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Methodists/Methodists and the Catholic Church


I am a member of a Bible Study group in a Methodist Church; I was a bit upset when a member stated: "Some religions have a "Holy Father", our only Father is a heavenly father.  I love both denominations and felt a sting as the Pope was shrugged as he is a partitioner of World Peace and humbleness.  Not calling the Methodist Boards for doctrine as Methodist's "Holy Father"
does not diminish the fact that the Pope is a great world leader in Christianity.  Doctrine is written by man and we have the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the writings of the Bible as our guide.  I come from a diverse family and have love for both churches; believe in the Trinity and know that we are saved through Jesus Christ. In the Methodist Church we believe in the Catholic Church and Mary, the mother of our Lord. Please and thank you.

I'm not sure that this is a question.  You are correct that we do not recognize the Pope as the head of the United Methodist Church.  However, it si also true that many United Methodists appreciate the current (and some past) Popes as being men of extraordinary learning, spiritual maturity, and -- in this Pope's case, especially -- humility.  I am personally quite appreciative of Francis' approach to his role as the Bishop of Rome, and I have respect for his voice as I did for many of his predecessors.  However, his voice is just that of a single Bishop ... a bishop of an important church, true, but just a bishop.  I respect him, and pray for him, and believe that our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters have been blessed with an extraordinary leader in Pope Francis, and I am grateful for that.

If you have a specific question on this subject, I would be pleased to attempt to answer it.  Please feel free to write again.


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Rev. Gregory S. Neal


I can answer questions dealing with all issues of United Methodist Doctrine and Wesleyan-Arminian Theology. In particular I can answer questions dealing with the Sacraments and other liturgical and worship-oriented questions. I can also answer questions dealing with the form, structure, and organization of the United Methodist Church and our relationship with other denominations.


I am an ordained United Methodist Elder with more than 20 years of ministerial service experience in the local Church.

I am a Clergy Member in Full Connection and have been a member of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church since 1991. I am a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. I am also a member of the Emmaus Community, and am currently serving as Senior Spiritual Director for the Dallas Emmaus Community. I am a member of the Order of Saint Luke in the United Methodist Church.

I have my own website:   I have written two books, "Grace Upon Grace" and "Seeking the Shepherd's Arms," both available at and in bookstores.

I have a BA in Religious Studies, History and Russian. I have an M.Div in Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies and a Ph.D in Sacramental Theology and New Testament.

Awards and Honors
Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church
Fellow of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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