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Pope appoints Presbyterian minister to lead Vatican newspaper in Argentina


Pope Francis has appointed a Protestant pastor as the editor of the new Argentinian version of the Vatican’s Catholic newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

“We want to spread Francis’ universal, pastoral work, in a way that reaches every Argentine,” said Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian minister who is the former head of Argentina’s Bible Society.

The Presbyterian leader also said that the Argentinian edition of L’Osservatore will include not only prominent Catholic figures such as Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, rector of Argentina’s Catholic University, but also members of other religions, highlighting Francis’s ecumenical and interreligious efforts.

“I believe that those who want to listen to the pope’s voice, following his pastoral work, with some additional commentary, will be enriched by our edition,” Figueroa said. “I believe it’ll be good for the soul of every Argentine, to follow carefully the voice of who today is the world’s most relevant spiritual leader.”

Figueroa is a friend of Francis. In the spring of 2015, when he had to undergo a delicate surgical operation back in Argentina, Francis stayed close to him with continual telephone calls and letters. After he recovered, in September of the same year the pope gave a long interview to him for FM Milennium 106.7, a Buenos Aires radio station. And a year later, he even promoted him not only as director of the Argentine weekly edition of L’Osservatore Romano, but even as a columnist for the bigger daily edition.

The two worked on an ecumenical television show together when Pope Francis was an archbishop in Argentina.

What does the pope intend by appointing a Presbyterian minister? To draw the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who is a Presbyterian? Both are in a conflict since February 2016 when Francis said that it was not right Trump’s attitude of surrounding the United States with a wall preventing the entry of illegal immigrants.

But is right to appoint a Presbyterian minister for a Catholic post?

According to the Catholic news site LifeSiteNews, “Catholics and Protestants disagree about what is required for salvation, the authority of the pope, various Marian teachings such as whether Mary was perpetually a virgin, the Mass, and other major facets of Christian life.”

LifeSiteNews is correct. It is not proper for a Presbyterian or other Protestant to lead a Catholic group, and it would be equally improper for a Catholic to lead a Protestant group. Can they be friends? Of course. But friendship or partnership in pro-family and pro-life causes should never be equal to ecumenism.

When possible, there should be unity among Christians for the common good, to fight abortion, the homosexual agenda, Islamic fanaticism and to support Israel.

But spiritual unity is impossible. Catholic doctrines require Mary and determined saints to be intercessors between God and man while Protestant doctrines teach that Jesus is fully enough for mediation and intercession.

Francis and the Presbyterian minister should separate their friendship from their religious obligations.

At least, the pope did not appoint a pro-abortion and pro-sodomy man. In contrast, the most prominent Presbyterian university in Brazil has hired Marxist, pro-abortion and pro-sodomy professors.

Even so, Catholics are very discontent with the pope’s appointment. And why should evangelicals be content?

It is correct to say that Francis is a great pro-family leader. But it is very problematic for a former head of Argentina’s Bible Society to say the Francis is “the world’s most relevant spiritual leader.”

With information from LifeSiNews, EWTN and Cruxnow.

Portuguese version of this article: Papa nomeia pastor presbiteriano para liderar jornal do Vaticano na Argentina


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