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Rdg_The Petrine Doctrine! [Proper Christian Churches]!

Bloomberg World News! Tue, 05 Sep 2000, 08:20PM EST!

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Christian religions that differ from Roman Catholicism cannot be considered "proper churches,'' the Vatican said today, reaffirming the position that it is the one, true Christian faith. "The ecclesiastical communities that have not preserved the valid Episcopate'' and do not recognize the Pope as their spiritual leader "are not Churches in the proper sense, ''the Vatican said in its Declaration Dominus Iesus, or Lord Jesus.! ! Roman Catholic doctrine states that St. Peter, who founded the church, received a mission from Jesus to exclusively administer the Christian faith and passed this power on through the popes [Petrine Doctrine].! ! Issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition, the document quickly drew criticism from Protestant church leaders. "The Church of England, and the worldwide Anglican Communion, does not for one moment accept that its orders of ministry and Eucharist are deficient in any way,'' said a statement from George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican church's leading minister. Carey said he was concerned that the Catholic Church's position would set back recent efforts to strengthen relations among faiths.! Pope John Paul II is scheduled to meet next month with Queen Elizabeth II, the head of the Church of England, partly to apologize for wrongs committed against Britain over the last millennium "in the name of the church.''! ! Today's declaration was the second recent pronouncement by the Catholic Church to ignite controversy. The Pope's beatification on Sunday of Pope Pius IX drew criticism from Jewish leaders and human-rights groups, who condemned the antiSemitic policies of the 19th Century pontiff. Beatification is the first step toward sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.! ! The document released today reiterated that the Catholic Church does recognize the baptisms of other Christian churches. "Those who are baptized in these communities are in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Catholic Church, ''the declaration said.!

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Chris Staiti in the Rome bureau (3906) 6786 343 or at cstaiti@bloomberg.net (lk)/ps! Copyright ©2000 Bloomberg, L.P.