BREAKING: Bishop Tony Palmer, Pope Francis’ Friend, Dies in Motorcycle Crash – UPDATED

BREAKING: Bishop Tony Palmer, Pope Francis’ Friend, Dies in Motorcycle Crash – UPDATED July 21, 2014

R.I.P.  Bishop Tony Palmer

Died July 20, 2014

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Tony Palmer, the charismatic young preacher who enjoyed a friendship with Pope Francis, has apparently died in a motorcycle accident.

Not a Catholic, Palmer was bishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a group that is inspired by the “middle way” of classical Anglicanism and considers itself part of the Convergence Movement.

News is spotty at this point; but according to Archbishop Charles Hill, presiding prelate at Ambassadors for Christ Ministries of America (AFCMOA) in Atlanta, Palmer was in an accident while riding a motorcycle in the U.K.  After hours of surgery, Bishop Palmer died on Sunday, July 20, 2014.

Archbishop Hill asked for prayer for the family of Tony Palmer, in a message posted on his Facebook page:

In January 2014, Tony Palmer visited with Pope Francis at the Vatican.  During that meeting, Palmer used his iPhone to record an impromptu greeting from the Holy Father to an American Pentecostal conference.  In that video, which was released publicly in February, Pope Francis says to the Pentecostals gathered at a meeting of Kenneth Copeland Ministries in the United States, “Let’s give each other a spiritual hug.”

Bishop Palmer’s respect for the Holy Father and for the Catholic Church is evident in his remarks in introducing the video to Kenneth Copeland’s conference.  The message is one of brotherhood, unity and love.  “Brothers and sisters,” Palmer said to the group, “Luther’s protest is over.  Is yours?”  

I published a full report regarding the papal video in February; click here to read about it, and to watch the Pope’s informal video message as well as Pastor Kenneth Copeland’s return message.

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Requiescat in pace, Tony Palmer.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

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UPDATE: The Ark Community, an internet-based, Inter-denominational Christian Convergent Community with which Bishop Tony Palmer was associated, has now posted an official announcement regarding his death. James Green, a U.K. photographer who is a member of the Community, invites people to post condolences for the family and friends of Bishop Palmer on a special page.

The message reads:

Dear Friends and Companions,

It is with deepest sadness that I inform you that +Tony Palmer went to be with Jesus yesterday evening. +Tony died from injuries sustained in a motorbike accident yesterday morning and although surgeons tried to save him for 10 hours, they were unable to do so. We humbly ask that +Tony’s family be given space to grieve at this incredibly difficult time but we encourage you to leave your condolences on this page for them to read as a source of encouragement and strength. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Peace & Good +

 

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