Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The True One True Church

My e-mail contacts keep me abreast of theological blogs, and make me aware of ongoing disputes. For example, recently the encouraging and beautiful meeting between the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch was used by one self-appointed Roman Catholic apologist as a springboard to attack the validity of the Metropolitan's title, and to set up an apologetic for Rome against Orthodoxy. I like to think that the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch would be saddened by this use of the news about such a wonderful meeting.

Nonetheless, I have decided that I agree with the Roman Catholic apologists who say the Orthodox Church is not the One True Church; and I agree with the Orthodox apologists who say that the Roman Catholic Church is not the One True Church. In this matter they both prove their points; they are both right.

On the Pontifications Blog, Al Kimmel stated it as one of his "Laws" that "any church that does not claim to be the One True Church is only a denomination or sect." I like Al, personally, but I must say that he has stopped short of the full logic of this allegedly self-evident law. We should go a step further. So here is my Law: Anyone who does not claim to be, all by himself (or herself as the case may be) the One True Church, and to possess in his person the fullness of the Catholic Church, is not a church, but only a part or member of the body.

Therefore, I am announcing now, after much consideration , that I have decided that I (as in me, myself, yours truly) am the One True Church- just me and no one else. Yep. Unless you are me you cannot enter into the fullness of the Catholic Church. I am sorry about the uncertainty of everybody else's eternal standing; but, hey, that's how the cookie crumbles.


Anonymous said...

I tremble to ask how anyone would join the One True Church in your definition.... :)

Truly yours,
Fr. Stephen Freeman

Anonymous said...

Sorry Father,

You can't be the One True Church because I'M the One True Church.

Albion Land said...

Fr Stephen,

You miss the point. The logical extension of Fr Hart's thesis is that the rest of us are all damned. End of story.

Sad it is that both he and anonymous are in error.


Ken said...

ISTM that the RCC has dropped the "one true church" terminology in favor of the "fulness of the faith". IOW, that the RCC only claims that it represents the fulness of the Church. Other groups, in RCC thinking, are defective in some way yet are still part of the Church. In some cases only by baptism and in some cases by baptism through local churches (i.e. those with valid apostolic succession).

In any case, though it may be one of the Pontificator's Laws, I've never seen any actual Magesterial teaching, even implicitly, that a group must self-identify as "one true church" in order for it to be so. Of course, I fully realize that Fr. Kimel's law are somewhat in jest, yet sometimes its thrown about as established fact.

Strider said...

Trackback Pontifications :-)

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Implicit in my jest is the suggestion that the self-appointed apologists are misrepresenting the spirit that is now in their respective churches- or should I say the Spirit? What happened between the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch was wonderful; their embrace (which is a new tradition of sorts since 1966- I think 1966), however, is ignored by some who think themselves to be their followers.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The next Hart family reunion should prove to be great fun. May I propose a Pontificator rule to help the Hart brothers in their ongoing theological debates: When two Harts agree, Bob probably loses.
- Al Kimmel (in his trackback)

It doesn't matter. As the One True Church, I can just anathamatize anybody at will. Gosh this is fun- it does get a little lonely though.

Anonymous said...

So.....if I'm not really the One True Church do I have to give up my universal jursidiction?

Albion Land said...


You're lucky not to be burnt at the stake for having the temerity to challenge the Truly True One True Church.

You have been warned!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Albion-

First, I am in Fort Worth and you are in Cyprus. What a silly notion to threaten to burn the EXTREMELY TRUE ONE TRUE CHURCH at the stake. We have had such drought conditions here for so long that I don't think the local sheriff would allow such a thing...and just think of the distance you would have to travel to carry out suchy a heinous act! For that I must excommunicate you from me, the EXTREMELY TRUE ONE TRUE CHURCH.

Anonymous said...

Since you are only stating this now, could it hen be safely said that you are the EMERGING Extremely True One True Church?

Warwickensis said...


you are lucky. I was the One True Church, but then I got into a pickle about my Infallibility and in the end I had to excommunicate myself.

Bernard Brandt said...

I am reminded of Dean Swift's lampoon of the Calvinists of his day (best sung to the hymn tune: "O God, our help in ages past"):

We are the sweet, selected few-
The rest of you are damned.
There's room enough in Hell for you-
We can't have Heaven crammed.

poetreader said...

And, as someone once said, "I would never join a church that would accept me."

So far as I can tell the One And Only True One True Church, of necessity, being pure, has no members whatever.


Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose it's one way of finding out who's been reading this blog.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

And, as someone once said, "I would never join a church that would accept me."

The quote is, "I would never join a club that would allow people like me to be members." It was Groucho Marx.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

On a more serious note, I have dealt explicitly with the Pontificator's Fourth Law on his own blog ages ago and then taken those arguments (mostly word for word) and combined them with some refining into a single article which was put on this blog in three parts and here as a whole:


On a less serious note, the response I have given to Al's Fourth Law and my identification of the Church might be called somewhat less exclusive than Fr Hart's! By more than 9 orders of magnitude!!! (Let's see if the mathematically inclined get what that means.)

Rev. Dr. Hassert said...

Has the once and present Father Kimmel declared himself head of the Holy Roman Church? Or only that he represents the fullness thereof?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anglican Cleric-

Fr. Kimmel hasn't declared himself the sole head of the Holy Roman Church...he has entered into a triumvirate headship with David Burt and Taylor Marshall. The rest of us are damned to be sure...