Wooohooooo! We are jumping for joy full of gratitude for God's love expressed through your friendship. Stop and listen can you hear it. Our Father says to each of us, "I have loved you with and everlasting love"
– Jeremiah 31:3
To read our year in review and see a photo montage of 2015 click here
1) REPORT NEW YORK CITY
Earlier this month as part of the John 17 team, I had the privilege in helping facilitate a historic first ever large gathering of Protestants and Catholics coming together to pray and worship in New York City. It was a powerful gathering and once again Pope Francis wrote a personal letter hand delivered by his good friend Giovanni Traettino (who is part of the John 17 team) Click link below to watch a short video from this gathering
We pray that in this Christmas Season God will open your hearts afresh to the rich blessing that surround you. We thank God for you in our lives. Your friendship is a gift to us!
Ryan and Noleen, Ethan, Keilah, Micah, & Elyana
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
"The Christmas Star in the night sky, the shining of the Christmas light in the night – all this is the sign that light breaks into the darkness. Though we see about us the darkness of unrest, of family discord, of class struggle, of competitive jealousy and of national hatred, the light shall shine and drive it out.…Wherever the Christmas Child is born in a heart, wherever Jesus begins his earthly life anew – that is where the life of God’s love and of God’s peace dawns again."
– Emmy Arnold
By Daniel Malakowsky
The very essence of God's nature is found in this simple name. The creator of heaven and earth, the covenant giver and keeper, the one who establishes kings and nations and stewards them to his own purposes would choose to identify himself as Immanuel, God with us. The Great I AM would yield himself to the painful despair of a world detached from his own purposes and enter humanity as a Son, thus revealing a God who made himself known not as one who is distant, but as one who is near in the endearing role of Father.
As Israel would find judgment and the northern kingdom a message of destruction and wrath in the words that were uttered by Isaiah, even their disobedience could not exhaust the immeasurable mercies of YHWH. In death there would be life and despair would yield to hope.
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." ~ Isaiah 7:14
It is appropriate then that Matthew, pondering life in the kingdom that was manifest in the life of Christ, would see the authority of God expressed not from a detached throne, but in the midst of the desperation, isolation, and fear that are the hearts of men. The arrogant pride and lust, the wretched detachment from God and one another that permeated these hearts and lives would find hope in a king who came as a servant. The name of this king was Immanuel, God with us.
“'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.' All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)." ~ Matthew 1:20b-23
The king would find victory in humility and commission others to do the same. Immersing themselves in the reality and truth that was this kingdom, his followers were thus to immerse others in this goodness and grace. With the simple words of 'follow me' the heart of discipleship would be known and its foundation was found in the name of the one they were invited to follow...Immanuel, God with us.
Forming the bookends of his Gospel, Matthew would show that at the core of life in this kingdom was embracing the reality that is ours, that in Christ God is truly with us. In his putting on flesh and coming as a man, God revealed that the solution to the troubles of this world would be a person. To know this person, to embrace Immanuel, would not only be the entry point, but also the source and fountain of our life and restoration.
"Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." ~ Matthew 28:20b
As the advent season beckons us to celebrate the birth of Christ, it also invites us to follow after the 'God with us' life. To engage this life is to the know one who will never leave or forsake you, the one who chooses to be with you, the one who calls you forth in the unending satisfaction of his presence.
Let us celebrate him well, but let us embrace him even more as he embraces us. His name is Immanuel, and he shows us that God is truly with us.
By Daniel Malakowsky
"And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." ~ Ephesians 1:22-23
To understand the specific nuances of a faith, you have to understand the symbols which that faith employs to give expression to what it believes. Within the history of the nation of Israel one of the most significant symbol of its faith was that of the temple. It was in this temple that the sacrifices and offerings of the people of God were to be made and it was the temple that would house the actual presence of YHWH among his people. For Israel religion was the practice of purifying self for the intent purpose of entering into the presence of God, and the temple is where this divine encounter occurred. Central to all of this was the Law of Moses in the Torah, but the temple would be the place that housed the actual presence of God in the holy of holies within the central chamber of the temple complex itself.
With the coming of Christ the living Torah became incarnate among men and a fuller understanding of this indwelling reality of God's presence was made known. While Ezekiel records in the 6th century B.C. that the glory of God in the temple would depart, in Christ the temple would manifest in the uniqueness of his own flesh. The apostle John records in his Gospel that when Jesus was cleansing the temple in Jerusalem that he was asked to give a sign to reveal the authority that would allow for such actions. Jesus responded to the question by stating that he would destroy the temple in 3 days, but would then raise it again. This response confused even his disciples until the resurrection, as in it he was speaking of his own body now as the temple. In Christ the temple was finding its fulfillment in that the one who is the fullness of God now dwelt among men, and by his death would impart his Spirit to those who would become his through faith in him.
This did not mean that Jesus, or those early followers of him, would see the temple within Jerusalem as no longer holy and sacred, but that they would find its fulfillment now in a person and a people. What left in the 6th century had now returned in the person of Jesus and would inhabit a people now known in the church.
For the apostle Paul this had a profound effect on his personal understanding of the nature of how God was at work in the world and how his presence would be made known and encountered. While often the analogy of the body is employed by Paul, it has to be understood not simply in terms of interdependence (which he utilizes explicitly in 1st Corinthians), but in terms of the manifest presence of God in the world. In Paul's understanding Jesus was the summing up of all things for the purpose of once more bringing union with God (c.f. Ephesians 1:9). This heading up, or headship, of Jesus was now given to the church which, through the power of the incarnation, would now act on earth as the body of the Messiah himself.
This union in Christ thus calls forth a union with one another. Later in Ephesians, after unpacking how the hostilities of men were now removed in Christ (a topic I will pick up in the next blog), Paul returns to this temple analogy. The body of Christ, the church, through the imparting presence of God's Spirit within it had in itself become the sacred chamber of God's temple. The holy of holies was now found in the hearts of men and in the corporate communion of the saints.
"Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit."
~ Ephesians 2:20-22
Within the Greek language there were two possible ways of speaking of the temple. One of these was to speak of it in its entirety, meaning the total temple complex. The other, and the word which Paul employs here, was to speak of the temple more specifically as the inner sanctum of the temple, being in this case the holy of holies. What Paul then is saying is that in the person of Christ, which we who are in him now stand as his body, are being built together as the holy of holies and as a dwelling place for God by the work of the Spirit.
This then for Paul had a profound impact on his understanding of the oneness and unity of the Gospel, and it should for us as well. He states this work is presently being done and it is possible for it to grow, implying more of God's presence can inhabit it as our union is made whole in Christ and in one another. The picture then is that the inner sanctum of God's presence, being again us who are in Christ, can either expand or shrink through our ability to live in reconciled union with each other, or through our divisions and inability to receive one another.
To bring division within the body of Christ is to tarnish the inner sanctum and holy of holies of God's temple. It is to miss the fact that in the Messiah we are now his body actively at work in the world to bring the reconciling reality of the Gospel to the world. This is the means by which God has employed himself and us as bearers of a new humanity found only in the person of Jesus.
It would be nearly impossible for Paul to think of the holy of holies as divided and equally should be for us. Our present divides reveal our loss of what is sacred and how that sacredness is encountered and known in the world. Paul in another epistle would describe a world outside of Christ as a 'perverse and crooked generation' that those who are in Christ should shine as lights within and towards. This light is the radiating presence of God within body of his Son, now known in the church. Our divisions have dulled that light, but our union and restoration to one another will manifest the fullness of that presence to a world in desperate need for the hope that this union brings.
Reconciliation and unity are not options in this reality, but means by which it is encountered, known and manifest. Just as Ezekiel saw the glory of God depart from the temple, our divisions give vision to a similar truth. The Gospel calls us not to settle for such limitations, but beckons us forward in union of the fullness of him who fills all in all.
below you will find a short reflection from me and upcoming events.
Thanks for reading. In this season I encourage us to slow down and create space for unhurried and unscheduled times with one another.
And with these hells and heavens so few inches apart...
I get tired of being so fragile but I am! I can swing from the ecstasy enjoying God’s nearness in my life and then hardship hits and I can crumble under the pressure and find myself sometimes slowly distancing my heart from His loving and exposing Presence. I recently came out of a rough patch of struggling with fatigue, sin, and discouragement. God gave the grace for me to get away into the Santa Rita foothills and there he undid me with his mercy. Rich Mullins in his song ‘We are not as strong as we think we are’ sings, "We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made +Forged in the fires of human passion + Choking on the fumes of selfish rage + And with these our hells and our heavens, so few inches apart + We are not as strong as we think we are
(Santa Rita Foothills, Sonoita, Arizona)
I was alone and I cried out to God, I took long walks and God gently yet firmly dealt with me. He gave me what I needed, the gift of repentance (to turn away from self and turn wholly to Jesus) in those quiet days of solitude I experienced his healing and restoration. On the last morning I joined the Sisters for Morning Prayer, at the end they celebrated the Eucharist. Sitting alone on the hard wooden benches off to the side one of the sisters motioned me to come up and stand with them in a circle to receive Christ together. These precious sisters became physical touch points of the love of God to me.
(Sisters of Santa Rita Abbey)
Friends we need not despair over our weakness and smallness for God’s grace is sufficient. He takes each one of us by the hand and longs to walk with us. If you are hurting tonight let us know so we can reach out and be with you. If you are in a place of strength then help those who are not. For we both alike have been called, forgiven, and are being restored even now as we work with God in His redemptive purposes for all humanity and all creation. So let us go forth in joy to love and serve Him who loves us and has given us such dignity and value
3rd Annual Christmas Caroling- Dec 17th 6:30-8:30pm
Meet at the Community Garden at 6:30pm and we will go out and sing Christmas Carols. We will end up back at the garden around 7:30pm for tamales, smores, hot cocoa and maybe even some figgey pudding. Feel free to bring a friend. RSVP here if you will join us
Christmas Even Pancake breakfast Dec 24th at the Thurmans house 8:30am-10:30am
We will provide the pancakes, bring a side to share and bring a white elephant gift to exchange.
Feel free to invite others just rsvp here so we can keep be prepared.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan 18-25
Put this in your calendars we want to create some space with other friends in our city to focus on Jesus’ prayer, "that we would all be one."
If you are interested in helping with this let us know by reaching out and saying so!
By Daniel Malakowsky
"Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places..." ~ Ephesians 1:18-20
Several months ago I began the unexpected journey of changing careers and becoming a math teacher. As this transition has unfolded, and I now find myself working with high school students in discovering the simple truths and processes of algebra, one question comes to the forefront more than any other, "when am I ever going to use this stuff?!" Apparently the banality of sitting with the repeated variables of 'x' and 'y' and thinking through their relationship, while learning about things that sound foreign and unnecessary, like discovering the joy of quadratic equations, is not an invigorating experience for youth who are thinking of education more pragmatically.
What many of these students miss is that underneath our physical world is the architectural manifestation of mathematics that gives explanation for the invisible things that bind together our reality. Thus the learning of math takes what is unseen and allows them to harness the force and powers that undergird the world of creation and exercise the dominion called forth in by Yahweh in Genesis 1 to bridle them for good. From the Fibonacci sequence that unfolds the patterns of shells and flowers to the complex equations that reveal the nuances of energy, electromagnetic waves, and all physical matter, the elements of life that are not seen become known and expressed through the working of math.
Many of these great discoveries were made by those who looked at our physical world and that which was beyond it, namely a reality in which God was king. As a new believer I once stumbled into the works of Nicholas of Cusa, a 15th century German philosopher and astronomer. In his work titled, "On Learned Ignorance," he compared the life of discipleship and truth to that of a polygon. He noted that in pursuit of truth we can add numerous sides and angles, making a polygon to look increasingly more like a circle, but it will never be a circle. The more sides we add, the smaller they become and the corresponding angles, but we will only have a shape with smaller angles and sides, never an object that is entirely without angles, like the circle. Only the truth is without angle and he found that truth in the person of Christ, the unbending reality of our existence.
Like Cusa and those that have been driven to explore the unseen reality behind our physical world and existence, I believe that the apostle Paul was ultimately driven by what was unseen, yet made known in our world. While not thinking through such things in terms of metaphysics, astronomy, and mathematics, Paul was ultimately compelled by the Fatherhood of God that was manifest through the life, death and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus.
Paul and the Unseen
In the latter part of Ephesians chapter 1, Paul moves from his great benediction in which he unpacks that Triune truth of who God is and how he has been at work and known in the world, being his purposes, heart and plans, to a prayer for the recipients of this letter. As he prays for them, he petitions that 'having the eyes of their hearts enlightened' they may know the hope, calling and inheritance that is theirs with one another in the power of the resurrection. This hope and calling are not ambiguous or generalized, but the hope to which he just called them forth in his opening benediction. It is the hope of God's work that they now have in deposit (Ephesians 1:14) in that he is working in Christ to unite all things to himself. The hope that what is now in deposit, will one day be consummated and the divisions and discord that are the consequences of sin and death will be no more.
The calling then is not abstract, but is the calling to live in light of the triune reality that has been made known in Christ, where the union of the Trinity has become our union through our adoption in Christ. Christ the Beloved, or more fully the one who has been and is presently being loved by the Father, incorporates us into the fullness of who God is by defining this truth through the simple statement of 'in whom.' In whom, meaning the one we now belong to and through whom we have access to all that God is, becomes the meta-narrative of the Christian life. This is our shared inheritance, that we belong to the life of God in Christ through the working out of his love in the redemptive actions of the cross.
For Paul then, the unseen world to which we are invited into in Christ, is ultimately the world of our union to the harmony of love found in the Trinity. It is a union we have in part, but that part is fully ours and we are to live in light of our belonging to it, but also the hope of its culmination when the Son of Man returns in his glory.
At the heart of Paul's vision of reconciliation and unity is his unwavering trust and vision of the world unseen in which God reigns in the power of his glory, but is yet also revealed in the love and humility of his Son. Paul is not inviting us to worship and come before the proverbial imaginings of delusion that only find harmony in the minds of wishful thinking and dreaming. He is taking what God has made known in Christ and inviting, through the tangible and concrete actions of this love and redemption, to see a reality that is equally real, if not yet seen, in which we now participate and have union with.
The Trinity - Our Doxological Reality
This reality is one that is ultimately trinitarian and doxological. It is trinitarian in that it is the Father, Son and Spirit who give it life and animation and bind it together in the union and unity of the Godhead. While this mystery is unfathomable, it in itself can still be known and experienced. It was revealed in the person of Christ and now defines our union with God, therefore also giving us this rich inheritance of sonship whereby we too can call God our Father, our Abba.
It is doxological in that in it we are invited to experience the fruits and joy of our union with God through praise knowing that his purposes are never thwarted, and his glory is made known now in the redeeming blood of Christ. This is not the doxology of simply lifting our voices and melodies of our instruments in set aside times of service and praise, but that of engaging all of life and the relationships therein through the incredible truth of belonging to God and participating in him. It is the doxology that Paul now exemplifies in prison by opening his letter with praise and benedictions to the one true God that he is in chains for. It is the doxology of praise in his unceasing gratitude for the faith and love now found in the church that he can pray and impart this truth to others.
At the heart of Paul's writing in the letter of Ephesians is his understanding of the mystery of God's purposes in the working out of the church. For Paul the unity and oneness of the people of God is not merely a missonal program that should periodically be engaged, but is the very nature of its existence. It belongs and exists in the oneness of God and the reconciliation of the Gospel through the shed blood of Jesus. It is this belonging and oneness in the Trinity that our eyes have been enlightened to in Christ, though we are invited to see this truth through a vision of the heart. While the life of Christ may only be accessible through faith, it can only be animated and revealed in love. May we see one another in light of this vision.
As my math students have been stymied by their limited vision and engagement of what they are being taught, we too can easily miss this vision that Paul is praying we would see through the faculty of our hearts. Just as math can numerically express what is invisible in our world to the naked eye, the cross of Christ points us through its concrete love rooted in history to a world which is beyond it. At the center of this world is a God who is actively at work to unite all things in himself. A world that for those of who are in Christ now belong to and are invited to explore through our shared inheritance in also belonging to God and one another in the reconciled truth of the Gospel.
By Daniel Malakowsky
When most think of the seat of power of the Catholic church in Rome, what immediately comes to mind is the Vatican and the incredible physical presence of St. Peter's Basilica. This was true for us from A2J who had gathered as a part of the Wittenberg 2017 initiative meetings just outside of Rome proper in the comune of Ariccia. On Monday, October 26th, we would be afforded an opportunity to put into practice the very messages we had been receiving from during this time through services of repentance at the aforementioned basilica, the Arch of Titus, and also, at what we would discover is the true seat of power of the Roman church, St. John's Lateran Basilica.
St. John's Lateran, also known as the Lateran Basilica, is the most significant of the papal basilicas and the actual ecclesiastical seat of the Roman pontiff, the pope. Officially known in Latin as Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sanctorum Iohannes Baptista et Evangelist in Laterno, meaning Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran. It alone is reserved the title archbasilica and ranks officially over St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, being the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome.
Alongside having this unique designation as the formal symbol of ecclesial power, St. John's Lateran is also the location of five ecumenical councils, known as the Lateran Councils. While the Church of the East, and the Church of the West acknowledge 7 ecumenical councils that are shared, the Western tradition of what we now know as the Roman Catholic Church, continued to meet under the title of being ecumenical. The 8th, and controversial in terms of East/West relationships in the church, would be the 4th Council of Constantinople in which the Patriarch of Constantinople, Photios I, was deposed and his predecessor reinstated. Following the excommunication of one another by the Bishop of Rome and the Bishop of Constantinople in what is popularly known as the Great Schism in 1054, these ecumenical councils in the West would be predominantly focused on issues related to the Western Church and its role in the Holy Roman Empire.
The first four of these more isolated councils, being the 9th-12th of the Western tradition, would take place in the 12th and 13th centuries within the confines of St. John's Lateran. Several hundred years later, and at the dawn of the Reformation, a 5th Lateran Council would be held from 1512-1517. While these five Lateran Councils would be an opportunity for the church to embrace reform, they were often rooted in issues of political and temporal power, as well as horrific schisms that would often plague the church in the West during the latter Middle Ages.
The First Lateran Council was called in 1123 by Pope Callistus II over issues of lay investiture, predominantly dealing with the role of the emperor, being a laymen, in the naming of bishops and clergy. This council affirmed an agreement made the year before by the Pope and then Emperor, Henry V, called the Concordant of Worms that would limit to the emperor to giving political power alone to bishops, while their choosing and ordination would remain the duty of the church.
This was followed shortly after by a schism after the death of Pope Honorius in 1130 and led to Pope Innocent II calling forth the Second Lateran Council in 1139 to deal with the issues that arose during this brief period and to affirm the decisions of the First Lateran Council. Only 40 years later the Third Lateran Council would be enacted in 1179 following another schism between the papal powers and the emperor. The emperor, Frederick I, attempted to ordain his own pope and rejected the then elected pope, Alexander III. This continued struggle for power would lead to the eventual decree that the election of the pope would be limited through the cardinals, and thus restrict lay and temporal roles in the process.
The most notable Lateran Council would be the fourth, called at the height of papal power and influence during the medieval period by Pope Innocent III in the year 1215. Despite having the broadest and most influential attendance of all Lateran Councils, the 70 canons decreed would only take 3 sessions and affirmed the dictates given by the pope. It is within the canons of this council that the doctrine of transubstantiation would be formalized and the fifth Crusade would be launched into the Holy Land. Jews and Muslims were required to wear special dress that would designate them and limit issues of 'blasphemy' and the controversial apocalyptic teachings of Joachim of Fiore, largely adopted by the spiritual wing of the new Franciscan order, were also condemned as they challenged the temporal and political power of the church.
While a number of concilliar movements would occur in the next centuries, it was not until 1512 that another ecumenical council would take place in St. John's Lateran. It is debated as to whether this council could have fully anticipated the undercurrents that would erupt in 1517 in the Reformation, but its timing and opportunity to deal with issues of reform make it a remarkable opportunity for the Western Church. Instead of focusing on the larger issues that were plaguing the church, it was mired in an embittered battle between the papacy and the papal states with the king of France.
Simultaneously there was another battle taking place over how authority would be held within the Western Church itself, with some advocates touting the role of the papacy, and others the role of concilliar authority in the councils. For the past century this debate had been unfolding as councils had been deemed, when they were occurring, to be the highest ecclesial authority. No council could be called with the pope who, when councils were called, would be subject to them, but when they were not, would himself be the highest ecclesial power.
As the Fifth Lateran Council concluded, the predominant motif in the canons it declared were focused on these issues of power and authority. This council would only be followed by only three more over the next five centuries. The first being the Council of Trent in response to the Protestant movement in the Reformation in middle part of the 16th century, but then not again until the First Vatican Council in 1870. This latter council would be called during the same century that the Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved and the Church would once more find itself wrestling with the issue of authority, only now in the context of the rising secular nation state, and no longer in the bridging of temporal and spiritual powers through the Sacrum Imperium. It would be in this First Vatican Council that the issue of authority and power would once more be promulgated through the formal declaration and canon of papal infallibility.
On Monday, October 26th, 2015, we would gather now being led by the Catholic priest and scholar, Fr. Peter Hocken, with the support and participation of the emeritus auxiliary bishop of Mainz to embrace this long legacy of the councils in a service of repentance. Fr. Peter would speak to the issue of arrogance and pride that had been manifested and reinforced through the decrees that came forth from the very building and church we stood within at St. John's Lateran.
His confession led to prayers for healing and an honoring of one another, especially those who were members and clergy of Protestant churches. There was even a moment to honor and pray for those who were a part of the Anabaptists churches, whose traditions were forcefully opposed by not only Catholics, but by mainline Protestant traditions also. These movements of honoring allowed Fr. Peter and the Catholics among us to then acknowledge the arrogance of the see of Rome in relationship to the Messianic Jews among us. The in-grafted branch symbolically acknowledged it was such, and through prayer and repentance, the natural branches were lifted up and honored. Fr. Peter would go even as far as to say that the greatest arrogance of all within the see of Rome was to claim for itself something that belonged to Christ alone, that being the head of the body.
The next day Fr. Peter would lead us in a teaching on the nature of reform. He stated that a lack of reform reveals a lack of confession and that without confession one is attempting to deal with sin detached from repentance. The power of reform then lies in the ability to confess. The five councils that took place in this basilica came together missing the spirit and reality of this truth. Fr. Peter would state that this defensive nature within the church led to a view that critique was an expression of disloyalty, thus hindering any honest introspection.
In would not be until Vatican II in the 1960's that the Catholic Church would give a real listening to the voice of the Reformers. This has translated to a slow formation from the council to the local parish as the major symbol of the church moves from the Holy Roman Empire, to the body of Christ. In John Paul II the sons and daughters of the church were given permission and blessing to acknowledge their sin and confess. In Pope Francis a further step is being taken as he sheds the symbols of the Sacrum Imperium, refusing all privilege, and thus embracing the Christ of the Gospels and the present role of the Spirit. While not doing away with the roles of bishops and cardinals, he is redefining them by removing the idea of arrogance in hierarchy. In this he is opening the door to confession and through that door is the way of reform.
There is a battle for the church of Rome that Paul spoke of in scriptures as being not of flesh and blood. It is a battle we waged in this time at St. John's Lateran and one that requires our continued prayers and intercession, but also our continued willingness to confess to one another. In this we too will continue to find our own healing and reformation in Christ, and the only path to a reconciled church.
"The true authority of the church of Rome is the charity of Christ...[it] is the heart of its truth, which does not build walls of division and exclusion, but makes bridges that build communion and recall the whole human race to unity; that is its secret power, which nourishes its unshakable hope, invincible despite momentary defeats." ~ Pope Francis