(see post below for context)
Just two weeks prior to the Luis Palau Heartland Festival, which was endorsed by Omaha’s archbishop, the Vatican released a clarifying statement regarding its view of Protestant churches. Here is an excerpt:
QUESTION: Why do the texts of the [Second Vatican] Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?
RESPONSE: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.
In other words, while Palau and his organization were inviting Roman Catholics to participate in their festival in the name of unity, Rome was clarifying that it does not consider any Reformed or Protestant church to be worthy of the title “church.”
Congrats to the Catholics for being very clear on where they stand theologically. I only wish Omaha’s evangelical community could be equally clear on where it stands theologically.