The statement is this, uttered by the Holy Father as he explained his reasons for visiting his Protestant friends in Caserta. "To extend the apologies of the Catholic Church for the damage that has been done to them by obstructing the growth of their communities.” My goodness! This is a statement -curious if not heretical - that needs some serious unpacking!
- The "communities" mentioned in that quote are in fact Protestant churches, churches not in communion with Rome. By and large they reject most of the Sacraments, which are (among other things) primary channels for sanctifying grace - without which no one gets to heaven.
- How would these "mean ole Catholics" have been "obstructing the growth of these communities"? Does it take too much imagination that Catholics would have been doing this "obstruction" by bringing wayward Protestants into the Roman Catholic Church which is the One True Church? That's what we're supposed to do - to bring them to the fullness of truth. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to "instruct the ignorant".
- If any apologies are required along these lines, the Church should be apologizing to Protestants for not being zealous and dedicated to offering them the fullness of Truth that can be found only within the Roman Catholic Church. They are floundering about with no Sacraments. If, for example, they fall into mortal sin and don't avail themselves of Confession, they really think "sole fide" will save them. Will it? That's quite a crap shoot, with someone's eternal destination at stake.
- Recall yesterday's post, where the Holy Father is quoted as saying he's not interested in converting evangelicals to Catholicism. He said "there are so many doctrines we'll never agree on...let's be about showing the love of Jesus". The doctrines of the Catholic Church are the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself. Any attempt to trivialize the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church will be rejection of the authentic love of Jesus in favor of a cheap, shallow, sentimental counterfeit of the same.
Many of these Protestant denominations reared their ugly heads during what is erroneously called the "reformation". Either that or they are break-offs of the original Protestants. The Church, to retrieve the Protestants into the One True Church, held the Council of Trent and instituted what can be called the Counter Reformation. Many Catholic orders arose to assist in this effort to reclaim these Protestants. One of these orders was the Society of Jesus - Jesuits! Is it not a supreme irony that a Jesuit pope is now contradicting St Ignatius Loyola? St Francis Xavier, who preached the Gospel to India? The North American martyrs, who preached to the Indians in New York and Canada? They must be spinning in their graves. Let us ask their intercession for their brother Jesuit.