Lumen Fidei: A Forum for Ecumenical DialogueJul 9th, 2013 | By Bryan Cross | Category: Blog Posts
This past Friday, July 5, Pope Francis released his first encyclical letter, titled Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). In this letter he notes that Pope Benedict had “almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith,” and adds “as his brother in Christ I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own.”
The letter is intended to supplement Pope Benedict’s encyclicals on the other two supernatural virtues, in particular his two encyclicals on love (Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate), and the one encyclical on hope (Spe Salvi). Here I’m opening a forum to discuss this latest encyclical on faith, especially with a view to its ecumenical implications for Protestants and Catholics. Because one critical element of the Protestant-Catholic separation in the sixteenth century centered around faith and its role in salvation, it might be worthwhile to discuss together how Pope Francis’s encyclical on faith illumines also the ecumenical path by which this separation may be healed. In what ways does this encyclical on faith help Protestants and Catholics find common ground regarding Christian faith, or at least find more common ground than we may have seen before? In what ways does it show us a way forward in areas where we remain divided? What claims within the encyclical remain points of disagreement between Protestants and Catholics, and what are the underlying reasons for these remaining disagreements? In discussing this letter, please refer to the relevant paragraph numbers. The document is available online here: Lumen Fidei.