Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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The Friendlier Face of Rome?

Martyn McGeown


Given recent ecumenical propaganda concerning "the friendlier face of Rome," could someone explain what Vatican II, which met in the 1960s, meant when it stated in "Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences" that the Roman Church "condemns with anathema those who say that indulgences are useless or that the Church has not the power to grant them" (Chapter IV, paragraph 8)? Anathema means "accursed." Does this anathema mean the same thing as the anathemas in the Bible (I Cor. 16:22; Gal. 1:8-9)? If it does, how can Rome embrace Reformed Protestants (who deny that indulgences are necessary) as "fellow believers" or "separated brethren," yet "brethren" notwithstanding?

The same council stated that "they could not be saved, who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or remain in it" ("Dogmatic Constitution on the Church," Chapter II, paragraph 16). Of whom is it speaking? Wayward Roman Catholics, stubborn Protestants or inconsistent ecumenists?