16 December 2014
Pope thanks Salvation Army for unity work
The Pope has thanked the Salvation Army for opening his eyes to unity.
Delegates from the Alliance member organisation travelled to the Vatican to hear Pope Francis speak of his encounter with the Salvation Army when he was four years old.
As a young child he was taught about ecumenism through their work, he recalls.
The Pope said he hoped that "Catholics and Salvationists would continue to render a common witness of Christ and of the gospel in a world in such need of experiencing the mercy of God."
In the first private audience with the organisation, he said: "They meet often at the same human fringes, and my heartfelt hope is that our common faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and men will become increasingly a solid foundation of friendship and collaboration between us."
Led by General André Cox, the delegation heard that there was a need for the church to "go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast."
"I pray," the Pope concluded, "That all of Christ's disciples can contribute with the same conviction and dynamism that the Salvation Army demonstrates in its devoted and highly appreciated service."