This is what Christian unity looks like. It doesn’t ignore the differences that we have with our non-Catholic brothers and sisters.
It isn’t triumphalistic.
It isn’t us vs them.
Rather, it is the love of Christ for all people. Jesus prayed for Christian unity and we must all acknowledge that the fact is – division within Christianity is both scandalous and a counter-sign to a God of unity to a world that needs Him.
So, Pope Francis recorded a video for his friend, Tony Palmer (An Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) Bishop.) He took the video to show to Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the unthinkable has started to happen – we actually pray for one another and acknowledge one another as true brothers and sisters.
As Copeland said, “Heaven is thrilled over this…You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.”
As Pope Francis says in the following video – our sins are the cause for our separation and we are brothers and sisters and should act like it. I recommend you watch the entire video, but if you want to skip to the Pope’s part, go to around 31:30:
“Two rules: Love God above all, and love the other (neighbor), because he is your brother and sister. With these two rules we can go ahead. I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We’ve been friends for years.
He told me about your conference, about your meeting. And it’s my pleasure to greet you. A greeting both joyful and nostalgic (yearning). Joyful because it gives me joy that you have come together to worship Jesus Christ the only Lord. And to pray to the Father and to receive the Holy Spirit. This brings me joy because we can see that God is working all over the world. Nostalgic (yearning) because but…it happens, as within our suburbs. In the suburbs there are families that love each other and families that don’t love each other. Families that come together and families who separate themselves. We are kind of…permit me to say, separated.
Separated because, it’s sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord. I am nostalgic (yearning), that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion. I am nostalgic (yearning), of that embrace that the Holy Scripture speaks of when Joseph’s brothers began to starve from hunger, they went to Egypt, to buy, so that they could eat.
They went to buy. They had money. But they couldn’t eat the money. But there they found something more than food, they found their brother. All of us have currency. The currency of our culture. The currency of our history. We have lot of cultural riches, and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions. But we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together like Joseph did. These tears will unite us. The tears of love.
I am speaking to you as a brother. I speak to you in a simple way. With joy and nostalgia (yearning). Let us allow our nostalgia (yearning) to grow, because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another. And together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of History.
I thank you profoundly for listening to me. I thank you profoundly for allowing me to speak the language of the heart. And I also ask you a favor. Please pray for me, because I need your prayers. And I will pray for you, I will do it, but I need your prayers. And let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.
A famous Italian author named Manzoni, once wrote in his novel, of a simle man amongst the people, who once said this, “I’ve never seen God begin a miracle without Him finishing it well.” He will complete this miracle of unity. I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you. Thank you.”
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