PIH Perspective on Catholic Church Relations
The purpose of this page is to help bring some clarity and explanation of the Partners in Harvest/Catch the Fire relationship to the Roman Catholic Church. The need for this brief outline has come to our attention especially in light of recent dialogues and common events which John Arnott, as well as other PIH and Catch the Fire leaders have had with the Roman Catholic Church. This is an attempt to present a basic understanding of PIH leadership’s thoughts and by no means covers all questions and comments that arise. This is more of a fact sheet than a positional paper.
Our dialogues and relationships with the Catholic Church indicate a recognition that we hold many things in common including:
- An affirmation of the Historical Nicene and Apostolic creeds.
- A Pro-Life worldview and practice.
- A traditional role of marriage of one man and one woman.
- Strong traditional family model and ethic.
- The Catholic Church recognizes the current of grace through the charismatic renewal of the last 100 plus years
- A common concern and effort to counter militant totalitarian secularism in Western Society.
- PIH recognizes that the present pope highly values unity in diversity, leading in modelling repentance for past inter-church sins, and Christ-centred salvation.
- PIH recognizes the value of an agreement on a 1999 Joint Declaration, though not perfect, between the World Lutheran Federation and the Roman Catholic Church defining salvation as justification by faith alone through grace.
- In light of the above, as well as other current realities, PIH leadership feels we have been prompted and led of the Holy Spirit, to pursue dialogue, friendship and greater mutual understanding, in fulfillment of Jesus’ last prayer in John 17, through relationship with Catholic leaders.
- We recognize this dialogue and relationship takes risk on both sides.
What These Dialogues and Relationships Do Not Mean
- Although this may be stating the obvious, this does not mean we are organizationally joining the Catholic Church nor are they asking that from us or other evangelical churches they are in dialogue with.
- This does not mean that PIH endorses all practices or theologies outside of the Nicene or Apostolic Creed. In fact, PIH has a clear statement of faith and is a member in good standing with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and other evangelical bodies internationally.
- This does not mean that salvation is dependent on an organized church institution be it Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical or otherwise. PIH believes an intentional, conscious decision to follow Jesus as Saviour and Lord is necessary for personal salvation and eternal life.