catholic and defective
Today's Religion column for the Tribune & Georgian We are all catholic and we are all defective is my response to the Vatican's recent statement that other Christian denominations "suffer from defects." I say in part,
I am a defective Christian. This is according to a report released last week by the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This makes me far from unique. You’ve probably already heard the news that you are defective too. That is if you are not a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. All other Christian denominations and their members “suffer from defects.”The column goes on to a less reported and more important part of the brief document. The full text of my essay is here We are all catholic and we are all defective. The gist of it is that I agree that I'm defective, but disagree that I'm not catholic. You can read the Vatican's 1,200-word statement for yourself here Responses to some questions....
I will attempt to give a reasoned response to the Vatican’s statement. But first, we need to be clear on exactly what the statement said. The nearly 1,200-word statement is put in a question and answer format to five questions of faith. All of the questions concern what theologians call ecclesiology, which means “the doctrine of the church.”
The main thrust of the short document is that the Vatican wanted to make it crystal clear that its teaching on the church did not change with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council held in the 1960s. In particular, the document says that work on ecumenism (various denominations coming together in the ways possible) has led to some interpretations that could cause “confusion and doubt.”
In that context, the new document says that the Catholic Church believes and teaches now what it has always believed and taught, namely that they are the one true church. In fact, the text says that to be part of the one Church established by Christ one must be “governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him.” They also state that other Christian denominations can not “be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense.”
For other perspectives on the Vatican statement, head to The Washington Post's online religious forum, On Faith, where the experts answer what they think of the statement ...the church of Christ exists fully only in the Catholic Church.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor