A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Church

The pope made news declaring the Catholic Church was the one true church and that other churches are either defective or not churches. As a protestant I found out that I am part of an ecclesial community, not a church.

The reasoning had to do with the apostolic succession of priests and bishops in other churches. The latter I understand given that my own tradition (Disciples of Christ) has no such things. But I wonder how the Anglican communion, which does, sees this issue?

This statement "goes against the spirit of our calling towards oneness in Christ, It makes us question the seriousness with which the Catholic Church takes its dialogs with other families of the church." said the Rev. Nyomi of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Indeed. Since doctrinal claims internal to the church were used to buttress this recent statement I thought it fitting to quote from the Commission on Theology's statement to the Disciples of Christ on the nature of the church.

"We affirm that God has called the Church into being but this calling does not guarantee evidence of any merit on our part, assurance of a privileged position in God's realm, special access to God's grace or any exemption from God's judgment.

"We affirm that the mission of the Church is to witness to God in the world..to be a community of God's love to the world" A big job, that we often fail at. But if you find it, you may just have found the true church, which is bigger than one religious body.


At 11:56 PM , Blogger David Oliver Kling said...

But I wonder how the Anglican communion, which does, sees this issue?

Keep in mind that Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican Holy Orders (i.e., Apostolic Succession) invalid. Not that I believe anything that Leo XIII decreed, but according to Rome the Anglican Communion is just another group of Protestants.

At 8:54 AM , Anonymous Michael S said...

Is it just me, or does "ecclesial community" sound a whole lot like a fancy way of saying "church"? ;-)

At 9:02 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

Well, some of us anglicans are peeved, some are a bit insulted, some just annoyed that it's a return to some olde kind of "ecumenism" that really isn't ecumenical at all.

Perhaps one of the more sensible commentaries I've seen is at Tobias' blog.

At 2:13 PM , Blogger Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

As I've posted at my own blog, this appears to be nothing new, but it does make the position starker. By declaring us "ecclesial communities" Vatican II at least gave us a place at the table. But as far as I'm concerned, ecclesial community means church.

But like you I'm a Disciple and what we mean by church and what the Pope means by church aren't necessarily the same thing!

At 3:28 PM , Anonymous DJ Black Adam said...

Well I am a non denom - non sectarian sort of pentecostal protestant (with an Ethiopic background).

I just find the Vatican's statement silly and inane, a sad attempt for to hold the fort.

At 9:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a former roman catholic. Latin masses,catholic school,first communion, confirmation, mel gibson lover.
I didn't realize until I went away to college that I was biased against jews.
My mind was like.. jews are like sacred people / evil people... ya know? It says so in the bible.

I confess I like this new anglican role model when it's just the glory of god that is your goal and the politics and hatred of other religions don't exist.
I couldn't care less if people believe like me as long as they Believe in something higher than themselves. Those people that don't just scare me.

At 6:48 AM , Anonymous NROC said...

I am with the National Registry of Chruches I would like to welcome you to register your church or organization with us. visit us at http://www.nationalregistryofchurches.com

Best Regards,
National Registry of Churches


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