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Pontificium Consilium de Comunicationibus Socialibus (PCCS) (Pontifical Council for Social Communication)
Community Objection Ground
Church of England Policy
Comment Submission Date:14 August 2012 at 17:10:05 UTC
The Church of England and her sister Churches in the Anglican Communion have for centuries denied the Roman Catholic Church the exclusive use of the term "Catholic".
A recent enunciation of this position is found in the formal response of the Church of England's House of Bishops to the Papal Encyclical "Ut unum sint"
See Note 4 appended to
4.It will be noticed that where the Encyclical refers to ‘the Catholic
Church’, we have attempted to distinguish between the one, holy,
catholic and apostolic Church of the Creeds (the Catholic Church) on the
one hand, and the church (and particular churches) in full visible
communion with the Church of Rome on the other (the Roman Catholic
Church). The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, a theological
reality, created by God and participating in his own communion of love.
It is not a ‘denomination’ or any other merely terrestrial institution.
The marks and identity of this Church remain one of the underlying
ecumenical questions. It will not, therefore, surprise anyone that while
we are eager to discuss seriously all themes of theological importance,
we are not willing to accept in advance any particular interpretation of
the points at issue. An example of the ecumenical seriousness of this
point may be seen in the Encyclical’s statement that ‘the Catholic
Church thus affirms that during the two thousand years of her history
she has been preserved in unity’. Our concern that unity should be fully
visible makes it difficult for us simply to accept such a statement, as
the divisions within the Church are painfully obvious to all.
For this reason, in this paper we continue our usual
description of the church in communion with Rome as ‘the
Roman Catholic Church’. We are well aware that the Holy
See has substantial ecclesiological reasons for
preferring an alternative expression. Nevertheless,
those reasons are themselves matters of ecumenical
discussion. In the meantime, the assertion that ‘the
communion of the particular Churches with the Church of
Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is –
in God’s plan – an essential requisite of full and
visible communion’, justifies the description ‘Roman’
and makes it inappropriate for other churches to accept
the Roman Catholic Church’s preferred usage.
Please deny the Vatican ownership of the string ".catholic"
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