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Summary and Explanation of Placuit Deo, the Vatican's new letter to bishops about salvation

Today the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF, formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition) released a letter sent to Catholic bishops about salvation called Placuit Deo. It's only fifteen paragraphs and not as controversial as some past documents. Essentially, it gives a doctrinal account of some of Francis's past remarks about the nature of salvation. This post contains my commentary on the letter. I summarize, explain, and interpret.

I: Introduction (with my criticisms of the translation)
Like all Vatican texts, Placuit Deo, which means "it pleased God," takes its name from the first two words of the Latin text. In fact, the opening sentences are just quotations from Dei verbum 2, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council (1965). Awkwardly, the Vatican's continued reliance upon the Daughters of St. Paul English translation of the documents of Vatican II (1967) means that placuit Deo is here rendered w…

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