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Leonardo De Chirico

Leonardo De Chirico is the pastor of Breccia di Roma, a church that he helped plant in Rome in 2009, and Vice Chairman of the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Previously, Leonardo planted and pastored an evangelical church in Ferrara, Italy from 1997 to 2009. He earned degrees in history (University of Bologna), theology (ETCW, Bridgend, Wales) and bioethics (University of Padova). His PhD is from King's College (London); it was published as Evangelical Theological Perspectives on Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. In 2015, he published A Christian Pocket Guide to Papacy through Christian Focus. He is a lecturer of historical theology at Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione in Padova, Italy. Additionally, Leonardo is the director of the Reformanda Initiative, which aims to equip evangelical leaders to better understand and engage with Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Rome Scholars and Leaders Network.



Same Words, Different Meanings: How Roman Catholicism Understandings the Christian Faith

It is often pointed out that Evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics have a lot in common. On the one hand, there is an apparent “common orthodoxy” based on the ancient Trinitarian and Christological creeds, which use the same basic words of the gospel: God, Jesus Christ, Bible, sin, faith, salvation, and so on. On the other hand, there is a profound difference in how the doctrines of Christ, the Church, and salvation (i.e. the core of the gospel) play out in practice. In dealing with Roman Catholicism, especially in times of mounting ecumenical pressure, Evangelical Protestants should attempt to go beyond superficial commonalities based on shared vocabulary. They should instead be aware of the internal theological framework of Roman Catholicism and try to understand it in the light of Scripture.


A Moral Issue Only? Assessing Theologically the Sexual Abuses of the Catholic Church

The public image of the Roman Catholic Church emerging out of the sexual abuse scandals is that of a disrupted institution going through a season of internal turmoil. Having several top leaders (cardinals, bishops, priests) and institutions (seminaries, schools, the Vatican curia itself) incriminated for either abusing children or covering up abuse undermines the moral, spiritual, and institutional credibility of Rome. A significant factor in determining the present-day moral disaster lies at the very heart of the theology of the Roman Church. After surveying the relevant reports that show the self-protecting attitude of Rome, the session will seek to argue that the problem has to do with the Roman theology of authority that warrants the primacy of the interest of the church over biblical truth and public transparency.



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