If I were going to write an article about Pope Benedict’s recent declaration about the Roman communion being the only true church…

… I’d want to say something a lot like THIS.

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10 Comments on “If I were going to write an article about Pope Benedict’s recent declaration about the Roman communion being the only true church…”

  1. Barry Says:

    I’ve been waiting for this.

    Being a RC, let me make the first punch here.

    I am as probably aware as any Catholic of the foibles, sins, evils, wars, poor administration, vice, cruelty, control, imperialism and nearly every other bad thing that the RC Church is responsible for since day one.

    Most Catholics are. And, like the previous Pope (who would never have shot his mouth off like that) we are sorry for the ill the Church has done to others in the name of Christ.

    Were Protestants right in bringing this to the world’s attention and branching away on their own? Sure. It needed to be done.

    The Catholic Church had gotten away from bringing people together in the name of Christ and, instead, became a big enterprise.

    Many thousands of us have been trying hard to recognize these failings and to apologize. Pope John Paul II was very contrite when he said he was extremely sorry for the evil the Church had done to people over the years. Many of us are doing what we can to recognize and accept all movements and give them the respect they deserve.

    I couldn’t care less about the Latin Mass. If some people want it that’s fine.

    I do care that Benedict said that the RC Church is the only true church because that’s just him saying it and it’s not true. There are many. And, for him to say what he did is not a healing gesture. His advisors are to be vilified for letting him do that (my opinion), and I’m guessing that there are many among the college of Cardinals who now are quite red-faced about their choice of Pontiff.

    I’m also going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a large percentage of RC’s are not happy with this.

    While we are trying to heal ancient wounds, the current Pope is happy to re-open them again. It wasn’t necessary. It doesn’t help anything.

    Again, this is a prime example of a leader mis-speaking and it is we who have to live with the embarrasment and pain it causes.


  2. re: “I’m guessing that there are many among the college of Cardinals who now are quite red-faced about their choice of Pontiff.”

    Who chooses the Pontiff?

  3. Barry Says:

    All the living Cardinals, which were typically picked by the previous Pope and his predecessors. They get together, naturally, in Rome and have some funky formula and a secret ballot. They have a window of two or three weeks to get the new Pope elected after the demise of the last one.

    It’s all a little esoteric but for the most part it works well… ahem…
    except in some cases…

    If you get my drift.

    So to answer your question. Yes, all the living Cardinals make up the body of the college of Cardinals and they elect the new Pope.


  4. I thought that Roman doctrine asserted that the college of Cardinals is infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit in the election of a successor to the Apostle Peter. So that they nor any other Roman Catholic could be hesistant to whole-heartedly affirm their choice as correct. (Unless one is a Sedevacantist.)

  5. Barry Says:

    You are making me smile.

    Anytime you have elections you have intrigue, politics, glad-handing, positioning and egoism. They’re aren’t many today who think infallibility comes into play when you have men winding their way toward an election.

    I am going to suggest that people of every movement have, as members, people who do not agree or follow all of the doctrinal supplications that are handed down by administrators.

    The Pope promulgates that people worldwide (3rd world country or not) procreate despite overpopulation. Few people agree with this, RC’s or not.

    I think any leader’s job is to work for progress, unity and healing.

    That is what I meant when I said that some of the enclave of Cardinals might very well be privately cringing at what has passed since JPII.

    How many Baptists follow all the doctrine that has been laid down since the Westminster Confession of Faith?


  6. You seem to be saying that the college of Cardinals made a mistake in chosing the current Pope.

    How many times would you say they have erred in the past?

  7. Barry Says:

    After all that has past since last September would the Cardinals, if they had it to do over, still have selected Ratzinger as Pope?

    One may wonder.

    Can’t answer your last question. My memory goes back to John XXIII who I thought was courageous in up-dating the Church which obviously Benedict didn’t think it needed updating.

    So, now we have one of the last pre-Vat II survivors who wants to push back the clock to a time he cherished. But that was a time of anti-Semitic language in the old latin Mass and other aspects which John XXIII and others wanted to address and clean-up.


  8. It seems, though, that to say the college of Cardinals could have erred and that some Popes might not have held true apostolic authority would cause a crisis of authority in Roman Catholic thought. If the Roman Church could so err on these foundational matters, how can one say that they have not erred in matters establishing essential Roman doctrine- for example, the salvific efficacy of the sacraments, purgatory, etc.?

  9. Barry Says:

    Comparative doctrine really would be best discussed under a new post, I think. It’s a good topic and one that people/movements seesaw back and forth between one another. It’s what separates us and brings us back together.

    On the topic, again, of the Cardinals (who I recognize as human) who can say they haven’t erred? History has shown that they have.

    The Pope is the head of the Church. Some have been good. Some haven’t.

    In the modern era John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II could easily be characterized as progressives. With Benedict we’re definitely going retro.

  10. Andrew Says:

    re: “Comparative doctrine really would be best discussed under a new post, I think.”

    You’re probably right. And with this, I’m going to close comments on the post.


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