It’s that and more.
I will tell you this: I watched the whole thing, and was fascinated, and blown away, and — hard as this might be to believe — moved to copious tears.
I have seen some Catholics on Facebook say they forward through the video, only watching the last 15 minutes or so, with Pope Francis. I heartily recommend that you don’t do that — that you, instead, watch it from the beginning and hang in there through the parts that can feel challenging to watch and might seem (to us, as Catholics and as jaded Americans) like “Protestant weirdness”. Hang in and watch it, with a respectfully open mind, as the very least thing one can do for the sake of unity.
To watch only the pope is to be moved, but to ultimately miss the point. To watch the whole thing is to be blown away; Pentecostals, praying for the pope! The tongue-speaking is odd for most of us to witness, for sure. But as I did, I kept thinking, “Is that what the wind sounded like, at Pentecost, as the Holy Spirit approached?”
This is what Christian unity looks like. It doesn’t ignore the differences that we have with our non-Catholic brothers and sisters. It isn’t triumphalistic. It isn’t us vs them.
Rather, it is the love of Christ for all people. Jesus prayed for Christian unity and we must all acknowledge that the fact is – division within Christianity is both scandalous and a counter-sign to a God of unity to a world that needs Him.
So, Pope Francis recorded a video for his friend, Tony Palmer (An Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) Bishop.) He took the video to show to Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the unthinkable has started to happen – we actually pray for one another and acknowledge one another as true brothers and sisters.
This is why, as I wrote earlier today, I don’t particularly want to write about politics anymore. It’s all illusion and distraction. The reality is all in Christ. The world and its princes mean to divert our attention, and to divide. As Palmer notes, Christ Jesus is not in the division.
UPDATE: How interesting! Apparently in June there will be a huge Catholic Charismatic Renewal gathering in Rome, at the Olympic stadium. And yeah, the Pope is going to be there, along with some cardinals and Ralph Martin!
At Aleteia, Brantly Millegan likes the video and the message but offers a few corrections. I”m going to be adding a few of my own thoughts in a follow-up post.
Kathy Schiffer: “Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?”
Copeland Ministries: “Historic Change”
Dale M. Coulter: Pope Francis and the Future of Charismatic Christianity
Deacon Greg: “what hath God wrought?”