I recently, on July 12th, read this article:
The document states that “Christ ‘established here on Earth’ only one church,” and as for Orthodox churches, it pointed out that the fact that the churches did not recognize the authority of the pope. Regarding Protestant churches, Pope Benedict mentioned that they couldn’t be called “churches” in the proper sense because they lacked apostolic succession.
The foreign press pointed out that the substance of the document is similar to the one that the Pope made when he was secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Censure is coming from all around regarding his remarks. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches said, “We are wondering if Catholic churches really have intention to excommunicate other brother churches.” German Evangelical churches criticized that a chance for unity between denominations was “getting far away again.” Leaders of the Copt, a traditional Egyptian Protestant church, dismissed his remarks as a joke.
Benedict also announced on July 7 that he would revive the Latin mass, which caused a backlash from Jewish people since the Latin mass, known as the “Tridentine Mass,” contains a chant that calls for Jewish people to renounce their religion.
Some catholic churches have questioned the statement and consider it a step back from the reform of the Vatican Council II (1962-1965). The council decided that the language of the mass should be decided according to the church that the mass is held in.
Pope Benedict XVI created a controversy by describing Islam as a violent religion last year.
Now, I’m not Catholic but I’m a little concerned about this news. If you’re familiar with Vatican Council II then you might know that much of the vision behind the council was to somehow find a place for Protestants in their theology without rejecting them/us as Christians. If I understand the council and this article correctly it would seem that Pope Benedict XVI is taking a huge step backwards.
I often find myself defending Catholics in conversations with some Protestants. With
The revival of the Latin Mass also seems like a strange if not bad decision, but since I am not a Catholic I’m afraid I have little to say on the subject. I realize there is more to church than just how you do your services and what language you do them in.
Some other articles on the subject you might be interested in: Swiss Christians criticize Pope, Local clergy react to pope's proclamation, ‘Mass’ Confusion Over Papal Edict, and Pope simply restating church's teachings.