The Pope's ecumenical dupes got a rude shock on September 5 when his self-styled 'infallible Holiness', in an official document called Dominus Iesus, questioned the validity of Protestant Churches and instructed his bishops not to use the term 'sister churches' with reference to them. The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has now arrogantly pronounced that henceforth non-Roman-Catholics are to be designated as "ecclesial communities" with "defects". It declares that churches that lack a "valid Episcopate [bishops] and the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic mystery are not churches in the proper sense"; and a Vatican letter to bishops, released the same week, calls for Protestants to be "evangelised".
The American Crosswalk News site summed it up in the headline: "Protestants are not our equals, says the Vatican." It was on a par with Hitler's comments about the Jews.
The chief ingredient of this latest outrageous pronouncement by the Roman impostor is nothing short of blatant sectarianism – a predictable complement to the flagrant racism of his beatification of Pius IX. Once again, the congenital religious intolerance behind the mask of the Church of Rome's smiling ecumenism has been exposed: her doctrinal fascism renders her hypocritically guilty of the very accusation that she is so fond of levelling against those who refuse to bow the knee to her theological drivel.
George Carey, the spiritual leader of the world's 70 million Anglicans and hitherto a loud and pathetic parrot of the Pope, has expressed his "dismay". No wonder: he failed to take heed of the warning that Rome does not change, and is now suddenly confronted with the reality that the term 'separated brethren' was merely a ruse and the original designation of 'heretics' is now official. Carey has learned of his error the hard way. He has reacted by saying that the worldwide Anglican Communion "does not for one moment accept that its orders of ministry and Eucharist are deficient in any way", but "believes itself to be a part of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church of Christ."
Protestant leaders in Germany have also been rudely awakened. Manfred Kock, chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church of Germany, told ZDF television: "The declaration suggests that the Catholic and the Protestant Churches are not on equal terms with each other." These leaders, be it noted, are the dupes who on October 31, 1999, signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church, believing it to be the reconciliatory seal of 30 years of so-called 'dialogue' between the two Churches.
Irony of ironies! The Vatican's boot-licking World Council of Churches itself is worried that the ecumenical relationships of the past 100 years may now be "lost" or "hindered" by what its professing 'theologian' Tom Best calls "language which precludes further discussion of the issues"; and even John Wilkins, editor of the Roman Catholic newspaper The Tablet, has described the declaration as "enormously negative".
Valdo Benecchi, President of the Methodist Evangelical Churches of Italy and an on-the-spot connoisseur of the Pope's machinations in that country, was quick to recognise the Vatican's latest confidence trick. Almost echoing the warning of last October by the 150 German Academics who opposed the LWF-Vatican Declaration, he said: "Salvation through Christ is not deposited in one religion only. This puts only the Catholic Church at the centre, but especially the Catholic hierarchy."
The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest U.S. Protestant denomination, has also recognised the contrivance. Jerry Rankin, President of its International Mission Board, protested: "Salvation comes by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone – not through any institutional church body, be it Baptist, Catholic, or otherwise. […] That's why we have always sent missionaries, even to 'Catholic' countries, because people come to salvation only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. That is the message of the Christian gospel according to the Scriptures, and that is the message shared worldwide by our missionaries."
Popery, despite her modernist garb, remains unchanged. The arrogance of this latest pronouncement is astounding. It describes all churches since the Protestant Reformation as not being "churches in the proper sense", while in reality it is the Church of Rome that is not a church at all, but a colossal political and financial organisation. Adam Smith, in his famous study The Wealth of Nations, calls it "the most formidable combination that ever was formed against the authority and security of civil government as well as against the liberty, reason and happiness of mankind."
Then we have the preposterous claim that Protestant Churches lack a "valid Episcopate [bishops]", whereas in reality it is the Pope himself who falsely poses as the 'Bishop of Rome' and successor to Peter – an office which Christ neither instituted or intended. In every country where the seditious Papal system succeeded in gaining a foothold – and not least in England – this was achieved through the setting up of Rome's own invalid episcopates in contravention of civil law.
As a contributor to our Guest Book recently put it: "As a free Protestant in the free U.S.A., I will not allow this bum to tell me what to do." Amen, brother! – and as free Protestants in this free United Kingdom, in which the Pope of Rome "hath no jurisdiction", neither will we!