Last week I mentioned that our friend and advisory board member Timothy George had gone to Rome at the pope’s invitation as a fraternal delegate to the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Timothy is, as readers may know, a Southern Baptist, and was there representing the Baptist World Alliance, perhaps in part because of his leadership of Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
He was invited to address the bishops and his remarks have been posted online. One quote:
In his encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, Blessed Pope John Paul II emphasized the memory of the martyrs as a living part of our Christian witness today. On a visit to the Basilica of St. Bartholomew several days ago, I was shown the beautiful icon of twentieth and twenty-first century Christian martyrs, from East and West, North and South. I was most moved to see there the likeness of two Baptist Christians, one a humble believer imprisoned and then killed by the Communists in Rumania, the other, Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist pastor from my own country. Jesus prayed to the heavenly Father that his disciples would be one so that the world might believe. As of old, the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church, so now the blood of today’s martyrs is the seed of the church’s unity.
An aspect of which is symbolized, of course, by the distinguished American Baptist speaking to the world’s Catholic bishops, in Rome, on a matter close to his and their hearts.