Thursday, July 12, 2007

The True Religion

The Pope:
The Vatican reiterated Tuesday that the Catholic Church is the one true church established by Jesus Christ and that other Christian denominations are defective, although they have elements of truth and sanctity.

Unlike Atrios, I think this is a bad thing. Not because I think all religions are the same, nor is it because I think that recognizing differences in religion is bad. It isn't even because I think that people shouldn't feel that the religion they practice is the best religion out there. It's because it's a lie.
Worship what calls to you with the faith that you have. Believe in what your faith leads you to. But don't try to sell some song and dance that the Catholic church is the church established by Jesus Christ, because that's not true. The Catholic church didn't exist until Christ had died and the religion that became known as Christianity spread into Eastern Europe and was adopted by the Roman Empire. The Vatican could say that the Catholic Church is the oldest established Christian religion. It could say that it was created from the one true church that Paul the apostle brought to Europe, but it can't claim to be what it isn't .
That being said, this is totally a semantic argument. I don't think it's wrong for religious leaders to inform their followers that their religion is the true or correct one. But creating clout based on a lie doesn't really hold much integrity. Protestants could make the claim that they belong to the "true Christian" religion because they broke ties with the Vatican when it was allowing it's doctrine to overshadow the Bible, but they couldn't say they practice the church established by Christ, because Christ didn't establish a church. Christ in the bible taught of a new way of thinking and worshiping that was radical at the time, but he didn't found a church, Peter did. I learned that ironically at PSR class in a ... you guessed it... Catholic Church.

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