Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

7/22/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

My fervent prayer is that Tony's life will inspire thousands, even millions, to catch the vision for the visible full communion of the whole Christian Church.

Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died.
Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I shared the tragedy with my wife who too was stunned; then prayer for Tony's wife and two children who are suffering the loss of their beloved husband, father and spiritual mentor. Most of us know the story being played out on the international scene over the last 7 months. A story developing when two friends, one a CEEC bishop (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches) and the other, the Pope, decided to allow their personal friendship to spill over into Church and society. All of us who live our lives in Christ now benefit from their relationship in the Body of Christ. I am lucky enough to share a small part in that friendship.

(Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

(Pictured: Left to Right - Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, Bishop Tony Palmer, and Deacon Darrell Wentworth) - Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17! (Deacon Darrell Wentworth)

Highlights

By Deacon Darrell Wentworth

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bishop Tony Palmer, Deacon Darrell Wentowrth, Dirk West, Matteo Callisi, CEEC, Communion of Evnagelical Episcopal Churches, Catholic Fraternity, charismatic renewal, ecumenism, Pope Francis, full communion


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Monday, July 21, 2014, was supposed to be like most Mondays - the start of a work week. But Deacon Keith Fournier sent me a text informing me that my friend, Bishop Tony Palmer, had died.

Shock went through my body as I processed that news; then disbelief as I shared the tragedy with my wife who too was stunned; then prayer for Tony's wife and two children who are suffering the loss of their beloved husband, father and spiritual mentor.

Most of us know the story being played out on the international scene over the last 7 months. A story developing when two friends, one a CEEC bishop (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches) and the other, the Pope, decided to allow their personal friendship to spill over into Church and society. All of us who live our lives in Christ now benefit from their relationship in the Body of Christ. I am lucky enough to share a small part in that friendship.

I first met Bishop Palmer in 2008 at a Catholic Fraternity conference in Assisi, Italy. It was the first Fraternity conference that I was invited to attend representing New Creation Community, a Catholic Lay community seeking membership in the Catholic Fraternity network of communities who are in association with the Vatican. Bishop Palmer was very approachable.

We shared a desire for full communion among the Christian traditions and recognized that some Roman Catholics misunderstand the teaching of their own Church, as well as her goal for for Christian Unity. Some think the only avenue to Christian unity would be what they think is a kind of  "conversion" to Roman Catholicism. That often entails a misunderstanding, that other Christians would have to reject what they hold as their own patrimony and gift.

I next met Bishop Palmer in February 2010 when he traveled to the United States to serve Matteo Callisi, a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as his English translator during meetings with the Charismatic Leaders Fellowship, a multi-tradition charismatic think tank fostering unity among Christians who have experienced what is called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Bishop Palmer served as the translator during a meeting between my Bishop and Matteo Callisi as they discussed my own community, New Creation Community in Virginia, and its entrance into the Catholic Fraternity.

At lunch at my home that afternoon, he showed the true nature of his character. Not in the profound ideas he expounded, but in the simple way he engaged my wife in conversation as Matteo and I discussed the meeting with my own bishop. Tony showed that his heart was for people and he developed relationships - friendships - as true brothers and sisters in Christ.

Faith to Bishop Tony Palmer was a dynamic, lived experience and, as a result, his life built up the whole Body of Christ and tore down the walls some have built to separate us from each other! What a legacy! A true example of living Jesus' prayer in John 17!

My most profound experience with Tony occurred during the opening Mass for a Catholic Fraternity Conference in 2012. I was diaconating Mass with Cardinal Ouelette, the Prefect for the Congregation of Bishops. At communion I accompanied the Cardinal to distribute communion to the congregation. The visiting ecumenical delegation was sitting on the side where I would be distributing The Host! As I approached, Bishop Palmer stood up and led the way for his fellow friends.

As he approached me in the communion line he crossed his arms over his chest; looked me square in the eye and smiled as a tear came down his cheek! As I prayed a prayer of spiritual communion over my brother a tear formed in my eye as well as the reality of the sin of division became profoundly personal to me at that moment!

After the video with Pope Francis went viral, we emailed each other sharing our hopes of the potential of full communion in our life time! Man's sin caused the division that has led to partial communion. Our heartfelt repentance and radical conversion to the mind of Christ regarding Christian unity is the only answer that will restore Jesus' vision for His church!

I will not even pretend to understand the Will of God in this situation! I cannot understand His ways nor His WHYs!

My wife commented this morning that her fear was that those who oppose Christian unity will use Tony's death as a "proof" that the path we dream of is misguided. I have found out already that some spiritually immature Christians have already begun to show their ignorance.

How sad!!

My hope has never been in humanity to solve these complex problems. Neither was Tony's! We continue to place our hope and trust in the Lord who made heaven and earth and Who Tony now joins to intercede for the rest of us! I am confident, even though I do not understand, that Our Father will bring great good out of this visibly horrific event and use Tony's death for the common good of us all.

My fervent prayer is that Tony's life will inspire thousands, even millions, to catch the vision for the visible full communion of the whole Christian Church. That all of us will develop authentic friendships with Christians of other traditions that will build up the Church and show the world that Jesus is worth following as their Savior!!

The Catholic Church already has 22 plus churches in full communion with the Church of Rome, recognizing the Bishop of Rome as their "spiritual father" - their Papa - their Pope. We can, and should, work hard to add a few more to the mix! The Holy Spirit is the only Person who can bring this about, may we all partner with Him for the building up of Christ's Church and work for Jesus' vision for full communion in HIM!!

-----

Deacon Darrell Wentworth serves the Catholic Bishop of Richmond as his Liaison for Charismatic Renewal. He also serves the Catholic Fraternity North America (CFNA) as their Ecumenical Liaison. He has been involved in the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church since 1982 and is actively involved in collaborative ecumenical relationships with other Christians.

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More U.S.

What is 'vape?' The Oxford Dictionary proclaims it the new word for 2014 Watch

Image of Even while media outlets, health organizations and scientific studies continue to debate the benefits and pitfalls of e-cigarettes,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What does the word "vape" mean? Before anyone jumps to negative conclusions and think that it means something untoward - rest assured: vape is both a noun and verb, according to the Oxford Dictionary. They've gone as far as to proclaim vape as their new word of ... continue reading


Meet the doll that's flipping the world upside down! Watch

Image of Lammily, is a new doll that is proportioned just like the average American 19-year old woman.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A simple art project by a graphic designer has become the most coveted toy for the 2014 Christmas season following its November 19 release. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nickolay Lamm made a doll he named Lammily, who is what Barbie would look like if she was ... continue reading


The Bloody Battle of Tarawa in 20 extraordinary photos Watch

Image of U.S. Marines advance while under fire from Japanese defensive positions.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Battle of Tarawa was one of the bloodiest and costliest battles to the U.S. in WWII in terms of men lost per time spent in combat. During the 76 hour battle from November 20-23, 1943, on that small Pacific Island, about 1,700 U.S. personnel were killed, and ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger to America? It's not nukes and it isn't terrorism Watch

Image of China is well known to have an extensive cyberwarfare program, and often utilizes civilian hackers as well as its own military personnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the National Security Agency revealed to a Congressional panel that China and "probably one or two other" countries have the ability to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures through cyberwarfare. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Massive collection of Catholic artifacts leave Italy for the first time in 700 years: Their destination? The Big Apple! Watch

Image of For the first time in 700 years, artifacts of St. Francis of Assisi will be removed from Italy. They will be put on display in New York during November, December and January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents that have close ties with St. Francis of Assisi will be held at the United Nations in New York from November 17 to the 28. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The exhibition is titled "Friar Francis: Traces, ... continue reading


Obama gives amnesty while bracing for next 'surge' of illegals in 2015 Watch

Image of Children in holding facilities during 2014, a year where the surge of illegal children occurred.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Obama has revealed his plans to shield about five million illegal immigrants from deportation, he has federal agencies getting ready for another mass surge of illegal immigrants during the spring of 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Obama declares all out war on Republicans over immigration reform Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to give a speech on November 20, outlining his plans to execute immigration reform via executive action.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Even after warnings from sitting and incoming House and Senate Republicans that unilateral action on immigration reform from President Barack Obama would not be tolerated, the president has gone ahead and outlined a plan to relax the rules and regulations of U.S. ... continue reading


The Marriage Meme of Francis: What Did the Pope Just Say about Marriage and Family? Watch

Image of Pope Francis presiding at a marriage Liturgy at St Peters.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis embraces the unchangeable truth about marriage as solely between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to life and formative of family as the sole Meme - using the word properly.  That is why you will not read much about the crystal ... continue reading


Another black eye for Democrats: Obamacare architect makes off with $6 million in taxpayer money Watch

Image of New videos released in November show that the architect behind the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, holds nothing but contempt for the American people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the fiasco that has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Jonathan Gruber, was paid about $6 million in taxpayer money between 2009 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is about 24 times what an average, full-time American worker would ... continue reading


See the list of MOST FREE countries in the world, the results will surprise you! Watch

Image of Land of the Free no more, Americans report a significant decline in personal freedom under the Obama administration.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

America is supposed to be the land of the free, so Americans themselves might be surprised to see that the United States actually ranks fairly low on the index of personal freedom when compared to other nations. Instead of occupying the number 1 spot, the USA has ... 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, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... 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