LETTER IN DEFENSE OF THE POPE

Following is a letter from James Likoudis, president emeritus of "Catholics United for the Faith", to the editor of "THE CHRISTIAN NEWS", a Lutheran periodical. Issue of July 17, 2000.

 

Editor:
The Christian News
3277 Boeuf Lutheran Road
New Haven, MO 63068

Dear Editor:

With regards to the article (4/3/2000) reporting the views of R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Southern Baptist Seminary' President, as delivered on the "Larry King Program", one can understand why he might think the Catholic Church is a "false church." As Christians move into the Third Millennium, it is apparent that the biases and prejudices of 16th century Protestant polemics remain difficult for some to overcome. Pope John Paul II is accused of having "redefined Christianity and the Gospel."

For anyone who reads thoroughly the Pope's many addresses dealing with Christology, there can be no question that the Pope adheres firmly to the perennial teaching of the Church that Jesus Christ is the One Savior of the human race, and indeed "One of the Trinity." God the Son, true God from true God, made true man from the Virgin Mary for our salvation. John Paul II's Christology draws upon the Church's Tradition in all its richness – the Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the great Scholastics, and the Ecumenical Councils of the Patristic age to confess the doctrines of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the Virginal Conception of Christ, and His Bodily Resurrection – all truths of the Gospel rejected or doubted by all too many heirs of the Protestant Reformation.

Moreover, he has once again recently affirmed that salvation is through Christ alone. He rejects the "mentality which has arisen over the last few years that tends to relativize Christ's Revelation and His unique and universal mediation in regard to salvation." In that same Address of January 28, 2000, he points out another truth of [the] Gospel – "that just as there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ, there is only one true Church. The uniqueness of the Church He founded is found in connection with the salvific mediation of Christ. In fact, the Lord Jesus constituted His Church as a salvific reality: as His Body, through which He Himself operates in the history of salvation. Therefore, just as there is only one Christ, He has only one Body: only one Catholic and Apostolic Church."

The 28,000 Protestant denominations noted in religious encyclopedias surely cannot be that One Catholic and Apostolic Church. Moreover, I would add that for Christians to embrace Jews and Muslims as fellow believers in One God (though they remain, sadly, ignorant of the Revelation by Christ of the Trinity) is not to be "unbiblical" but rather to manifest the charity of the Savior towards those who though not members of the Church may yet come to know and accept the Gospel and enter the Church. The biblical teaching found in Romans 9 and 10 should make clear that Salvation is offered, in a manner known only to God, to every single human being.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
—  James Likoudis
President Emeritus
Catholics United for the Faith (CUF)


About James Likoudis
James Likoudis is an expert in Catholic apologetics. He is the author of several books dealing with Catholic-Eastern Orthodox relations, including his most recent "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church." He has written many articles published by various religious papers and magazines.
He can be reached at:  jlikoudis@cuf.org, or visit  Mr. James Likoudis' Homepage