LUCID WHEN CONFRONTED WITH ERROR
The period of Fr. Claret was not rich in theological creation, but it was rich in apologetical works; these were efforts to show rationally the truth of the Catholic faith before the falsehood of other systems of religious thought. It was far from the ecumenical dialogue provided by Vatican II. In fact, Fr. Claret did not know a soft and dialoguing Protestantism (Catholicism wasn’t either), but rather it was an invader and aggressive.
As the archbishop in a traditionally Catholic Cuba, there reached a ship full of protestant bibles, namely, without introductions or explanatory notes and with controversial translations. He reacted to it strongly as an attack and interference in his ecclesial authority entrusted to him. After some years he would write, “Protestantism was nothing but a violent explosion of all the nasty passions against the Catholic Church” (EC II, p. 600). It has been attributed to Claret-but today we know that it was in error- a booklet titled, “Antidote against the contagious protestant”, edited at least five times during the 19th century; the attribution can be based on the manifestation of his intention of writing something with regard to this (EC I, p. 1168).
In the text we meditate on today, Claret speaks of the errors and tricks and naturally about preventing them. He indicates precisely the Marian spirituality as the way to resist the seduction of error. Now the church invites us to grasp the positive values of other religions and enter into a dialogue even with non-Christian religions; it means, “to open the windows” according to John XXIII. Through this peeping “into other”, Mary can also accompany us; if she was the simple, she was a seeker, and not self-sufficient. But this is not an invitation to a naive non critical approach; evil exists, namely, “the vices” about which Claret was speaking, is not compatible with out attachment to Jesus according to our spiritual instinct.