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.

Screen grab of Pope Francis interview shown to a group of Pentecostals in the United States. (CNS photo)

Screen grab of Pope Francis interview shown to a group of Pentecostals in the United States. (CNS photo)

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.

4 Responses

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (CEB)
    Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don’t be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose.

  2. Wonderful pope, but there will never be complete Christian unity. There are thousands of Christian denominations now.

  3. Unity doesn’t mean being the same; we can be united in purpose — serving our Lord Jesus and loving one another.

  4. Let us all set aside our pride and pray for the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17. Ley us pray that Pope Francis, Kenneth Copeland, Bishop Tony Palmer, and other Christian leaders have wisdom to walk in this scriptural and heavenly vision.

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