Monday, July 16, 2007

Vatican To Other Churches: "We're Better Than You."

Why why do I belong to this Roman Church? I'm sure some of you are asking that exact same thing. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, overseen by Cardinal Levada (and obviously with the blessing of Pope Benedict) released a document trying to explain away a change of wording that Vatican II made about the Church of Christ "subsisting" in the Catholic Church. Previously, they had been seen as the same thing - and conservatives in the church have been trying to ease that blow to their ecclesial ego ever since.

I do believe that the Catholic Church has a richness found nowhere else, otherwise I wouldn't be Catholic. But there are other churches that have gifts we lack, but we don't then say that the Catholic Church lacks the fullness of the Church of Christ. As an example, evangelicals as a rule have a very personally dynamic relationship with Jesus as Lord that is awe-inspiring. Catholics as a general rule are more booky, and I think we have some of the best academic scholarship.

In any case, I do not see how this is helpful to ecumenical dialogue. Thankfully, I think it will be largely ignored anyway on the local level, but it is definitely the Vatican taking a step in the wrong direction. I mean, telling other Christians they don't really have a church in the technical sense. It's like I'm on a elementary school playground, but instead the people saying these things are old enough to be retired.

A Faithful Catholic


Dad29 said...

Did you actually READ the document in question?

Timothy said...

No salvation outside the Church is an ancient (1800 year-old) Christian doctrine that was held and taught by the earliest Christians:

Terrence Berres said...

If the goal is to have everyone in the Church, then I don't see the problem with this document pointing out why.

Faithful Catholic said...

Dear Dad, I did of course read the document. Did you think that I just put up a link without reading what I linked it up with? That would be silly.

Timothy, while it is an ancient doctrine, no salvation outside the church has long been a disputed one. And it did not become "doctrine" per say in it's current state until the late middle ages - Boniface VIII, I believe. And he taught that if you were not subject to him, you are going to hell. Even Benedict would disagree with that.

And Terrence, I don't think the goal should be the have everyone in our church, just a great sense of community between us all. Perhaps shared eucharist with those who have more similar beliefs on the matter (i.e. Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc.)and possibly even shared ministers in times of emergency.

Terrence Berres said...

FC, you say, "I don't think the goal should be the have everyone in our church, just a great sense of community between us all."

On the other hand, Vatican II said "This sacred Council has several aims in view: ... to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church." Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy 1.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

While we're at it, perhaps you'd like to review the passage in the Gospel where Christ instructed His disciples to "Go, and preach unto the world....that the Kingdom of God is at hand"--or "that all may be one."

You don't seriously think that He meant "all may be sorta, kinda, one, with priestesses and gay marriage", do you?

Faithful Catholic said...


Jesus was known for his inclusive meals with people society considered outcasts - tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. If Jesus accepted those people, why not gays and other Christian churches? The disciples wanted to stop a man who was running around healing in the name of Jesus without the sanction of the apostles. And Jesus told them to leave him alone, HE WILL RECEIVE HIS REWARD - EVEN OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF THE APOSTLES.

The passage from Mark 9:
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."

"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward

a Faithful Catholic

Dad29 said...

The Catholic "truth-claim" is that the Roman Catholic church (and the uniate Orthodox churches) have the FULLNESS of Christ's church as established here.

Others are more-or-less 'clubs,' albeit some display more or less of the Catholic dogmas (usually morally.)

NONE of the 'clubs' have all 7 sacraments--they have only Baptism, if that.

Unless you find the quotation you cite from Boniface (the Cath. Encyclopedia references it), and demonstrate that he specifically excluded 'members of the Body who are not specifically RC,' (such as those baptized by blood, desire, or water but who remain outside the Church), your citation is questionable.

In other words, if one knows about the Church's truth-claim and deliberately, knowingly, rejects it--they are at fault--that covers heretics and schismatics. Ignorance of the Church's truth-claim does not hinder salvation, albeit it will be more difficult to achieve such.

Neither the Church nor God is irrational. Don't attempt to paint her as such.

Anonymous said...

This Pope isn't a politician. Nor do I think that's what Christ intended. (Jesus would've made a terrible politician.)

Anonymous said...

"Creeds must disagree: it is the whole fun of the thing. If I think the universe is triangular, and you think it is square, there cannot be room for two universes. We may argue politely, we may argue humanely, we may argue with great mutual benefit; but obviously we must argue. Modern toleration is really a tyranny. It is a tyranny because it is a silence. To say that I must not deny my opponent's faith is to say I must not discuss it ... It is absurd to have a discussion on Comparative Religions if you don't compare them." --G.K. Chesterton