Vatican To Protestantism:
You Are Not The True Church Of Christ!
We Catholics are the "Mother" Church and Our Protestant Daughters Are Harlots - (Rev. 17:5)
"It must always be clear, when the expression sister churches is used in this proper sense that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic universal church is not sister but mother of all the particular churches" -- Cardinal Ratzinger.
Source: Note on the Expression Sister Churches by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, June 30, 2000.
On Tuesday, September 5th, 2000, the Vatican made public a strongly worded document titled "Dominus Iesus" which reaffirmed the long held Catholic doctrine the only the Roman Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ. Excerpt from "Dominus Iesus":
17. ... the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery [Protestants], are not [sister] Churches in the proper sense; however, those who are baptized in these communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the [one true Catholic] Church.
Text of the Declaration "Dominus Iesus" online at the Vatican
Note that non-Catholics, i.e. Protestants, are not referred to as churches, but "ecclesial communities", and that baptism is viewed as a first step towards Catholicity. The Vatican is making quite clear to all those outside of the Roman Catholic Church, that ecumenism is not a process of recognizing Protestantism as an equal "sister" to Romanism. Rome is not interested in legitimizing Protestantism.
Ecumenism and talk of Christian Unity, in Rome's eyes, is a process of the lost sheep of Protestantism repenting of their grave defects and errors, and returning to the true fold of Christ, that of the Roman Papacy. In short, ecumenism and unity leads only to Rome. Historically, Protestantism has not viewed ecumenism favorably. Note this quote from a Protestant in 1914:
"... while many wishy-washy Protestants are very gracious and tender toward Romanism, Romanism has no more use for Protestantism than a rattlesnake has for a stone on its head.
Now and then, a prominent priest, bishop, or cardinal administers Protestantism a soothing pellet in the form of a blessing upon the spirit of Christian union that is abroad in the world. But Protestantism and Romanism can no more unite than can powder and fire."
Source: Center-shots At Rome
The reaction to "Dominus Iesus":
- Other churches are no sisters of ours, the Vatican insists (The Independent)
- Churches Are Stunned By Pope's Attack (Sunday Times)
- Protestant Church Leaders Express Disappointment (BBC)
- Archbishop of Canterbury rebukes the Roman Catholic Church (Sunday Times)
- Other Churches Are Not the True Faith Says Vatican (CNN)
- Vatican document 'ignores 30 years of co-operation' (The Belfast Telegraph)
- Vatican Says Other Christian Faiths Are Not `Proper Churches' (Bloomberg)
- Protestant uproar at Vatican document (News 24)
- Vatican rejects equality of faith (MSNBC)
- Vatican: Our Brand Is Best (CBS)
- Vatican supremacy claim sparks row (BBC)
- Vatican Dictum Reasserts Primacy of Catholicism (Herald Tribune)
- Vatican: All others run second to Catholics (Bergen Record Corp)
- Vatican Claims Church Monopoly On Salvation (Washington Post)
- Mother Church Scolds The Family (MSBNC)
- Bishops' President Welcomes Declaration (National Council of Catholic Bishops)
- Vatican Begins Damage Control (CNN)