"Wounds to Unity"


I don’t understand how there are wounds to the unity of the Catholic Church as the Catechism says when it also affirms that the Church is ONE, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. I understand what they’re talking about, that the Orthodox and Protestants and so on aren’t a part of the Catholic Church. But how does that wound the unity of the Church itself? The catechism says, “her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission.” So if there are wounds to it, then what is that saying about the Church? Can anyone explain?


When the Church says there is one Apostolic, Holy and Catholic Church, she only affirms that there is but one Church, and one Chair that we must adhere to, as St. Cyprian of Carthage writes. However, the Church also acknowledges the reality we live in–that though there is one Church, there are divisions in it: thus we have the Orthodox Church as well as the various Protestant denominations, aside from Mother Church herself. These are all part of the Church, though not united perfectly with her. That is why we say that the Holy Father is not only Vicar of the Catholic Church (the usage of which strictly means those who adhere to the Catholic Faith and the Vicar of Christ), but of the Universal Church (in this sense meaning encompassing all of Christianity, including Orthodox and Protestantism). So, though not united perfectly, the Pope is still seen as the Vicar of all Christians.


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