Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Here endeth the lesson...

This will help cement relations among the faithful.
The Vatican issued a document Tuesday restating its belief that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ.

The 16-page document was prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a doctrinal watchdog that Pope Benedict used to head.

Yes, well, nothing like promoting your own agenda.

Formulated as five questions and answers, the document is titled Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church.

It says although Orthodox churches are true churches, they are defective because they do not recognize the primacy of the Pope,

"It follows that these separated churches and communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation," it said.

The document adds that Protestant denominations — called Christian Communities born out of the Reformation — are not true churches, but ecclesial communities.

Five questions.... oh yeah! Here they are!

Actually, this looks like an amazing feat of navel-gazing and self-affirmation. Given all the problems in the world, the most important thing the Roman Catholic Church can come up with is that anyone who isn't playing their game is wrong?

The decree comes days after liberal Catholic and Jewish groups spoke out against the Pope's move to authorize the wider use of a traditional Latin mass.

The Tridentine mass includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews. Its use was restricted following the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965.

Pope Benedict issued a decree last week authorizing its broader use in an effort to reconcile with followers of an ultratraditional excommunicated bishop.

Sounds like Ratzinger is trying to compete with George W Bush and Steve Harper as a "great uniter".

Of course, all of this is significant only if it matters to you. And there are a lot of Roman Catholics who don't pay all that much attention to the edicts handed down by the Roman Catholic Church.

There has been a wide and increasing defection of Roman Catholic women from the traditional teaching of their Church on the subject of birth control over the past two decades and a resulting convergence of Catholic and non-Catholic contraceptive practices. By 1970, two-thirds of all Catholic women were using methods disapproved by their Church; this figure reached three-quarters for women under age 30. Considering the fact that most of the one-quarter of young Catholic women conforming to Church teaching had never used any method, the percentage of those deviating may well reach 90 as these women grow older and the problems of fertility control become more important.

Much of this increasing deviation has been among the more educated Catholics, who were formerly the most faithful adherents to Church teaching. The change between 1965 and 1970 was especially striking for Catholic women who had attended college.

Perhaps the most significant finding is that the defection has been most pronounced among the women who receive Communion at least once a month. Even among this group, the majority now deviates from Church teaching on birth control; among the younger women in this group, the proportion not conforming reaches two-thirds.

That was written in 1973. Irrelevance, thy name is ....

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