Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prayer for the Election of a Pope

For the first time since 1415, one hundred years before the Reformation, a sitting Pope has resigned.  While many theological issues still divide Protestants from Roman Catholics, as a Presbyterian Teaching Elder, I want to hold my Roman Catholic Brothers and sisters in Prayer as the College of Cardinals begins the process of electing a new Pope.   I could not find in the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship a prayer of intercession for Roman Catholics, however.  There is a prayer for other churches (#51), for Jews (#57) and for Muslims (#58), but none for Roman Catholics, so I have composed my own.

Triune God,
although there are many unresolved differences
between Roman Catholics and Protestants,
there is more that unites us than divides us.
We jointly recognize the canonical Scriptures
and the formulation and adoption of the ecumenical creeds,
notably the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds
with their definitions of the mystery of the triune God
and the incarnation of the eternal Word of God in Jesus Christ.
Our Mutual Recognition of Baptism further expresses our efforts to move towards visible unity.
Therefore we pray for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters,
and for the College of Cardinals as it meets to elect a new Pope.
May the conclave of Cardinals be led by your Spirit
to recognize in their midst
the next person you have already called to lead the Roman Catholic expression of your church.
May the Cardinal elected as Pope,
bring a fresh spirit of openness and renewal,
and strive to bridge the differences that still divide us.  Amen.

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