Pope Francis has summoned bishops from all over the world to Rome to discuss issues concerning families – including hot-button issues like artificial contraception, the Eucharist and the divorced and gay civil unions. The meeting opened on Sunday and is seen as a test of Francis’ vision of a more merciful Church.
I will be very interested as an Evangelical Protestant to see what comes of this. Many Evangelicals have left Protestantism for the RC for its conservative sexual ethics and willingness to fence the table from the divorced (marriage is sacramental in the eyes of the RCC). These Evangelicals have been willing to let some Reformational doctrine go in order to gain some order in the church. Now they will possibly see that moral order eroded.
My guess is that these Evangelicals might leave the RCC over these forays into “mercy” and that the stream of Evangelicals leaving for Rome will dry up. Is Orthodoxy their next option? I must admit that Evangelicalism is willing to do almost anything to fill a pew. It is moral chaos in most Evangelical churches. The doctrine of salvation by faith alone has been turned into a mantra of moral license. Their doctrinal and moral reductionism can’t be reduced any more than it is. The only thing we Protestants are interested in is how many people go to your church. If that number is big enough, you are considered a success and given a place at the table. I don’t think this is an overstatement. Has Rome also caught this virus?