07 Placuit Deo(It pleased God) - Cindy Wooden

posted Mar 8, 2018, 11:14 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 8, 2018, 11:15 AM ]
The document 'Placuit Deo' (It Pleased God) released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith underlines that salvation in Christ is a gift of God that cannot be earned by human efforts alone, and it is not simply some kind of interior transformation, but touches the way Christians live in the world and relate to others.

"Both the individualistic and the merely interior visions of salvation contradict the sacramental economy through which God wants to save the human person.

Released at the Vatican on March 1, the document was the first issued since Archbishop Luis Ladaria became Prefect of the doctrinal congregation in July.

The document, approved by Pope Francis in mid-February, focuses on two errors Pope Francis has said seem to underlie the statements and attitudes of a growing number of Christians: neo-Pelagianism - the idea that people can save themselves by being strong and very disciplined; and neo-Gnosticism - in which the focus is so strongly placed on knowledge that it ends up despising the body, the physical needs of others and the creation of a community.

"Salvation cannot be reduced simply to a message, a practice, a gnosis (knowledge) or an interior feeling," Archbishop Ladaria said in his presentation of the document. It flows from a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, which in turn leads to incorporation in the Church and an effort to live as Jesus did, especially in attention to the poor and the suffering, he said.

Responding to reporters' questions, Archbishop Ladaria said it is probably easier to identify traces of neo-Pelagianism than neo-Gnosticism, because "we all have a tendency toward self-sufficiency."

The document, he said, "does not want to point fingers," but does want to draw people's attention to "the tendency of self-sufficiency" and "the tendency of isolation, which does not take into account that salvation is something eminently communitarian."

To respond to "both the individualist reductionism of Pelagian tendency and to the neo-Gnostic promise of a merely interior salvation," the document said, "we must remember the way in which Jesus is saviour."

"He did not limit himself to showing us the way to encounter God, a path we can walk on our own by being obedient to His words and by imitating His example," it said, but He became the way, and a relationship with Him is essential.