The London Times is reporting this evening that the Vatican and its chief, Pope Benedict, have decreed that Protestantism and Orthodoxy are not "proper" churches, that they have significant theological "defects." The Vatican is its own state, but I guess its diplomats have been AWOL recently...it wasn't long ago that the Pope insulted Muslims, outraged native peoples in Latin America, and raised the hackles among Jews by expressing enthusiasm for the return of the Latin mass.
I knew that fundamentalism and particularism were gaining strength, but Benedict's predecessor certainly held out as long as he could, visiting the Rome synagogue, initiating dialogue with Orthodox clergy and believers...if he held conservative views himself, he certainly did everything he could to communicate his respect for others' beliefs.
No doubt the Vaticanites are preparing pull in the drawbridge and defend against the coming brickbats...oh, and summon the diplomats back from exile, maybe?!