With the decline of mainline Protestantism in Canada, Evangelicals are more and more likely to be the non-Catholic Christians that Catholics encounter today. There are Evangelical churches, educational institutions, and service projects all across Canada, and they are growing and vibrant. Catholics also meet Evangelicals in the halls of power, where they are frequently on the same side of contentious social issues.
Most Canadian Catholics have met an Evangelical Christian. They are our neighbours, our co-workers, and our classmates. Sometimes they are members of our own families. Despite these interactions, Evangelicals remain something of a mystery to many Catholics. Who are these Christians? What do they believe? What do they believe about us? Catholics have concerns about several matters of faith and practice in Evangelical communities.
This past week, on October 18, 2016, the Canadian Bishops Conference published
an important document that is one of the results of the very fruitful dialogue that exists with our Evangelical brothers and sisters. The document is entitled Our Evangelical Neighbours: A Catholic Reflection on Evangelical Christianity
This resource on Evangelical Christianity was developed in close consultation with our dialogue partners at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
. The aim was to create a resource that reflected faithfully the Christian identity of our Evangelical brothers and sisters.
Today, on a special edition of Perspectives
, hosted by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, we are very happy to have with us two leaders of the Evangelical Fellowship in Canada who will help us to better understand who Evangelicals really are in our communities, and how we can continue to work together in our common Christian witness to the Gospel in a culture that grows increasingly distant from our Christian heritage in Canada and the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Thomas Rosica, speaks with Rev. David Freeman , Vice President, Canadian Ministries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and co-chair of the CCCB – EFC Dialogue, and Dr. Aileen Van Ginkel, Vice-President, Ministry Services of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and member of the CCCB – EFC dialogue.
For more information on ecumenical and interfaith relations, visit the official website of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: www.cccb.ca