"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

William Chellis: "Why Rome is not my enemy"

Bill Chellis, the pastor of Rochester Reformed Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, recently wrote a post titled, "Why Rome is not my enemy." He writes:

Some readers may be disturbed about the DRC trend toward inclusion of Roman Catholics. I wish to say a word in response. I am not unfamiliar with the Reformed Confessions' descriptions of the Bishop of Rome as the anti-Christ. I am also perfectly aware that our theologians have often argued that the Mass as a form of idolatry. I understand that there are many conservative Protestant for which these statements are meaningful. While I understand these things, I cannot affirm them. In fact, the more I learn about Roman Catholic theology and church history, the more respect I have for our brothers and sister in Christ within the Roman Catholic communion.

(Continue reading)

I'm deeply grateful for Bill's charitable spirit toward the Catholic Church. This kind of approach by Protestant leaders is a beautiful example of the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing Christians toward unity through the charity that seeks unity in the truth. In this stance of charity, openness and mutual respect, ecumenical dialogue can be fruitful and efficacious.