Who could not like such an appealing face? Our hearts are moved to pity. But getting past human emotion, we have to see that his words are wrong, leading men and women down the broad way to destruction.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
In his widely acclaimed 2013 Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, the programmatic document of his pontificate, Francis writes that “Non-Christians, by God’s gracious initiative, when they are faithful to their own consciences, can live justified by the grace of God” (n. 254).
Where Does Pope Francis Stand on the Doctrine of Justification?
Leonardo De Chirico
10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
About the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) signed by the Roman Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation.
Is the Roman Catholic Church Now Committed to “Grace Alone”?
August 1st, 2017
“. . .This understanding of grace appears to be more in line with the Catholic heritage of the Council of Trent, in an updated form, than with classic Protestant theology. In this sense, JDDJ is a clear exercise in an increased ‘catholicity’ (i.e. the ability to absorb ideas without changing the core) on the part of Rome, which has not become more evangelical in the biblical sense.”
The “Uncertain Teaching” of Pope Francis
March 1st, 2017
Yes or No. This is the only way a Pope (or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for Catholic doctrine) can answer a question posed by a cardinal or group of cardinals if and when they inquire about the correct interpretation or application of Catholic teaching. Yes or No was the expected answer that never came to a letter written to the Pope by four cardinals in September 2016 pleading with him for clarity regarding the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The letter asked the Pope five short questions about the exact meaning of some statements contained in the document on whether or not divorced individuals living in new relationships can have access to the Eucharist. Given that different bishops around the world are giving different answers (some saying Yes, others No), the four cardinals addressed the Pope himself hoping to receive an authoritative and univocal interpretation of the matter.
So far no answer has come, and the Pope has made it known that no answer will ever come. The Pope’s silence is causing perplexity and some worries in many Catholic circles. Is Catholic teaching becoming subject to many shades of grey? The incident also gives an opportunity to reflect on the Pope’s whole approach to the stability of doctrine. Is this absence of Yes or No only to be limited to this specific case, or is it a feature of an overall theological vision that lacks rigid reference points?…
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LEONARDO DE CHIRICO
Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Roman Catholicism
As the Pope commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, what he has in mind is an altogether different kind of reformation, i.e. a reformation that will make his church more catholic and more Roman, doubtfully more evangelical.
LEONARDO DE CHIRICO
What Kind of “Reformation” Does Pope Francis Have in Mind?
Leonardo De Chirico (1967) planted and pastored a Reformed Baptist church in Ferrara (northern Italy) from 1997 to 2009. Since 2009 he has been involved in a church planting project in Rome and is now pastor of the church Breccia di Roma…