top of page

Peter and Paul

Complementarities and Contrast

In style and policy Peter and Paul did not easily harmonise. Paul especially chronicled their disagreement: I withstood Cephas to his face (Gal 2:14), and at 2 Pt 3:15 the Petrine author speaks of Paul as writing difficult things. Both pioneers, they were furthering the universal mission of mercy and love begun by Jesus, and crowning it with their final witness in Rome, the heart of the Roman Empire. This we celebrate today.


The unity and complementarity they achieved must always be maintained. The repentant forgiven shepherd and missionary (Peter) and the Gentile missioner (Paul)-who knew he was not yet perfect (Phil 3:12)- will always be essential in the Church’s memory. They were real people and the details of their lives are so reassuringly human.

In our own day, with Pope Francis and his projected reforms, we are witnessing some of the implications of what these two apostles initiated and achieved and how they achieved it. Divisions ensue from different personalities and approaches. The mission must go on, the dialogue must go on. The powers of death shall not prevail against the Church (Mt 16:18).

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page