Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Common Cause

Mark Shea has some wise words to say about making common cause with our Evangelical brothers and sisters.

He begins with this observation:
This is not, of course, to say that educated Catholics and educated Evangelicals are now pretending to "really be saying the same thing." Often we are not. But far more often, we are. We really can recite virtually all the Apostles or Nicene Creed in common and — but for the meaning of the clause "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church" — mean the same thing. Contrasted with the culture of death, our unanimity of witness to the Lord Jesus Christ is what is most impressive. It is a "mere Christian" unity that can still move among the walking dead of contemporary culture like an army of saints — if only we will do it.
The rest of the article has a lot of good points, including an observation on the differences between Catholic culture (more feminine and inward-focused) and Evangelical culture (more masculine and goal-oriented).

Authentic ecumenical activity does require that we recognize and not try to deny when doctrinal differences do exist. But it also constantly seeks out and strengthens bonds that are already there. Mr. Shea, who himself is a Catholic convert from an Evangelical background, makes a good case that sometimes we have more in common than what first meets the eye.


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