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(RNS) While most American evangelicals do not usually read papal pronouncements, it would be a shame if we did not familiarize ourselves with Francis’ newest document, for there is much in it that evangelicals could embrace.


  1. As a former Evangelical (now East Orthodox) I was so thrilled to read this work. I believe it may be the most important written piece on evangelism in our generation.

    At the end, he does get into Mary’s role in a way that may make Evangelicals very uncomfortable. And yet I don’t want to just say, ‘Ignore that part, the rest is great.’ Do you have suggestions on how we might help Evangelicals engage positively with the Mary sections that would lead to greater understanding?

    • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

      I find this comment interesting because my father was Catholic and my mother Protestant.
      And as I grew into my teen-age years my parents let me decide what religion I wanted to follow.
      After reading much of the Bible a number of times I decided that Catholic enthusiasm for Mary was a lot more Biblical than the way my Protestant relatives treated Mary (bring her out for a Christmas nativity scene then quickly toss her into a corner of the attic at New Year’s.). Ironically, it was a Catholic saint (Francis of Assisi) who popularized the nativity scene.
      It will be interesting, ecumenically speaking, if Evangelicals led Protestants back to the woman Christ gave us as our mother as he suffered on the cross and who set an example of obedience to God by telling the angel: “:Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”

      • Deacon, I find your comment about your parents letting you decide “which religion” you wanted to follow, instead of letting you decide “if” you wanted to follow any religion, typical of not only my experience, but many others as well. The religious have understood, since man first looked at the world around him, didn’t understand how it could be, so created Gods in order to “explain” it to himself, that the best time to pass along their beliefs, in order to insure they are not looked upon as fools by their prodigy, is to brainwash them when they are young.
        I see in your case it was a resounding success.

  2. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I am not surprised at how some of the things this pope has said sound very Evangelical.
    He is from Latin America where many have been leaving the Catholic Church because it is not seemingly focused enough on Jesus and the Bible. He has seen this first hand and is responding in a positive way instead of a negative, confrontational way .

  3. At 83, I have come to see our differences as trivial. God is love. Thank you for your openness. Please note that Francis knows well that every word he speaks applies first of all to himself.