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.