Not-so-fully church

The pope's message to Protestants—and Catholics
In July the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) reaffirmed the Catholic doctrine that the church of Christ “exists fully only in the Catholic Church.” Which prompted many people to say, “What, again?” or “Why now?”

Yes, the Vatican treated the same points it discussed seven years ago in Dominus Iesus. That text stoutly maintained the unique saving role of Jesus Christ and insisted that when Vatican II said that the church founded by Christ and the Holy Spirit “subsists in” the Catholic Church, it meant that the church of Christ “continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church,” notwithstanding the fact that many godly elements (of word, sacrament and ministry) are at work outside the Catholic structure.

 

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