1. This unusual and unofficial video of Pope Francis discussing Christian unity (and speaking English) was recorded on an iPhone for the Kenneth Copeland Ministries, a group of Pentecostals meeting in the United States.
In the video, which was posted on YouTube and not officially released by the Vatican, Pope Francis discusses the historical divisions between Christians and expresses hope that all men and women of faith would be able to move forward. The message was recorded on an iPhone by Anthony Palmer, a Pentecostal pastor the pope became friends with in Argentina and whom the pontiff addressed as “my brother, a bishop-brother.” According to the Catholic News Service, Pope Francis met with Palmer at the Vatican on January 14th.
The pope starts the message in English, apologizing that he will have to switch to Italian and explaining that he would be speaking from the heart, which is “a more simple, more authentic language.” In Italian, he offered greetings of “joy and longing” to the Pentecostal group. The joy, he explained, came from the knowledge that “the Lord is working all over the world,” while the longing came from the fact that Christians are still separated. Pope Francis continued by saying that all Christians, including himself, were responsible for the divisions through their own sins. “Let’s allow our longing to increase so that it propels us to find each other, embrace each other and to praise Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history,” the pope said, expressing hope that all Christians would be able to come together in communion in the future.
3. Catholic News goes into detail explaining the theology between the Catholic/Protestant rapprochement:
“The Catholic-Protestant divisions have had no reason to exist since the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The agreement recognized that ‘by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.’”