To explain why I believe the Orthodox Church is not the one and only true church as she claims to be.
Background | Weird Doctrines | The Way of Schism | One Church / Unity | The Seven Ecumenical Councils | What is True? | Contradictions | The Eastern Pope | Church / State | Pope | Filioque | Ethnic and Nathionalistic | References
I learned about the Orthodox Church years after I converted from fundamentalist evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism. After attending an Eastern Catholic church I got interested in the Orthodox Church. There was an OCA Orthodox church next to my house and I attended the Divine Liturgy a few times. I felt I needed to consider the truth claims of the Orthodox Church since I had never encountered these.
After studying the teachings and doctrines of the Orthodox Church from the Orthodox point of view, I concluded that neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Church are the one true church.
Most references in my article are from the book "The Orthodox Church", by Timothy Ware, an Orthodox bishop and well-known teacher of Orthodoxy. Some of the citations are paraphrases but I have attempted to be faithful to the author's meaning.
I do not in any way wish to put-down the Orthodox Church. I believe the Orthodox Church has valid sacraments and a valid priesthood. I would not hesitate to recommend the Orthodox Church to anyone. I wish I could take communion during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy.
I am not biased against the Orthodox Church. Part of what motivated me to investigate the claims of the Orthodox Church was that I was discouraged with the rampant liberalism which has invaded the Catholic Church. I was hoping that the claims of the Orthodox Church were true so I could convert. In fact, I was already discussing my conversion with an Orthodox priest.
A couple of quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the Orthodox Church:
Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist. (838)
The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all — by apostolic succession — the priesthood and the eucharist. (1399)
My objections to the doctrines I list below is not that they are heretical or incorrect but that the emphasis is unbalanced. Certainly there are various ways to describe truth and it is to be expected that theologians have come up with various descriptions of God's revealed truth. Even the Catholic Church has teachings in this category. The difference is that the Orthodox Church seems to regard these as essential, vital doctrines rather than merely a perspective, point of view, or a way of describing something.
For Orthodoxy our salvation and redemption mean our deification. (pg. 231)
This sense of the intrinsic sacredness of the earth — created good by God, corrupted through the fall, but redeemed with us in Christ. (pg. 235)
Vision of Divine and Uncreated Light. (pg. 66, 69, 226)
Essence vs. Energies of God. (pg. 67, 68, 209, 232) This doctrine has apparently become a cornerstone of Orthodox theology.
Filioque (see that section)
The question of the sign of the Cross may seem trivial, but it has to be remembered how great an importance Orthodox have always attached to ritual actions, to the symbolic gestures whereby the inner belief of the Christian is expressed. In the eyes of many, a change in the symbol constituted a change in the faith. (pg. 111)
Orthodox believe that the changes in the Septuagint were made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and are to be accepted as part of God's continuing revelation. (pg. 200)
Orthodox theologians teach that there is one God because there is one Father. The other two persons trace their origin to the Father and are defined in terms of their relation to Him. But the west finds its principle of unity, no longer in the person of the Father, but in the essence which the three persons share. (pg. 214)
The Father is the unique origin, source and cause of the Godhead. (pg. 213)
As a result of the Fall, a new form of existence appeared on earth — that of disease and death. By turning away from God, who is immortality and life, humans put themselves in a state that was contrary to nature, and this unnatural condition led to an inevitable disintegration of their being and eventually to physical death. (pg. 222, 223)
Our will is weakened and enfeebled by what the Greeks call 'desire' and the Latins 'concupiscence'. (pg. 223)
The Catholic view seems more accurate. Concupiscence is our inordinate desire to sin. Desire is not necessarily a bad thing, as when the object of the desire is a moral good. Buddhism is based on freeing ourselves from desire.
Orthodoxy holds a less exalted idea of the human state before the fall, and is also less severe than the west in its view of the consequences of the fall. Adam fell, not from a great height of knowledge and perfection, but from a state of undeveloped simplicity. (pg. 223)
Certainly the Catholic Church does not teach that Adam was a spiritual giant, merely that God's grace was upon him.
The west tends to think of the Crucifixion in isolation, separating it too sharply from the Resurrection. The western worshipper, when he meditates upon the Cross, is encouraged all too often to feel an emotional sympathy with the Man of Sorrows, rather that to adore the victorious and triumphant king. (pg. 228)
We are to view Jesus through Mary's eyes. Certainly she had strong emotional feelings. The New Testament has many passages exhorting us to suffer with Christ (Philippians 1:29, Philippians 3:10, 1 Peter 2:21, 1 Peter 4:1, 1 Peter 4:13, Romans 8:17, 2 Corinthians 1:5).
When they wanted to discover the true faith, the Russians did not ask about moral rules or demand a reasoned statement of doctrine, but watched the different nations at prayer. (pg. 266)
This is scary.
One goal of being a member of the Orthodox Church is to be in unity with the true church rather than being schismatic. But many new Orthodox Churches begin in a state of schism with other Orthodox Churches. Many now-recognized Orthodox Churches went through a long initial period of being schismatic. I suppose you could even say that the Catholic Church is one of these because it has not yet received recognition as an Orthodox Church.
Church of Czech Republic and Slovakia is autonomous but not autocephalous, however some regard it as autocephalous. (pg. 6)
So is it autonomous or autocephalous?
Orthodox Church in America has not yet been officially recognized by the majority of other Orthodox Churches. (pg. 7)
This is the church I would have joined. Would I have been a schismatic because this church is not recognized by other Orthodox churches?
Local Churches can be created, suppressed, and then restored again, with very little disturbance to the life of the Church as a whole. (pg. 7)
It may not disturb the church as a whole but it sure seems disturbing that it is so uncertain whether a particular local Church is a member of the one true church or not.
The Catholic way of establishing new churches is as follows.
One method of establishing new Orthodox autonomous or autocephalous churches:
The common schismatic Orthodox way of establishing new autonomous or autocephalous churches:
The Metropolia of Kiev, however, continued to be within the jurisdiction of Constantinople until 1686, when it passed under Moscow, although this happened without any proper blessing from the Ecumenical Patriarch. (pg. 103)
This event technically did not happen since it was not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch.
The resulting 'self-consecrated' Ukrainian heirarchy, as it was termed, has never been recognized by the rest of the Orthodoc Church. (pg. 166)
Does this mean that members of this Church are not part of the one true Church?
From 1926 onwards the Russians in the USA formed de facto an autonomous group. At a Synod in Cleveland in 1946 a majority of the delegates voted to return to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriachate on condition that Moscow allowed them to retain their 'complete autonomy as it exists at the present'. At that time the Patriarchate was unable to consent to this. (pg. 178)
In 1970 the Church of Russia granted the Metropolia not just autonomy but autocephaly. This "Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America' (OCA) has been formally recognized by the Churches in Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland and Czechoslovakia, but not as yet by Constantinople or any other Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarchate takes the view that it alone, acting in consultation with the other Orthodox Churches, has the right to establish an autocephalous Church in America. But despite this unresolved dispute, the OCA continues in full communion with the rest of the Orthodox Churches. (pg. 178)
It seems to me that the system for recognizing churches in the Orthodox Church is lacking some key ingredients.
Up until the end of the First World War, the Russian archdiocese was the only organized Orthodox presence in North America, and most Orthodox parishes, whatever their ethnic character, looked to the Russian archbishop for pastoral care. Although this arrangement was never formally accepted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, canonical and organizational unity existed de facto. (pg. 182)
But this contradicts the statements that in order to be a valid Orthodox Church it must be recognized as such by the other Orthodox Churches, particularly the Patriarchates.
The Orthodox model of providing for global church unity does not seem to work. I believe the model is flawed and that institutional unity is no longer possible.
In the holy land, two rivals resident within Palestine itself, now divided the Christian population between them — a Latin Patriarch at Acre, a Greek at Jerusalem. When two rival bishops claimed the same throne and two hostile congregations existed in the same city, the division became an immediate reality in which simple believers were directly implicated. (pg. 60)
This development in Palestine and at other places in the world provides evidence that Christian unity is not a result of institutional unity. The Orthodox model of competing Patriarchates doesn't work in practice. This is the situation we have in the world today: Protestants try to convert Catholics; Catholic and Orthodox each claim to be the true church to the exclusion of the other.
With increasing frustration, both laith and clergy are asking: When shall we be visibly one? (pg. 184)
Even Orthodox are aware that their church suffers from disunity.
At the great gatherings of the World Council of Churches, the Orthodox delegates have often found themselves ill-prepared to speak with a united voice. Why, they have asked, does it require the World Council to bring us Orthodox together? (pg. 187)
If Orthodox claim to constitute the one true Church, what then do the consider the status of those Christians who do not belong to their communion? Different Orthodox would answer in different ways, for although nearly all Orthodox are agreed in their fundamental teaching concerning the Church, they do not entirely agree concerning the practical consequences which follow from this teaching. (pg. 307, 308)
In other words, there is a core set of essential doctrine which all Orthodox Churches accept but they disagree about the rest. They even disagree about who is and who is not a member of the Orthodox Church, which they consider to be the one true church.
The Byzantimes for their part remained enclosed in their own world of ideas, and did little to meet the west half way. In the ninth and in later centuries they usually failed to take western learning as seriously as it deserved. (pg. 46)
It simply cannot be true that the western church is not valid merely because the east and west drifted apart culturally over the centuries.
The climax in anti-Roman feeling came in 1755, when the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, and Jerusalem declared Latin baptism to be entirely invalid. (pg. 98)
If Catholic baptism is invalid then certainly the Catholic Eucharist is invalid. The Catholic Church considers Orthodox sacraments to be valid.
In the western conception of the Church unity has triumphed over diversity, and the result has been too great a centralization and too great an emphasis on Papal authority. (pg. 216)
Without central authority there is fragmentation.
Just as each person of the Trinity is autonomous, so the Church is made up of a number of independent autocephalous Churches. (pg. 240)
A separate Greek Orthodox archdiocese was set up in 1922, and in due course the other national groups followed suit by establishing dioceses of their own. So there arose the present multiplicity of 'jurisdictions', a situation as bewildering to the American Orthodox themselves as it is to outside observers. (pg. 182)
And this situation demonstrates that the Orthodox idea of Church Unity is flawed at the core.
The doctrinal definitions of an Ecumenical Council are infallible. (pg. 201)
The Church's infallibility is expressed chiefly through Ecumenical Councils. (pg. 248)
This statement is often made by the Orthodox Church yet there are many truths proclaimed which were never discussed by the seven Ecumenical Councils.
There are important doctrines not defined by the general councils, which every Orthodox is bound to accept as an integral part of his faith. (pg. 99)
Orthodoxy believes that the council is the chief organ whereby God has chosen to guide His people, and it regards the Catholic Church as essentially a conciliar Church. (pg. 15)
How can one be certain that a particular gathering of bishops is truly an Ecumenical Council and therefore that its decrees are infallible? This is a more difficult question to answer than might at first appear, and though it has been much discussed by Orthodox during the past hundred years, it cannot be said that the solutions suggested are entirely satisfactory. (pg. 251, 252)
The west, while it accepted the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, did not play a very active part in the Councils themselves. (pg. 47)
Apparently the east was willing to allow the west to merely accept the decisions of the councils — but the west did not accept every Canon of these councils. The east should, therefore, consider these Canons as invalid.
The many bishops assembled in council freely reach a common mind under the guidance of the Spirit. (pg. 241)
Implies consensus, not voting.
In a true council no single member arbitrarily imposes his will upon the rest, but each consults with the others, and in this way they all freely achieve a 'common mind'. (pg. 15)
This view of the agreements reached by the bishops at a council could only be met if decisions were made by consensus and if all bishops were present. However, in each of the seven Orthodox ecumenical councils, many bishops were not present (especially those from the west) and decisions were based on voting. In addition, the Eastern Emperor had undue influence in some councils as did certain individuals. Politics was involved in these councils.
The councils clarified and articulated the visible organization of the Church, crystallizing the position of the five great sees or Patriarchates. (pg. 20)
However, the Orthodox Church does not now honor the position of the Roman bishop, the pope, as she honors the other Patriarchates. The Orthodox Church is practicing something which is in opposition to the stated decrees of the councils. Thus, they ignore canons of the seven Ecumenical Councils when it suits them.
The controversial aspect of the second Ecumenical Council lay in its third Canon, which assigned Constantinople second place, after Rome. Rome chose to ignore the offending Canon. (pg. 23)
To be true to the claims about the Orthodox accepting Councils as a key source of truth they should not accept this Canon since it was not in the common mind of the church.
Pope Leo repudiated Canon 28, but the east has ever since recognized its validity. (pg. 26)
Next to the Bible, it is the seven councils which the Orthodox Church takes as its standard and guide. (pg. 35)
But the councils don't address very many topics. There needs to be a ongoing source of truth. The Eastern Orthodox Churches have added things since the time of the councils but they have no way to ensure their truthfulness without the councils. If the main Partiarchs accept something as truth, that seems to be what is accepted by the church as a whole.
The Greeks held that in matters of the faith the final decisions rested not with the Pope alone, but with a Council representing all the bishops of the church. (pg. 49)
However, the east was all too happy to exclude the bishops of the west.
If decisions by a local council or an invividual bishop are accepted by the rest of the Church, then they come to acquire Ecumenical authority (i.e. a universal authority similar to that possessed by the doctrinal statements of an Ecumenical Council). (pg. 201)
Excluding, of course, decisions by Catholic bishops or councils.
Orthodoxy stress the infallibility of the Church as a whole. (pg. 239)
They exclude the Catholic Church from this group.
The formulation of Orthodox doctrine did not cease with the seventh Ecumenical Council. (pg. 201)
But how are the new doctrines ratified by the various Orthodox Churches? What assurance do we have that they got it right?
A council cannot be considered ecumenical unless its decrees are accepted by the whole church. (pg. 252)
Does this include even the ignorant masses of peasants? Does it include the Catholic Church?
What holds the Church together? The act of communion in the sacraments. (pg. 246)
Since the Orthodox Church accepts Catholic baptism as valid they must also accept the Catholic Eucharist as valid and, therefore, that the Catholic Church is a valid church.
For Ignatius the local community is the Church. Each local community, as it celebrates the Eucharist Sunday by Sunday, is the Church in its fullness. (pg. 13)
Therefore, according to Orthodox teaching Catholics are either: (1) not celebrating a valid Eucharist, or (2) they are part of the true church after all and the Orthodox Church is incorrect in her claims.
Each side, while claiming to be the one true Church, must admit that on the human level it has been grievously impoverished by the separation. The Greek east and the Latin west needed and still need one another. For both parties the great schism has proved a great tragedy. (pg. 61)
Timothy Ware does not explain in what way both sides need each other nor which views and ideas of each were improper and resulted in the split. Presumably, certain ideas and beliefs of each would need to be jettisoned in order for there to be unity once again. I assume that Timothy Ware thinks that the Catholic Church is the one that has made all the errors and that it must be the one that must change for there to be true unity. As I have demonstrated in this article, I believe the Orthodox Church also has incorrect views.
Russians have always laid great emphasis on the place of suffering in the Christian life. (pg. 79)
I mention this because Timothy Ware criticizes the Catholic Church for emphasizing the meditation on the sufferings of Christ and the participation in his sufferings.
After the taking of Constantinople in 1453, there was only one nation (Russia) capable of assuming leadership in eastern Christendom. (pg. 102)
Timothy Ware proceeds for 25 pages to explain in great detail the many troubles the Orthodox Church had in Russia. It seems unlikely to me that this is the way that God preserved the fullness of the faith.
Moscow therefore had succeeded Constantinople as the third and last Rome, the centre of Orthodox Christendom. Its application in the religious sphere however, has been more limited, for the head of the Russian Church has never superceded the Patriarch of Constantinople, but has always ranked no higher than fifth among the Orthodox leaders. (pg. 103, 104)
How can this Patriarch be the new, third Rome if it is in last place?
They regarded Moscow as the third Rome, and Russia as the stronghold and norm of Orthodoxy. (pg. 111)
There have also been internal splits within many of the national groups; and spiritually these have had a harmful effect on the life of Orthodoxy. (pg. 175)
But Orthodoxy claims that the Church is local so why would splits be harmful at all? This is the foundational idea of Protestantism, that anyone can start a church on his own authority.
In baptism, immersion is essential (except in emergencies), for if there is no immersion the correspondence between outward sign and inward meaning is lost. Baptism by infusion (when the water is merely poured over part of the body) is permitted in special cases. (pg. 278)
Make up your mind — is immersion essential or not? You can't have it both ways.
When the Russian Church issued a translation of the Acts of Jerusalem, while retaining the word transubstantiation it carefully paraphrased the rest of the passage in such a way that the technical terms substance and accidents were not employed. This is an interesting example of the way in which the Church is 'selective' in its acceptance of the decrees of local councils. (pg. 284)
The mistranslation of documents is praised as a virtue?
An ordination, also required the consent of the whole people of God; and so at a particular point in the service the assembled congregation acclaim the ordination by shouting 'Axios!' ('He is worthy!'). But, on several occasions in Constantinope or Greece during the present century the congregation has in fact expressed disapproval in this way (by shouting 'He is unworthy'), although without effect. (pg. 291)
So apparently the consent of the people is not really required to ordain a bishop after all.
The Orthodox Church permits divorce and remarriage up to three times but forbids a fourth. In theory the Canons only permit divorce in cases of adultery, but in practice it is granted for other reasons as well. (pg. 295)
The Catholic view of divorce is more consistent.
Concerning contraceptives and other forms of birth control, differing opinions exist within the Orthodox Church. (pg. 296)
So Orthodox Christians don't know what is true about contraceptives.
The Orthodox Church is thus a family of self-governing Churches. It is held together, not by a centralized organization, not by a single prelate wielding power over the whole body, but by the double bond of unity in the faith and communion in the sacraments. Each Patriarchate or autocephalous Church, while independent, is in full agreement with the rest on all matters of doctrine, and between them all there is in principle full sacramental communion. (There are in fact certain breaches in communion.) (pg. 7)
But there are plenty of examples in which they disagree about doctrine.
The Patriarch of Constantinople is known as the 'Ecumenical' (or universal) Patriarch, and he enjoys a position of special honour among all the Orthodox communities; but he does not have the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other churches. (pg. 7)
There are plenty of examples of the supreme authority of this Patriarch. The reality is that he is all-powerful as if he were a pope of the Orthodox church.
But Boris wanted the Church in Bulgaria to be independent, and when Constantinople refused to grant autonomy, he turned to the west in hopes of better terms. (pg. 554)
The Patriarch of Constantinople acts as an eastern pope. It is not the local church which is the Church. Presumably if the Bulgarians declared themselves to be an independent church in defiance of the Partriarch's decision they would be considered schismatic and would no longer even be a valid Church. Thus, the Patriarch of Constantinople has the power to decide who is a member of the true church and who is not. This is the same power that the Catholic Church grants to the Pope.
An independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was created, and this was recognized by the Patriarch of Consatantinople. The dream of Boris — an autocephalous Church of his own — became a reality. (pg. 75,76)
A Serbian Patriarchate was created, which was recognized by the Church of Constantinople. (pg. 76)
If the Patriarch of Constantinople had not recognized the Serbian Patriarchate it would be in schism and would not even be a true Church at all just as the Patriarch of Constantinople does not recognize the Patriarchate of Rome as a valid Church.
If Byzantium was an icon of the heavenly Jerusalem, then the earthly monarchy of the Emperor was an image or icon of the monarchy of God in heaven. (pg. 40)
The western (Catholic) church did not allow itself to become controlled by the secular rulers except temporarily due to political pressures, not as a doctrinal norm.
The life of Byzantium formed a unified whole, and there was no rigid line of separation between the religious and the secular, between Church and State. (pg. 40)
This description fits western Christendom.
Admittedly there were many occasions on which the Emperor interfered unwarrantably in ecclesiastical matters. (pg. 41)
The Byzantines often fell into the error of identifying the earthly kingdom of Byzantium with the Kingdom of God. (pg. 42)
After the fall of Constantinople by the Muslims the things of Caesar now became more closely associated with the things of God than they had ever been before. The Orthodox Church became a civil as well as a religious institution. (pg. 89)
Certainly the western church also had to struggle with being controlled by secular rulers but the Orthodox Church seems to have embraced it at every stage of their history.
Timothy Ware uses St. Cyprian Of Carthage as an example of a bishop who did not accept the papacy. However, St. Cyprian's own writings demonstrate differently. From "On The Unity Of The Catholic Church":
If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he confidence that he is in the Church?
Cyril appealed to the Pope to settle a dispute of jurisdiction and he accepted the Pope's ruling. (pg. 74)
In discussing the first church council which was recorded in the book of Acts, Timothy Ware does not mention Peter's obvious role of leadership.
Orthodox believe that among the five Patriarchs a special place belongs to the Pope. (pg. 27)
Or so they say. The reality says otherwise. The Roman Pope does not even have the same respect as the other Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs.
The Orthodox Church acknowledges Peter as the first among the Apostles; that the Bishop of Rome is Peter's successor in a special sense. (pg. 27)
During the first eight centuries of the Church's history the Roman see was noted for the purity of its faith; other Patriarchates wavered during the great doctrinal disputes, but Rome for the most part stood firm. When hard pressed in the struggle against heretics, people felt that they could turn with confidence to the Pope. It was above all to Rome that everyone appealed to guidance in the early centuries of the Church. (pg. 28)
This is the time period of the first seven Ecumenical Councils.
The Popes were firm supporters of the Iconodule standpoint (they were in favor of icons), and so for many decades they found themselves out of communion with the Patriarch at Constatinople. (pg. 45)
First among equals. But what does this mean in practice. In practice, the other Orthodox Patriarchs consider the Pope as less than an equal; as the head of an organization which is not the Church at all.
Surely we Orthodox should be willing to assign to the Pope, in a reunited Christendom, not just an honorary seniority but an all-embracing apostolic care. (pg. 316)
There are , however, some Orthodox who consider that the Filioque is not in itself heretical, and is indeed admissible as a theological opinion — not a dogma — provided that it is properly explained. (pg. 51)
Not all Orthodox are adamant that the Catholics got it wrong.
There is today a school of Orthodox theologians who believe that the divergence between east and west over the Filioque, while by no means unimportant, is not as fundamental as others maintain. (pg. 218)
Augustine was careful to insist that the Spirit does not proceed from the Son in the same manner as he proceeds from the Father. (pg. 216)
The west pays insufficient attention to the work of the Spirit in the world, in the Church, in the daily life of each person. (pg. 215)
I think this is an inaccurate statement. This is supposedly the result of the Catholic view of the filioque.
The claim that the west depersonalizes the Trinity, overemphasizing the unity of the essence at the expense of the diversity of persons, should not be overstated. (pg. 217)
The link between Church and people was made even firmer by the system of creating independent national Churches. Certainly this close identification of Orthodoxy with the life of the people, and in particular the system of national Churches, has had unfortunate consequences including making the Church serve the ends of national politics. Nationalism has been the bane of Orthodoxy for the last ten centuries. (pg. 77)
How could I, as an American, even become Orthodox at all? My local OCA Church is mostly Russian. I think the problem is not a mere accident of history but is a result of the Orthodox concept of Church organization. It is an interesting coincidence that the Orthodox Church has had this problem for the same amount of time that it has been split from the western church. True nationalism is only a couple hundred of years old yet Orthodoxy has had problems with it for 1,000 years.
Unfortunately, however, in the religious life of the diaspora, national loyalties, in themselves legitimate, have been allowed to prevail at the expense of Orthodox Christianity. (pg. 174)
Ethnic divisions are proving hard to transcend. (pg. 175)
Ware, Timothy (AKA Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia) (1997). The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books: London, England
An overview of the Orthodox Church including doctrines, teaching, practice, and history.
Timothy Ware was an Anglican before becoming Orthodox. In his book (1) he tends to represent Catholisicm, Anglicism, and other Protestant denominations (basically, non-Orthodox Christianity) as merely variants of the same thing, (2) he tends to view Catholicism as merely another variation of Protestantism, and (3) he tends to assume that non-Anglican Protestantism is basically the same as Anglicism. However, he does accurately represent Catholic teaching and history (with an obvious bias against it).