Catholics and Protestants can find common ground, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller at a lecture on Oct. 26.
“In this life, there is obligation to an authentic following of Christ and a life called into God’s commandments,” Müller said. “This includes not only our responsibilities in our professions, families, and society, but also our responsibilities as fellow members of the body of Christ and the church.”
Müller is a Cardinal in Mainz, Germany and was the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of faith from 2012 to 2017. He delivered a lecture entitled “Christ in Preaching and Sacrament: A Rapprochement of Catholic and Protestant Views.”
“It is often claimed that every difference between Catholicism and Protestantism can be traced back to the incompatibility between the church of sacraments and the church of the word,” Müller said. “There is chiefly a difference in theological approach, but a difference that is not insurmountable.”
His visit was coordinated by the president’s office, the department of theology and religion, and the Catholic Society.
Students of several denominations attended Müller’s talk.
Junior Cecilia Moran, who is Catholic, said she enjoyed hearing him talk about the commonalities between Catholics and Protestants.
“It’s really important to have these talks on campus because we are a nonsectarian school,” Moran said. “Having open and honest discussions about how denominations interact with each other and just how they all incorporate in the body of Christ is an important thing to talk about because of the diversity on campus.”
Sophomore Emma Montague, who is Protestant, also said she was interested in Müller’s take on denominational differences.
“It’s interesting to see that some of the stuff he’s talking about is true for both Protestants and Catholics,” Montague said. “I enjoyed his Q&A section where he was talking about how Catholics can interact with Protestants and find a common point of view in prayer.”
In the conclusion of his speech, Müller emphasized the importance of Christian love.
“Despite the accompanying imperfections, our smallest act of love, our littlest acts of compassion or respect for one another have their origin and their reality in the life of God Himself,” he said.