Monday, January 26, 2015
Pope Francis Renews His Rejection of Mission and Return?
(Rome) At conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Pope Francis refused the mutual "poaching" of believers among Christian denominations. Another rejection of conversion and mission? What to mission, the Church?
Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been double trouble in the Catholic Church in terms of mission and conversion. On the one there is the question of the relationship to other Christian denominations. Secondly, the question of relations with other religions. The question is complex and has a variety of facets. Ecumenism and religious freedom are two main keywords.
Pope Francis fell at first in his short pontificate on several occasions by ambivalent statements about mission, proselytism and conversions. Statements that came close to an actual distancing from any constructive conversions or even explicitly made such an expression. What Pope Francis says exactly can be barely made out with accuracy because a diffuse use of certain terms cancels any substantive focus. The tendency, therefore, the observer receives more of an impression that in turn must remain ambivalent.
No "poaching" among Christians
At the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Roman Patriarchal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls Pope Francis uttered a refusal of "poaching" of believers among Christian churches in his homily last Sunday.
"The shared commitment to proclaim the Gospel, allows the overcomiing of any form of proselytism and the temptation to be embroiled in competition," he said at the Ecumenical Service that takes place at the end of the year in Rome Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in St. Paul Outside the Walls.
All Christians are "in the service of one and the same gospel" said the Pope. At the same time he urged in the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls to put aside "all polemical or apologetic behavior" and jointly seek what binds all Christians. So could be overcome "many disputes inherited from the past among Christians".
"Serene, Meeting Another Without Animosity"
Next, the Pope turned against intellectual showiness in ecumenical dialogue in his sermon. Christian unity will not be the result of "sophisticated theoretical discussions," in which each is trying to convince others of the validity of their own views. Christians must come to the realization that they "need each other" to penetrate into the depth of the mystery of God, said Francis. In order to understand each other and grow in love and truth, one must "stop, accept each other and listen to each other. In this way one begins to experience unity," Francis said.
The Pope pointed to the example of Jesus Christ. There he encouraged them, a "serene, meeting without animosity" looking at one who is different than you. Jesus shows that such an encounter with the stranger "can make us grow."
Historical and New Denominations
Again in the ecumenical prayer service was attended by high-ranking representatives of the historic Christian denominations. Together with the Pope, they prayed before the start of the Gospel at the tomb of the Apostle Paul.
Pope Francis has advanced ecumenical dialogue between Christian denominations around the Evangelicals and Pentecostal movements, while he personally and out of protocol gives the historic Protestant denominations less attention.
Rejection of Proselytizing and Conversion
But it is not only a rejection of a mutual "poaching" among Christians. Pope Francis issued in 2013 a rejection of proselytism (see Canonization of a Missionary, but Rejection of mission? ) and gave his first interview interview with the atheist Eugenio Scalfari a kind of blanket refusal of conversions (see No to Conversions, Yes to Mission - The Pope contradict Himself? ).
The contradictions in the statements of Pope Francis beginning in October 2013 already took the legal philosopher Mario Palmaro shortly before his death position (see Christ is not an option among many, certainly not for his representative on earth ). An analysis and critique that has lost none of its importance.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
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