Monday, March 14, the book “Diversities reconciled. A Protestant in the Diary of Pope Francis” (Libreria Editrice Vaticana), written by Argentinian Marcelo Figueroa, the first Protestant priest of Francis’s pontificate, was presented in Rome.
The book brings together chronologically the articles, contributions and interviews of the priest of the Argentine Presbyterian Church, personal friend of Pope Francis for more than 20 years and editor of the newspaper ‘Osservatore Romano’ since 2016.
“The book is my case as a priest of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church working in the newspaper of the Holy See. It is in itself something historic, unpublished and a gift from God for me,” said Marcelo Figueroa in an interview with COPE. , a Spanish Catholic radio station.
Published in Italian under the title “Le Diversità Riconciliate: Un protestante nel giornale del Papa”, the book should be published in English and other languages in the near future. Fundamentally. the book shows how reconciled differences between Christians become an eloquent sign of prophecy and witness in a world torn by discord and tension.
“My work within the newspaper and my vision within the Church is to work the ecumenical and interreligious aspect and we all know that this is one of the most important and important lines of the pontificate of Francis” , added Figueroa, married to Emilse, a lawyer. and daughter of a Baptist pastor, with whom he has two children.
Figueroa became a committed member of the Evangelical Church in Argentina at the age of 25. After earning a degree in economics from the University of Buenos Aires, he began working with the United Bible Society, first as an accountant and then as national director. He was convinced that it was important to have an ecumenical relationship with the Catholic Church and believed that it could grow around the Bible. When Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, Figueroa offered him to “work together” on Bible-related initiatives.
About the last six years of work for Pope Francis, he points out that they have also involved “a personal pilgrimage, trying to understand, codify and deepen the changes, the evolution and the different looks that the Pope has had on the term of ecumenism”.
The Argentinian writer is clear on the fact that ecumenism is more topical than ever: “The meeting for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at the Ecumenical Council of Churches, the Pope’s meeting with Patriarch Cyril in Havana, the two encyclicals that begin with a quote from Patriarch Bartholomew and the Grand Imam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, all have an ecumenical core.”