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Old 07-11-2007, 07:16 AM
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Default Pope: Other Christians not true churches

Pope: Other Christians not true churches

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 10, 3:59 PM ET



LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.

The statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders. "It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity," said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries.

"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church," the group said in a letter charging that the document took ecumenical dialogue back to the era before the Second Vatican Council.

It was the second time in a week that Benedict has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-1965 meetings that modernized the church. On Saturday, Benedict revived the old Latin Mass — a move cheered by Catholic traditionalists but criticized by more liberal ones as a step backward from Vatican II.

Among the council's key developments were its ecumenical outreach and the development of the New Mass in the vernacular, which essentially replaced the old Latin Mass.

Benedict, who attended Vatican II as a young theologian, has long complained about what he considers its erroneous interpretation by liberals, saying it was not a break from the past but rather a renewal of church tradition.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Benedict headed before becoming pope, said it was issuing the new document Tuesday because some contemporary theological interpretations of Vatican II's ecumenical intent had been "erroneous or ambiguous" and had prompted confusion and doubt.

The new document — formulated as five questions and answers — restates key sections of a 2000 text the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, "Dominus Iesus," which riled Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation."

The commentary repeated church teaching that says the Catholic Church "has the fullness of the means of salvation."

"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," said the document released as the pope vacations at a villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy's Dolomite mountains.

The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles — and therefore their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.

The Rev. Sara MacVane, of the Anglican Centre in Rome, said that although the document contains nothing new, "I don't know what motivated it at this time."

"But it's important always to point out that there's the official position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglicans and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics," she said.

The document said that Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they do not recognize the primacy of the pope — a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.

"This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy which, according to the Catholic faith, is an 'internal constitutive principle' of the very existence of a particular church," said a commentary from the congregation that accompanied the text.

Despite the harsh tone, the document stressed that Benedict remains committed to ecumenical dialogue.

"However, if such dialogue is to be truly constructive it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants, but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith," the commentary said.

The top Protestant cleric in Benedict's homeland, Germany, complained the Vatican apparently did not consider that "mutual respect for the church status" was required for any ecumenical progress.

In a statement titled "Lost Chance," Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber argued that "it would also be completely sufficient if it were to be said that the reforming churches are 'not churches in the sense required here' or that they are 'churches of another type' — but none of these bridges is used" in the Vatican document.

The Vatican statement, signed by the congregation prefect, American Cardinal William Levada, was approved by Benedict on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul — a major ecumenical feast day.

There was no indication why the pope felt it necessary to release it now, particularly since his 2000 document summed up the same principles.

Some analysts suggested it could be a question of internal church politics or that the congregation was sending a message to certain theologians it did not want to single out. Or, it could be an indication of Benedict using his office as pope to again stress key doctrinal issues from his time at the congregation.

In fact, the only theologian cited by name in the document for having spawned erroneous interpretations of ecumenism was Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian clergyman who left the priesthood and was a target of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's crackdown on liberation theology in the 1980s.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070710/...her_christians
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:55 AM
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whether one agrees with him or not(and can obviously recognize motives) it does seem to be the case that this guy has shown that he has balls and will do and say what he wants without a real lot of fear of the PC police, even the ones that exist within the church.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr
whether one agrees with him or not(and can obviously recognize motives) it does seem to be the case that this guy has shown that he has balls and will do and say what he wants without a real lot of fear of the PC police, even the ones that exist within the church.

I agree to an extent, but the Pope is implicitly attacking Dual-Seedline Christian Identity with his statements, and that just goes too far.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 000


The commentary repeated church teaching that says the Catholic Church "has the fullness of the means of salvation."

"Christ 'established here on earth' only one church," said the document released as the pope vacations at a villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy's Dolomite mountains.

Yes, he did. But the Church had several patriarchates. And one of them, Roman patriarchy, despite being the first among equals, initiated the split so as to gain superior status, as well as do away with Byzantinian influence, since Byzantine became dominant in Christian world after the conquest of Rome by Barbarians.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 000
The other communities "cannot be called 'churches' in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ's original apostles — and therefore their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.

Actually, no. Before the split, all main patriarchies could trace back to original apostles:

Rome, first under equals, founded by Peter and Paul
Constantinople, founded by Andrew
Alexandria, founded by Mark the Evangelist
Antioch, founded by Peter and Paul
Jerusalem, founded by all apostels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 000
"But it's important always to point out that there's the official position and there's the huge amount of friendship and fellowship and worshipping together that goes on at all levels, certainly between Anglicans and Catholics and all the other groups and Catholics," she said.

The document said that Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they do not recognize the primacy of the pope — a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.

Which goes to show, that prior to the Schizm The Roman patriarchy tried to review its dogma. And then the Catholic Church kept changing its dogma, introducing the concept of Limbo, the idea that Virgin Mary was still a virgin even after the birth of Christ (how on Earth is that possible?!) and was taken to Heaven alive, etc.

In fact, Catholic Church is the most reformist in terms of religious dogma compared to any organized religious system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 000
"This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy which, according to the Catholic faith, is an 'internal constitutive principle' of the very existence of a particular church," said a commentary from the congregation that accompanied the text.

Same doctrine, which was changed once again to include the part about Papal infallability only in 1870. A bit too late to be really considered a "constitutive principle", I think.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:34 AM
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Which is better: a corrupted and tainted church with a historical background, or one springing out of nothing to represent the very core teachings of the same religion?

Although many things changed in the last five centuries, the church's reformation was essential and inevitable in 1517. As always, the Pope is wrong. Furthermore, why is such a speech of disunity needed in a time when Christians in general are facing more and more persecution again, lessening in numbers and even in quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr
whether one agrees with him or not(and can obviously recognize motives) it does seem to be the case that this guy has shown that he has balls and will do and say what he wants without a real lot of fear of the PC police, even the ones that exist within the church.
Only to immidiately take them back and go on a regular repenting pilgrimage to either Auschwitz, or Damascus, making himself a hypocrite?
IMHO, Benedict is one of the worst Popes the Catholic Church has ever had.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrow Cross
Which is better: a corrupted and tainted church with a historical background, or one springing out of nothing to represent the very core teachings of the same religion?

A church that gives you Salvation is better.

All other means of comparison aren't Christian and simply do't belong in this arguement.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:06 AM
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Pfft, that's nothing new. I have been putting the exact same message in negative rep messages for Lenny for many years now.
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Alas, it turns out that French iconoclasts are every bit as knock-kneed as ..well....every other kind of Frenchman. But at least when you bent over, ass up, for Germany, they at least had tanks to scare you with.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:55 AM
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What is the status of the Orthodox churches according to the Vatican? Are they in the same boat as the Protestants?
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My thoughts on climate change: "The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future. At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after."
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:17 PM
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This Pope knows how to treat the Judeophile heretics
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:27 PM
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http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/papal.htm#Universality


No Pope before Gregory the Great (590-604) claimed "Universality".


For, as your venerable Holiness knows, this name of Universality was offered by the holy synod of Chalcedon to the pontiff of the Apostolic See which by the providence of God I serve(2). But no one of my predecessors has ever consented to use this so profane a title; since, forsooth, if one Patriarch is called Universal, the name of Patriarch in the case of the rest is derogated. But far be this, far be it from the mind of a Christian, that any one should wish to seize for himself that whereby he might seem in the least degree to lessen the honour of his brethren. While, then, we are unwilling to receive this honour when offered to us, think how disgraceful it is for any one to have wished to usurp it to himself perforce.

Wherefore let not your Holiness in your epistles ever call any one Universal, lest you detract from the honour due to yourself in offering to another what is not due.


Source: BOOK V, EPISTLE XLIII: TO EULOGIUS AND ANASTASIUS, BISHOPS from Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), online at EWTN. (You will need to scroll down to find the document)


Pope Gregory the Great renounces the title "Universal Pope".


Your Blessedness has also been careful to declare that you do not now make use of proud titles, which have sprung from a root of vanity, in writing to certain persons, and you address me saying, As you have commanded. This word, command, I beg you to remove from my hearing, since I know who I am, and who you are. For in position you are my brethren, in character my fathers. I did not, then, command, but was desirous of indicating what seemed to be profitable. Yet I do not find that your Blessedness has been willing to remember perfectly this very thing that I brought to your recollection. For I said that neither to me nor to any one else ought you to write anything of the kind; and lo, in the preface of the epistle which you have addressed to myself who forbade it, you have thought fit to make use of a proud appellation, calling me Universal Pope. But I beg your most sweet Holiness to do this no more, since what is given to another beyond what reason demands is subtracted from yourself. For as for me, I do not seek to be prospered by words but by my conduct. Nor do I regard that as an honour whereby I know that my brethren lose their honour. For my honour is the honour of the universal Church: my honour is the solid vigour of my brethren. Then am I truly honoured when the honour due to all and each is not denied them. For if your Holiness calls me Universal Pope, you deny that you are yourself what you call me universally. But far be this from us. Away with words that inflate vanity and wound charity.

And, indeed, in the synod of Chalcedon and afterwards by subsequent Fathers, your Holiness knows that this was offered to my predecessors(1). And yet not one of them would ever use this title, that, while regarding the honour of all priests in this world, they might keep their own before Almighty God.


Source BOOK VIII, EPISTLE XXX: TO EULOGIUS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRIA online at EWTN. (You will need to scroll down to find the document)



Pope Gregory the Great criticizes use of the title "Universal Bishop" and denies Peter was a "Universal Apostle".


For to all who know the Gospel it is apparent that by the Lord's voice the care of the whole Church was committed to the holy Apostle and Prince of all the Apostles, Peter. For to him it is said, Peter, lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep (John xxi. 17). To him it is said, Behold Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat; and I have prayed for thee, Peter, that they faith fail not. And thou, when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (Luke xxii. 31). To him it is said, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever thou shalt bind an earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven (Matth. xvi. 18).

Lo, he received the keys of the heavenly kingdom, and power to bind and loose is given him, the care and principality of the whole Church is committed to him, and yet he is not called the universal apostle; while the most holy man, my fellow-priest John, attempts to be called universal bishop. I am compelled to cry out and say, O tempora, O mores!


Source: BOOK V, EPISTLE XX: TO MAURICIUS AUGUSTUS from Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), online at EWTN. (You will need to scroll down to find the document)



Pope Gregory the Great calls the title Universal "pestiferous".

Be it known then to your Fraternity that John, formerly bishop of the city of Constantinople, against God, against the peace of the Church, to the contempt and injury of all priests, exceeded the bounds of modesty and of his own measure, and unlawfully usurped in synod the proud and pestiferous title of oecumenical, that is to say, universal. ...

I exhort and entreat that not one of you ever accept this name, that not one consent to it, that not one write it, that not one admit it wherever it may have been written, or add his subscription to it; but, as becomes ministers of Almighty God, that each keep himself from this kind of poisoned infection, and give no place to the cunning lier-in-wait, since this thing is being done to the injury and rendering asunder of the whole Church, and, as we have said, to the condemning of all of you. For if one, as he supposes, is universal bishop, it remains that you are not bishops. ...


Source: BOOK IX, EPISTLE LXVIII TO EUSEBIUS OF THESSALONICA from Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), online at New Advent. (You will need to scroll down to find the document)



Pope Gregory the Great declares title "Universal Priest" to be Antichrist.


Whosoever calls himself, or desires to be called, Universal Priest, is in his elation the precursor of Antichrist, because he proudly puts himself above all others. Nor is it by dissimilar pride that he is led into error; for, as that perverse one wishes to appear as God above all men, so whosoever this one is who covets being called sole priest, he extols himself above all other priests.


Source: Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), Letter to Emperor Mauricius Augustus (against assumption of title universal by Patriarch of Constantinople) in his Epistles, bk. 7, letter 33, trans. in NPNF, 2d series, Vol. 12, p. 226 (2d pagination).

Here is the above BOOK VII, EPISTLE XXXIII: TO MAURICIUS AUGUSTUS online at EWTN. (You will need to scroll down to find the document)


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