Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Protestant Churches not True Churches?

A short new document issued by the Congregation for The Doctrine of Faith about the Catholic Church's primacy is getting some negative press. Of course the mass media will spin it in a way that shines a negative light on the Catholic Church, although there is absolutely nothing new in the document.

The document is about the nature of the Church. It answers several short questions with short answers about what Vatican II taught about the Church. The "controversy" is why Protestant churches aren't really "churches" in the proper sense. It says the following:

Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial 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.

It is because they do not have apostolic succession or the sacramental priesthood. This is exactly what was taught in Vatican II.

Read the article from the AP above and then compare it to this one issued by Catholic World News. What a difference.

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