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Pope Francis, a Charismatic Catholic

Apr 12, 2013

This is a report from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, an interview with Rt. Rev. Tony Palmer, who has known Pope Francis for the past five years. It is certainly interesting.


In 2003, Palmer was invited by the Catholic Church to move to Europe and minister to Catholics within the CCR worldwide, as a non-Roman Catholic minister. As a result of this calling, Palmer has traveled to many countries around the world and participated in numerous meetings with leaders within the charismatic renewal.

It was during a mission to Argentina five years ago that Palmer met and soon became close friends with Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis I.

“We had called on him to ask permission to minister in churches within his diocese for renewal,” Palmer recalled recently of that first meeting. “Immediately, Cardinal Bergoglio shared his heart and appreciation for what we were doing, and fully embraced us and the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us—not only to Catholic people, but to all Christian denominations.”....

BVOV: How do you believe this election will affect the Church, the Body of believers?

PALMER: It will greatly influence what’s already happening. Things began to change between 1962 and 1965, when Pope John XXIII opened up the Second Vatican Council by invoking the Holy Spirit and asking God for a “new Pentecost.” He asked that God would: “Renew Your wonders in our time….” God answered, and in 1967 a small group of faithful Catholics met in Pittsburgh, Pa., and called upon their Pentecostal friends to lay hands on them so they (as Roman Catholics) may receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pope John Paul II watched as this small group grew into a “movement” and expanded across the Atlantic and into many other countries. In 46 years, this group of Catholics has grown to over 180 million spirit-filled, born-again, faithful Catholic Christians. Pope Benedict XVI followed in Pope John Paul’s footsteps and publicly supported and encouraged those involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Now, as evidenced by the choice of his name, Pope Francis wants to honor Saint Francis of Assisi, who was a Charismatic Catholic who founded an order of devout Christians professing to live the Gospel and nothing else! Pope Francis is openly committing himself and the Church to emulate the spirituality of Saint Francis and his followers, which is to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and establish the Kingdom of God through living the Franciscan motto, which Saint Francis is famous for saying: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.” This is the central passion that drives Pope Francis. He always tells me that we all need to live like Jesus. It’s all about Jesus! Pope Francis is openly supportive of the work of the Holy Spirit and the Charismatic renewal, and in his choosing of Saint Francis’ name, he promises to continue to support what the Holy Spirit has begun.

For example, when he was introduced during a large Christian meeting in Buenos Aires where over 5,000 evangelical protestant leaders were in attendance, Pope Francis (then Cardinal Bergoglio) knelt down in front of the evangelical pastors and asked them to lay hands on him and bless him! Every year, as Cardinal, he would join his evangelical brothers (pastors) for their annual weeklong retreat—not as a guest speaker to teach, but as one of them. During our times together, we have spoken about our shared pain of the division of Christians, and together we have shared both tears and prayers for her healing—the one Bride of Christ.

COMMENT: With all the talk about "Peter the Roman" being the Antichrist, I think everyone ought to settle down and re-evaluate their understanding of prophecy. I have said a number of times that St. Malachy's 1140 A.D. prophecy of this pope does NOT portray him as a bad pope. He only says that he will reign over the Roman Church during a time of "tribulation," and that afterward "the seven-hilled city will be destroyed."

Now that we have seen who that pope is, we should look at the situation realistically. Pope Francis will have his hands full trying to reform the Roman Church from within, particularly the corrupt Vatican Bank. Will he succeed? I cannot say for sure, but we should all pray for his success. God knows it is a dangerous task that is set before him.

If "the seven-hilled city" is Rome, rather than Jerusalem, then the fact that it will be destroyed after his reign may indicate his failure to reform the bank, and that God's response will be to destroy Rome in some manner. But if so, Pope Francis may not be at fault for this. Is the ship of state too big for Pope Francis? Have unworthy men become too powerful within the Vatican itself for any pope to clean house? Time will tell, but I don't intend to nip at his heels or condemn him for being "Peter the Roman."

The Charismatic Renewal began in the late 1960's in the Roman Catholic Church, largely as the result of the fresh air through the open window that Vatican II allowed. The article says that there are now 180 million Charismatic Catholics. I have no way of knowing if those figures are accurate, but certainly there is a significant number of Catholics that the Holy Spirit has seen fit to descend upon. I have found over the years that the Holy Spirit is happy to empower and lead people of differing beliefs. How else is anyone going to come to know the truth?


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Dr. Stephen Jones

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