CNA Staff, May 15, 2021 / 04:25 am
Pope Francis on Saturday thanked charismatic Catholics and evangelicals in Italy for offering a “sign of fraternity.”
In a video message to a May 15 online meeting organized by the Italian Charismatic Consultation, the pope praised the group’s commitment to ecumenism.
“I join you and participate spiritually in this meeting, in this gathering of yours. I pray with you, I pray for you and I ask you to pray for me too. Brothers and sisters, thank you very much for doing this, this sign of fraternity,” he said in the message to participants.
The Italian Charismatic Consultation was founded by leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Italy and several Italian evangelical churches.
Pope Francis visited the evangelical church in 2014, giving a 30-minute off-the-cuff address. The pope first met the church’s pastor, Giovanni Traettino, in 2006, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
The pope has offered encouragement to charismatic Catholics throughout his pontificate. In 2017, he addressed around 50,000 members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement during an ecumenical prayer vigil at Rome’s Circus Maximus.
The pope told participants in Saturday’s virtual meeting: “I would like to be closer to you, to be with you, at least with a video message. Thank you very much for this work that you have been doing for years -- for years! -- since the celebration in 1992 in Bari, every year.”