Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church because it is the only one that can lay claim to a legitimate apostolic succession. A writer from the Associated Press has figured out the significance of the timing and the content of Benedict’s move:
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. . .
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.
(HT: Bruce Tomaso)
For what it’s worth, maybe this is a good thing in that it shows the Reformation is not over after all.
Blessings while we wait for Vatican III.
“Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation. . .”
That is the scary line that blows me away.
What I got from the document was not â€œCatholicism provides the only true path to salvation. . .â€ as the associated press reported, but, as the document says, “the Catholic Church has the fullness of the means of salvation.” In other words it was saying the Catholic church provides the most complete or best means of salvation, not the “only true path” to it.
The document still confirmed the statement from Vatican II:
“It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church”
Although I do think the document to be a bit arrogant, I can’t help but think my own arrogance is what compelled me to post this comment. I told myself I wouldn’t argue any more.
The Roman Catholic Church is the only true church? That might be news to the Eastern Orthodox Church which can trace its history back to the time of the apostles hence apostolic succession.
Trust me. They are not the only ones guilty of that implication.
Roman Catholicism would deconstruct if it did not hold to the traditionalist/conservative path. The pope knows what’s up. Traditional Catholicism is a beast.