The Wheels of Rome Turn Slowly…

The wheels of Rome turn slowly but go through a full revolution. In a recent decree Pope Benedict reaffirmed what many suspected. That whilst Vatican II changed perceptions it did not in fact change the essential nature of the Catholic Church.  He affirmed that the Catholic church is the one true church established by Christ and that Vatican II does not contradict that. Although he acknowledges that other churches can be instruments of salvation. To think that Vatican II says anything else is to misinterpret it.

I appreciate this statement, although I profoundly disagree with its substance. It’s good that in a world where words are often spun to make them say anything that the interpreter wishes them to mean that someone can speak plainly. It is also good that they are prepared to promote an unpopular point of view. And, albeit tangentially, that he has spoken up on the the Christian view of the uniqueness of the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ alone.

Whilst I’m not about to defect to Rome Benedict in the form of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has in some respects I think shown us the way.  For the more I observe in terms of how the church is perceived today the more I see the need for clarity before  a watching world.  We need to wade out of the fudge and proclaim to a watching world what we believe and to do so with clarity. For there is abroad I perceive a great deal of misunderstanding concerning the essence of our faith. And this is often fostered by well meaning Christians who instead of maintaining a distinctive witness try to accomodate themselves and their message to the world.

So if I can’t quite bring myself to offer three cheers to the Pope let me at least offer a nod of approval!

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