Brian linked the abstract from the controversial paper by Polish theologian Waclaw Hryniewicz. I’d prefer to take a look at the whole thing, but I think what this summary reveals does not show the CDF in any more of a positive light.
First, the author frames his piece as a commentary on the particular document, not the body of Church teaching on churches, communities, and other related groups.
This article comments on the recent document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church (29 June 2007), which as an official statement of the Vatican has received a lot of attention from Catholic and non-Catholic theologians.
Additionally, the commentary is said to focus on one narrow aspect, namely a lensing of the statement through a “very specific” ecumenical and Biblical perspective:
He highlights the essential, biblical connection between the concept of truth and the notion of Christian hope. In his view, hope is related to eschatology, through which all doctrinal statements will ultimately be tested. The author stresses the particular character of truth approached from a Biblical perspective. This unique character denotes its openness and its direct relationship with eschatology. A positive, inclusive understanding of the truth is applied to ecclesiology. In the light of this crucial connection between the Biblical concept of truth and Christian hope, the author reviews the significance of the recent document issued by the Vatican.
The conclusion, supposedly:
The author concludes by re-affirming the value of Christian ecclesiological (denominational) diversity, which can be compared to different ‘paths’ which have been leading Christians towards God through the centuries.
The author seems careful to confine the speculation to the realm of theology, criticizing the “theological” quarrel. That is far more restrictive than the entire picture, which would include Christian religious cultures, politics, eschatology, and other aspects of Christian disunity.
Therefore, the theological quarrel about ‘the best way’ to God is pointless as the author states that Christian theology should be aware that God’s abundance in grace cannot be comprehended by theological models or channelled by just one form of Christianity. As noted by the author, God, like ‘an excellent musician uses many instruments in order to bring salvation to his people’ and this intuition of Clement of Alexandria is still a valuable signpost to all Christians.
An abstract isn’t the best place to assess whether St Clement’s metaphor is apt here.
What I glean from this summary is that the author appeals to the virtue of hope to accompany the principle of truth. That would be an interesting argument, if I read between the lines of what’s linked. I suppose it begs the question if curial documents can be questioned, criticized, or finessed. Hryniewicz concedes his approach is not intended to cover the whole spectrum of theology that touches on separated churches and communions. One approach was used, an approach not covered in the original brief document.
I’d still want to read the original piece, but I’m not prepared to either join in the CDF criticism or support a theological position I haven’t read.