Protestant Churches or Communities?
Carl Olson has a good post on the Catholic Church's use of the term "Church" vis. Protestants.
I can certainly understand the prima facie reaction of some Protestants to the Catholic denial that they are a Church. But I ask those of you who have such a reaction to consider this: by "Church", we Catholics mean a reality which includes (among other things, of course) sacred orders (a priesthood apart from that of all believers), seven sacraments, a teaching authority guaranteed by God to teach without error, etc. Do you want us to refer to your community in that way? I wouldn't think so, since many of my brothers and sisters in Christ reject these aspects of Catholic teaching.
I'm not sure if this really applies to most of my readers who are not Catholic anyway... they're generally up enough on these matters to understand this, without me having to explain it. But just in case...
[Sean Gallagher has also posted some excellent insights on this at his blog. Check them out!]