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I saw Pope Francis yesterday, the papal successor, Roman Catholics believe, to the original pope, Simon Peter. It’s easy for Protestants to feel cynical about that. We reject much of what Catholics teach: we don’t pray to Mary, we don’t believe she was conceived immaculately, we don’t believe we consume Jesus’ literal body and blood, we don’t believe Peter was the first pope.

But we should be careful not to dwell on other travelers when we’ve got a long way to go ourselves, collectively and personally. As Romans 2:1 appropriately reminds us: “You who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself.” In every setting let’s seek instead the path of redemption.

I’m in Rome at the start of a New Testament study tour that will also... »
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