Jewish Journal


July 10, 2007

Pope says other churches not “true”


Not cool, Zeus. Pope Benedict XVI didn’t quite say today that I’m not a real Christian because I’m not Catholic, but he might as well have when he approved a document that reversed a Vatican II principal and said non-Catholic denominations are “not true churches.”

“Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” the document said. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles.

I’ve always thought my fellow Protestants were ignorant or prejudiced when they treated Catholics as non-Christians, like Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses. But now the pope has turned the table. It seems centuries of bloodshed are no longer reason enough for Christians to respect their differences.

This follows his relaxing Saturday of restrictions on saying the Latin Mass. Add to this recent list Benedict’s Islam is “evil” comment last fall, and the former Cardinal Ratzinger is beginning to look like the pope people expected.

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