FANTASTICO QUESTO MESSAGGIO DI PAPA FRANCESCO (IN ITALIANO!) AD UN CONVEGNO DI FRATELLI PENTECOSTALI DEGLI USA. DA 31.35.
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A Pentecostal, a pope and an iPhone for Christian unity
VATICAN CITY — The search for Christian unity is an enterprise that has taken the time and energy of scholars and popes. Recently it got a helping hand from an iPhone and YouTube.
Those involved in ecumenism insist on the power of prayer to heal Christian divisions and on the importance of involving not only high-powered theologians, but Christians of every community and every walk of life. They need to meet each other, get to know each other, help each other and pray with and for each other.
Putting those sentiments into practice, Pope Francis agreed to record a message to a group of Pentecostals in the United States. His guest, a bishop from a Pentecostal Christian community, did the camera work with an iPhone.
The pope’s message can be seen here, it begins at about 31:35 after Bishop Tony Palmer delivers a speech to a Kenneth Copeland Ministries about the importance of Christian unity for preaching salvation in Christ to the world. The bishop, who also serves as international ecumenical officer for the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a group that is not affiliated with the Anglican Communion, takes a much simpler view of the path full Christian unity than the pope and the mainline Christian churches do.
The translation used for the English subtitles on the video are not precise, but the pope’s sincerity is clear.
Pope Francis uses smartphone video to urge Christian unity
ROME (RNS) In an unusually informal video made on a smartphone held by a Pentecostal pastor, Pope Francis called on all Christians to set aside their differences, explaining his “longing” for Christian unity.
The seven-minute video, which was posted on YouTube, was made during a Jan. 14 meeting with Anthony Palmer, a bishop and international ecumenical officer with the independent Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches. Italian news reports say that the pope and Palmer knew each other when Francis served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires.
In his remarks, part of a 45-minute video, Francis said, in Italian, that all Christians are to blame for their divisions and that he prays to the Lord “that he will unite us all.”
“We should move forward. We are brothers. We should give each other a spiritual embrace and open ourselves to letting the Lord complete the work he started,” Francis said.
“I never saw the Lord start a miracle without finishing it,” the pontiff added, quoting 19th-century Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni. ”And he will finish this miracle of Christian unity.”
He concluded by saying it doesn’t matter who’s to blame for divisions among Christians: “Who is at fault? All of us are. We are all sinners. There is only one who is right, and that is our Lord.”
Francis’ remarks are preceded by a discourse from Palmer, who also spoke, in English, about the need for Christian unity. “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over,” Palmer said, referring to the 16th-century German reformer Martin Luther.
The video is unusual in part because it was made and released in such an informal manner. Most information released about the pontiff comes from the Vatican press office or some other official church agency. The Vatican went so far as to warn pope watchers in Januarythat information about the pope found on other sources was probably untrue — though in this case the veracity of the video is guaranteed by seeing the pope himself on camera.
Eric J. Lyman