> Hi Fisher,
> I'm more confused than ever now!
> ps can you provide links for those articals or more precise
> finding them?
> God bless you,
Hi Keith yes I can see the confusion you mention and my previous
"The Council was not an exercise of the Extraordinary or Ordinary
Universal Magisterium, but only of the Authenic Ordinary Magisterium.
The misunderstanding of this simple fact, the Council documents'
ambigious language, and Modernist interpretations of those documents
in the "Spirit of Vatican II" are a main source of post-Conciliar
At first glance if I was a non-catholic and read "But the Holy Ghost
makes use of these Churches; they are a means of salvation to their
members" I might assume this means salvation is entirely possible
without Catholic teaching authority or that these non-catholic
churches are on equal footing with the One Church or possibly that
these other churches teach a fullness of salvation or that membership
within the One Catholic Church is no longer a requirement for all
Christians since salvation will happen anyway.
With these few words I do believe that this pastoral council used
ambigious language which has helped to foster your confusion.
Vatican II as stated was primarily pastorial in nature this decree is
not a dogmatic statement, hence Catholics are not called to agree
with an interpretation that assumes the teaching authorities
of "other churches" can led followers in a fullness of salvation
What is the purpose of this decree? Dialog is its purpose with the
hope that open discussion can led to an increase in real unity. The
decree is not seeking to define salvation for non-catholics.
What did you leave out? points 5-8
8. In the cause of ecumenism, the Catholic must ALWAYS REMAIN TRUE TO
THE FAITH THAT HE HAS RECEIVED. Impudent zeal in this matter is a
hindrance to unity and not a help. So also is any attempt to achieve
a MERELY SUPERFICIAL UNITY.
What did you highlight?
> 2. The Catholic Church believes that the separated Churches and
communities "are efficient in SOME respects." But the Holy Ghost
makes use of these Churches; they are means of salvation to THEIR
Are they a means to fallen away Catholics who embrace Protestantism
the original topic?
It doesn't sound to me like the decree of this council is
concentrating on Catholics whether they are practising their faith or
What does the final official edition of this decree state?
""Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as
individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that
unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through
Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness
of life-that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient
Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ's
Catholic Church, which is "THE ALL-EMBRACING MEANS OF SALVATION,"
that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation""
instead of the
shorter point form of the main webpage you have directed me to.
Is this last statement supported by early christians ? Yes see St.
Ireneaus' words below as one example
"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this
the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who,
in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory,
or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it
is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the
greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized
at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that
church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us
after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church,
because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is,
all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the
faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Against
Heresies 3:3:2 [A.D. 189]).
Aside from the central discussion, you ask of my opinion on the
following in light of wording of this decree on ecumenism
1. Can Protestants receive a valid baptism? Yes talk with the many
Protestant converts to Catholicism currently posting to this board.
This is nothing new, the Church has always accepted these as valid
when performed with the correct formula and with correct form. The
Vatican II decree you are paraphrasing from was not required for
Catholics to come to this conclusion on their validity.
2.Are Protestants fellow Christians? Yes when baptized with the
correct formula and form they are joined with Catholics even if it is
in an imperfect union and hence we are all separated brethren who
should be seeking complete unity in the Body of Christ not merely
superficial unity as mentioned previously or as seen in the creation
of endless denominations under the Protestant sphere of Christianity.
3.That they are members in the body of Christ as stated already when
considering all Christian baptisms in light of the Catholic
definition of this sacrament.
4.that the "the separated Churches and Communities as such,
believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means
deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of
salvation" . Answer is yes.
Does this mean that all understanding/instruction or defining
doctrine of salvation is found within these separated Churches? No it
does not it simply states that these groups are not "deprived of the
entire mystery of salvation" for example, by accepting and
maintaining the Christology that Catholicism had taught for some 1600
years prior to the beginnings of Protestantism (with the exception of
pseudo-sects like Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and Jeovah
Witnesses all formed from within Protestantism) most Protestant
churches teach Jesus as the savior, as One with the Father and second
person of the Holy Trinity, that Jesus is the one mediator with the
Father and that Jesus brings the gospel message of salvation.
For the case of Oneness of the Church -
And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul,
Saul, why do you persecute me?" 5 And he said, "Who are you, Lord?"
And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; 6 but rise and
enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." [Acts 9,
Notice that the persecution of the Christians was a persecution of
the Lord Himself. Notice also that Saul is immediately directed to
enter the city to be instructed by the Church. The Church is more
than a collection of individuals who "know Christ," it is an
instrument of salvation. We needed to be unified in her.
Keith here are some links you have requested. The first few are
Vatican website links, than Michael's response on justification read
the last paragraphs and finally an article from Envoy magazine which
you might be interested in because of your keen interest in Vatican
Vatican website links
Table of Contents/Catechism of the Catholic Church
Article 9 I believe in the Holy Catholic Church
1. The Church is One
3. The Church is Catholic
Let us look at Unitatis Redintegratio again
Final print of UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO Decree on Ecunmenism 1964
please the bottom page of the link you posted Keith and click on
you can also find it here
Michael's response on justification
Vatican II & Ecumenism: What did the Council Really Say?