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Report: Pope says he will preach, offer apology at Roman Pentecostal church

July 14, 2014

Pope Francis said he will preach in a Pentecostal church in Rome this month and offer an apology, the global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance stated on his blog.

Brian Stiller, who met with Pope Francis in June, wrote:

We talked about Christians marginalized, pressed under the weight of government power or the majority presence of other faiths. He listened and then told a remarkable story. In his years in and out of Rome, he became friends with the pastor of a Pentecostal Church in Rome. In time he came to learn that the church and pastor felt the power and presence of the Catholic Church, with its weighty presence, obstructing their desire to grow and be a witness. “So,” he said, “this July I will preach in his church on a Sunday and offer an apology from my church for the hurt it has brought to their congregation.”

Stiller also quoted Pope Francis as saying, “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.”


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  • Posted by: stpetric - Jul. 15, 2014 10:43 AM ET USA

    Oh, come on. Apologizing for impeding the growth of Pentecostalism? I wouldn't propose that we keep score, but will Pentecostals apologize for not encouraging Catholics to remain in the Church and grow in the faith there? I doubt it.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 15, 2014 9:02 AM ET USA

    A lot of people died for those truths, Jeremiah. Please do not sniff at that and call truths "demands". They are commands transmitted through the only Church that Christ instituted. All others are heretics, and we trust our Church and even our Pope to not only protect us from them but also to bring them into full communion with Christ's Church. That is true charity. It is condescending to allow them to wallow in their false dogma and not enjoy the the fruits of the Holy Eucharist.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Jul. 15, 2014 8:33 AM ET USA

    We might have confidence in Our Lord and in Our Lady that we remain firm in the faith of Christ. The Holy Father's worldwide survey revealed overwhelming ignorance and/or rejection of fundamental Catholic principles. The times are difficult and disheartening. Fortitude is important; persevere in the faith. The words above might be poorly expressed or misunderstood or misheard by the person recounting them. However the use of first person in the last paragraph is worthy of note if accurate.

  • Posted by: littleone - Jul. 15, 2014 12:55 AM ET USA

    The reality is this is "out of context." The Pope is reaching out to another Christian community/denomination and is speaking to a member of it. He will naturally speak to someone from that community in a manner understandable to them. When the issue is their feeling marginalized, and unable to grow,then of course he will say he is not interested in converting them at this time. And indeed,there IS much conflict in doctrine here,so he is merely acknowledging their truth, not our long terms goals

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jul. 14, 2014 9:34 PM ET USA

    Horrors! Can this Pope really be saying this?

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 14, 2014 6:55 PM ET USA

    This doesn't sound right at all. Believe me, I am very interested in helping Evangelicals find the whole Truth.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 14, 2014 6:54 PM ET USA

    This is disheartening to say the very least. In the face of this kind of papal syncretism, just how are we Catholics supposed to explain to our children, for example, the importance of marrying in the Catholic Church and of bringing up their children in the faith? Can any of us believe Francis is unaware of the great harm his words will do in families? He is making all our efforts seem futile, a waste of breath and energy.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Jul. 14, 2014 6:44 PM ET USA

    Can't argue with the pope on that one. Maybe this is the road to unity -- focusing on Christ instead of our differences. What a concept! Instead of demanding compliance to truths we Catholics accept as part of our faith, it might take these other faiths years -- centuries even -- to come around. The terms of unity is not ours to dictate. Our task is to let go and let God.

  • Posted by: Flavian - Jul. 14, 2014 6:30 PM ET USA

    If the Pope is quoted correctly, and if the Pope feels moved to apologzize for Evangicals, it is too bad they they don't feel equally moved to apologize to the Pope and Catholics world-wide for the confusion and historical lies they use to convert poorly informed Catholics to their churches. The Catholic Church in the United States has been blessed with many loving, competent apologists. I hope the Pope is not trivializing their efforts to proclaim the faith in its fulness to Evangelicals.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Jul. 14, 2014 6:30 PM ET USA

    I agree with the first commenter below. There is no way to possess Our Lord, except through the Sacraments (especially Confession to a properly ordained priest), and participation in the Holy Mass (celebrated by an ordained priest). Outside of these considerations, however, Holy Father has a good point. It is too easy to be a Catholic by being an antiProtestant. We can be confident that an ardent faith in Jesus will be rewarded here.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Jul. 14, 2014 6:29 PM ET USA

    Have we no compassion for the Pope, constantly being misquoted or quoted out of context (in this case by Brian Stiller)?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 14, 2014 6:15 PM ET USA

    If the doctrine's not important, indeed essential, and "showing the love of Jesus" is all that counts, what purpose, exactly, does the Pope's Church serve? I have family members who now attend Episcopal services claiming there's NO DIFFERENCE, and citing comments attributed to the Holy Father like this one. This serves neither to strengthen the Church nor advance Christian unity.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jul. 14, 2014 11:12 AM ET USA

    Has he no compassion for those Christians who are without the Sacraments? For fallen away Catholics in this congregation? Has not Vatican II taught that anyone who, knowing that Christ has made the Church necessary for our salvation, refuses to enter or remain within it, could not be saved? Does he not realize that the Church is a body, Christ's body, and a body is a visible unity, and Our Lord prayed "that all may be one"? This is the love of Jesus--oriented toward unity in the Catholic Church.