Tuesday, July 10, 2007


OK, this just in on the "what the f@#$ is this guy thinking" front: the official doctrine of the Catholic hierarchy is that other Christian denominations are "not true Churches" (apparently because they fail to have apostolic succession that can be traced back to Peter & Paul). This teaching was a reaffirmation of an earlier statement "Dominus Iesus" (which he wrote in 2000 before becoming Pope), which held that "...other Christian denominations...were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the 'means of salvation.'"

I find it difficult to put into words how profoundly depressing this development is for me as a Catholic. Talk about putting the ecumenical movement with other traditions back, say, a century or more. Jeez.

Though I know I have no personal responsibility for this action by the current Pope, I feel compelled to offer an apology to my very dear brothers and sisters from other religious denominations. This statement by the Pope does not speak for me. It does not speak for the vast majority of Catholics I know.



Gannet Girl said...

Don't worry about it.

It would be wonderful someday to have a Pope who was as openhearted as the One he follows, but I don't really see that happening.

Hey, I've been writing about my Catholic experience on my blog.

Rachel Rev said...

Hey, my friend Scott, a theologican and ethicist at DePaul, had this to say about the pope's comments. I thought you'd be interested.

I hope you are well.

more cows than people said...

thanks, steve, for time yesterday and for your honest sharing of your struggles. and... let benedict apologize, k?

what g.g. said.

steve said...

Thanks all for your comments. And I know I should let Benedict apologize, that I have no particular reason to do so myself. But the thing is, he won't. HE. JUST. WON'T. It's that whole absolute certainty getting in the way of all reason or common sense thing.

Anyway, I'm not apologizing because I feel any personal guilt over the matter -- but merely because I think an apology is DESERVED for such an outrageous statement. If I can offer it on behalf of the tradition that formed me, then I will do so.

more cows than people said...

i was trying to be lighthearted. feel free to apologize anytime!

hey, i swung back over here to point you to another blog which you may or may not be reading. LJ is a fairly new discovery for me. I'm catching up on my feeds this morning and read a thoughful post about her son who lives with sensory integration disorder. thought you might want to connect with her.

seriously though... apologize away!