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Following Pope's example, Evangelical leader apologizes for hostility toward Catholics

July 30, 2014

Reacting to the address delivered by Pope Francis to a congregation of Evangelical Christians in Caserta, Italy, the head of the World Evangelical Alliance has said that just as the Pope apologized for Catholic hostility toward Evangelicals, Protestants in turn should apologize for hostility toward Catholics.

“We all need to acknowledge all our failings and ask each other for forgiveness and I think Pope Francis set a great example,” said Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe. “I recognize that in history there have been situations where Protestants, including Evangelicals, have discriminated against Catholic Christians and I am really sorry for these kinds of actions, because while we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other.”

Rev. Dr. Tunnicliffe, whose organization represents 650 million Evangelicals worldwide, said that the Pope’s efforts to reach out to Evangelicals “bodes well for future conversations.” He stressed his own determination to pursue unity among Christians:

Jesus, in John 17, clearly calls us to be one and I think for those outside the Church, it’s important for them to understand that while there are differences within the Christian denominations, at the core we have so many areas of communality.


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 31, 2014 5:15 PM ET USA

    I have to admit this makes me feel better and forces me to acknowledge that Francis may in fact have chosen precisely the right course of action.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jul. 30, 2014 4:33 PM ET USA

    And so the validity of the Holy Father's action is confirmed.