Addition: Austin Cline at About.com gives a brief atheist perspective on the whole True Christian™ debates:
In principle, every Christian church has a right to insist that only they are fully Christian, but from an atheistic perspective all are equally Christian. Atheists consistently have to deal with Christians telling us that this or that group aren't "really" Christian (because they are violent, because they accept gays, etc.). Cases like this, though, where the Vatican is officially denying the validity of all other claims to being equally Christian help reveal why we outsiders just can't accept such claims at face value.LINK TO FULL STORY
By The Associated Press Thu Jul 19, 12:03 PM ET
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Instead of taking offense at a recent Vatican statement reasserting the primacy of the , evangelicals should seize the chance to respond with equal candor that "any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church," according to a prominent Southern Baptist leader.
The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of, wrote on his blog that he appreciated the document's clarity in voicing a key distinction between Catholics and Protestants over papal authority. He said those differences are often forgotten "in this era of confusion and theological laxity."
"We should together realize and admit that this is an issue worthy of division," Mohler wrote. "The Roman Catholic Church is willing to go so far as to assert that any church that denies the papacy is no true church. Evangelicals should be equally candid in asserting that any church defined by the claims of the papacy is no true church. This is not a theological game for children, it is the honest recognition of the importance of the question."
This month, thereleased a document restating the contention that the Roman Catholicism is the one, true path to salvation. Other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, the document said, restating the views of a 2000 document.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which headed before becoming pope, said it issued the new document because some contemporary theological interpretations of the Second Vatican Council's ecumenical intent had been "erroneous or ambiguous" and had prompted confusion and doubt.