I don’t understand why Roman Catholics will not be real Catholics. They claim to be this. But they obviously fail, not just because some of them follow the Roman rite, but because they cannot stand the accepted test of the Vincentian canon. Roman Catholicism does not teach what has been believed always, even by all Roman Catholics. It does not teach what is believed everywhere, for throughout the world there are confessing Christian churches which resist its innovations. It does not teach what is believed by all, unless it wishes to restrict the “all” to its own members. Necessarily, to claim to be “catholic” it has to say that only Roman Catholics are catholic. Even then history refutes its claim. For many of those whom it regards as orthodox did not accept such doctrines as papal infallibility and the assumption of Mary. Why will it not face up honestly to what is involved in being catholic?
I don’t understand why Roman Catholics will not be genuinely apostolic. They set great store by historical descent from the apostles, and especially from Peter. They are anxious to claim the privileges and prerogatives of apostolic descent. They grasp at the peculiar functions of apostolate which they cannot have. But when it comes to the real tests of apostolicity they do not even seem to try. Apostolic doctrine is no great mystery. The Holy Ghost himself has caused it to be embodied in the New Testament Scriptures. The apostolic ministry is no great mystery. It finds equally plain expression, not only in Christ’s commissioning, but in statements of the apostles themselves. The apostolic manner of life, whether in respect of ministers or people, is clearly laid down in both precept and example. But in Roman Catholicism there seems ...1
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