Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pope Francis and Evangelicals

Amazing video. I can't help but think that Bishop Tony Palmer looks so like Father Roberto Donato of the Franciscans here in Halifax. So this South African actually looks Italian?

This video brought tears to my eyes. I have a number of very good friends who are evangelical Protestants and I have found fellowship with them that I have not often found amongst my fellow Catholics. I am so happy to know that Pope Francis regards them with such affection and that God is bringing unity among believing Christians.

For the first millennium, there was one church. Then the division came between east and west, and the Orthodox Church began. Then five hundred years later, Luther protested and three churches existed. And since Luther, no less than thirty-three thousand denominations. As Palmer says "Diversity is divine, it is division that is diabolical".  


Rebecca said...

It is not any more correct to say "and the Orthodox church began" at a certain point in time (unless you are referring to Pentecost) than it would be to say "and the Roman church began" at that time in history. The churches and bishops of the East did not suddenly spring into existence and start their own church in 1054; they were there all along. Some (including me, obviously) would argue that they were holding to the principles of the early church and the teachings of the Fathers perhaps more faithfully than were those Romans would later separate, although of course this is a matter of ongoing debate.

But to say that either one of these churches just magically sprang into being at the schism is incorrect in a way whose implications are profound. (It wouldn't be called a "schism" if there weren't two parties in the first place!) I'm not just being defensive of Orthodoxy here; your post is at least tangentially about unity of the faith and i think we need to take care of the words we use.

This might seem pedantic and fight-picking-ish, but it isn't. If unity will ever be achieved in the Christian church, we need to fully understand the divisions within it, the east-west schism being very important. We need to be careful with our language because the way we explain things verbally, including to ourselves, affects our entire understanding of those things.

Julie Culshaw said...

I knew I could expect you to comment, the moment I wrote that line. I should have corrected it. But glad to have you post, so it was worth my gaffe.