News Update

Pope Invites Christians to Join Together in Witnessing the Gospel

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis has called upon fellow Christians to bear witness to the Gospel together.

He did so in a telegram sent on his behalf, by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to the Synod of the Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches, taking place this week in Northern Italy.

The telegram began by expressing the Pope’s delight to greet the synod members, and conveying his hope that the “meeting may be, for each one, an occasion of a profound experience of Christ who welcomes, guides and leads to the fullness of communion with Him and with the brethren.”

Spiritual closeness

Pope Francis raised a prayer of praise to God the Father “for the gifts bestowed through ecumenical dialogue,” as well as for the “harmonious collaboration” between Christian Confessions.

He also expressed his desire “to remain spiritually present at this important event, so that we may grow in mutual knowledge in order to bear witness together to the Gospel of Jesus.”

The Holy Father concluded by offering his best wishes for the work of this synodal assembly, and invoking the Lord’s blessing.

The Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches is an Italian united church founded in 1975, which brings together the Waldensian Evangelical Church and the Evangelical Methodist Church in Italy.

The Union has some 50,000 members, of which 45,000 are Waldensians, mostly in Italy but also in Argentina and Uruguay. Methodists number some 5,000.