Source: Los Angeles Times, the
Twice in the last week, Pope Benedict XVI acted to clarify what he described as mistaken interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the landmark conference in the 1960s that modernized the Roman Catholic Church.
But those actions, which were cheered by Catholic traditionalists, have raised concerns among leaders of other religious traditions that the pope could be taking the church in a more conservative direction, and away from a period of more open dialogue with other faiths.
In a document approved by the pope and released Tuesday, the Vatican reasserted its position that Roman Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation and that other Christian denominations suffer from "defects," or are not true churches.
The statement, which was released as the pope began his summer holiday, repeated many of the controversial elements of a document issued in 2000 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body that enforces doctrine. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as he was known before being elected pope in 2005, led that panel for more than two decades and signed the document.