Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pope Speaks

My mother always told me that if you didn’t have anything nice to say...

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.

...don’t say anything at all.

Pope: Other Christians not true churches

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."

Well, call me offended…slightly. I’ve been attempting to ease back into things and not get so wound up. But as a not very good Presbyterian, I would like to point out that the Protestant Reformation was brought about by the Pope in the first place. Have we forgotten that it was the Pope that attempted to raise a little cash by auctioning off passage to Heaven (or at least the wait time)? Who can blame ole Martin Luther and his pals for deciding that they didn’t need a Pope, and abandoning the entire concept of Purgatory all together?

But more importantly, WHY BRING IT UP NOW!?? Strict doctrine is great, but so is common sense. Animosity between Protestants and Catholics has been on the wane for years. All religions believe they are right, otherwise there would only be one religion. But why shove it in everyone’s face? Why now? What does it do for anyone, Catholic, Protestant or otherwise?

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.

Isn’t it ironic that it was a fund raiser pushed by Leo X to support rebuilding of St Peter's Basilica that kicked off the Reformation. I think I'm going to to visit my ecclesial community in the near future and make a donation. It's been a while. Just wait until my Baptist cousins see this.