2/6/2013 10:58:38 AM
Does Rome Condemn or Welcome those who Disagree?
What is Rome's view of those who believe contrary to her teachings? Notice the transition in the 20th century:
"Whence it sometimes happens through error that Christians mingle with the women of Jews and Mohammedans and, on the other hand, Jews and Mohammedans mingle with those of the Christians. Therefore, in order that such ruinous commingling of this kind through error may not serve as a refuge for further excuse for excess, we decree that such people of both sexes, that is, Jews and Mohammedans, be distinguished in public by a difference in dress in every province of Christendom and at all times, since this was also enjoined on such people by Moses." - IV Lateran Council (13th century)
"The Holy Roman Church condemns, disapproves, anathematizes, and declares to be separated from the Body of Christ, which is the Church, everyone who holds any contrary opinions." -Council of Florence (15th century)
"These men are Protestants; they are heretics! Have nothing to do with them!" -St. Anthony Mary Claret (19th century)
"The Church's relationship with the Muslims. The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." -Catechism of the Catholic Church (p841) (20th century)
"The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist." -Catechism of the Catholic Church (p838) (20th century)
One must conclude that either 1) Rome has come to contradict herself, exposing her man made origins and questioning her claims of infallibility or 2) Rome still believes what she has long taught and is now deceitfully rephrasing her teachings in an attempt to win others to her through claims of shared unity.
What should the discerning Christian make of this? 2 Cor 6:14 says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" Rome was correct in her earlier teachings that what she believed (a false gospel) was mutually exclusive to contrary teachings, especially that of those who hold to the biblical gospel of grace. Likewise, the born again believer is not to partner with Rome in any way for she is apostate. However, we are called to reach the lost (Matt 28:18-20) and to provide a defense for the hope of the gospel that we have in us (1 Pet 3:15). May Christians have clarity on these issues and lovingly reach out to Catholics with gentleness and respect and give them the only truth (the biblical gospel) that can set them free.