“Jesus, Pope Francis and a Protestant Walk Into a Bar.”
What sounds like a joke is also the title of a new book by the Rev. Paul Rock, senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, and Bill Tammeus.
There’s a punch line, and the co-authors don’t keep the reader waiting for it.
But the real uplift delivered by the book — subtitled “Lessons for the Christian Church” — is represented by several sermons delivered by Rock in 2014, inspired by the previous year’s election of Pope Francis and the opportunity the co-authors believe it represents for new ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants.
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“Pope Francis has shown that he is a profoundly human man, welcoming to all people, Catholic or not,” said Tammeus, former Faith columnist for The Star and the author of the Faith Matters blog.
“He is not a king of the world but is a servant. In some ways he is mirroring the inviting personality that Jesus himself showed.
“He is opening himself and the Catholic Church up to conversations with people of many other faiths, including Protestant Christians.”
Rock and Tammeus will speak and sign books at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the “Wednesdays Together” gathering at Second Presbyterian Church, 318 E. 55th St.