Christianity in the 21st century
Christianity in the 21st century is characterized by the pursuit of Church unity and the continued resistance to secularization.
With the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the Church had seen largely a continuation of the policies of his predecessor, John Paul II, with some notable exceptions. Benedict decentralized beatifications and reverted the decision of his predecessor regarding papal elections. In 2007, he set a Church record by approving the beatification of 498 Spanish Martyrs. His first encyclical Deus Caritas Est discussed love and sex in continued opposition to several other views on sexuality.
Roman Catholic attempts to improve ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches have been complicated by disputes over both doctrine and the recent history of the Orthodox Eastern Catholic Churches, involving the return of expropriatiated properties of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which the Orthodox Church took over after World War II at the request of Joseph Stalin.
In June 2004, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I's visit to Rome for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) afforded him the opportunity for another personal meeting with Pope John Paul II, for conversations with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and for taking part in the celebration for the feast day in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Patriarch's partial participation in the Eucharistic liturgy at which the Pope presided followed the program of the past visits of Patriarch Dimitrios (1987) and Patriarch Bartholomew I himself: full participation in the Liturgy of the Word, joint proclamation by the Pope and by the Patriarch of the profession of faith according to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Greek and as the conclusion, the final Blessing imparted by both the Pope and the Patriarch at the Altar of the Confessio. The Patriarch did not fully participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist involving the consecration and distribution of the Eucharist itself.
In accordance with the Roman Catholic Church's practice of including the clause when reciting the Creed in Latin, but not when reciting the Creed in Greek, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have recited the Nicene Creed jointly with Patriarchs Demetrius I and Bartholomew I in Greek without the Filioque clause. The action of these Patriarchs in reciting the Creed together with the Popes has been strongly criticized by some elements of Eastern Orthodoxy, such as the Metropolitan of Kalavryta, Greece, in November 2008
The declaration of Ravenna in 2007 re-asserted these beliefs, and re-stated the notion that the bishop of Rome is indeed the protos, although future discussions are to be held on the concrete ecclesiological exercise of papal primacy.
With the election of Pope Francis in 2013, following the resignation of Benedict, Francis is the current and first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. Since his election to the papacy, he has displayed a simpler and less formal approach to the office, choosing to reside in the Vatican guesthouse rather than the papal residence.
Postmodern Christianity has influenced the emerging church movement. Critics allege, however, that this movement's understanding of faith has led many of its adherents outside the bounds of traditional Christianity.
- History of Christianity
- History of Eastern Orthodox Churches in the 20th century
- History of Protestantism
- History of the Roman Catholic Church#Catholicism today
- History of Christian theology#Postmodern Christianity
- Timeline of Christianity#21st century
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- Moto Proprio, De Aliquibus Mutationibus, June 11, 2007
- Bruni, A Gospel of Shame (2002), p. 336
- Report on Catholic-Orthodox Relations
- Presentation of the Celebration
- Common Declaration
- Missale Romanum 2002 (Roman Missal in Latin), p. 513
- Ρωμαϊκό Λειτουργικό 2006 (Roman Missal in Greek), vol. 1, p. 347
- programme of the celebration
- Video recording of joint recitation
- The Metropolitan's own blog, reported also by this Religious News Agency and the Russian Orthodox
- Cardinal Walter Kasper Says Pope Francis Will Bring New Life To Vatican II
- Vallely, Paul (14 March 2013). "Pope Francis profile: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a humble man who moved out of a palace into an apartment, cooks his own meals and travels by bus". The Independent. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- Farrell, Joseph P. God, History, & Dialectic: The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes and Their Cultural Consequences. Bound edition 1997. Electronic edition 2008.
- González, Justo L. (1985). The Story of Christianity, Vol. 2: The Reformation to the Present Day. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-063316-6.
- Hastings, Adrian (1999). A World History of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4875-3.
- Latourette, Kenneth Scott (1975). A History of Christianity, Volume 2. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-064953-4.
- Nichols, Aidan. Rome and the Eastern Churches: a Study in Schism. 1992
- Shelley, Bruce L. (1996). Church History in Plain Language (2nd edition ed.). ISBN 0-8499-3861-9.
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