RCA-Catholic Statement on Pope’s Visit

Thursday, October 8, 2015

For the past 25 years, ecumenical associates from the RCA, as well as from the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ, have been engaged in theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Such meetings have resulted in positive steps toward unity, including the agreement on common recognition of baptisms.

Given the recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States, these ecumenical associates have issued the following statement, reflecting on what this visit means in our collective search for the unity of the church:

Ecumenical statement on visit of Pope Francis

As Reformed and Catholic participants in a long-standing official theological dialogue, we have been inspired by the ecumenical promise seen in the recent visit of Pope Francis to the United States. While the role of the bishop of Rome has historically been a matter of contention between Reformed and Catholic communions, we affirm the manner in which Pope Francis modeled a service of unity for the whole church and its ministry. In his intentional compassion for those on society’s margins, his pastoral visits with prisoners, his identification with immigrants, his care for the integrity of God’s creation, and his public testimony to the values of the gospel, he gave voice and witness to aspirations of the wider Christian community. His servant heart gives hope for further developments along the road to Christian unity, a journey that gave birth to our dialogue after the Second Vatican Council. Although we recognize that significant differences remain, we trust that the visit of Pope Francis will prompt further honest dialogue in our search for a full expression of our unity in Christ.

–Submitted by Wes Granberg-Michaelson, RCA associate for ecumenical relations

– See more at: https://www.rca.org/news/rca-catholic-statement-popes-visit#sthash.pixOq9Q1.dpuf