First of all, I want to thank you for your courage. Yesterday I was at the door of the synod hall with a Lutheran bishop. I said, “You’re a brave man! In a previous age they burned Lutherans here … !” [laughter]
This is a meeting that was organized by Tony [Palmer]. He was very excited by this meeting. And I was too. And I am grateful to Archbishop Robert Wise and to Emiliana, who have chosen to carry the torch, this dream which was Tony’s: this dream of being able to walk in communion. We are sinning against Christ’s will, because we continue to focus on our differences; our shared baptism is more important than our differences. We all believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We all have the Holy Spirit within us, which prays within us.
And we all know that there is a father of lies, the father of all division, the antifather, the devil who pushes in and divides, divides. Tony and I spoke so much of walking together, of going ahead, in what unites us, praying that the Lord Jesus with His strength help us and not let what divides us divide us even more. [others say, ‘Amen!’]
It’s crazy to have this treasure and yet prefer imitiations of that treasure – the imitations are our differences. What we should care about is the treasure: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the vocation to holiness, the call to preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth, with the certainty that He is with us – he’s not with me because I’m Catholic, he’s not with me because I’m Lutheran, He’s not with me because I’m Orthodox. A theological mess!
Everyone has their own identity, and I assume that each one of us seeks the Truth. But while we do that we should walk together, and pray for each together, and together let’s do works of charity together – Matthew 25, together; the Beatitudes, together.
We each have in our Churches excellent theologians. That’s another way to walk together also. But we shouldn’t wait for them to reach agreement! That’s what I think. [Applause].
There’s one other thing I’d like to say. This is called spiritual ecumenism. But
there is something else. Nowadays we are seeing how Christians are being persecuted. I’ve just been in Albania, where they were telling me that they didn’t get asked if they were Catholic or Orthodox – if you were Christian, they would kill you.
Right now in Middle East, and Africa, and so many other countries, how many Christians are being killed! They’re not asked if they are Pentecostals, or Lutherans, Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox. They’re Christians; and they’re being killed because they believe in Jesus Christ. This is ecumenism of the blood.
I remember one time in Hamburg, in 1986-87, and I met a parish priest. And that parish priest was bringing the cause for the beatification of a Catholic priest who was guillotined by the Nazis for teaching the Catechism to children. During his research he saw the list of those sentenced to death that day and right behind him was a Lutheran pastor who was condemned for the same reason. So that the blood of the priest mixed with the blood of the pastor. The priest went to the bishop and said, “either I bring both the Cause for both together, or neither. That’s ecumenism of blood.
I don’t want to say much more. But there was something else that Tony told me. When he was a young boy in school, the black and the white children would walk and play together when when mealtime came, they were separated. And they would say, “but we want to eat together!” And that desire he had inside of him to walk together so we can eat together at the banquet of the Lord.
I want to thank the presence here of Archbishop Robert Wise, Tony’s spiritual father, and Emiliana, a strong woman. Both of them inherit many things from Tony. We’re aware that it was he who brought us together. This desire for unity, to walk together, praying for each other, living the Beatitudes together, fulfilling together Matthew 25, without making an institution, but freely, like brothers. I don’t know if Emiliana would now like to say a few words?
On 10 October 2014, Francis met with 19 bishops from
The Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC)
for two hours followed by lunch.
Married with one daughter, James Hampton eating with Francis.
James Hampton not only got the grand tour of the
Vatican but also of Castel Gandolfo.
Vatican but also of Castel Gandolfo.
Are these men also married?
The 19 bishops their wives and children went to dinner at
Ristorante Il Grottino 3 days before their meeting with Francis.
Some of the CEEC bishops touring Rome.
Pastor Will Cain chillin' in Rome.
VIP guests of Francis at the Vatican!
Sharing jokes at the Vatican.
Henry Roberts II, Francis, and Darrell D Patrick at lunch.
After talking, eating is Francis' favorite activity.
Signing a book for Quintin Moore.
Francis signing a book for Zionist Daniel Warren Williams.
Another group photo!
Stephen Galloza planting a kiss on Francis!
Father Francis is “a friend of a friend” who has become my friend. He encouraged us to share the Life of Jesus with everyone! He says, “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfillment"
“Our world needs unity; this is an age in which we all need unity. Not just unity for the sake of the social economy, but a unity that answers the very prayer of Jesus.”
- Francis' friend and "brother bishop" Tony Palmer dies in London from injuries sustained in motorcycle accident