2014-11-07 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) In a meeting on Thursday with a delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance, Pope Francis expressed his confidence that the Holy Spirit “can inaugurate a new stage in the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals—a stage that allows us to realize more fully the will of the Lord to bring the Gospel even to the furthest ends of the earth.”
Pope Francis spoke about the Sacrament of Baptism as “an inestimable divine gift” that all Christians have in common. “The Sacrament of Baptism reminds us of a fundamental and very consoling truth: that the Lord always goes before us with His love and His grace… The reign of God always precedes us, as does the mystery of the unity of the Church.”
The Holy Father frankly acknowledged the presence of divisions among Christians “from the beginning,” and noted that “rivalries and conflicts” continue between Christian communities. “Such situations,” he said, “weaken our capacity to fulfil the command of the Lord to preach the Gospel to all nations.” Christians would be able to better proclaim the Gospel if they could overcome their differences so that, together, they might spread the Word of God and witness to Christian charity.
Pope Francis said he was pleased to learn of efforts in various countries to build better relations between Catholic and Evangelicals. He pointed especially to the work of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. The Holy Father also expressed his hope that a joint document, “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct” might “become a motive of inspiration for the proclamation of the Gospel in multi-religious contexts.
To read the full text of the Holy Father's address to the delegation go to: