True church: Churches in the proper sense

The Roman Catholic Church recently restated its view that Protestant churches are not “churches in the proper sense.” Some Protestants take offense. But we need not. The word church in Catholic parlance refers to those bodies that have bishops in apostolic succession and that recognize the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The statement is aimed not primarily at Protestants but at certain liberal and conservative Catholic interpreters of Vatican II (see "Not-so-fully church," by Jared Wicks, S.J.).