25 April 2016
In a conversation lasting more than one hour, the Holy Father expressed his joy in receiving representatives from Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He emphasized that this is the time of the Spirit . He said, we are experiencing new things of the Spirit and we can see signs of this in so many places. He enthusiastically spoke about the work of the Holy Spirit that can be seen in unity, renewal and ecumenism.
The Holy Father reflected upon how in the past 50 years many things have changed in the Church. He spoke specifically about the ecumenical journey. He recalled stories from his childhood where meeting with ‘non Catholics’ was regarded as mortal sin. As 2017 is also the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the Pope commented that, despite difficulties and some misunderstandings the general intention of Luther was to renew and reform the Church that at that time was living many scandals.
Emphasising that the Holy Spirit is at work among all people, the Holy Father said he was moved recently by a visit from the Nuncio of Mali who shared that in the cathedral of Mali, during the year of mercy, many people entered through the Holy Door. The crowds included many Muslims, who went to pray at the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Pope Francis emphasised that the Holy Spirit has been leading us for many years towards unity. He said that the Spirit is asking new things of us and that we should be prepared for the surprises of the Holy Spirit. He emphasised that the Great Jubilee of CCR, at Pentecost 2017, should be an occasion for all Christians, not just for Catholic Charismatics. So we need to gather and include all Christians. Reassuringly, the Holy Father said that he was with us that at this time God is preparing something very important.
After discussion about some practicalities relating to the preparations of the Golden Jubilee, the Pope assured us of his presence with us for the vigil of the Pentecost. He told us to go forward with courage even though at times there would be opposition. We then had an opportunity to pray with the Holy Father in the power of Holy Spirit.