Newchurch Rotten Fruits: Bergoglio Prays with Pentecostal pastors!

Anti-pope Bergoglio is the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist place of worship after St. John Paul II paid his respects at a temple in Thailand in 1984. Monks at the Agrashravaka Temple opened a casket containing important Buddhist relics, an event that usually only takes place once a year. The head monk at the temple, Banagala Upatissa, said opening the relics was "the highest honor and respect" they could show to the pontiff.

We Were Warned of the Great Apostasy.

“During this unhappy period there will be laxity in divine and human precepts. Discipline will suffer. The Holy Canons will be completely disregarded and the clergy will not respect the laws of the Church. The Holy Canons and religious dogmas are clouded by senseless questions and elaborate arguments. As a result, no principle at all, however holy, authentic, ancient, and certain it may be, will not remain free of censure, criticism, false interpretations, modifications and delamination by man. These are evil times, century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates and priests say they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant.  – St. Francis of Paola

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday afternoon met with a group of Pentecostal pastors in the “Auletta”, a meeting room adjoining the Paul VI Audience Hall.

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office said the meeting was private, and involved around 100 pastors from around the world. The group was led by Pastor Giovanni Traettino, whose community in the Italian city of Caserta was visited last year by Pope Francis.

The statement said the meeting was “very cordial” and characterized by a “spirit of prayer for unity.”

Pope Francis was accompanied by Cardinal Kurt Koch, the President of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Newchurch freak show...


500 Years without Holy Mass: The Failure of Protestant Emotionalism


Because Protestantism offers either a neutered liturgy or none at all it has spiritually harmed countless people by making them slaves to their senses and emotions.

As we approach the five hundred year anniversary of the Protestant reformulation on October 31, 2017, I have been looking back and examining the new things that Protestantism brought. In the previous installment of this series (The Cycle of Insanity) I took a look at the cyclical and symptomatic evolution of ‘The Praxis Conference’ and its goal to reclaim the historical church’s priority on liturgy, art, and sacred space into the modern-day evangelical context. The issues that The Praxis Conference is attempting to resolve have been instigated by the perpetual question posed to Protestantism; that is, ‘What is missing from our space?’ Yet, the more profound question, at least for the purpose of this installment, is, ‘What has pretended to replace what has been missing from their space?’

The Purpose of Sacred Liturgy

The liturgy was established and ordained by God so that man could communally and publicly offer Him worthy thanksgiving and sacrifice for their atonement. Look no further than the religious duties assigned to priests and Levites in the book of Leviticus to discover the particular beauty and necessity that God and man found in the rites and rituals of Jewish liturgy. We know that the necessity of liturgy did not pass away in the new covenant, because YHWH decreed in Exodus 11:14 that the liturgy of the Passover meal would be perpetual (i.e. neverending), and in Matthew 5:17 Christ Jesus affirmed that He came not to abolish, but to fulfill the law and the prophets.

In the New Covenant, it is through the sacred liturgy that Christ uniquely encounters and ministers to His people; most uniquely through the Sacraments of the Church, but also through the recitation of the breviary. For their part, the people meet the Christ who has come to them through the vehicle of the liturgy to offer Him due worship and thanksgiving, and to obtain blessings, sanctification, and graces. Liturgy is an activity of love for the mind, body, and soul. It is far removed beyond what can be experienced or perceived by just one part of the self. The liturgy not only duly requires the fullness of man to participate, but it necessitates that he encounters the divine while in the community of gathered who are being made holy.

In the Absence of Sacred Liturgy

With the early novelties in the Protestant reformation, such as the Lutherans, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodism there was and there remains to be a priority on liturgy; more or less. Yet, the reason why this priority could be sustained throughout the movement is because Protestantism, by its very nature, is indifferent to objective truth.


What is this??

What is this??

These days Bergoglio praised the “inter-confessional translation of the Bible” during the encounter with the self-styled “United Bible Societies.” At the same time the seated JM Bergoglio has finished its hearing praying a Pater in common between Catholics and Evangelicals ( link ).

Of “United Bible Societies’ ( ABU ), an international organization founded in 1946 that brings together and coordinates the work of about 150 Bible societies, also belong to the “United Bible Societies & Forestiera” ( SBB & F ) and the Bible Society in Italy ( SBI ) . The first is present in Italy since the Risorgimento and settled in Rome in 1870; the second legally exists since 1983 and is “a Christian association independent, not tied to any religious denomination, non-profit, which relates to the maximum diffusion of the Holy Scriptures to be realized through the activities aimed at the promotion of this work” ( link ). In Italy these Bible societies publish the “King James Version”, the review of the Directive by Luzzi (called “Revised”) and the last “New International Version” for “churches” evangelical. From the notes of the World Assembly of Midrand, 2000, we learn that “the national Bible Societies come together in an association such as the World Alliance Bible Societies ( ABU ) to consult each other, support each other and to work together in their common task of achieving maximum spread, effective and meaningful to the Holy Scriptures and help people interact with the Word of God. Biblical Societies accomplish their work in agreement and cooperation with all Christian churches and organizations affiliated with the Churches. ”

I have already explained in other studies what the Holy Scriptures, as handed down to us, as we “use” and who can “use” ( link ), as it is interpreted and who can do it ( link ) and, briefly, as was destroyed, the Pontifical Biblical Commission, former member of the Magisterium ( link ). The destruction from the inside was wanted and put into practice by the Modernists, as well as the Church has already amply demonstrated and explained ( link ). Reading the link we learn both the Magisterium appropriate for the story.

 St Pio X


Contrary to what it claims Bergoglio (and with him those who believe in the communion of faith with this subject), what the Church teaches? To combine precision and brevity begin using the simple and understandable compendium of Christian doctrine (or “Larger Catechism”) prescribed by Pope St. Pius X (Rome, Vatican Press, 1905).

PART FIVE. VIRTUES OF MAIN AND OTHER THINGS NEEDED TO KNOW FROM CHRISTIAN(Chapter I, Of the principal virtues, § 4 – Of the Holy Scripture):

882 D. There can be no mistake in the Holy Scripture? R. In Sacred Scripture, there can be no mistake, because, being all inspired, the author of all its parts is the same God. This does not mean that the copies and translations of the same may have occurred some mistake or copyists or translators. But in the revised editions and approved by the Catholic Church there can be no mistake in what concerns the faith or morals.

884 D. You can read any vernacular translation of the Bible? R. You can read the vulgar translation of the Bible, the faithful who are recognized by the Catholic Church, and are accompanied by explanations approved by the Church itself.

885 Q. Why can read only the translation of the Bible, which are approved by the Church? R. You can read the only Bible translations that are approved by the Church, because it alone is the legitimate guardian of the Bible.

886 Q. By whom can we know the true meaning of the Holy Scriptures? A. The true meaning of the Scriptures we can know only through the Church, because only the Church can not err in interpreting them.

887 Q. What should a Christian do if he was offered the Bible from a Protestant or some emissary of the Protestants? A. If a Christian were offered the Bible by a Protestant, or from some emissary of the Protestants, he would reject with horror, because forbidden by the Church; that if he had received no badarvi, would soon throw it to the flames, or hand it to your parish priest.

888 Q. Why does the Church forbids Protestant Bibles? A. The Church forbids Protestant Bibles because they either are altered and contain errors, or, in the absence of its approval, and notes declarative sense obscure, can be harmful to the Faith. For this reason the Church forbids Yea translations of the Holy Scriptures already approved by it, but reprinted without the explanations by the same approved.

Pius VII

Pius VII

The explanation of what it teaches and commands the St. Pius X have in many documents of the Magisterium of the Church, but for the sake of brevity and for extreme clarity, I want to return the document (little known) ” Magno et immature “letter of Pope Pius VII to ‘ Archbishop Mogilew, Sept. 3.1816 Short story: A Saint Petersburg (Russia) was founded in 1813 a company (the Bible) for the dissemination of the Bible, which supplied many confessions. The Church was represented by the Archbishop of Mogilew, who recommended this company to all the faithful. He was denounced in Rome and received this letter of reprimand. – Ed .: ASS 9 (1876/77). See Denzinger on page 967, No. 2710 s.

Text: ” … You should have before our eyes … that “if we allow the Holy Bible anywhere and without discernment in the vernacular, it follows more harm than benefit” [v. Denzinger, n ° 1854].The Roman Church also, following the well-known requirement of the Council of Trent [v.Denzinger, 1506], accepting only the edition of the Vulgate, rejected the translations into other languages, and allowed only those that are published with annotations appropriately drawn from the writings of the Fathers and Catholic teachers (explained here ), so that a treasure so much great is not exposed to the corruptions of the new, and that the Church throughout the earth has only one language and the same words (Gen. 11.1). Since then the national languages, we see a lot of irregularities, variations, changes, freedom from excessive biblical translations would certainly upset the immutability that befits the divine testimonies, and faith itself be shaken, especially when on the basis of a single syllable you decide the truth of the dogma. The heretics and have always had the habit of introducing so their perverse and hateful machinations, and by means of Bibles published in the national language (then about the unique diversity and divergence of these, they themselves are accused and they bite each other) hide tricked their mistakes wrapped in the most holy ornament of the divine word. “The heresies in fact they were born,” said St. Augustine, “only good when the Scriptures were not understood well, and everything in them is not well understood is also stated in so reckless and impudent” (cf. Saint Augustine, In Johannis Evangelium , tract. 18.1). If we then mourns the fact that men esteemed for piety and wisdom often no longer exist in the interpretation of the Scriptures, what you should not be afraid, if the people inexperienced, especially that judges not according to some discernment , but with a certain lightness, they were handed over to be freely read the Scriptures translated into any vernacular? […] “

Innocent III


At this point, Pope Pius VII, as per tradition true (ie Catholic), he resorts to the Magisterium of its various predecessors without any change on matters of faith and custom, including the famous letter from Pope Innocent III to the faithful of the Church of Metz (Letter Cum ex iniuncto , July 12, 1199, Denzinger, n ° 770 s.) that cites.

Text: ” The hidden mysteries of faith ought not to be, however, make available to all without distinction, since it can not be understood without distinction by all, but only by those who can hold an intelligent believer. This is why the Apostle says to the simplest: “How to babes in Christ I have fed you with milk, not solid food” (Cor 3.2). […] In fact, the depth of divine Scripture is so great that not only the simple and unlettered, but even the wise and the learned are not able to fully scrutinize its meaning. That is why Scripture says: “Many have failed to force scrutinize” (Ps 64.7). For a time this was properly established in the divine law that the beast had touched the mountain (Sinai) was stoned to death (cf. Heb 12:20; 19,12s Es), because obviously any simple or even an ignorant person does not presume to penetrate the sublimity of the sacred Scriptures or preach it to others. It is written: ‘Do not investigate things for yourself too big “(Sir 3:22). This is why the Apostle says: “I do not know any more than you need to know, but know with sobriety” (Rom 12,3). How many are in fact members of the body, and yet not all the members have the same function, so there are many orders in the Church, but not everyone has the same office, because, according to the Apostle: “Some, indeed, the Lord has established as apostles, others as prophets, others as teachers and so on. “(Eph 4, 11). Since then the Church in the order of doctors in some way unique, should not someone so indistinct claim for himself the office of preaching”.

Continue reading –

Bergoglio: New ‘interconfessional’ Bibles are so much more understandable to the ‘simple’ people than literal translation!?

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ -  St Jerome

Bergoglio: We always went to the Biblical Society to purchase these translations. They gave me a good discount! We gave the Bible to the people, and the people understood it. They understood! It was a beautiful effort, and I am pleased that it is now available in Italian, because in this way the people can understand stories and expressions that, if translated literally, cannot be understood. 

Pope’s Address at Presentation of Interconfessional Italian Bible

“The sacred text is the food of the soul and the pure and everlasting source of the spiritual life of us all”

Translation of the address –  To members of the United Bible Societies for the presentation of the Bible in Italian “Word of the Lord – The Interconfessional Bible in Current Language.”

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I thank you for coming here to present to me the new Italian version of the “Bible Word of God, Inter-Confessional Translation in Current Language,” fruit of the collaboration between the United Bible Societies-Biblical Society in Italy and ELLEDICI Publishing House.

I will tell you something of my experience. The translation of the Bible prepared by Evangelicals and Catholics in current Argentine language has done so much good and does so much good!?? It is a good idea, because simple people can understand it, because it is a true language, proper, but close to the people. In the missions we did in the parishes of Buenos Aires, we always went to the Biblical Society to purchase these translations. They gave me a good discount! We gave the Bible to the people, and the people understood it. They understood! It was a beautiful effort, and I am pleased that it is now available in Italian, because in this way the people can understand stories and expressions that, if translated literally, cannot be understood.

Resist Bergoglio!!

Resist Bergoglio!!

The preparation of an inter-confessional version is a particularly significant effort, if one thinks how much the debates on Scripture influenced the divisions, especially in the West. This inter-confessional project, which has given you the possibility to undertake a common path for some decades, has enabled you to entrust your heart to your other companions on the way, overcoming suspicions and diffidence, with the confidence that it flows from common for the Word of God.

Yours is the fruit of patient, careful, fraternal, competent and, above all, believing work. If you did not believe, you would not understand; “if you did not believe, you would not remain firm; if you will not believe, surely you will not be established,” says Isaiah. I hope that this text, which is presented with the approval of the CEI [Italian Episcopal Conference] and of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, will push all Italian-speaking Christians to meditate, to live, to witness and to celebrate God’s message.(!!!)

I would so like it if all Christians could learn “the sublime science of Jesus Christ” (cf.Philippians 3:8) through the assiduous reading of the Word of God, because the sacred text is the food of the soul and the pure and everlasting source of the spiritual life of us all. Therefore, we must make every effort so that every member of the faithful reads the Word of God, because “ignorance of Scriptures in fact, is ignorance of Christ,” as Saint Jerome says (Comm. In Is.,: PL 24,17).

My heartfelt thanks to you all, because what you have achieved together is in fact valuable to reach this objective, and I encourage you to continue on the path undertaken, to have the Word of God known ever better and understood ever more profoundly.

My blessing also accompanies you, which I give you from my heart and I invite you to ask for it together, as brothers, praying the Our Father.

Recitation of the Our Father

Thank you.

[Original text: Italian]

[Translation by ZENIT]

No reason to get worked up over Catholic bishop’s Mass for Protestant Tony Palmer. He was a bishop within his own jurisdiction and his orders were probably valid!!

Pope Leo XIII declared all Anglican orders absolutely null and utterly void.       Pope Leo XIII declared all Anglican orders“absolutely null and utterly void.”

No reason to get worked up over Catholic bishop’s Mass for Protestant Tony Palmer. He was a bishop within his own jurisdiction and his orders were probably valid! Fr. Longnecker’s  Protestant views and how things should be in the Catholic Church!              

Notes on Tony Palmer’s Funeral…

It seems that there are some Catholics who are upset that the Pope’s friend Bishop Tony Palmer was given a Catholic Requiem. Go here and here.

They shouldn’t be.

We can pray for the repose of the soul of anyone, and a requiem Mass is simply the prayer of the church for the repose of someone’s soul.

To do so is an act of mercy and faith.

If the person is a family member of Catholics it is even more appropriate if they desire a requiem Mass for that person.

The only prohibition on a requiem Mass is found in Canon Law:

Can. 1184 §1 Church funeral rites are to be denied to the following, unless they gave some signs of repentance before death:

1° notorious apostates, heretics and schismatics;

2° those who for anti-christian motives chose that their bodies be cremated;

3° other manifest sinners to whom a Church funeral could not be granted without public scandal to the faithful.

2 If any doubt occurs, the local Ordinary is to be consulted and his judgement followed.

Was Tony Palmer a “notorious heretic, apostate and schismatic”? Of course not. 

A notorious apostate, heretic and schismatic is someone who publicly shakes his fist in the face of God and his church. Wild eyed atheists, fundamentalist Protestants and those who defy and disobey the church publicly are such.

Tony Palmer, by all accounts, was a sincere, good and zealous brother in Christ–albeit still separated from full communion with the Church. He may have formally been a heretic and schismatic, but notorious? No. On the contrary, he was full of affection, admiration and desire for the Catholic faith.

If he was like I was in the few years before I entered full communion he would have given whole hearted assent to every Catholic belief. Where he was still learning he was still affirming the faith not rejecting it.

If there was any doubt–which this witness at the funeral suggests–the local ordinary was consulted and gave consent. Everything therefore was just as it should be.

Then there is the question of him being “buried as a bishop”. No one seems to know what that means. There is no special funeral rite for a bishop. One or two different prayers perhaps, and was he in the coffin in episcopal miter and cope? Who knows.

There is also the question of whether Tony Palmer is a bishop at all. The history of his denomination–the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches recounts how, after they elected their first bishops they ensured that they were consecrated by bishops from the Old Catholic and Eastern Orthodox line of succession. It is very possible, therefore that Tony Palmer’s episcopal ordination was valid but irregular. This is the case with many bishops and clergy within the Anglican constellation of churches.

I remember when my friend Bishop Graham Leonard–the former Bishop of London told me about his meeting with Cardinal Ratzinger. Bishop Leonard explained how he and many other Anglican Bishops of an Anglo Catholic persuasion had received valid orders through the Old Catholic and Eastern Orthodox successions. He said Ratzinger smiled and said, “I will not say that you are not a bishop.” Graham Leonard then went on to receive conditional ordination as a Catholic priest.

While everyone admits that Tony Palmer was not a Catholic bishop, and he was not a mainstream Anglican bishop, we can at least say that he was a bishop within his own jurisdiction and that his orders were probably valid but irregular.

There is therefore no reason at all to get all worked up over the fact that he was granted a Catholic requiem Mass or that he was “buried as a bishop” whatever that curious phrase means.


Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolicae Curae


This is the Papal Bull by Pope Leo XIII issued on September 18, 1896. It officially alerted the Catholic world and Anglicans that those ordained in Anglican rite of Holy Orders is not a true sacrament and therefore Anglican priests are not true priests, their Orders are null and void, and therefore no sacrament is confected, ergo NO True Presence on Anglican, Episcopal or Novus Ordo “altars” for His Holiness Leo XIII also referred to the nullity of episcopal consecrations (consecration of bishops). When one studies the Anglican rite and what the Magisterium of the Church rightly rejected, one is shocked that those Anglican rites are actually much more Catholic than newchurch’s revamped synthetic so-called sacrament of Holy Orders, fashioned illegally by Giovanni Montini in 1968 with his novel revolutionary New Order nonsense in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. If Leo, through thorough study, prayer, and consultation with the infallible perennial Magisterium of the Church, determined that the Anglican rite is null and void, then there is no doubt that the Novus Ordorite of Holy Orders and episcopal consecration since 1968 have to be NULL AND VOID as well.

Pope Leo XIII, ora pro nobis.

HERESY!!! “Pope” Francis advised Tony Palmer NOT to Convert, ordered him buried as a Catholic Bishop!!!

heretic 2

Unbelievable: Pope Francis-Bergoglio playing God again… Tony Palmer not Catholic but Buried as a Catholic Bishop!!!!  Welcome to the Church of Bergoglio, where NON-Catholics are buried as Catholics and in some cases  A CATHOLIC BISHOP!!

Anathema sit!! Haereticus!!

Novus Ordo Watch: “Pope” Francis advised Tony Palmer NOT to Convert, ordered him buried as a Catholic Bishop!

The absurd circus that is the Jorge Bergoglio “Papacy” continues unabated. A very interesting article published by Austen Ivereigh in the Boston Globe on August 7, 2014, gives a lot of background information on the friendship between “Pope” Francis and the Anglican-Evangelical “Bishop” Tony Palmer, and casts the latter’s deadly motorcycle accident in an even more significant light:

[The church communion Palmer was “ordained” in sees itself] as part of a “convergence” movement, seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with the liturgy and sacraments typical of Catholicism.

That convergence, Palmer told me, “is a precursor to full unity between the Protestant and Catholic Churches.”

Palmer and [his “Catholic” wife Emiliana] Calisi began doing joint missions around the world — which is what took him to Buenos Aires in 2006. Its archbishop, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had overcome his reservations about the charismatic renewal and enthusiastically backed a 6,000-strong joint Catholic-evangelical gathering that year in Buenos Aires’ Luna Park stadium.

At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, [then-Cardinal] Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.

“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.


Read entire article here:

Pope’s Protestant friend dies, but push for unity lives

Proselytism is solemn nonsense 1

At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission (!!!) “We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.

LONDON – The English surgeons who fought to save the life of a badly mangled motorcyclist on the morning of July 20 might have guessed he was someone unusual, since the hospital was receiving calls from Rome, from the pope himself, asking for updates.

The silver Audi that slammed into a Protestant cleric named Bishop Tony Palmer in a quiet country lane that morning, however, left little chance of his surviving, and he died after a 10-hour emergency surgery. The news stunned not just his grieving wife and young adult children, but many across the Christian world who were aware that, behind the scenes, the unlikely friendship of Palmer and Pope Francis was the catalyst of an extraordinary historic breakthrough in relations between the Catholic Church and the evangelical world.

An articulate, laid-back, jovial South African in his early fifties, with a penchant for quirky clerical clothes, Palmer didn’t look or sound much like a conventional Anglican bishop. When I first met him in May, at a coffee shop in Bath, close to where he lived with his family, he explained that he had been ordained by the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, or CEEC, whose presiding bishop is in Florida.

The CEEC, which was formed in the 1990s, is Anglican. Yet unlike the Episcopal Church in the United States, it’s not part of the Anglican Communion loyal to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its leaders see themselves as part of a “convergence” movement, seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with the liturgy and sacraments typical of Catholicism.

That convergence, Palmer told me, “is a precursor to full unity between the Protestant and Catholic Churches.”

Born in Britain, Palmer grew up in South Africa where he worked as a medical underwriter and met and married Emiliana, a non-practising Italian Catholic. After a sudden conversion they began worshipping in an evangelical church. Palmer worked for some years in South Africa for Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries, pioneer of the controversial “prosperity Gospel” which claims that God rewards his faithful with material blessings.

On trips back to Italy to visit Emiliana’s family, the Palmers encountered the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a movement within the Catholic Church which has absorbed the Pentecostal evangelical traditions of praise-style worship, healing, and an expectation of spiritual gifts. Through the charismatics, Emiliana returned to the Catholic Church, and the Palmers with their young children began attending Sunday Mass. In the 1990s they began spending long periods in Italy, where they were invited to speak at Catholic churches.

In 2003 they moved to Italy full-time to work with Matteo Calisi, head of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Italy. Palmer increasingly felt at home in the Catholic Church but was unable to affiliate an ecumenical group he founded called the “Ark Community” with Rome because not all his members were Catholics.

Palmer instead found a home in the CEEC, which claims about a million adherents and 6,000 clergy. After further study the CEEC ordained him a priest, giving him a particular mission to Christian unity, and later consecrated him as a bishop. Palmer and Calisi began doing joint missions around the world — which is what took him to Buenos Aires in 2006. Its archbishop, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, had overcome his reservations about the charismatic renewal and enthusiastically backed a 6,000-strong joint Catholic-evangelical gathering that year in Buenos Aires’ Luna Park stadium.

Palmer and Calisi and four others went to meet the cardinal prior to beginning their mission in his diocese. When Palmer told Bergoglio that he was an Anglican evangelical with a Catholic wife and children, the cardinal was curious: how did they live that difference? Palmer told him that it worked very well, but that, since he led his family back to the Catholic Church, he was no longer allowed to take Communion with them.

When Palmer told him that his children asked him why he would join a church that separated a family, he said that Bergoglio’s eyes filled with tears.

“His heart broke,” Palmer recalled.

The cardinal asked if they could remain in touch and meet regularly. Over the years, the Buenos Aires cardinal and the evangelical bishop formed a deep bond, staying in touch by telephone and email between face-to-face meetings.

Palmer and Bergoglio had intense discussions about Christian separation, using the analogy of apartheid in South Africa. They found common ground in believing that institutional separation breeds fear and misunderstanding. Bergoglio, whom Palmer called “Father Mario,” acted as a spiritual father to the Protestant cleric, calming him (“he wanted to make me a reformer, not a rebel,” Palmer told me) and encouraging him in his mission to Christian unity.


At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission (!!!)

“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.

“Proselytism is solemn nonsense” – Pope Francis

In 2012 Palmer’s family moved to England, to allow their son to prepare to enter university there. Palmer had little idea of Bergoglio’s rising star, but received an email three days before the conclave of March 2013 asking for his prayers. When he saw Pope Francis emerge on the balcony, Palmer was thrilled but assumed that their friendship would be over.

Shortly after the New Year, however, he received a call. Francis wanted to know when he was next in Rome, could he come by? On January 14, Palmer spent the morning with Francis in the Vatican residence where he now lives, the Domus Santa Marta.

“We didn’t have an agenda,” Palmer recalled. “He told me that we are brothers and nothing will change our friendship.”

Palmer told him that the following week he would be addressing 3,000 evangelicals at Kenneth Copeland’s international leaders’ conference in Fort Worth, Texas, and would he like to send a word of greeting?

“Let’s make a video,” Francis replied.

“You want me to pull out my iPhone and record you?” asked Palmer, astonished.

“Yes, exactly,” the pope answered.

When he presented the recording to the Pentecostals in Texas, Palmer said that few Protestants knew that the Catholic and Lutheran Churches had signed a historic declaration in 1999 settling the doctrinal issue of the Reformation.

“We preach the same Gospel now,” Palmer told them. “The protest is over.”

Then he played the video, in which Francis addressed them as brothers and sisters and said that with just “two rules” — love God above all, and your neighbor as yourself — “we can move ahead.” He spoke of the sin of separation, and his yearning for reconciliation. “Let us allow our 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,” he told them.

The delegates reacted rapturously. After the video went viral Palmer began to be inundated by requests from evangelical leaders to be part of what was happening. “People said: this is a new day, this is what we have been waiting for.” Palmer had to cancel his teaching commitments and his own studies simply to cope with the correspondence. He reported it all to Pope Francis in a meeting in April, who was amazed.

Cosa facciamo? “What do we do?” he asked Palmer.

On June 24, Palmer took a group of evangelical leaders who jointly reach more than 700 million people to meet and lunch with Francis, which he reported to me a few days later, as he left for two weeks in South Africa. The delegates included Copeland, the televangelist James Robison, as well as Geoff Tunnicliffe, head of the Worldwide Evangelical Alliance. They told Francis they wanted to accept his invitation to seek visible unity with the Bishop of Rome.

Palmer handed the pope a proposed Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission the evangelicals had drawn up, which they proposed would be signed by both the Vatican and leaders of the major Protestant churches in Rome in 2017, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Palmer told me the draft Declaration has three elements: the Nicean-Constantinople Creed, which Catholics and evangelicals share; the core of the Catholic-Lutheran declaration of 1999 making clear there is no disagreement over justification by faith; as well as a final section asserting that Catholics and evangelicals are now “united in mission because we are declaring the same Gospel.”

The closing section speaks of the importance of freedom of conscience and the need for Catholics and evangelicals to respect each other’s mission fields and treat the other with respect, not as rivals. Francis had taken the draft and said he would think about it. Palmer and I agreed to speak again when Francis got back to him, but that was not to be.

Last Wednesday, in Bath, Palmer’s funeral was a Catholic Requiem Mass at which most of the congregation were evangelicals. He was buried in a Catholic cemetery, united at last with the Church he felt at home in.

Pope Francis sent a message, which was tearfully read out by Emiliana Palmer. In it he said he and Palmer were close friends, and like father and son, “Many times we prayed in the same Spirit.” He praised Palmer as a brave, passionate and pure-hearted man in love with Jesus, who left a precious legacy in his passion for Christian unity.

Francis created the strong impression that the work he and Palmer had begun would continue.

“We must be encouraged by his zeal,” the pope said.