Beliefnet members haven't stopped talking about it. In a poll on Beliefnet's Catholic page, nearly 40% of members said there was nothing wrong with what the Vatican said. In a similar poll on the Protestant page, more than half the members said there's no such thing as "one true church."
What do you think? Read the opinions below--and then join the debate.
"Unfortunately, in an attempt to steer Catholics from 'relativism,' the church officials have belittled their religious relatives. Shameful! Don't forget; we are children of the same God."
"My daughter, who became Roman Catholic when she fell in love, and with joy embraced the Catholic faith because it resonated familiarly with her upbringing as a Baptist, is embarrassed by her new priest who has proclaimed that all us Protestants are not part of the true faith."
"Without a doubt, the media has once again engaged in a frenzy of Roman Catholic-baiting over a Vatican declaration that would pass muster in any religion: We're right, they're not, but we can still talk. The disturbing sub-context, though, is that, undoubtedly knowing how the media would treat it, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith chose to release 'Dominus Iesus' without amplifying language supporting ecumenism."
"Competition belongs in business and athletics, not in divine experience."
"'Dominus Iesus' does not damn anyone, as writers imply. It simply says Baptists are Baptists, Catholics are Catholics, and Jesus is the Way. It simply restates the obvious."
"This is nothing new, folks. We have always taught this. It quotes Vatican II extensively. Ecumenism demands truth, and we have to be true to our faith. Only then can we achieve any unity worthy of the name. Anything else is an illusion that won't last and means nothing."
"What 'Dominus Iesus' has done is thrown thirty years of dialogue right out the window, and confirmed for many that the church's commitment to ecumenism is nothing more than a missionary ploy. I guess we liberal Catholics (and non-Catholics) are disappointed that the church is reverting to its previous narrow-mindedness after showing so much promise."
"As I understand it, the basic difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics is that Catholics believe that salvation as a gift from Christ comes through the church, while Protestants believe that the church merely points to salvation as a free gift from Christ. How could Catholics possibly accept us as "proper" churches when we don't accept their basic assumption that the church is a conduit for salvation but merely a pointer to it?"
"I have no problem with their claim to the exclusivity of Christ for salvation. This is a particular religious stance that can be respected, one I happen to agree with. But the declaration of the imperfect nature of the Protestant churches smacks of the same arrogance that weakened the argument of the psuedo-apology offered for their role in the Holocaust and other events."
"I'm a little annoyed that everyone is portraying this as a return to the Inquisition. If you were to poll your average Baptist, Mormon, Muslim, etc.. on the whether they believe their religion had the fullness of truth, I bet your response who be about 80-90%. What's the big deal?"
"Two thumbs up for the Vatican for laying this out on the table. Ecumenical dialogue is great--but relativism erodes the very cement that holds us together."
"I'm very leery of any denomination which claims to be on the inside track to heaven. This is the sign of a cult, not Christianity."
"We Protestants should stop welcoming members of the Roman Catholic Church to ecumenical groups and events."