National Lutheran News

RC DECLARATION IMPLIES LUTHERANS

Lutherans and other non-Roman Catholic Christians around the world were stunned following the September 5 issuance of a Vatican document implying that eternal salvation is assured only through the Church of Rome.

Reversing a Roman Catholic initiative begun with the churchwide council “Vatican II,” in the early 1960s, the leadership of the Roman Church declared it is no longer willing to call non-Roman Catholics “separated brethren” but rather wants them thought of “Mother Church’s wayward children.”

In a news release from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), that church’s leadership declared, “We recognize no deficiency in our self-understanding as ‘church’.”

A similar response came from the leader of the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland.

In a letter issued June 30 the Vatican said that Protestants are not really “churches in the proper sense” but rather “ecclesial communities.” The Vatican implied that authentic Christianity only resides in churches which share its view of the church and the sacraments. It also said that “the fulness of the church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church.”

The complete story appears in the October print edition.