- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Burke confirms rumours he is to leave Vatican's top court for Order of Malta
- Nichols says synod is developing pastoral language and opening pathways for divorced and remarried
- Catholic head teachers call for more support as recruitment dries up
- Church backs ecumenical campaign for organ donation as ethical concerns are addressed
- Curious muddle of Lectionary translations Philip Endean SJ
- Synod final document is a setback for Francis' reforms – for now Elena Curti in Rome
- Annulments can be far from merciful Bill Wright
Pope Francis has asked an American televangelist for his blessing in a seven-minute, homemade video that was broadcast in January at a convention for Evangelical Charismatic ministers in Texas.
“I speak to you as a brother in a simple way … I ask you to bless me and I bless you – brother to brother,” the Pope said in the remarkable video, posted online on 21 February.
It was filmed on an iPhone by Tony Palmer, who was born in New Zealand but grew up in South Africa and is a bishop in the Communion of Episcopal Evangelical Churches.
“I have a nostalgia (yearning) that we can be united,” the Pope continued.
“Our sins have separated us … misunderstandings throughout history. Who’s to blame? We are all to blame; only the Lord is just.”
Palmer presented it on 21 January at a ministers’ conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland, a disciple of US prosperity gospel televangelist Oral Roberts. He told the gathering Francis was one of his “mentors” and “spiritual fathers” whom he had met several years ago in Buenos Aires while working as an ecumenical collaborator with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He said he visited the Pope on 14 January at his Vatican residence and that it was Francis’ idea to make the video.
“I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We’ve known each other for years,” the Pope said.
The delegates vigorously applauded at the end of the Pope’s video and Kenneth Copeland prayed in tongues and afterwards spoke to the crowd. He told the crowd: “Heaven is thrilled with this! When we went into the ministry 47 years ago this was impossible.”