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Catholic Church only true church, Vatican says

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/07/10/vatican-church.html Catholic Church only true church, Vatican says Last Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | 10:27 AM ET
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2010
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      http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/07/10/vatican-church.html

      Catholic Church only true church, Vatican says
      Last Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 | 10:27 AM ET
      CBC News

      The Vatican issued a document Tuesday restating
      its belief that the Catholic Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ.

      The 16-page document was prepared by the
      Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a
      doctrinal watchdog that Pope Benedict used to head.

      Formulated as five questions and answers, the
      document is titled "Responses to Some Questions
      Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church."

      It says although Orthodox churches are true
      churches, they are defective because they do not
      recognize the primacy of the Pope.

      "It follows that these separated churches and
      communities, though we believe they suffer from
      defects, are deprived neither of significance nor
      importance in the mystery of salvation," it said.

      The document adds that Protestant denominations —
      called Christian Communities born out of the
      Reformation — are not true churches, but ecclesial communities.

      "These ecclesial communities which, specifically
      because of the absence of the sacramental
      priesthood … cannot, according to Catholic
      doctrine, be called 'churches' in the proper sense," it said.

      The document is similar to one written in 2000 by
      the Pope — who was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at
      the time — that sparked an angry reaction from Protestant groups.

      "I suspect there will be some reactions that are
      rather passionate," said Raphaela Schmid,
      director of the Becket Institute, a group that
      advocates religious freedom. "I hope they will
      not be angry because we all try to understand about each other."

      The document is issued by Benedict's successor in
      doctrinal matters, Cardinal William Levada, and
      endorsed by the Pope, said Reuters.

      The decree comes days after liberal Catholic and
      Jewish groups spoke out against the Pope's move
      to authorize the wider use of a traditional Latin mass.

      The Tridentine mass includes a prayer for the
      conversion of Jews. Its use was restricted
      following the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965.

      Pope Benedict issued a decree last week
      authorizing its broader use in an effort to
      reconcile with followers of an ultratraditional excommunicated bishop.

      The Jewish Anti-Defamation League in New York
      called it a "body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations."
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