Over the past week I have seen a number of people share on social media a letter written by Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to President Trump. Since a number of people have asked me for my thoughts on the letter I thought I would take a moment to respond. If you would like to read the text of the letter itself, you can find it by clicking here.
I am not coming at this article with a political axe to grind and will not be addressing the political tone in the letter. Instead, I want to look at it from a theological perspective.
Archbishop Viganò begins his letter by stating, “In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical [emphasis his]: the children of light and the children of darkness.” The idea of “children of darkness” and “children of light” are certainly biblical concepts. We see it in places like 1 Thessalonians 5:5, Ephesians 5:8, and Luke 16:8. Without going into full Bible study mode here, the biblical idea is that those who are in Christ Jesus are “children of light.” 1 John 1:7 states, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” So the “sons of darkness” are those who are not in Christ, who still walk in darkness. So my initial concern with Archbishop Viganò’s opening statement is that he proposes that these two “opposing sides” have just formed in recent months. Is he suggesting that until recently there was no such distinction? I would argue that this distinction is much older than our own days. So the question we must ask is, how is he defining these terms? I would propose that it isn’t in a strictly biblical way as he proposes, because all who are or have been in Christ throughout history are the biblical “children of light.”
The Rev. Eric Zolner
Father Eric is a 3rd generation Anglican and the Rector of All Saints Anglican Church in Springfield, MO.