7 Reasons Protestants are Pro Ecclesia

Pro Ecclesia means “for the church” and Protestants are people who “protest.” That’s a strange combination: how can Protestants (negative) be for the Church (positive)?

It all began innocently enough. A German Bible doctor  and priest penned something like a medieval letter to the editor when he posted a list of ninety-five arguments on the public bulletin board (the door of the chapel in the center of town). This priest-scholar believed these were worthy of debate by church leaders and published them out of a love for the Church and an established tradition of seeking its reformation.

However, that priest, named Dr. Martin Luther, was eventually excommunicated by the Roman Catholic hierarchy for refusing to recant his views which he first articulated when he posted those concerns, called theses, on October 31, 1517.

It is remarkable that such a small action (which was essentially nothing more than a blog post or an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer) set in motion what would eventually become the Protestant Reformation. Since then, that historic event (or events, as many historians acknowledge a number of reformations) has come to define a movement of Christian belief known as Protestantism.

Yet, as a Catholic reform movement defined in part by objecting to certain things–especially religious traditions and practices which have little or nothing to do with the Bible–we must not be understood merely as an opposition movement, or as people who only stand against.

I think there is a need to reemphasize that while the label or term “Protestant” has historically negative connotations, it does not summarize the whole scope of Protestant belief. We need to freshly articulate he positive grounds or foundations for protestant faith and practice.

Besides this, because of the many traditions within Protestantism, it is important to lay out the major convictions held by those who find themselves still “protesting” certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church as a way of understanding what binds us is greater than what divides. Here then are seven “pros” or positive beliefs that all Protestants share. Continue reading

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Fountains

There are over 1000 fountains in Rome. One of the most famous is the Trevi Fountain pictured below in the first three pictures. The legend is that if you toss a coin over your shoulder into this fountain you will return to Rome.

4. This fountain is one of four at an intersection called “the four fountains.” Each one depicts a different scene from Greek mythology.

5. This fountain shows the legend of Romulus and Remus being nursed by a she wolf.

Roman forum, 2

The Roman forum also held this temple to Romulus, and it’s original 6th century BC hydraulic door which is still functional.

Also shown below is the largest basilica in the world, which at one point housed the Roman equivalent of the Supreme Court. (St. Peters basilica was patterned after this.)

Finally the arch of Titus was where we exited the forum. It was erected after the sack of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple, and depicts these events.

Roman forum, 1

Visiting the Roman forum was an incredible trip back in time. Shown here is the…

1. …temple dedicated to the emperor and his wife.
2. …stone from which The speech was delivered on the occasion of Julius Caesar’s death; he said, “I am here to honor him.” 3. …remains of Julius Caesar’s temple, the foundation only. 4. …Wall Street of Ancient Rome.
5. …remains of the temple to the Vestal Virgins, with the emperor’s palace in the background.