Friday, January 06, 2017

Pope appoints Protestant to lead new edition of Vatican newspaper in Argentina

Pope Francis has appointed a Protestant pastor as the editor of the new Argentine version of the Vatican's semi-official Catholic newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor, is the former head of the Argentine Biblical Society. 

The Argentine Biblical Society is affiliated with United Bible Societies, a group that focuses on translating and promoting the Bible.

The Argentine version of L'Osservatore Romano will be published starting in September. Figueroa told Crux that "the idea was born from the constant dialogue Francis and I have, as friends."

"We want to spread Francis’ universal, pastoral work, in a way that reaches every Argentine," Figueroa said, including by featuring non-Catholic content from leaders of other religions. 

Figueroa called the pope's hiring of him a "grand gesture." 

The two worked on an interfaith television show together when Pope Francis was an archbishop.

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.

"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," said Figueroa. "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."

Vaticanist Sandro Magister reported that Pope Francis "wanted him [Figueroa] to be there on his recent journey to Lund, for the celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation."

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