I believe that Christ instituted the Church catholic, and while, sadly, there are varying degrees of disunity, we, through baptism, are all the body of Christ. We are all brothers and sisters in Chirst.
If you are Catholic, then you know all about mercy. God is merciful and just and will judge each man’s heart. Jew, Catholic, Protestent, Muslim, Hindu, whatever. A person that has the natural law written on his heart will be judged by that. (Romans 2).
Those calling themselves “Christian” by virtue of their baptism but not in full communion with the Catholic Church are called seperated brothers. Similarly those professing to be Catholic but who are seperated by mortal sin, even though they may call themselves Catholic and sit and pray in the pews of a Catholic Church are no different - they are just as seperated as a non-believer for as long as they remain in grave sin.
There is no such concept as a “Church” outside the Catholic Church, faith and community. Those non-Catholics who are baptised and participate in community worship services are really just members of an “ecclesiastical community”. This is really not much different than a “benevolent club” since there are no special graces other than what Jesus permits to flow through The Catholic Church as a benefit of prayer and petitions.
838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist."324
They have been referred to as “our separated brothers and sisters”
Yes, we are all one body, but the body is broken - how would you like your body broken into 30,000 pieces.
There is one head - Jesus AND there should be only ONE BODY but through division and predjudice it has become what it is today - injured. And instead of tearing down walls we seem more intent on building them higher.
836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation."320 837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’"321 838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist."324
**The Church and non-Christians **
839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325 The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329 840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
841The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day."330 842The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332 844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
**“Outside the Church there is no salvation” **
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence 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 to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337 848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
Jesus Christ founded only one Church. It exists on earth as the mystical Body of Christ in its fullness in the Catholic Church which includes of course all the Eastern rites in union with the Catholic Church. All other bodies that profess the Creed and baptize validly are also Christian, but in less than perfect union with Christ and His Church. Orthodox Churches are formally is schism, divided not so much in doctrine, practice and liturgy as over issues of authority. Protestants, meaning those bodies who broke away from the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation, or further broke from denominations that arose at that time (such as Methodists, who separated from C of E) are divided not only on issues of authority, but of doctrine, practice and liturgy. Denominations that do not profess a creed and/or do not practice baptism in the trinitarian formula with water, may or may not be Christian, but it is for the Catholic Church to make that determination as the one Body established by Christ with his authority to do so.
All who profess Christ are Christians to a degree, but not all are fully in union with Christ, including some who call themselves Catholic but in fact reject key aspects of Catholicism.
I am sorry to burst your history revisionism bubble, but it is the same Catholic church addressing different issues.
At the time of the council of Trent, it was dealing with people who already belonged to the church that Jesus established and were leaving this true church for the false teachings of the different Protestant denominations which were starting up, so of course it would put an anathema on them, while now the church is dealing with the people who have grown up in these other denominations and by no fault of their own, are separated from the true teachings of the Church that Jesus established.