In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
The territorial dimension of the hierarchical church, centered on the authority of the bishop, has found it difficult to come to terms with the charismatic energy of the movements, more inclined to follow their own lay leaders than the local bishops.
The issue at stake is whether or not Luther is to be rescued from himself in order to be heard by the church and the world.
What does it mean to be Catholic? The question is simple but the answer is fraught with complexities.
Any accommodation to the idea that we are ultimately capable of saving ourselves, any accommodation to the fact that salvation is not God’s gift from beginning to end is a slippery slope towards a false gospel.
“Catholicism continues to add places to the table and extend the menu”. The talk Leonardo de Chirico gave at the 2016 AEI annual assembly in Rome.
The way in which Catholicism perceives time - the sense of definitiveness as well as that of a progression - is a solid indicator of its basic theological framework.
It is one thing is to work together on areas of common concern in society, e.g. the promotion of Judeo-Christian values in society; it is an altogether different issue to engage in common mission and evangelism.
In terms of the Protestant evaluation of Roman Catholicism, Barth’s theology of the Word has weakened the evangelical ability to assess Rome having the Bible as supreme standard.
According to the Pope, mercy achieves justice by avoiding tribunals, sentences, and prices to be paid.
Building Christian unity on baptism brings several challenges. In my corner of the world (Italy), a vast majority of people have been baptized and yet very few show any sign of appreciation of basic gospel truths.
There is the risk of elevating “unity” to the absolute principle, a little “god” claiming pre-eminence. It takes courage to make unity dependent on the Biblical truths and not elevating it to the place of “first imperative”.
The Pope seems to think that the “letter” is a straitjacket to the mission of the Church and needs to be replaced by the “spirit” of it.
The discussion on the Anti-Christ must be revived and worked out with biblical soberness and historical awareness.
Does Matthew 16 Support the Doctrine of the Papacy?
In Francis’ vocabulary there was no better term to discredit this merciless form of Christianity than referring to it as “Puritanism”.
Leonardo de Chirico analyses the content of the latest encyclical, and compares it with similar evangelical documents.
The Vatican jubilee is therefore part and parcel of a theological vision whereby Purgatory is a pillar of the afterlife.
Luther's critique is not confined to his contemporary experience of the Papacy, but draws on historical and theological arguments.
The 150-page manual delineates the sermon as having the following features: short, not a lecture, not too abstract, not an exegetical exercise and not a personal testimony only.
Peter Wehner, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote an interesting and thought provoking article titled "Why Evangelicals Should Love the Pope."
Some of the language of the Pope seems to resemble Gospel emphases, yet the substance of it is still heavily sacramental and hierarchical.
Generally speaking, togetherness is a highly valued condition. Biblically, however, it needs to be qualified in order not to become an intrusive idol.
According to Pope Francis, the “true face” of the Church is where the maternal and the hierarchical dimensions are intimately connected to one another and form the core of the church’s identity.
Reports say that the puzzled crowd that was sitting and standing in the Vatican basilica shouted “Holy Mother of God” three times as the Pope had instructed.
If the presence of idols is so pervasive in the whole of human life, certainly they have a place in cities. Actually, cities are spatial and cultural spaces for idols to shape and destroy what comes under their dominion.