Pope: Other Christians not true churches 

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I for one am glad this is being stated by the Pope at an official level, because this is exactly what consistent, faithful Catholic doctrine teaches. All the Pope is doing is reiterating that which they already believe but have not been spoken of at an official level in a long time. Only the Roman Catholic church and those associated with her are true Christian churches, so the Catholic teaching says. Many evangelicals have gotten really upset about this, and I just have to ask ... why? It seems evangelicals don't really get what Catholics believe. Well, here is a summary of their teaching: the Roman Catholic church is the one true Christian Church, there are no others (as asserted by the Pope); only the Roman Catholic church can interpret Scripture for the lay people (William Tyndale's fight?); only in and through the Catholic church mass can your sins be cleansed and forgiven (by the priests) through the literal transformation of the elements (communion - bread and wine) into the body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation) before partaking of them; upon death, faithful Catholics with remaining sin must work off their sin in purgatory before entering heaven; only through the perpetual re-sacrifice of Christ in the mass can we be cleansed of sin, but only temporarily until the next mass, hence the reason for purgatory, you are never fully cleansed; Scripture (namely Gen. through Malachi, Matt through Rev.) is not God's infallible, final Word to us, but through the Catholic Church alone (Sola Eclesia) is infallibility asserted. This is just scratching the surface. Then you have penance (making a financial payment for the remittance of your sins, 95 theses of Luther?) and a host of other things that are absolute heresy, as condemned at the Reformation.

Roman Catholic teaching concerning God's and man's work in salvation, the atonement of Christ on the cross and what it accomplished, the authority of the Scriptures, the ultimate point and end of all things in creation, as well as many other issues, are the very things the Reformers had their blood spilled over for the sake of upholding the Biblical Gospel, the only way to be saved. Out of the Reformation came five Biblical doctrines specifically against Roman Catholic theology. We must relearn these as the church. Just as the Pope has reasserted Catholic theology and their stance on doctrine, so also we as the Church of believers must reassert the Five Solas of the Reformation against them as well, that men died for at the hands of Roman Catholic priests in their day. This is not en emotional issues, it is theological and has to do with the nature of salvation itself. Protestantism is a protest of the doctrines as stated by Roman Catholic teaching, that eclipses the Gospel with works-based penance and salvation. Evangelicals must not mingle with the fellowship of Roman Catholics as if they were believing essentially the same things. They do not believe in Christ alone for salvation; it is faith in Christ plus our good works that saves us. This is highly erroneous (Galatians, Romans, etc).

The Reformers recovered the Biblical Gospel out of the hands of a dead church who wanted to keep a moralistic bind on men, thus keeping them from seeing the freedom they can have by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of the law (Galatians 2:16). And in this work of redemption in Christ they can now live lives honoring to the glory of God, by the work of God alone in us, not our work. When Christ said, "It is finished," breathing His last breath upon the cross, I think He meant it. So the question is: "Did Christ die to actually save people on the cross, or did he just make it possible to save ourselves with some divine help?" Catholic theology states the latter ... we state the former. Catholics put forward a perpetual, repetitious sacrifice in the mass alone that does not completely remit sins and then claim to be the true Church. For the sake of Christ, we must hold up the Gospel in all its majesty as the source of salvation and all life change to the glory of God. It is time as the body of believers we stand up for those Five truths and reassert them once again so that many may be saved through real Gospel, both within our churches and outside.

A Summary of the Five Solas of the Reformation against Catholic teaching
Five Solas of the Reformation - Section on Monergism.com

Just a Few of The Most Influential Reformer's - MP3 Biographies by John Piper (hover over MP3's to play in browser):

William Tyndale (MP3)
Martin Luther (MP3)
John Calvin (MP3)
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