Europe is the most secular continent on earth, but many continue to hold strong allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, especially in Southern Europe. In Italy, for example, polls suggest that approximately 80% of the population has affiliations with Roman Catholicism.
José Moreno Berrocal has been a missionary and pastor with European Missionary Fellowship (EMF) in Alcázar de San Juan, Spain, for over 30 years. Sharing the gospel in a strongly Roman Catholic country has been at the heart of his work.
EMF recently held a webinar in which José and Andrew Birch (the incoming Mission Director for EMF, and also a missionary in Spain for over 35 years) explored key questions related to evangelising Roman Catholics.
The discussion started by exploring areas of doctrine where evangelicals and Roman Catholics would agree, such as the Trinity and the deity of Christ. The speakers then explored areas where clear disagreement remains, such as the doctrine of Scripture and salvation through faith alone by grace alone.
The webinar focused on more than just the need to share the gospel with Roman Catholics because of key doctrinal differences. It also addressed the issue of how evangelicals may go about it. This is challenging because the spectrum of belief and level of involvement vary widely from one Catholic to another.
José recalled several experiences of engaging with Roman Catholic friends and family members. He underlined the need for gentleness, patience, and perseverance, encouraging us to invite any Catholic contacts to our meetings, where the warmth of fellowship and simplicity of worship are striking and stand in contrast to what many Catholics are used to.
‘We need to encourage our Roman Catholic relations and friends to read the Bible for themselves,’ he added, ‘to see for themselves the richness of God’s Word and the unsearchable riches of Christ.’
The webinar can be viewed at europeanmission.org/webinar.