Papal challenge

The remarks ascribed to the Free Presbyterians regarding the Pope's visit to the UK (your report, 10 June) strike me as sounding uncharitable and boorish. On the other hand, the papal visit throws into focus some thorny issues.

The Pope recently reaffirmed the age-old Vatican view that Reformed and Protestant churches are not real churches at all because they do not subscribe to Papal authority, etc. The Church of Scotland , Free Kirk, Baptist Church and, indeed, the Anglican church, are thus, for Rome, in serious error.

Surely the Pope and his cardinals and bishops in the UK, good men as they are, should be challenged about this issue? Rome should be persuaded to recognise these other Christian churches as valid, and their rites and priests and ministers as bearers of different but equally Christian values to their own. This is a problem that ought to be resolved before any tinkering with the Act of Settlement can be considered .


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