What about the consistency of the modern and historic treatment of Protestants?

I wanted to ask an important question that I’ve been struggling with for some time. In the past, Protestants have been tortured and murdered by Roman Catholic authorities and yet, today, Protestants are generally regarded as true Christians, among the Body of Christ. If that is so, would not all those who professed the same beliefs have been Christians, including those tortured and murdered in history?

How, if that is so, can the Roman Catholic church avoid the accusation of the Apostle John in I John 3:13-17?

“13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

Dear E

The Catholic Church considers Protestants to be Christians because they have been baptized into the Body of Christ, a fact that most or at least, many Protestants would deny. For them, baptism is a symbol of their being Christians, not the cause of it.

Certainly there have been moral atrocities on the part of both Catholics AND Protestants in their dealings with each other.

I agree, it behooves all Christians to love each other with the love of Christ.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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