Thanks, Joe!

July 11, 2007, 7:36 pm; posted by
Filed under Articles, Djere  | 9 Comments


In case papal bulls, worshiping Mary, or eastern orthodoxy aren’t your thing, you may have missed Pope Benedict XVI’s recent pronouncement that I don’t go to church on Sunday.

I go to a defectiveecclesial community‘ of other like-minded souls destined for eternal damnation (or at least a good long cooling-off period in purgatory).

If only my ecclesial community possessed “the fullness of the means of salvation,” like the Roman Catholic Church says it (and it alone) possesses. You know, like the bible says.

Oh, wait.


9 Comments to “Thanks, Joe!”

  1. Steve on July 11th, 2007 7:45 pm


    You’re being needlessly combative. All he did was restate the official doctrine of the Catholic Church, which, like it or not, doesn’t include worshipping Mary but does include them being the one true church. No use lying about what they believe.

    And as I read it, he didn’t claim Protestants were hellbound.

  2. David on July 12th, 2007 12:12 pm

    He did say everything Djere mentioned though. We are not true churches and we do not posess the full means of salvation.

  3. Steve on July 12th, 2007 1:07 pm

    Here’s the document.

    “It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word ‘subsists’ can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe… in the “one” Church); and this “one” Church subsists in the Catholic Church.”

    “[S]eparated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation…”

    So yes, he said the Catholic Church is the one true “Church,” and that Protestant churches are not part of the one true “Catholic Church.” News flash! Protestants aren’t Catholics! Now I happen to think the foundations of this argument are wrong. But it IS Catholic doctrine, and I’d rather have it be admitted than denied, and I don’t see any reason to mischaracterize it as Djere has here.

    Our churches are “deprived,” in their opinion, “neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation,” and the Spirit of Christ can save and has saved people through Protestant churches. This is true, regardless of any apostolic argument they might make about not communing with the holy ancient Catholic church of St. Peter.

    I just don’t understand why it should matter to us, as Protestants, what they believe about our church, especially since they’re not lumping us in with Mormons and Scientologists. This statement specifically says Christ can work salvation through churches outside the Catholic Church. So who cares what a mortal man in a large hat, albeit one who may have devoted his life to worship, wants to call your church?

  4. Djere on July 12th, 2007 1:23 pm

    First of all, he hasn’t devoted his life to worship, he’s devoted it to a flawed religious system.

    Second you write “the Spirit of Christ can save and has saved people through Protestant churches.”

    That is NOT what he said. He said protestant churches can be instruments of salvation, but since his pointy hat is the only way to heaven, it stands to reason a protestant church is only an instrument of salvation if it redirects them to the HRC.

  5. marcus greylight on July 13th, 2007 2:13 am

    Statements like “First of all, [the Pope] hasn’t devoted his life to worship, he’s devoted it to a flawed religious system” frustrate me.

    The entire spirit of the critique rests upon a decidedly Protestant understanding of the term worship and a Protestant’s insistence on a highly-individualistic faith. Obviously, by those lights, the Pope is not “worshiping.” It would be impossible for him according to the connotations of your term and the presuppositions of your framework.

    The Protestant cannot think that the “flawed religious system” could be inspired by and maintained by the Holy Spirit. The Catholic does believe this… and yet both use the term worship. We would do well to know what the term means in the Roman context. If you want to understand the Pope (which might be a wise course of action if your goal is to critique him) you should read his statements through the interpretive lens of his cultural/religious environment. Walk a mile in his ideology, so to speak, to catch the fullest meaning of his words.

    Believe what you like, but to judge the Catholic system using your loaded terms is at LEAST as condescending as the Pope making pronouncements about the state of your “ecclesial community.” I’m not asking you to convert to my belief structure but I AM asking you to seek to understand our message and our world view before you go saddling that high horse of yours.

    Also, “This Just In” implies that Benedict’s words are somehow revelatory for you. Rome has officially been thinking and teaching according to this exclusivist mindset for centuries, so I gotta ask, was any of this actually news to you? If anything, Rome has become a lot more OPEN since Vatican 2… and books like Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar’s “Dare We Hope” would never have been written in ages past.

    Like other Christian groups, we have our exclusivists and our borderline universalists… and the Pope was just reminding everyone of what the Catholic church has already been teaching. I guess I am just wondering why you are up in arms when Benedict merely delivered the standard Roman party-line rhetoric.

    Anyway, time was I could come to Bweinh for level-headed discussions or good clean humor without all this knee-jerk emotional claptrap.

    We can be silly. We can be academic. But when we are petty, it’s just plain sad.

  6. Steve on July 13th, 2007 12:41 pm

    I largely agree with Marcus.

    On an unrelated subject, it was interesting to me as an outsider studying for the bar to read the form of the Pope’s statement. It was so much like a legal brief or opinion, with its citations to previous statements and authorities. It’s no wonder so many great judges have come from the Catholic tradition. They’re used to it.

  7. David on July 13th, 2007 5:13 pm

    And I of course largely agree with Djere. Its the statements like the one we are talking about above that show what The Catholic Church really believes about the rest of the Christian world.

    They tolerate protestants at best but behind it all is the smug condescension of a father remonstrating wayward children. But alas a father who has slaughtered many of his chldren sending the rest fleeing into the woods for safety! Yet now the father stands and calls to the children “Come back! The madness is past! I overeacted, but you should have obeyed me! You must obey me now anyway as I am your father and God commands such obedience! Besides, there are worse things in the woods and only I can protect you from them!”

    It would not bother me so much if the Catholic Church had ever repented. Ambrose met Theodosius at the door of the church and made him repent publicly with tears and sighings for a period of some 8 months as pennance for the slaying of a mere 10,000 souls in Thessalonica before he could be admitted back into fellowship. How does that compare with the millions laid low by the Vatican?And when does the Catholic Church repent? And who will be barring what door before them? We shall see.

  8. Djere on July 15th, 2007 6:31 pm

    You’ll get no argument from me – my discussions on rome are often lopsided.

    As you pointed out, Marcus, I believe in an individual faith, a personal relationship with a living and active God – the only God.

    Through the lens of my Protestant theology I see a flawed religious system that has used the Nuremberg Defense for centuries.

    A system that ‘converted’ indigenous peoples – sometimes by the sword, other times by simply rebranding their own tribalistic religions as their own. A system whose traditions and veneration I would argue is outright idolatry.

    Individual people get into heaven, not members of a system or participants in an alleged mystical eucharist.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

    I get ticked off when the pope spouts off the party ticket, because it’s a party ticket that’s leading people straight to hell, because there is no purgatory or second chances.

    And not just the pope (I don’t have anything against individual catholics, just their extraneous beliefs), but profiteering sacks of crap like Joel Osteen or leaders who espouse the ‘once saved, always saved so it doesn’t matter how you live your life’ theology… HULK SMASH!

    “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

  9. Djere on July 15th, 2007 6:32 pm

    P.S. Marcus, I missed you! Sorry if I offended you, but I’m glad you came out of the woodwork…

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