A Light in the darkness

There is a traditional enmity between Catholic and Protestant, which has given rise to much conflict - from verbal to violent and every stage in between. I find, increasingly, that I don't understand this conflict, but I think I understand how it arises - largely from suspicion of the 'other', born of ignorance.

I confess, despite belonging to a church which I would describe as 'only partly reformed' (i.e. not really considering itself to be fully Protestant, yet clearly not entirely 'Roman Catholic' either) to not understanding some of the tenets of Roman Catholicism - such as the reverence for the Virgin Mary and the saints. I suspect there is probably just as much about the Protestant churches which seems equally alien to the Roman Catholic believer.

The church in which I was converted to Christianity was Pentecostal - as far removed, in most ways, from Roman Catholicism as it is possible to get. And yet, when, as a student, I spent some of my spare time involved in 'social action' alongside Catholics, my Pentecostal pastor (a wise old bird) pointed out that we probably had more in common with Roman Catholics than with most other Protestants - a ready belief in the miraculous, for one thing - most Protestant churches at the time being of the opinion that 'that sort of thing' ceased with the death of the apostles. This probably accounts, at least partly, for my own openness & lack of enmity for Roman Catholicism.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016