"In omnibus, caritas"

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See Wikipedia, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas."

Pope St. John XXIII
"The phrase in its current form is found in Pope John XXIII's encyclical Ad Petri Cathedram of 29 June 1959, where he uses it favorably."
Verumtamen commune illud effatum, quod, aliis verbis interdum expressum, variis tribuitur auctoribus, semper retinendum probandumque est: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.


In and of itself, the slogan does not tell us how to discern the difference between what is necessarily part of the creed and what may or may not be part of the creed, but, for me, what I love most about it is the reminder that love has the last word.

Many pious Catholics have trouble believing that not every aspect of the faith or of our life together is spelled out in clear and distinct language that binds us on pain of mortal sin. There is more than one way to be a Catholic, more than one way to be a saint. There are many things about which reasonable people of good faith may reasonably and faithfully disagree with each other.

The law of love obliges me to love my neighbor as myself, whether my neighbor is friend or foe. I cannot cash in on the law of love to try to force someone to love me or to accept my opinions about the right way to be Catholic.

I consider myself an assenting Catholic, which means that I plan to give the fullness of religious belief to whatever the Church formally teaches as dogma. I know more now about the general outlines of what is and is not dogma since I made that commitment in November of 1971, but I also know that other people who are also striving to accept the teaching of the Church see things differently from the way I do.

Such is life in a fallen world! One of the joys of eternity, I speculate, will be to enter into GOD's omniscience and see all things as He sees them.

"At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Cor 13:11-12).


- "Ad Petri Cathedram," first encyclical of Pope St. John XXIII.