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True Church

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 Contents - Dec 2007AD2000 December 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Liturgy: light at the end of the tunnel - Michael Gilchrist
Liturgy: Australian archbishops report progress with new English Mass translations - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Schools: The state of Catholic education: teacher and student experiences - Br Barry Coldrey
Catechetics: Religious education in Catholic schools: the role of parish priests - Michael Gilchrist
Church History: Interesting aspects of ecumenical councils - Frank Mobbs
Britain: British Catholicism: the salt has lost its flavour - John Haldane
1962 Missal: Australian bishops support Benedict XV's liberalising of the Latin Mass - AD2000 Report
Architecture: Did Vatican II recommend the removal of altar rails? - M. Cassey
Letters: Dissent - Brian Bibby
Letters: Far-sightedness of Father Purcell - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Response - Don Gaffney
Letters: Narrow way - F. Thims
Letters: Latin Mass - Carol V. Phillips
Letters: Pope's Masses - Paul Martin
Letters: True Church - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Homosexual 'marriage' - Arnold Jago
Letters: Unbaptised infants - Lawrence R. Hurley
Letters: Archaeology - Ann Marie Streda
Events: Latin Masses for Christmas in Caulfield and Kew
Books: JESUS, THE APOSTLES AND THE EARLY CHURCH by Pope Benedict XVI - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: THE CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD AND WOMEN by Sara Butler MSBT - Paul Woodbury (reviewer)
Books: Books available from AD Books
Reflection: May we deepen our longing for the Lord's coming - Bishop Arthur Serratelli

John Frey concludes that 'this truth has not been unambiguously stated' that 'Christ has established one Church, and that Church is the Catholic Church' (November AD2000). He thinks that when Vatican II teaches that Christ's Church 'subsists in' the Catholic Church, this somehow is not equivalent to 'is' the Catholic Church. My Chambers dictionary gives the meaning of subsists as: 'to have existence; to remain, continue.'

Vatican II is clear: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained' (Decree on Ecumenism, 3).

The Dogmatic Constitution On The Church (8) teaches that 'The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth His holy Church ... This is the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic.'

Fr John Hardon SJ described this teaching as 'unequivocal' (= clearly defined), 'for the first time in conciliar history ... where this one Church of Christ can be found' (See The Catholic Catechism, 1975, Doubleday, p 213).

Further, the Declaration on Religious Liberty (1) teaches that 'this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic and Apostolic Church'.

Thus Vatican II teaches that the Catholic Church is 'the one true religion'; 'is the sole Church of Christ'; 'it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone ... that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'

She acknowledges many truths in other ecclesial communities, but not seven sacraments, not a valid priesthood and no Eucharistic sacrifice therefore, and no Magisterium.

As John Frey admits, Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out that by using 'subsists in' the Council harmonised the fact that Christ's Church exists fully only in the Catholic Church while acknowledging that elements of sanctification and truth are found in the separated ecclesial communities.

For John Frey 'the Church of Christ seems to transcend the Catholic Church'. This would mean that Christ's Church 'exceeds' or 'surpasses' the Catholic Church. This does not do justice to the texts of Vatican II, whether on his part, or that of Hans Küng.

Springwood, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 11 (December 2007 - January 2008), p. 14

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