The new document -- formulated as five questions and answers -- restates key sections of a 2000 text the pope wrote when he was prefect of the congregation, "Dominus Iesus," which riled Protestant and other Christian denominations because it said they were not true churches but merely ecclesial communities and therefore did not have the "means of salvation." The commentary repeated church teaching that says the Catholic Church "has the fullness of the means of salvation."
"Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church," said the document, released as the pope vacations at a villa in Lorenzago di Cadore, in Italy’s Dolomite mountains. The other communities "cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense" because they do not have apostolic succession -- the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles -- and therefore their priestly ordinations are not valid, it said.The document said that Orthodox churches were indeed "churches" because they have apostolic succession and enjoyed "many elements of sanctification and of truth." But it said they do not recognize the primacy of the pope -- a defect, or a "wound" that harmed them, it said.
"This is obviously not compatible with the doctrine of primacy which, according to the Catholic faith, is an ‘internal constitutive principle’ of the very existence of a particular church," said a commentary from the congregation that accompanied the text.
Ratzinger is feeling his oats. He is predictably standing for his traditions and asserting his place of primacy in the world of Christianity.The truth is. The pope can't save anybody. He has no holes in his hands. There is only one Savior and one Lord, and that is Jesus. The idea that there is apostolic succession is a fallacy beyond credibility. For those who would like to know about Peter being a pope, apostolic succession and other such matters, please take a look at:
Did you know that Peter was married? That celibacy was not demanded for 300 years? That no one claimed to be a pope until 606 AD? That Catholics did not honor the apocrypha until the Council of Trent? that several popes excommunicated other popes? that the popes called each other's doctrines heresies?
Jesus is the only and only Lord of His church and the one and only Savior of the church. There is no other. The gospel is God's means of saving mankind, and the Lord himself adds the saved to His church. The church does not control salvation; the church is the saved (not the Savior).
The church of the New Testament is certainly very different from the Roman Catholic church. For my part, I am pledged to the church I can read about there, not to any other.