Joseph Ratziner (Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome - aka Benedict XVI)
say about the Church of England?
Joseph Ratzinger's former job was
as the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly
known as the Inquisition).
In 2001 the CDF produced a paper
entitled Dominus Iesus in which it explained its relationship to
other Churches. Ratzinger
was one of two signatories.
The argument of Dominus Iesus is
that to be a proper Church one has to be in full communion with the See of
Rome. DI states
there exists a single Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church,
governed by the Successor of
Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him. The Churches which, while not
existing in perfect communion with the
Catholic Church, remain united to her by means of the closest bonds, that is,
by apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist, are
true particular Churches. Therefore, the Church of Christ is present and operative
also in these Churches, even though they
lack full communion with the Catholic Church, since they do not accept the Catholic
doctrine of the Primacy, which, according
to the will of God, the Bishop of Rome objectively has and exercises over the
On the other hand, the ecclesial communities which have not preserved the
valid Episcopate and the genuine and integral
substance of the Eucharistic mystery, are not Churches in the proper sense;
however, those who are baptized in these
communities are, by Baptism, incorporated in Christ and thus are in a certain
communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.
Baptism in fact tends per se toward the full development of life in Christ,
through the integral profession of faith, the
Eucharist, and full communion in the Church."
Since Rome has consistently rejected
the validity of Anglican Orders this means they consider the CofE to be at
best an 'ecclesial community'.
was therefore welcomed by Evangelicals in the Church of England
since it made liberal eccumenists wake up to what Rome is really
about. However, as subsequent events have shown the lessons have
not been learnt.
Garry Williams addressed this issue
for us at a fringe meeting at General Synod - Toward
See also our pages - The
Church of Rome Has Erred.