This is a syndicated post from On This Rock. [Read the original article...]
15) Document Regarding Certain Aspects of Church Doctrine – July 10th, 2007
While this document was released by the CDF under the pen of Cardinal Levada, even the document itself notes that Pope Benedict had a hand in its authorship and supported its content 100%. As per the usual, although there was no new content in the document, the press took it to be a new teaching, and thought the Church to be thumbing its nose at Protestants. What is ironic is that while the press and some Catholics were offended, Protestant scholars thanked the Vatican for the theological clarification.
The document notes that Protestant religions contain elements by which salvation can be attained, noting that “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.“
However, the document goes on to note that “these communities which…specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery, cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense.“
Translation: Jesus founded A Church, as in one, and so when people talk about different Protestant offshoots as “churches” (plural) it is theologically confusing, and, in the mind of the Church, untrue…there aren’t “churchES”
Commence media firing squad!