Papal first: Francis visits Pentecostal church

:eek:It seems to me that the Pentecostal Church is falling away from wanting to seek union with the Catholic Church. Should we continue pursuing them? I say leave them alone. It is obvious to me they are not interested in unifying at all with the Catholic Church. I might even add that perhaps that is one way the women seeking priesthood may try to force the issue upon the Catholic Church.

:shrug: How so? If anything, the relations between the Catholic Church and the Pentecostal churches have never been better. The very fact that Pope Francis visited a Pentecostal church is proof of this. This would never have happened a generation ago.

I am acquainted with many Pentecostals, a few of whom are pastors. They are very open to dialogue with Catholics and Protestants from other denominations. If anything, I find this progress encouraging.

They may still disagree with some of the Catholic Church’s teachings but what is happening right now is a huge step forward.

It would be difficult to pursue unity with Pentecostals generally because they aren’t united under a single head or spokesman.

I believe my question was if we should continue seeking unity with the Pentecostals that continue to retreat from Church teachings. Dialogue is fine but they continue to stray away from the Christian teachings left by Christ to his Disciples.

yes, it will.:wink:

Dialogue is always valuable. However any discussion must start with the resolution never to resile or step back from the truths of the Catholic Faith. On that basis, there is little positive that can come from doctrinal discussion; rather the value seems to be in pastoral progress towards a unified approach to Christian charity.

I didn’t realise we were pursuing unity with Pentecostals - at least not actively any more than we want unity with all christians. I come from a pentecostal background and IMHO, we’re a long way from unity. We agree on the absolute basics, but there are some huge fundamental beliefs within our faiths that are absolute opposites and Pentecostals are no more going to give on those than we are.

I agree with Sheila that there is a similarity in important basic attitudes and culture between the two. I think that should always be recognised, lived and developed.

As far as the possibility of any large scale institutional unity is concerned, as with any faith, political group, nation, culture etc coming together, it comes from a recognition of brotherhood and a willingness to commit to each other after a long period of interaction and reflection.

I think pursuing unity is better described as pursuing an environment of shared interaction which enhances and makes real the goodness of God in our communities.

This may or may not later lead to recognition of brotherhood and a closer institutional commitment.

Cordial relations, better mutual understanding, cooperation in areas of common concern and agreement (such as pro-life), certainly. But I have trouble with the concept of “pursuing unity” with Pentecostals, as they lack a sacramental system, a sanctoral system, formal liturgy, common authority; have as many possible interpretations of Scripture as there are pastors, seemingly profess Biblical literalism and textural inerrancy, and many other differences too numerous to mention.

He is trying to bring the wandering sheep back to the fold. I hope he reaches some of them. I imagine meeting the one man on earth who best represents the will of God might change a few hearts. Are we evangelizing as much as our Holy Father?

(formerly known as “lutheran farmer”)

This is good that Pope Francis would visit a Pentecostal Church.

However, let’s not forget Pentecostals include the likes of say Jimmy Swaggart’s belief system. I’m not being critical of him as a man but I’d have to say his beliefs are often against Catholic Teaching.

Also, Oneness Pentecostals do not believe in the Trinity, they likewise question that quote from Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit”.

I would hope Francis will take Matthew 28:19 seriously and actually TEACH them. Unfortunately, it seems like he is doing this for some sort of dialogue which never seems to work… as our plummeting numbers have shown. Also, why is he apologizing? This is ridiculous, evangelicals are far more hostile to us, constantly calling the Papacy the anti-Christ (not that they all do), but see John MacArthur. What he is hopefully making clear is that there is no salvation outside the Church. Pray that he does.

Father Dwight Longenecker wrote some good articles regarding the topic of church unity:


This wikipedia page explains the Matthew 28:19 understanding by the Oneness Pentecostals: So basically it is there in a nutshell.

At the same time, I brought up the “Oneness Pentecostals” but I don’t want to give them too much emphasis because as to Pentecostalism as a whole, they probably represent only a fair portion of a whole domination to begin with.

A whole lot of I’d say Trinitarian Pentecostals exist as well.

Speaking in Tongues, Glossolalia is a general attribute of the Pentecostal faith.

Also, I believe a whole lot of your tradition African American Churches are actually Pentecostal.

This topic has fascinated me mainly because I think overall, we are talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I even read a book about a black street corner type of Pentecostal Minister in one of America’s large cities, he worked in a rough part of town but his preaching was somewhat a source of inspiration to at least have a book written about him to bring his story to the public.

All of this is a bit meandering and complex. Perhaps some others who know about the Pentecostals will chime in.

The Pentecostals go a lot from the book of Acts where the first Pentecost is discussed. That is basically the bread and butter of their faith I would say and why they are called that.

All of this said, for say social issues, etc., I think the Pentecostals are actually very solid persons, I haven’t studied this aspect in about 3 years but would have to say generally they are solid in their faith and good persons.

Of all the Pentecostals to list, you mention Jimmy Swaggart? :mad: He is no longer associated with the Assemblies of God…he was defrocked by them years ago. There are many holy and amazing people who are Pentecostals. Some of whom are martyrs. Please don’t smear the Pentecostalism movement by singling out the likes of Jimmy Swaggart.

And yes, I agree. Oneness Pentecostals are definitely heretics. However what I am talking about here are Trinitarian Pentecostals.

A Catholic priest I talk to regularly actually mentioned that the Pentecostalism movement is close to Catholicism on a number of issues. It comes from John Wesley’s Holiness movement, which emphasized inner sanctification. In this regard, Pentecostalism has more in common with Catholicism than it does with Calvinism.

There are differences for sure. But surely much good can be done by having greater interactions between Pentecostals and Catholics! Misunderstandings on both sides can then be dealt with. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead these dialogues and who knows what could come of it? All things are possible with God.

A little respect for the office, please?

Also, why is he apologizing? This is ridiculous, evangelicals are far more hostile to us . . .

Um, maybe because he feels that Catholic persecution of Pentecostals during the fascist regime was wrong?

True, It will be hard when they, the Pentecostals, continue to pursue errand ways. Should we do like the Good Shepherd or the father in the Prodigal Son parable and wait for them to return to the fold? Hard call.

Keep in mind that in the story of the Prodigal Son, the father started running as soon as he recognized his son. He hugged and kissed him before his son said a word:

Luke 15: "20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ "

Please don’t accuse others of “smearing”.

*** Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935) is an American Pentecostal pastor, teacher, musician, author, and televangelist.***

Furthermore, last I knew, his channel is among the religious networks that broadcast 24/7.

If there is a more high profile Pentecostal Minister out there that the Public knows of, please identify him. Otherwise, I believe you are very much in error in making such a judgement and that is only your personal understanding about Jimmy Swaggart. And when Swaggart is anti-Catholic, that is broadcast on the airwaves often. Your own thoughts on the issue are merely your own projection.

Again, each religion is even discussed in these forums. Your Priest may say one thing but that is but one voice.

There is no way I will entertain the notion that some faiths’ followers are generally speaking, hospitable to Catholic Teaching.

And then, your description of Oneness Pentecostals really makes me wonder as well. They are a fairly large faith, I believe it is the United Pentecostal Church, we have one near us. If one did not know they were the Oneness Pentecostals, now, they may.

Can you offer any evidence that “the relations between Catholic Church and the Pentecostal churches have never been better” besides personal anecdote? That is hardly objective evidence.

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