In a move that strikes some as proprietary ecclesiastical politics, the Vatican released a statement Tuesday claiming that the Catholic Church is the only Christian organization eligible to use the term church to describe itself.

Chicago Sun-Times:

Predictably, the document drew praise from some, while critics called it insensitive and a harsh example of religious intolerance.

But in some Catholic circles, the document was viewed as sort of a Chicago Manual of Style.

“The Vatican is interested in theological precision in using the word ‘church,’ ” said Lawrence Cunningham, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame.

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