So the Holy Father has been busy this last week leading up to his vacation. There are always last minute odds and ends to tie up, I suppose, before one rests.
First, there was the motu proprio on Saturday that frees the pre-Vatican II liturgy to be more widely celebrated. He did so for unity's sake, out of charity, to heal some wounds caused by the establishment of the new liturgy, the Novus Ordo, some 40 years ago. "The old liturgy is fine for us, thank you very much," said some - I pray that the wound can begin to heal now. Now, the pope did not "undo" Vatican II. The liturgy before Vatican II has always been considered valid and good and holy. And it could be celebrated with the proper permission. But now it will be even more broadly available for those who want to still celebrate it.
Then, on Wednesday, he came out and said that Protestants are going to hell.
What? He didn't say that?
Let me go read it again. Give me a minute. Hmm. Wow, OK.
Well, I thought he must have because of the size of the turd some Prots were having over it.
Oh, I see now, he said Prots didn't have churches, but were simply "ecclesial communities"?
So why do some Protestants have a problem with this proclamation? I mean, Protestants, as I recall, don't accept the Catholic Church's teaching about what is the Church. In other words, the Holy Catholic Church says that at least the following is what makes up the Church: (1) apostolic succession and holy orders, and, consequently, (2) valid sacraments, specifically the Eucharist. Hey, and papal authority is important too.
Ironically, I've been told I was a heretic and apostate because I believed this stuff. Have these protesting Prots suddenly become Cats?
No? I didn't think so.
So what's the problem, brah? You don't accept the pope as your papa - use whatever word you want to describe your ecclesial community. When you say church, you mean something different than when Papa Benedict says church. That's all there is to understand here.
Now that we understand the essential difference between us, let's try to move forward together.