I am still amazed at the frequency at which I see some Protestant ministers privately preaching against the Catholic Church to their congregations. It amazes me for the following reasons:
- Catholic priests don’t preach against Protestant denominations. Though willfully separated, they are considered fellow Christians, dignified by baptism.
- All Sacred Scripture and most Protestant faith traditions came down to Protestants from the Catholic Church which was founded by Christ on St. Peter, the first Pope.
We need to strive to learn and accept that there is and can only be one Church of Christ, the entire Body of which subsists in the Catholic Church, against which Christ promised the gates of Hell would not prevail (the “gates” being, among other things, the proud spirits of rivalry, division, schism, and in some cases, even hatred).
It can be stated, as I was inspired to write today after opening up the Gospel of Matthew, that a purpose of Vatican II is as follows:
To prepare the Church for reunification of all of the Baptized in Christ.
Praying for Christian Unity [picture from Institute of Middle East Studies]
What Vatican II has done can be summed up here in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:
“And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” [Gospel of Matthew 9:17 – 18, RSVCE Holy Bible]
With Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Novus Ordo Missae comes the “fresh wineskins” which allow for the Protestant brethren, the “new wine” to return to the Church. As well, the rewrite of Canon Law in certain areas (more “fresh wineskins”) may pave the way for the return of our Eastern Orthodox brethren (more “new wine”) to the Church in full communion with the Roman Pontiff.
I look forward to the great “day” to come; it is coming soon.