduism from books, but we, who live with it and see the damage it does to our good people, would never make certain speeches."
"Redemptoris Missio," 1990
John Paul II was aware of the criticisms. But that's not all - he welcomed and shared the deep meaning of the remarks made by Ratzinger and others of similar stature. The pope confirmed this in an encyclical that he began to draft soon after the meeting in Assisi, which would come to light in 1990: "Redemptoris Missio." As seen in its initial Latin words, the same as those in the title, the theme of this encyclical is the evangelizing mission of the Church, as it obeys the command of the Risen Jesus to His disciples, to go forth and teach and baptize all men, even unto the ends of the earth. As often happens, this encyclical was not produced in a vacuum, but was given in response to a real or feared straying from the mark: a stroke of the rudder by the successor of Peter to put the barque of the Church onto the right course.
The straying in question is, more specifically, the impoverishment of Catholic missionary vitality, its dilution into a vague dialogue with other religions and cultures, or even worse, into a dialogue stripped of the will to proclaim the truth and to solicit conversion to Christ, the only savior. In effect, beginning from the affirmation of the Second Vatican Council in the decree "Nostra Aetate," according to which "the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in other religions," the period after the council saw the widespread approval of the idea of transforming the missions into a simple commitment to foster the maturation of the "seeds of truth" present in the various religions - in other words, to help the Hindu be a good Hindu or help the Muslim worship his one God - as if these seeds were themselves distinct ways of salvation, independent of Christ and even more independent of the Church. "Redemptoris Missio" decisively contrasts this "indifferent mentality, unfortunately widely diffused among Christians as well, which is rooted in incorrect theological views marked by a religious relativism that leads to the conviction that one religion is as good as another" (no. 36). The encyclical reaffirms the necessity and urgency of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. This means an explicit proclamation. It means a proclamation made in the certainty that no other religion can save anyone apart from Christ, the only "way, truth, and life." Few at the time noted the centrality of this encyclical in the teaching of John Paul II. But ten years later, when the pope thought it necessary and urgent to return to these themes, many citations from this encyclical were used emphatically in "Dominus Iesus," which reemphasized even more definitively than "Redemptoris Missio" that proclaiming Christ to the nations is both unavoidable and irreplaceable.
The Asian Question
In 1994, John Paul II explained again his view of relations between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions in his book/interview entitled "Crossing the Threshold of Hope," published simultaneously in many languages.
The pope maintains that there are religions that are by nature "particularly close to Christianity," like the animist religions of Africa, from which conversion to the Gospel can come more easily. But he formulates an opposite judgment concerning the "great religions of the Far East": Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism. These "are of a systematic character," and are thus far less penetrable. This explains why, in these regions, "the missionary activity of the Church has born, we must acknowledge, very modest fruit."
But the pope dedicates most of his attention and concern to Buddhism. This religion, he says, "is, like Christianity, a religion of salvation," but the doctrines of salvation contained in these religions are "contrary" to each other. Buddhism's salvation is "negative," based upon the conviction that "the world is evil, and is the source of evil and suffering for man," and that "to free oneself from this evil one must free oneself from the world." This does not involve drawing nearer to God: "Complete detachment is not union with God, but the so-called 'nirvana,' or rather a state of perfect indifference toward the world." Ultimately, "Buddhism is to a great extent an atheistic system," despite the fascination it exercises. "Thus it is not out of place to warn those Christians who open themselves enthusiastically to certain proposals coming from the religious traditions of the Far East."
These unexpectedly harsh judgments that the pope expressed in regard to the religion of Buddha provoked protests among Buddhists, but also among Catholic theologians in the avant-garde of dialogue with other religions. There were those who thought John Paul II was retreating from the advances in dialogue made in Assisi. In reality, in the same chapter of his book/interview, the pope recalled the interreligious encounter of 1986 in words that, if anything, might have suggested the contrary suspicion. The "historic" meeting in Assisi, he said, had convinced him more than ever that "the Holy Spirit works efficaciously even outside the visible organism of the Church." And "he works upon the foundation of the 'semina Verbi' that almost constitute a common soteriological root among all the religions."
The Enigma of the 'semina Verbi'
To non-specialists, the preceding phrase may sound enigmatic. "Soteriological root" means the capacity for eternal salvation. The "Verbum,' 'Logos' in Greek, is the Son of God made man in the first chapter of the Gospel of John, through whom the world was made and by whom all men are saved. As for the 'semina Verbi,' 'the seeds of the Word,' this is a very ancient expression, coined by Justin Martyr c. 150 A.D., which returned in the documents of the Second Vatican Council to designate whatever is "true and holy" even in the non-Christian religions.
To be precise, according to the early Fathers of the Church, including Augustine, the 'seeds of the Word' do not fecundate the pagan religions, of which the Fathers give an extremely negative judgment; they are rather to be found in Greek philosophy and the wisdom of the poets and the sibyls. But in its modern version, the formula is applied precisely to the non-Christian religions, with two meanings. The first meaning is that of the Second Vatican Council, in which the 'semina Verbi' are the mysterious presence of Christ the savior in all religions, insofar as these contain what is "true and holy" and thus salvific as well, but always through Christ, in ways that only He knows.
The second meaning is the one adopted by some theological currents during the second half of the twentieth century. In the judgment of their adherents, non-Christian religions have their own salvific capacity, not a mediated one; all of them express the manifold experiences of the divine, in an independent and complementary way; and Christ is the symbol of these manifold ways rather than the one necessary way.
The oscillation between these two meanings is not only a matter of theological dispute. It influences pastoral practice, the missions, and the public profile of the Church. The second of these meanings, in particular, took shape in a precise religious enterprise on the border between Christianity and Hinduism, created in India in the middle of the twentieth century by three spiritual adepts who came from Europe.
The Saccidananda Ashram
These three are the Frenchmen Jules Monchanin (1895-1957) and Henri Le Saux (1910-1973), and the Englishman Bede Griffiths (1906-1993), all priests, the latter two Benedictine monks. Monchanin and Le Saux, who emigrated to India, founded an ashram there in 1950, a place of meditation and prayer, dedicated to the Indian-Christian contemplation of the Trinity. They gave the ashram the name Saccidananda, a three-part Sanskrit word that evokes the 'trinity' of the Vedic religion: the origin of all, wisdom, and beatitude.
The Saccidananda ashram stands even today in the wooded heart of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in a sleepy little village called Thannirpalli, 300 miles south of Madras. And yet, this remote spiritual place soon became an extraordinary and cosmopolitan center of attention. In 1968, when Monchanin and Le Saux left the scene, Bede Griffiths became the site's spiritual guide for a quarter of a century, and the ashram became part of the Camaldolese Benedictine family. Some of the most famous Catholic theologians working in the field of interreligious dialogue made extended visits there: from the Indian-Spanish priest Raimon Panikkar to the Belgian Jesuit Jacques Dupuis; from the Senegalese Aloysius Pieris, another Jesuit, to the American Camaldolese Thomas Matus.
The place itself visibly displays the interweaving of the Christian and Hindu faiths. Even now, whoever visits the ashram will be struck by the resemblance between the church in which the monks pray, which contains some Buddhist elements, and a Hindu temple. The "Holy of Holies" is dark and mysterious, like the cavern of Mother Earth from which the new creation arises. The colorful cupola is populated with saints and with four depictions of Jesus similar to the Buddha, a lotus flower, and the symbols of the five elements, all the way up to the vertex of infinite divinity. The monks begin every prayer with the sacred Sanskrit syllable "Om," the primordial sound from which the earth was born. Every liturgy is reshaped and reflects interreligious spaces without immediately recognizable boundaries.
There is, however, a surprising element that leaps immediately to the eyes of the visitor, even more now than in past years. The few monks of the ashram are Indian, but the men and women who come to the monastery for hospitality are not: almost all of them come from Europe and North America. Conceived by the spiritual adepts of the Old Continent precisely as a bridge between the Christian faith and that of the Indian subcontinent, the Saccidananda ashram would seem to have failed to achieve its stated objective. It seems to reflect an unresolved problem entirely within Western Catholicism.
Cardinal Ratzinger Takes the Field It is the problem that Cardinal Ratzinger subjected to incisive criticism in a substantial discourse given in Mexico in May of 1996 to the South American bishops, but intended for the entire Catholic world. It was a watershed address. Ratzinger, with the pope's full consent, pointed to interreligious relativism as "the fundamental problem of faith in our time." A few months later came a document from the International Theological Commission in line with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Then came the investigation of the theologian Dupuis, the most visible exponent of a "pluralistic theology of religions." Then came the declaration "Dominus Iesus." All of this was to reorient the Church with regard to a tendency judged as being extremely dangerous.
In his discourse in 1996, Ratzinger describes religious relativism as "a typical product of the Western world," which is all the more insidious in that "it puts itself in contact with the philosophical and religious intuitions of Asia, particularly those of the Indian subcontinent." And why is this so dangerous? Because throughout its history, Christianity has confronted various religious and anti-religious challenges, from Greek polytheism to Islam to modern secularism, but now that the Eastern religions are presenting the challenge, Western Christianity is more vulnerable. This is because the Eastern religions have a natural affinity for the secular relativism that reigns supreme in the West. Thus they exercise a contagious fascination that smashes the very foundations of the Church.
The Church has sought to respond to this challenge in various ways over the past decades, and the 1996 document by the Theological Commission traces these responses back to three main principles. There is an "exclusivist," or "neo-orthodox" current, which in the Catholic context stakes itself on the traditional magisterium, while that of Protestantism follows the great theologian Karl Barth. This current defends the thesis that Christianity is the only salvific faith and the only direct revelation of God to humanity. For the exclusivists, the ancient expression "Extra Ecclasiam nulla salus" ("Outside the Church there is no salvation") holds firm.
Then there is the "inclusivist" current, which is well represented in Catholic theology by Karl Rahner. For its adherents, the previous maxim is reversed: "Ubi salus ibi Ecclesia" ("Wherever there is salvation, there is the Church"). And what they mean by the Church is a community as vast as the world, made up of baptized persons, professed Christians, but also by masses of "anonymous Christians": those believers who find salvation in their respective religions, including those of Asia, and enter mysteriously by these tortuous ways, without realizing it, into the one Church of Christ.
Last come the "pluralists." The most embattled of these is the Presbyterian theologian John Hick. But this current has its defenders even among Catholics, lead by the American Paul Knitter, followed by Panikkar, Pieris, and the spiritual teachers of the Saccidananda ashram. For the pluralists, Christianity does not have the right to make an exclusive claim to the truth. Even Christ is a transcendent reality, composed of all of his historical incarnations, of which Jesus is not the only - and perhaps not the last - instance. For the pluralists, the "Shema Israel" of the Jews, the Christian Creed, the Muslim act of faith "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet," and the Buddhist belief that at the heart of reality there is the emptiness of Nirvana all have their own saving power.
But are these professions of faith all equally true? This is a serious question. From the assertion that "all faiths are valid" for salvation, the pluralists pass quickly to the assertion that "all faiths are true." But can truth be relativized in this way? One can understand why Cardinal Ratzinger, the guardian of the Church's doctrinal truth, would see a grave danger in theological pluralism. The fact that the secular and religious relativism of Europe and America receives this sort of consecration from the East adds to the persuasive force of his argument.
The Dupuis Case
Until the end of the '90's, anyway, pluralistic theorizing was limited to intellectual circles. Things changed when one of the regulars of the Saccidananda ashram, the Jesuit theologian Dupuis, left India and came to the Gregorian University in Rome, run by the Jesuits, the most authoritative of the pontifical universities and the one that for centuries has formed the leaders of the Catholic Church worldwide. In 1997, Dupuis published a book that was also the outline of his teaching, with the title "Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism."
Until then, Dupuis had had a reputation as an orthodox theologian. The Vatican had called him in as a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The secretary of the council at the time, Michael L. Fitzgerald, now its president, while speaking in Assisi at the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's meeting with religious leaders, introduced him as "a Catholic theologian who avoids pluralism and forcefully opposes the trivialization of Christ." And when the much-hyped book came out, the Gregorian endorsed it with great praise; the enthusiasts included Fitzgerald and the rector of the athenaeum, Giuseppe Pittau, the former rector of Sophia University in Tokyo and currently the secretary of the Vatican congregation for Catholic education.
But the wind changed a few months later. On April 14, 1998, "Avvenire," the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, unexpectedly did a hatchet job on the book, in an article written by a theologian with strong Vatican ties, Inos Biffi (no relation to Cardinal Biffi). Also in April, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the one Ratzinger presides over, opened a preliminary inquiry of Dupuis and his book. On June 10, Ratzinger and the other cardinals of the congregation decided to conduct a secret investigation.
Even Dupuis was told nothing. But another signal appeared in the middle of the summer. "La Civiltà Cattolica," the bimonthly published by the Jesuits in Rome, issued a review critical of Dupuis' book. The review was as authoritative as the man who wrote it, the respected Jesuit Giuseppe De Rosa. But it had an even greater value, as do all the articles of "La Civiltà Cattolica": it was read and approved before publication by the Vatican secretary of state. The article ended with a list of accusations in the guise of questions, first of all about Jesus Christ: "Does the Christology of Fr. Dupuis do full justice to the contents of the New Testament and Tradition?" Then it asked about the Church: "Has it given the proper importance to the mediation of the Church in the work of salvation?" It finished with a question about the necessity of converting unbelievers: "If the other religious traditions have their own salvific figures, their own prophets, their own sacred scriptures; if they are already the people of God, already part of the kingdom of God, why should they be asked to become disciples of Christ?"
On October 2, 1999, Dupuis was finally told that he was under investigation. The Jesuit Father General, Peter Hans Kolvenbach, sent him a list of the points of controversy, which had been established by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He was given three months to present a brief in his defense. Meanwhile, he was obliged to speak to no one about the contested themes. He could not even continue to teach, as his course at the Gregorian was closely connected to those themes.
It was the notice of the termination of the course, posted at the Gregorian, that brought the case into the public eye - and the polemics broke out immediately. The English Catholic publication "The Tablet" came to the defense of the accused with an article by no less than the Austrian cardinal Frank Konig, over ninety years old and one of the pillars of the Second Vatican Council. But the most resounding reactions came from India. The archbishop of Calcutta, Henry D'Souza, accused the Vatican of wanting to gag theologians by attacking one "respected for his orthodoxy" with the intention of silencing them all, with India especially in its sights. And it's true, in fact, that India was under fire. Before the outbreak of the Dupuis case, the last two condemnations by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were from that subcontinent. The first was Tissa Balasuriya, a religious of Sri Lanka, who was excommunicated in 1996 for his disturbing book in which he demolished important articles of the Creed, and was then readmitted to the Church on condition of repentance. The second was Anthony De Mello, an Indian Jesuit who wrote wildly successful best-sellers, still sold in dozens of languages, who was condemned "post mortem" on June 24, 1998, under the accusation of having dissolved God, Jesus, and the Church into a cosmic, somewhat New Age spirituality with an oriental flavor.
"Dominus Iesus," 2000
The Holy Year of 2000 was drawing near, as planned and prepared with great care by John Paul II, and the Church seemed to want to establish clarity withindoors. The inauguration of the Jubilee, in reality, refocused some of the critics. The ceremony of the opening of the holy door was audaciously new, compared with tradition, and was vaguely interreligious: the resplendently vested pope was surrounded by dancers in Indian costumes perfumed with oriental scents. But the pope was in no frame of mind for peaceable concessions, as demonstrated by the strong gestures with which he opened the Jubilee year: from the "mea culpa" for the sins of Christians in the past, to the remembrance of the martyrs of yesterday and today, to the solemn reaffirmation of the doctrine according to which "Jesus Christ, and no one else, can give us salvation." (Atti 12:4)
This reaffirmation took on weight in a declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated August 6, 2000, whose title is taken from its initial Latin words: "Dominus Iesus." It is not presented as an organic treatment of the relationship between the Christian faith and other religions. It limits itself to defining the errors to be corrected and to repeating the essential truth. One of its central passages reads: "The thesis that the revelation of Jesus Christ is of a limited, incomplete, and imperfect character, and must be completed by the revelation present in other religions, is contrary to the faith of the Church....This position radically contradicts the affirmations of faith according to which the full and complete revelation of the salvific mystery of God is given in Jesus Christ" (no. 6).
"Dominus Iesus" shields itself with many citations from the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Even so, as soon as it was published, it was met with a deluge of criticism, both from within and from outside the Church, second only to the reception that the highly controversial encyclical "Humanae Vitae" received in 1968. The most famous of the theologians, Hans Kung, labeled it as "a combination of medieval backwardness and Vatican megalomania."
It was rejected by leaders of other Christian confessions and other religions. There were protests from defenders of secularism, tolerance, ecumenism, and dialogue.
But the more striking fact is that among the critical voices there also appeared those of senior leaders of the Church hierarchy. Archbishop (now Cardinal) Karl Lehmann, the president of the German bishops' conference, contested the declaration's lack "of the style of the great Council documents." The other German archbishop, Walter Kasper (also a future cardinal), complained of "communication problems." Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini echoed his comment, hoping that "little by little things will be made clear." But the most clamorous was the distancing of the Australian cardinal Edward Cassidy, then president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. From Lisbon, where he was participating in an interreligious meeting after the model of Assisi, Cassidy contrasted the ecumenical sensitivity of the office over which he presided with the insensitivity of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directed by Ratzinger: "We, with our ecumenical experience, have a sensitive ear that tells us something is being disturbed. They, on the other hand, have the scholastic manner of saying 'This is true, that is not true.' This document has created ambiguity, and now we must seek to avoid imprecise interpretations." To reassure the critics, Cassidy added that in any case "Dominus Iesus" did not bear the pope's signature, as if to say that its authority was weak and that it could be corrected easily.
Return to the Origins In fact, it was Ratzinger who signed the document. But at the end of the document, it was also written that John Paul II had "ratified and confirmed [it] with sure understanding and with his apostolic authority and [had] ordered its publication." And to avoid any ambiguity, on Sunday, October 1, 2000, the pope intervened publicly and in person to reemphasize that he had wanted "Dominus Iesus" and "approved it in a special way."
;Ratzinger himself countered the specific accusations made by Church authorities, in an interview he gave to "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," reprinted on October 8 by "L'Osservatore Romano." "Dominus Iesus," the cardinal said, represented the Council documents "without adding or taking away anything." Both Cassidy and Kasper "participated actively in the drafting of the document," and "almost all of their proposals were accepted." If there were a problem of understanding, "the document should be translated, not scorned." But above all, "with this declaration, whose authors proceeded step by step with great attention, the pope wished to offer to the world a great and solemn acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as Lord at the Holy Year's culmination, thus firmly bringing the essence of the Christian faith to the center of this event." The polemics surrounding "Dominus Iesus," Ratzinger concludes, must not obscure its true objective, that of forcefully reaffirming "the essence of Christianity," summed up by the apostle Paul in the formula of faith "Jesus is Lord"(1 Cor. 12:3).
This last statement is the one that really marks this dispute. A cardinal and theologian, Giacomo Biffi, archbishop of Bologna, takes it up and repeats it in pointed words: "That the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should have thought it necessary to intervene in the question of 'the uniqueness and universal salvific character of Jesus and the Church' with the declaration "Dominus Iesus" is of unprecedented seriousness, because in two thousand years there has never been felt the need to recall and defend such basic truths."
The follow-up to the events comforted both Ratzinger and Biffi, as well as the pope. In the fall of 2001, among the most important cardinals and bishops meeting for a synod in Rome, none of them returned to polemicize over "Dominus Iesus." On the contrary, most of them agreed that religious orthodoxy was in danger, and that it was necessary to restate fundamental truths. Dupuis made his amends, and signed a Vatican pronouncement that reaffirmed that "it is contrary to the Catholic faith to consider the various religions of the world as ways complementary to the Church in the order of salvation."
The theologian Angelo Amato, a specialist in Christology and oriental religions who had lived for many years in India and was one of the authors of the outline of "Dominus Iesus," was promoted to the top level of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as Ratzinger's chief collaborator.
And thus John Paul II, on January 24, 2002, could return to Assisi with greater tranquility for an interreligious prayer meeting similar to the one in 1986. Similar, but not the same, that is. It took care to avoid any appearance of syncretism and confusion. Ratzinger, who had stayed away the last time, came to this meeting. His conviction, which is also that of the pope, is that "the faith of simple believers must be protected." And this is the function of the magisterium of the Church: "The baptismal Creed, in its ingenious literalness, is the measure of all theology. And the Church must be able to tell its faithful which opinions correspond to the faith and which do not." To make a sum of this account, between the first and the last of his trips to Assisi, John Paul II has accompanied the whole Church on a rediscovery of the fountain of its life, its reason for being: "Dominus Iesus," Jesus is Lord.