[ACNS Digest] History was made May 31 when Pope Francis took part in the Church of England’s video-based service for Pentecost Sunday. The Pope was among a number of Christian leaders from other denominations who took part in the service, which was themed around the Thy Kingdom Come global wave of prayer.
In the service, Pope Francis began his message to “dear brothers and sisters” by saying: “with joy I join Archbishop Justin Welby and all of you to share some thoughts from the heart.”
He spoke of the Holy Spirit as bringing “new and previously unknown hope, peace and joy”, saying: “At Pentecost God ‘infected’ the world with life. How different this is from the contagion of death that has ravaged the earth for months now! Today, more than ever,it is necessary to implore the Holy Spirit to pour forth into our hearts the life of God, who is love. Indeed, if there is to be a better future, our hearts must change for the better.”
Pope Francis also spoke of “this journey that we are making together”, saying: “How greatly I desire that, as Christians, we can be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family so severely tested in these days. Let us ask the Spirit for the gift of unity, for only if we live as brothers and sisters can we spread the spirit of fraternity. We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths. So let us pray for one another; let us each feel responsible for the other. . .
“Dear brothers and sisters, you are proclaiming the Gospel message of life and you are a sign of hope. I thank you from my heart. I ask God to bless you and I ask you to pray that he bless me. Thank you.”