VATICAN CITY (Worthy News)– A delegation of evangelicals led by televangelists Kenneth Copeland and James Robison met with Pope Francis for three hours last week at the Vatican.
The meeting was set up by Bishop Tony Palmer, a bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church in the United Kingdom. Last January, Palmer addressed a Kenneth Copeland pastor's conference calling for unity between Catholics and Protestants.
"This meeting was a miracle," Robison told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "This is something God has done. God wants his arms around the world. And he wants Christians to put his arms around the world by working together."
Over the past few years, Robison has led several conferences with evangelicals and Catholics working toward an ecumenical understanding. Robison along with Catholic philosopher Jay W. Richards wrote a book entitled, "Indivisible."
Earlier this month, mega-church speaker Joel Osteen, also met with the Pope saying, "I love the fact that's he's made the Church more inclusive, not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger — to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me."
However, critics have expressed concerns about the recent ecumenical gatherings, stating that ecumenicism is far from biblical and point to the understanding that the last religious ruler termed the "False Prophet" by many will gather the world into a false "one world religion."
Over the past month, Pope Francis has been setting historical precedents beginning with his trip to Israel. It was the first time an entourage led by the Pope included both a Jew and a Muslim. Just a few weeks ago, the Pope led a prayer vigil with Israeli leader Shimon Peres, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican. It was then that Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran were heard in the Vatican for the first time.
Critics warn that Bishop Palmer's message delivered in January to a Copeland Pastor's conference spoke of the "spirit of Elijah" and the heart of God is to return back to the Father. However, Palmer spoke of did not speak of a return to God, but a return to the Catholic Church. As Palmer expounded saying, "If you're born again, you're all Catholics."