BY Daniel Harkins | July 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Pope Francis greets woman during his visit with Protestants in Caserta, Italy

Pope visits Pentecostal church and acknowledges persecution

During a visit yesterday to the Pentecostal Church of the Reconciliation in the south of Italy, Pope Francis recognised the persecution they suffered in Fascist Italy

When Pope Francis met with an old protestant friend yesterday, becoming the first Pope to visit a Pentecostal church, he apologised for the persecution of Pentecostals in Italy during the Fascist era in the 1920s and 30s.

The Pope spoke to more than 200 people at the Church of the Reconciliation in Caserta, Italy. He had travelled to the region to meet Evangelical Pentecostal pastor Giovanni Traettino, a friend from his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

“Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy… there were also Catholics,” he said. “I am the shepherd of the Catholics and I ask you to forgive my Catholic brothers and sisters who did not understand and were tempted by the devil.”

Reflecting on the story of Jacob, the Holy Father said that when we walk in God’s presence we find brotherhood.

“When instead we stop, we scrutinise each other too much, and we set out on another path, that of gossip,” he said. “And in this way it begins, from the first moment the division of the Church began, from the very beginning, there has been this temptation in the Christian community. ‘I am from this group, you are from that one.’

“The Holy Spirit creates diversity in the Church—diversity, rich and beautiful. But, at the same time, the Holy Spirit creates unity, and so the Church is one in her diversity. To borrow a phrase used by an evangelical, a phrase I love, it is the ‘reconciled diversity’ of the Holy Spirit who creates both of these things: diversity in charisms, and harmony in charisms.”

Before speaking at the church, Pope Francis had a private meeting with Pastor Traettino.

“With men like you , there is hope for us as Christians,” the pastor later said to the Holy Father.


Pic: Pope Francis said he knew people would be shocked that he would make a trip outside of Rome to visit a group of Pentecostals, ‘but I went to visit my friends,” he said.





Leave a Reply

latest news

Catholic High School finds new ways to help the homeless

February 14th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

St Paul's High School created a strategy to help Glasgow’s...

Healthcare workers thanked for ‘extending God’s work’ at annual Mass

February 14th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The annual Mass, which took place on Sunday February 9,...

Coronavirus guidelines issued by Church in England and Wales but not in Scotland

February 14th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The bishops of England and Wales offered guidance on how...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Jubilarias gather at St Andrew’s in Thanksgiving
  • Masterchef Gary makes a family feast in Greenock
  • Bishop marks anniversary in Braemar
  • Why grandparents are the future, by Peter Diamond
  • Good craic and a brush with storm Brendan

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO