Here are three final questions on a set of three totally different issues regarding differences between Catholics and Evangelicals, which I have been asked again and again.
The fact that two Evangelical scholars speak to the yearly plenary of the non-Protestant chaplains reflects the changing situation on a national level, which are also reflected here in Rome on an international level.
The Pope apologizes for something different nearly every month. ... Having experienced personally several of his apologies, I only can tell you — he means it.
Here are my ten reasons for talking to the Catholic leadership, including Pope Francis.
Upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Synod, I, the World Evangelical Alliance's representative at the Synod, called upon the international Christian community to demonstrate more solidarity with persecuted Christians in the Middle East and around the world.
We just celebrated 50 years of the Vatican Synod.
I would say that there were three groups overall: one third were on the middle ground, or the interventions did not touch "hot" topics; one third leaned to the "no changes" side; and one third leaned to the side called "progressive" here or "liberal" in the media, the latter term being both a wrong description and not loved by any of the progressives.
A lot of blogs comment on what I am doing here in Rome. One Italian blog claimed that Pope Francis is the Antichrist. Of course, several cardinals and bishops asked me immediately what I thought about it.
Today I had the privilege to contribute a paragraph on the covenant character of marriage, showing that God's grace comes always first and that a Christian marriage always relies on the promise and grace given by God, that especially becomes activated when we humans reach our borders, but the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome our weaknesses.
Earlier on Saturday late afternoon, in one of the rare sessions with open speaking for one hour, for the first time the two sides on marriage clashed within 10 minutes. One bishop stated that it is the smell of the devil even to discuss any changes on how to adapt the Catholic teaching on marriage to difficult situations.
Inside the Vatican Synod on Family: Pope Francis Moves Synod Toward More Openness Among Delegates, Public (Day 7)
The Pope started the day spontaneously, even before the morning prayer, by remembering the Christians in the Middle East, those who are martyred and those who have fled and those who have stayed.
We have formed 13 groups that will be the heart of the Synod. They are constituted according to the 5 official languages of the Synod. There are several groups of 20 discussing in English, French and Italian. There is one group in Spanish/Portugese and my group converses in German. The German is the only group that is a bit smaller with 15 members.
Inside the Vatican Synod on Family: Evangelicals Support the Vatican in its Commitment to Traditional Marriage (Day 4)
It became clear — and that was the intention of the entire thing — that the large majority of humanity still retains the ideal of the classical family consisting of a father and a mother and children where the father and the mother remain together for life.
The opening day was a really busy day. I had my first short meeting with Pope Francis, had to prepare my own first short speech, which has to be given to the synod's office beforehand, as they check the length, and had to listen, listen, listen. Why?
Today the Pope opened the Vatican Synod with a service in St. Peter's Church. The more than 300 delegates came in order of rank – all covered in green robes. They were seated in a huge semi-circle around the altar. Only three fraternal delegates showed up, representing the Baptists, the Anglicans and the Evangelicals. The ordinary Bible reading happened to center on love and on family.
It is the Saturday before the official opening of the Vatican Synod on Family with a mass in St. Peter's Cathedral. So most delegates arrive today. The the so-called fraternal delegates stay in the Comunitá San Pietro Canisio, where Jesuits' stay during their time in Rome. It is only three minutes walking distance from the Vatican and two minutes from the office of the Pontifical Council for Propagating Christian Unity, that hosts the friendly delegates.