Anabaptists meet with Pope - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
June 30, 2004

Anabaptists meet with Pope

-30/6/04

A delegation from the Bruderhof community has had an historic meeting with the Pope.

The Catholic Churchís relationship to the Anabaptists of the Radical Reformation, who were persecuted as heretics during the l500ís because of their beliefs in adult baptism and other practices of the early church, has been a troubled one.

However a delegation representing the 10 Bruderhof communities from the Anabaptist tradition met with John Paul II at the Vatican on 26th April.

Writing about the visit on the Bruderhof web site Johann Christoph Arnold who spoke to the Pope on behalf of the delegation said "the resulting bad blood between these two groups of Christians, which has now persisted for centuries, is still contrary to what the Gospels teach about forgiving, loving, and praying for oneís enemies."

He continued; "I have read a lot by and about Pope John Paul II, and have always been impressed by his courageous witness to world peace, the sanctity of life at its beginning and its end, and his unflagging zeal to strengthen and protect the family as an inviolable part of Godís order. But as I re-read much of this material in order to prepare for this visit, I was again struck by how this man, whose utmost longing has been to show the world a different way, often stands in stark contrast to his predecessors."

"Like him, we have waged a determined and uncompromising war against the current culture of death, both obvious (the war in Iraq and all other violence in the Middle East) and insidious (the ìsilent warî of abortion)."

The pope said; "I am pleased to welcome to the Vatican the representatives of the international movement of Bruderhof Communities. You share a tradition in which Christís call to discipleship finds expression in common life in the Spirit and in daily witness to the evangelical law of love. Christians always need to hear anew the radical summons to holiness, which is the heart of our Saviorís message. Your witness to that message is especially reflected in your respect for Godís creation and your deep commitment to defending the sacredness of all human life."

"I greet you with affection in the Lord and I pray that the growing contacts with the Catholic Church which you are fostering will bear fruit in ever greater mutual understanding, respect and cooperation. May God our merciful Father pour out upon you and your communities his abundant blessings of wisdom, joy

and peace."

Anabaptists meet with Pope

-30/6/04

A delegation from the Bruderhof community has had an historic meeting with the Pope.

The Catholic Churchís relationship to the Anabaptists of the Radical Reformation, who were persecuted as heretics during the l500ís because of their beliefs in adult baptism and other practices of the early church, has been a troubled one.

However a delegation representing the 10 Bruderhof communities from the Anabaptist tradition met with John Paul II at the Vatican on 26th April.

Writing about the visit on the Bruderhof web site Johann Christoph Arnold who spoke to the Pope on behalf of the delegation said "the resulting bad blood between these two groups of Christians, which has now persisted for centuries, is still contrary to what the Gospels teach about forgiving, loving, and praying for oneís enemies."

He continued; "I have read a lot by and about Pope John Paul II, and have always been impressed by his courageous witness to world peace, the sanctity of life at its beginning and its end, and his unflagging zeal to strengthen and protect the family as an inviolable part of Godís order. But as I re-read much of this material in order to prepare for this visit, I was again struck by how this man, whose utmost longing has been to show the world a different way, often stands in stark contrast to his predecessors."

"Like him, we have waged a determined and uncompromising war against the current culture of death, both obvious (the war in Iraq and all other violence in the Middle East) and insidious (the ìsilent warî of abortion)."

The pope said; "I am pleased to welcome to the Vatican the representatives of the international movement of Bruderhof Communities. You share a tradition in which Christís call to discipleship finds expression in common life in the Spirit and in daily witness to the evangelical law of love. Christians always need to hear anew the radical summons to holiness, which is the heart of our Saviorís message. Your witness to that message is especially reflected in your respect for Godís creation and your deep commitment to defending the sacredness of all human life."

"I greet you with affection in the Lord and I pray that the growing contacts with the Catholic Church which you are fostering will bear fruit in ever greater mutual understanding, respect and cooperation. May God our merciful Father pour out upon you and your communities his abundant blessings of wisdom, joy

and peace."

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