Chris discusses a series of apologies given by Pope Francis to the Protestant communities. In particular, Francis offered an apology to the Waldensian Church — that was persecuted for centuries by Rome, with a haunting massacre in 1655 that was immortalized in a poem by John Milton. The current apology from the Pope stands in stark contrast to a previous apology given by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000, which was questioned by some. What is the difference today? And does such an apology amount to the possibility of ecumenical unity? Or are the conflicting doctrines concerning the Gospel an impassible barrier between Evangelicals and Rome?
Sonnet 18: BY JOHN MILTON
On the Late Massacre in Piedmont
Avenge, O Lord, Thy slaughter’d saints, whose bones
Lie scatter’d on the Alpine mountains cold,
Ev’n them who kept Thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipp’d stocks and stones;
Forget not: in Thy book record their groans
Who were Thy sheep and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piemontese that roll’d
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubl’d to the hills, and they
To Heav’n. Their martyr’d blood and ashes sow
O’er all th’ Italian fields where still doth sway
The triple tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred-fold, who having learnt Thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian woe.
The Waldensians were an ascetic movement within Christianity, founded by Peter Waldo in Lyon around 1173. The Waldensian movement first appeared in Lyon in the late 1170s and quickly spread to the Cottian Alps between what is today France and Italy.
Founder: Peter Waldo
Founded: 1173, Lyon, France
Separated from: Catholic Church
The movement originated in the late twelfth century as the Poor Men of Lyon, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant who gave away his property around 1173, preaching apostolic poverty as the way to perfection. Waldensian teachings quickly came into conflict with the Catholic Church. By 1215, the Waldensians were declared heretical and subject to intense persecution; the group was nearly annihilated in the 17th century and was confronted with organised and general discrimination in the centuries that followed. In the era of the Reformation, the Waldensians influenced early Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger. Upon finding the ideas of other reformers similar to their own, they quickly merged into the larger Protestant movement. With the Resolutions of Chanforan on 12 September 1532, they formally became a part of the Calvinist tradition.
John 17:18-23 As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.
#ecumenism #reformation #popefrancis