Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Randy Sly

2/24/2014 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Having spent over 30 years in Protestant ministry, I know the separation that has existed and continues to exist between that world and the Catholic world. Pope Francis addressed it head on.

I can just imagine the electricity felt in the room when these Christian leaders from a completely different face of Christianity saw the Holy Father and heard his voice, speaking right to them. Having spent over 30 years in Protestant ministry, I know the separation that has existed and continues to exist between that world and the Catholic world. Pope Francis addressed it head on. Christian unity begins with love. Not by laying down the gauntlet and challenging issues that divide but first come together on the basis of what we have in common.

The historic ordination of Fr Randy Sly, former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, to the Catholic priesthood

The historic ordination of Fr Randy Sly, former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, to the Catholic priesthood

Highlights

By Fr. Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/24/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bishop Tony Palmer, CEEC ICCEC, CEC, Anglicans, Episcopal, Ordinariate, UT UNUM SINT, Pentecostal, Evangelical, Bishop Tony Palmer, Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, Fr Randy Sly


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - At a recent meeting of Charismatic and Pentecostal ministers hosted by Kenneth Copeland Ministries, the attendees received an amazing surprise; a video greeting from the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The message was a spontaneous gesture by the Pontiff during a private meeting with Bishop Tony Palmer of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC), an old friend of his for many years.

When I was an archbishop with the Charismatic Episcopal Church, which has a lot of similarity to the CEEC, we had longed for such a gesture. With a conviction that the church's three streams - liturgical/sacramental, evangelical and charistmatic - needed to flow as one mighty river, we had identified ourselves as catholic (intentional small "c") and felt a strong kinship with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. How we wanted to find a way to connect.

As with other jurisdictions of Anglicanism, we had knocked on the door of the Vatican to explore building relationships and opening channels of communication. We knew that such a work would move very slowly. All of that made the recent video from Pope Francis an historic event.

Technology made the delivery easy, but it was the heart of a man who so desires Christian unity that made this an immediate occurrence. Here, he reached out and extended his hand of fellowship as a brother in Christ. In the video he said:

Two rules: Love God above all, and love the other (neighbor), because he is your brother and sister. With these two rules we can go ahead. I am here with my brother, my bishop brother, Tony Palmer. We've been friends for years.

He told me about your conference, about your meeting. And it's my pleasure to greet you. A greeting both joyful and nostalgic (yearning). Joyful because it gives me joy that you have come together to worship Jesus Christ the only Lord. And to pray to the Father and to receive the Holy Spirit. This brings me joy because we can see that God is working all over the world.


I can just imagine the electricity felt in the room when these Christian leaders from a completely different face of Christianity saw the Holy Father and heard his voice, speaking right to them. Having spent over 30 years in Protestant ministry, I know the separation that has existed and continues to exist between that world and the Catholic world. Pope Francis addressed it head on:

We are kind of.permit me to say, separated. Separated because, it's sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord. I am nostalgic (yearning), that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion.

Later, after the message from the Pope, Tony Palmer closed the presentation with a prayer - the high priestly prayer of Jesus, which was one of the favorite themes of Blessed (soon to be Saint) John Paul II. He called for all those present who were of the same heart to say amen at the end of the prayer.

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:20-23)

Truly this is the heart of God - that we be one. Evangelization is best undertaken when those who hear the good news see that those who bring it have love one for another.

As a cautionary note, we shouldn't try and make this greeting into something more than what it is. The Holy Father was not establishing new doctrines, developing canon law or establishing new guidelines for ecclesial relationships. He was doing what a good shepherd of souls does - reaches out in love.

You will find some people from the Catholic and Protestant spheres of Christianity dissecting this greeting and infer things that the Pope was or was not saying. I've already seen one article claiming that this was official ecclesiastical recognition of Palmer's episcopate.

This was a spontaneous greeting of Christian love and an invitation to deepen the bonds of brotherhood based on what we have in Common. I am speaking to you as a brother, he stated. I speak to you in a simple way. With joy and nostalgia (yearning). Let us allow our nostalgia (yearning) to grow, because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another. And together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of History.

Christian unity begins with love. Not by laying down the gauntlet and challenging issues that divide but first come together on the basis of what we have in common. It was out of this same heart that Blessed John Paul II eagerly met with patriarchs of the Orthodox Churches and established the Pastoral Provision for U.S. Anglicans.

It was also out of this same heart that Pope Emeritus Benedict continued to build relationships with the East, established Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans who desired full-communion and, like his predecessors, enthusiastically participated in many ecumenical gatherings.

Pope Francis has continued, and now escalated, this call for Christian unity.: I thank you profoundly for listening to me. I thank you profoundly for allowing me to speak the language of the heart. And I also ask you a favor. Please pray for me, because I need your prayers. And I will pray for you, I will do it, but I need your prayers. And let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all. Come on, we are brothers. Let's give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.

A famous Italian author named Manzoni, once wrote in his novel, of a simple man amongst the people, who once said this, "I've never seen God begin a miracle without Him finishing it well." He will complete this miracle of unity. I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you. Thank you.

May this be the beginning of something powerful for the Kingdom of God.

------

Fr Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and Chaplain of the ecumenical movement, Common Good. He is  a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. He laid aside that ministry to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church a lifelong search for the fulness of Christian truth. He participated in Church history when he became one of the first former Anglicans ordained as a Catholic priest for the  Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter established by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, through the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus." He is currently the chaplain of the St. John Fisher Catholic Community, a priest in residence at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church and Director of Pro-Life Activities for the Ordinariate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 22:20-26
20 'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2014 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter