PUBLIC MORALITY AND THE PETRINE MINISTRY: A PROTESTANT PERSPECTIVE ON A RENEWED MORAL PAPACY

Clint le Bruyns

Abstract


The vast array of problems and challenges plaguing South African society can only
be confronted by a new working relationship between different ecclesial traditions.
With church division and fragmentation seriously impeding constructive engagement
in the public morality sphere, the present moment demands that churches seek
new and creative ways of dealing with old problems for the sake of the common
good. The purpose of this article is to provide an ecumenical ethic that may assist
Protestants and Catholics in their mutual desire for moral integrity in the public
arena. To proceed in this fashion necessitates a reflection on the Petrine ministry,
which presently features as the greatest ecumenical problem in Protestant-Catholic
relations. Yet, with recent decades reflecting a growing tendency for Protestants to
view the Petrine ministry as an authentic and potentially propitious structure of the
churches, this former stumbling block may very well become a new stepping stone in
Protestant-Catholic efforts at public morality in the South African context. This
article will attempt to build a case for Protestants to accept the Petrine office as a
Petrine service of moral leadership that may potentially benefit all churches, albeit
not in its present form.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/82-0-906

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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