“The real reason, I take it, why you cannot be in communion with us is not your disagreement with this or that particular Protestant doctrine, so much as the absence of any real “Doctrine”, in your sense of the word, at all. It is, you feel, like asking a man to say he agrees not with a speaker but with a debating society.
And the real reason why I cannot be in communion with you is not my disagreement with this or that Roman doctrine, but that to accept your Church means, not to accept a given body of doctrine, but to accept in advance any doctrine your Church hereafter produces. It is like being asked to agree not only to what a man has said but to what he’s going to say.
To you the real vice of Protestantism is the formless drift which seems unable to retain the Catholic truths, which loses them one by one and ends in a “modernism” which cannot be classified as Christian by any tolerable stretch of the word.
To us the terrible thing about Rome is the recklessness (as we hold) with which she has added to the depositum fidei – the tropical fertility, the proliferation, of credenda(doctrines).
You see in Protestantism the Faith dying out in a desert: we see in Rome the Faith smothered in a jungle.
I know no way of bridging this gulf.”