All right ... I'll say it real quick: CHRISTIAN UNITY!
What? Seriously, all the popes have been popes of Christian unity - so one sees how such arbitrary titles are vain and obsequious, especially as they are applied by adoring fans to this or that pope. Nevertheless I just can't help recalling how Pope Benedict XVI was so often hailed as the pope of Christian unity whenever he acknowledged other Christian leaders or made overtures of friendship, while poor Francis is so often disparaged.
Pope Francis follows in his predecessor's footsteps, yet apparently no one thinks it all that significant. I do.
Just recently he met with the leader of the Salvation Army, welcoming him to the Vatican. The meeting was in response to the request of General André Cox, leader of the Salvation Army. The story here. It was another papal first ever-s.
Pope Francis shared a childhood memory with General Cox I found very touching - and which also clarifies very well the 'peripheries' the Holy Father regularly refers to.
Greeting warmly a delegation led by General André Cox, the Pope said Catholics and Salvationists, together with other Christians, recognise that those in need have a special place in God’s heart – so much so, that the Lord himself became poor for our sake. As a result, the Pope said, Catholics and Salvationists often meet at the same peripheries of society.
After the meeting ... Describing Pope Francis as “a peoples’ person”, the Salvation Army leader said the pontiff spoke off-the-cuff to describe his memory of walking, as a four-year old, with his grandmother in Argentina and seeing two Salvation Army ladies in their distinctive hats and uniforms. Despite the prevailing Catholic view that Protestants “were destined to Hell”, Bergoglio’s grandmother told him they were “Protestants, but good people”, awakening in the young boy an opening to ecumenical encounter. - SourceI like that. The Salvation Army does much good.
Anyone remember the Friends episode when
Phoebe was a bell ringer for the SA?
"Watch out for that bitch!"