Pope confirms Catholicism as the 'one true church'

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Pope confirms Catholicism as ‘one true church’; bioethics document underway

NCRCafe.org
John L. Allen, Jr.
Jan 31, 2008 08:35am CST

In an address to members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith currently meeting in Rome for their plenary assembly, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed recent Vatican declarations on Catholicism as the “one true church” and the necessity of seeking converts to the faith, and also offered a preview of a coming document on bioethics.

Pope Benedict made the comments this morning in an audience for members of the doctrinal congregation in the Sala Clementina, inside the Apostolic Palace.

In late June, the congregation issued a document on the famous phrase from the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) that the one church of Christ “subsists in” the Catholic church. In essence, the congregation asserted that the phrase means the Catholic church alone possesses the fullness of what it means to be a church.

During the council, some analysts interpreted the phrase “subsists in” as a departure from the traditional claim that the Catholic church is the lone “true” church. When the doctrinal congregation issued its clarification, some leaders of other Christian denominations warned of negative ecumenical fallout.

It’s a critique which Benedict obviously does not accept, insisting that the clarification is actually “necessary for the correct development of ecumenical dialogue.”

“Far from impeding authentic ecumenical dialogue,” Benedict said, “it will be a stimulus, so that the debate on doctrinal questions is always marked by realism and full awareness of the aspects that still separate the Christian confessions.”

“To cultivate a theological vision that regards the unity and identity of the church as attributes ‘hidden in Christ’, so that historically the church would exist only in multiple ecclesial confessions, reconcilable only in an eschatological perspective, would generate a slowdown and ultimately paralysis in ecumenism itself,” the pope said.

Benedict also defended a recent doctrinal note on evangelization, asserting that the quest for explicit conversion to Christ remains an essential duty of the faith.

“The recognition of elements of truth and goodness in the religions of the world,” he said, “and of the seriousness of their religious efforts, dialogue with them and a spirit of collaboration for the defense and promotion of the dignity of the person and universal moral values, cannot be understood as a limitation on the missionary duty of the church, which compels it to incessantly announce Christ as the way, the truth and the life,” he said.

In remarks to the pope at the beginning of the audience, American Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, confirmed that his office is preparing a new document on bioethics as a follow-up to the 1987 text Donum Vitae.

Levada mentioned cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and the situation of frozen embryos as issues to be addressed in that document.

Levada’s reference to frozen embryos suggests that the congregation may take up the controversial question of so-called “embryo adoption,” which has been much debated in pro-life circles in recent years. Essentially, one side believes that even though these embryos should never have been created, now that they exist, women should be encouraged to bring them to term, allowing them to develop as human beings. Another party, however, regards that as cooperation in a fundamentally immoral act, and worries that promoting adoption may simply encourage artificial creation of embryos.

In his comments, Benedict said two basic values must be affirmed in bioethics debates:

• Unconditional respect for the human person from conception to natural death
• Respect for the originality of the transmission of human life through the acts proper to a married couple

The pope then ticked off a set of contentious issues: the freezing of human embryos, embryo ‘reduction,’ pre-implantation diagnosis, embryonic stem cell research and attempts at human cloning.

“When human beings in the weakest and most vulnerable state of their existence are selected, abandoned, killed or utilized as mere ‘biological material,’ how can one deny that they’re being treated not as a ‘someone,’ but as a ‘something,’ thus calling into question the very concept of the dignity of the human person?” the pope asked.

Benedict said that the church encourages scientific progress, but also considers it a duty to inform consciences about ethical safeguards to ensure that science promotes human dignity rather than compromising it.
 
Nice, although it kind of surprises me that much of that needs clarifying. Still, it is nice to have the Holy Father reassure us.
When the doctrinal congregation issued its clarification, some leaders of other Christian denominations **warned **of negative ecumenical fallout.
Quotes like these are amusing. The Anti-Defamation League warns that TLM will strain relations. Protestants warn that proclaiming the truth will rub them the wrong way. Muslims warn… whatever. Seriously, tell someone who cares. False ecumenism is not what the Church is about.
 
Quotes like these are amusing. The Anti-Defamation League warns that TLM will strain relations. Protestants warn that proclaiming the truth will rub them the wrong way. Muslims warn… whatever. Seriously, tell someone who cares. False ecumenism is not what the Church is about.
Amen.
 
In an address to members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith currently meeting in Rome for their plenary assembly, Pope Benedict XVI confirmed recent Vatican declarations on Catholicism as the “one true church” and the necessity of seeking converts to the faith
Weird way of putting it: “Catholicism” as the “one true church.” Why not the Roman Catholic Church as the “one true church”?
Benedict also defended a recent doctrinal note on evangelization, asserting that the quest for explicit conversion to Christ remains an essential duty of the faith.
Let’s make evangelical Christians out of the pagans!

Oh wait, conversion to Christ only means conversion to Catholicism??? :confused:

In other news:

Pope affirms divinity of Christ

Benedict XVI says Scriptures are inspired.

Roman Pontiff stresses importance of liturgical worship.

Holy See laments priest shortage in Europe and U.S.
 
Weird way of putting it: “Catholicism” as the “one true church.” Why not the Roman Catholic Church as the “one true church”?
Many Catholic apologists have pointed out that adding “Roman” to “Catholic Church” was an act of protestant “reformers” (in England, if memory serves) and its origin is actually derogatory and should be rejected.
 
Weird way of putting it: “Catholicism” as the “one true church.” Why not the Roman Catholic Church as the “one true church”?

Mainly because the Roman Catholic Church typically refers to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, and doesn’t include the 23 other rites that are in communion with the Holy See.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madaglan View Post
Weird way of putting it: “Catholicism” as the “one true church.” Why not the Roman Catholic Church as the “one true church”?

Many Catholic apologists have pointed out that adding “Roman” to “Catholic Church” was an act of protestant “reformers” (in England, if memory serves) and its origin is actually derogatory and should be rejected.

It is interesting to note that at one time the Church had no problem with the term Roman—She actually referred to Herself with as such. Actually it seems the Roman rite is referred to as the Mother of all Churches.

Vat I.

ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM#2

Profession of faith
  1. I, Pius, bishop of the Catholic Church, with firm faith believe and profess each and every article contained in the profession of faith which the Holy Roman Church uses, namely: I believe in one God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen. And in one Lord Jesus Christ the only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God from God, light from light, true God from true God. Begotten not made, of one substance with the Father: through whom all things were made. Who for us humans and for our salvation came down from heaven. He was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary: and became man. He was crucified also for us, he suffered under Pontius Pilate and was buried. The third day he rose again according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the lord and the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified: who spoke through the prophets. And one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of Sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come Amen.
  2. I acknowledge the Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all the Churches [1].
 
Originally Posted by universalindult:
Many Catholic apologists have pointed out that adding “Roman” to “Catholic Church” was an act of protestant “reformers” (in England, if memory serves) and its origin is actually derogatory and should be rejected.
You are right. But today it has stuck, even with Catholics.
BayernAnhaenger:
Mainly because the Roman Catholic Church typically refers to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, and doesn’t include the 23 other rites that are in communion with the Holy See.
Unless I am mistaken, there are not 23 other rites but 23 other sui iuris Churches that make up the “Catholic” communion. Perhaps “The Catholic Church” is the best phrase, although the Eastern Orthodox Church also claims to be “The Catholic Church.”
 
Mainly because the Roman Catholic Church typically refers to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, and doesn’t include the 23 other rites that are in communion with the Holy See.
Yes but, those churches are in communion with Rome. So I think Roman Catholic Church works just fine. Especially since it emphasizes the importance of Rome and distinguishes ourselves from Eastern schismatics.

I’ve always been annoyed by how names become so picky when it comes to the particular groups within the Church. No one means to offend the Easterners by calling the Church - the Roman Catholic Church.

Likewise with traditional Catholicism and the mass; no one means degrade the mass by calling it anyone of the following; Tridentine, Classical, Traditional Latin, Mass of St. Pius V, Extraordinary Form etc, etc.
 
Wise move for Pope Benedict.
It’s about time we claim our true identity. 👍
 
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