Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Benedict makes a point

Pope Benedict has reasserted the primacy of the Catholic Church as the only true Church of Jesus Christ on earth. He uses the logic of tracing Bishop succession all the way back to Peter the head apostle upon whom Jesus conferred his earthly mantle in the Gospels when he said "Thou Art Peter and upon this Rock I will build my church" - (of course Jesus or the writers of the Gospels were being tongue in cheek....Peter means stone or rock in Hebrew), as the source for the Roman churchs legitimacy over all others.

When Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger and headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (an organization formerly known as the Inquisition office) he published this original document. This reassertion is a republishing of the original document. Clearly since the original document was published under John Paul II leadership we can assume that it had the sainted mans tacit if not explicit sanction.

Either way in this age of increased ecumenism this is a very bold statement but not surprising. The Pope is very conservative. He takes the Protestant schism although 500 years old very seriously. He is more lenient with the Orthodox schism however just calling them defective (rather than false) because they fail to recognize the primacy of the Roman prelate.

I am just stunned that in this mordern day and age any global religious leader can make such an unequivocal statement that they have the monopoly on truth. He still encourages inter faith dialog but it is clear that he not only views other interpretations of Christianity to be untrue but also harmful to the doing of Christs work on earth.


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