Stating that Scripture “makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God,” Pope Francis discussed baptism, Christian unity, and the kingdom of God in a …
Here’s the actual text in English because this will no doubt be important…
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal 1:3-4). With these words the Apostle Paul expresses our common faith and our common hope. I ask you to bring this greeting, and its proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, to the members of your respective communities.
Whenever we put ourselves entirely and lovingly at the service of the Gospel, we become ever more fruitful branches of that vine which is Christ, “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). This truth is grounded in our Baptism, by which we share in the fruits of Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism is God’s priceless gift which we have in common (cf. Gal 3:27). Thanks to this gift, we no longer live a purely earthly existence; we now live in the power of the Spirit.
The sacrament of Baptism reminds us of a fundamental and very comforting truth. The Lord always anticipates us with his love and his grace. He goes before our communities; he goes before all those who proclaim the Gospel of salvation and those who accept it, preparing every heart to welcome him. “Reading the Scriptures makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need… a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. *Lk *4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world” ([size=3]Evangelii Gaudium[/size], 180). The Kingdom of God always goes before us, just as the mystery of the Church’s unity always goes before us.
From the beginning, there have been divisions among Christians and sadly, even today, conflicts and rivalries exist between our communities. This weakens our ability to fulfill the Lord’s commandment to preach the Gospel to all peoples (cf. Mt 28:19-20). Our divisions mar the beauty of the seamless robe of Christ, yet they do not completely destroy the profound unity brought about by grace in all the baptized (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 13). The effectiveness of the Christian message would no doubt be greater were Christians to overcome their divisions, and together celebrate the sacraments, spread the word of God, and bear witness to charity.
It pleases me to know that in various countries Catholics and Evangelicals enjoy good relations and work together as brothers and sisters. The joint efforts of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance have also opened up new horizons by clarifying misunderstandings and by showing the way to overcoming prejudices. It is my hope that these talks may further inspire our common witness and our efforts to evangelize: “If we really believe in the abundantly free working of the Holy Spirit, we can learn so much from one another! It is not just about being better informed about others, but rather about reaping what the Spirit has sown in them, which is also meant to be a gift for us” (Evangelii Gaudium, 246). I am confident that the document, Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct can prove helpful for the preaching of the Gospel in multi-religious contexts.
Dear brothers and sisters, I trust that the Holy Spirit, who inspires the Church to persevere in seeking new methods of evangelization, will usher in a new era of relations between Catholics and Evangelicals, so that the Lord’s will that the Gospel be brought to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8) may be more fully realized. With this prayer, I ask you to pray for me and for my ministry. Thank you.
Is Pope Francis an Evangelical, Charismatic Catholic?
I love Pope Francis so much and I want unity too very much. What a wonderful person.
This truth is grounded in our Baptism, by which we share in the fruits of Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism is God’s priceless gift which we have in common (cf. Gal 3:27). Thanks to this gift, we no longer live a purely earthly existence; we now live in the power of the Spirit.
I have a question about this baptism that is being spoken of. Does Pope Francis (or for that matter, anyone in the Catholic church) believe that the person being baptized must have faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Of course! That is what the church teaches. However, just as with the Jewish faith parents make this same profession of faith for their newborns just as Jesus Himself was presented in the temple.
And from my own blog. The Case For Infant Baptism
Great, Like the article, I also want the same to happen.
Faith alone is about every “individual” in the entire church.
I am one of the many Catholics.
Pope Francis is anything but, not a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Is way out. Our tradition of 2000 years can’t sweep it under the rug. Let me take some words from the Holy Mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY,
WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
Jesus Christ has said to us, “My flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life.”
To be Catholic is to be a “radical traditionalist”
What Catholics once were, we are.
If we are wrong, then Catholics through the ages have been wrong.
We are what you once were.
We worship as you once worshipped.
If we are wrong now, you were wrong then.
If you were right then, we are right now.
Robert De Plante
There is only one place in scripture where faith alone is spoken of.
James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
btw works spoken of there is “good works” not “works of law”
that way no confusion occurs with
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
A very good point Steve.
The fundamental denial that one is justified and saved by faith alone is the anathema placed by your church. You ought to individually look into this for this fundamental difference will keep us apart in eternity unless you repent and believe scripture. So in response to Pope Francis did he lift the anathema yet?
The point on Ephesians is dead wrong.
Correction James condemned it.
What will potentially keep us apart in eternity is that you as a protestant are outside all the means Jesus gave us for salvation.
What happens to those who don’t do what they are created to do…i.e. good works?
When Jesus crowns our good works He is really crowning the work He has done and is doing in us. [/FONT]Hebrews 13:21 .
we are created by God to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Therefore, the one who doesn’t do what they are created to do by God …which is to do good works…
@earl40, No where does scripture say that we are saved by faith alone.
As pointed out above, it is Scripture that says in James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” I noticed that you weren’t able to address the scripture James 2:24.
Also, scripture says that faith isn’t even the greatest or most important, 1 Cor. 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Scripture says the Greatest is Love, not faith.
The reason love is greatest, is because faith and hope go away. They aren’t needed in heaven. Love however, is all that is left. It endures forever
Why do Protestants and Catholics always talk past eachother and misrepresent the other’s position in regards to justification and sanctification by faith, works, whatever?
I still believe we believe a lot of the same things but explain it differently. I always side with the Catholics more on this one because, you know… The Bible.
Thanks for that. I would not have seen this expect for your post.
So how are you justified? By faith in Jesus alone or by the infusion of His righteousness over a lifetime now and in purgatory done by grace produced works?
Make no mistake many here will read James wrong. He (James) is telling us how we justify or prove ourselves to men. For as any true Christian should agree on is that without good works one is not justifeied.
How you answer this maybe should show where you attend church.