Access to Salvation
As noted earlier, Pope Benedict has initiated a new round of discussions about Christ’s defective church. The problem I see with such an assertion is that it invites a review of the historical basis of the claim of continuity going back to Peter and the rock on which the church stands. Already the internet has responded by making available The Criminal History of the Papacy which is too graphic for me to even mention the details. Perhaps someone will provide the Reader’s Digest version of the chain of succession and the how the church rewrote its history to excise its excesses and eliminate the interruptions, called “vacations” totaling more than a hundred years, so as to “document” its claim of papal continuity. There is also some question as to whether Benedict should be recognized as the 16th legitimate pope to bear this name. It baffles me why a church that had four popes at one time would assert that my church is defective.
It would be more helpful for us to recognize that we, humans, are unable to define the persons who are the true members of the one true church. The question of defining access to the sanctuary did not start with the church that the followers of Jesus created. It was a question debated by the prophets. Luke also participated in that debate.