... Briefly put, the document states that the Eastern churches (meaning for the most part Eastern Orthodoxy), having a valid sacramental priesthood, thus valid sacraments, while defective in regard of lacking full communion with the See of Peter, are to be considered churches, while the Christian communities born of the Reformation, lacking a valid sacramental priesthood, cannot be called “churches” in the proper sense.The full article may be found here.
With regard to the communion that is the Church, Orthodoxy is deficient, but not so deficient as to withdraw the title of Church from its communions or Christian from its members. Protestant churches, measured by the same rod, are severely deficient, so much so that these religious communities are not churches properly speaking, and their members are only Christians (we must assume) to the degree that their churches are churches. If I read Lumen Gentium aright, no Catholic is obliged to call a Protestant a Christian, although he may, to do him honor—which I believe John Paul II consistently did. I will note that in general, Protestants have historically taken pretty much the same view of Catholics. Which is to say that nothing has changed--the whole point of the new Vatican document, which was clearly meant only to clarify something that should have been clear to any careful student of the matter in the first place.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Touchstone Magazine on the CDF Church Document
Touchstone Magazine has a short analysis of the CDF document on the Church and its reception. The piece is by S. M. Hutchens. Below are a few excerpts.