There really are no such things as "golden ages" when one measures human time against God's clock. But there are eras of clarity and purpose, and eras of confusion and discord. The American branch of the Roman Catholic Church has just departed from one of the latter and has just begun its first steps into the former. For that grace, many millions of Catholics are giving thanks. And after and during those thanks, they are setting about the work of building the Church parish by parish, school by school, and person by person.

The Roman Catholic Church in America owes a profound thank you to American evangelicals who, thoughout the last thirty years, stood in the gap created by a retreating Roman Catholic Church. In many ways they inspired and led the renewal in American Christianity while defending the teachings of the Gospel against the culture even as an enfeebled and wounded Church fell back in disarray. Now that American Protestants and Catholics are both entering eras of growth and confidence -- and they are -- the opportunities for genuine ecumenical cooperation are extraordinary. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is around the corner. When it arrives, the United States will be a good place to assess how the breach has been, if not filled, then bridged for the benefit of both sides.

 

Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and the host of the Hugh Hewitt Show, heard on radio stations across the country every M-F at 6 PM EST. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School. His most recent books can be purchased at Amazon, including "In But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition," and "The Good and Faithful Servant. He blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.