Baptist scholar Steven Harmon was struck by something in Pope Francis’ address to Congress today that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention: its ecumenical message.
The pontiff cited Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton and Martin Luther King Jr. as primary examples of Christians who upheld social justice, liberty, plurality and non-exclusion. He also invoked the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
They were woven into a larger appeal by Francis that the United States embrace undocumented immigrants, work against income equality and protect the environment.
But for Harmon, author of Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision, it was Francis’ inclusion of King, a Baptist, that sent a strong message.
Just waiting for the rumours that he (MLK) was in bed with the foundress of Planned Parenthood.
All three, including King, are commemorated in the calendar of saints of the Episcopal Church and some other churches,” said Harmon, visiting associate professor of historical theology at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity.
I find this very interesting. What are the requirements for being named a saint in the Episcoplal Church?
Martin Luther King Jnr is, IMHO, the greatest American that ever lived.
You know who else wasn’t Catholic? Clive Staples Lewis. And lemmie tell you, I’d be thrilled if someone compared me to Lewis.
Wonder why American saints weren’t mentioned…
Doesn’t bother me one bit. MLK’s work for equality is admirable, even if he wasn’t Catholic. I remember seeing a famous photo of MLK and a large crowd, including an unknown nun in full habit, marching in solidarity.