RE: Trent was dealing with the claims of the Reformers that they taught the true Gospel. That the Church of Rome did not. Trent rejected their claims.
Sure, but remember this, WE HAVE SPIRITUAL DESCENDANTS OF THE REFORMERS EXISTING TODAY, BY THE MILLIONS I MIGHT ADD.
I think the question has to be asked — if Trent considers these people anathema, why does Vatican II consider those who share their beliefs “United with Christ”?
RE: Vatican II basically said, no, war is not appropriate; persuasion only, which of course is yet a kind of force. Charity must prevail. Neither side ought to resort to force to compel unity. But what was false is still false.
We are NOT talking about war here. we are talking THEOLOGICAL differences. So, kindly dispose of that idea.
These are theological differences that affect SPIRITUAL CONCERNS and that is where we should focus the discussion on.
It is clear that Vatican I and Trent still ex-communicates
the reformers and their followers. It is NOT CLEAR if Vatican II does. By using the words they are “united with Christ”, it looks like Vatican II is softening the words of the previous councils.
So your explanation does not solve the problem. If as you say, false is still false, and not accepting the Pope’s primacy is anathema, you don’t use the words — “United with Christ” to refer to those people who hold to what is false.
You might call them friends, but you don’t call them “united with Christ”.
To give you an example — I can be a friend of a self-professed supporter of abortion and gay marriage and even have a beer with him or even play ball with him, but I would not consider him “united with Christ”. He is MOST DEFINITELY NOT “united with Chris”t in any sense of the word by his support of murder of children and the destruction of marriage.
So, If Logic is to prevail, and the force of Trent and Vatican I is to be taken seriously, the millions of people who hold to the same beliefs as Luther or Calvin should NOT be “united with Christ” based on their beliefs. They should still be ex-communicated.
You cannot simultaneously hold to beliefs that are anathema and still be considered “united with Christ” ( or does Vatican II now says that you can?).
Whatever it is, I don’t see how the words of Vatican II and Vatican I can be reconciled.