By Vatican News staff writer
Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to the participants at a meeting for a fraternal dialogue held on Saturday under the theme: “Fraternity in Christ.”
“During this time you will be holding the Italian charismatic consultation. I would like to be closer to you, to be with you,” the Pope said in a video message. “Thank you very much for this work that you have been doing for years - since the celebration in 1992 in Bari.”
The virtual meeting, promoted by the Italian Charismatic Consultation (made up of Catholics and Pentecostals in Italy), will see the presence of several speakers, including Prof. Matteo Calisi, the founder and president of the Community of Jesus, who began the dialogue in Bari.
In 1992, Matteo Calisi, together with the Pentecostal Pastor Rev. Dr. Giovanni Traettino (Bishop-Chairman of the Evangelical Church of the Reconciliation), founded the Italian Charismatic Consultation - a joint committee of Catholic Charismatics and Pentecostal Evangelicals, which started a dialogue between Catholics and Pentecostals in Italy.
Holding up the theme of the online meeting, Pope Francis highlighted that it is a “fraternal dialogue”, and invited them to be guided by the Word of the Lord: “Go to my brethren and say to them: 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (Jn 20:17).
“Jesus sends us to proclaim that He is with us,” the Pope said. “He is before the Father, He accompanies us; and as Christians, without exposing the divisions that still exist but that do not prevent us from working together, walking together, and washing each other's feet,”
He then urged the meeting’s participants to “remember Bari” and to “serve together” in brotherhood.
Concluding his message, Pope Francis joined himself spiritually to the meeting, praying for and with the participants. He also expressed gratitude to them for “this sign of brotherhood.”