As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
Professor Pietro Bolognesi and Italian Evangelical Alliance vice-president Leonardo de Chirico sahre their views ahead of the meeting which will discuss Roman Catholic-Evangelical relationships.
Pietro Bolognesi and Leonardo de Chirico will be two of the voices which will participate in the Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI) annual assembly this weekend (8-9 April). The theme this year is: “Evangelical Faith and Roman Catholicism: where are we? Where are we going?”
Both shared some of their views in two short video interviews published before the meeting, which will be held in Rome this weekend.
Pietro Bolognesi is professor at the IFED Italia and will lead a session on “The Italian Evangelical Alliance and the Roman Catholic Church: an historical perspective.”
Asked about “if it still makes sense to speak about conflict between Protestants and Catholics”, Bolognesi said:
“Actually, I think that talking of a conflict between the Protestant world and the Catholic world has never made sense. The real issue has always been of being prepared to defend the ‘reason for the hope that is in you’. I doubt that the idea of conflict is in line with the message of the Gospel.”
BOLOGNESI: SEE GENERAL PERSPECTIVE OF CATHOLICISM
“That said”, Bolognesi added, “the events of these recent years have shown changes within Roman Catholicism, and it would be naïve if not superficial not to consider them. What really matters, though, is not focusing on details and specifics so that you can make the distinctions and the mutations clear, rather learning to approach Catholicism in complex and systemic terms.”
“This enables us to look at it in a more general perspective. And what we see from this general perspective is that while Catholicism adjusts to the surrounding world, it nonetheless upholds firm beliefs that place it far from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“I believe that as Evangelical Protestants we are still deeply responsible for working hard to make the Gospel heard and to defend the reason of the hope that is within us”, he concludes.
See video (Italian):
CHIRICO: ‘GOSPEL HAS CAPACITY TO REFORM ITALY’
In another video, the vice-president of the AEI Leonardo de Chirico emphasised the need for the Christians in Italy to share the biblical gospel with their nation.
“In our country we are used to only hear one or two voices. It’s a good moment to listen to another voice, the voice of the gospel. Us, the evangelical people, do not feel superior or better than others, but we are a people which has heard thegood news, the news of Jesus Christ, which are to be found in the Bible.”
This gospel, Chirico says, “has the capacity to modify, to renew, to reform the life of a nation.”
“It is a good moment for Italy to be exposed to these good news so that it receives the transforming power of this message centered in Jesus Christ.”
See video (Italian):
Evangelical Focus will attend the AEI assembly and cover the event.