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Rome Reports

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Pope to CHARIS: evangelization is not proselytism but a witness of love

Pope Francis met with the leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS). 

It is an organization that from now on will communicate with the 120 million Catholics who belong to groups of charismatic spirituality. 

During his speech, Pope Francis expressed what he expects from CHARIS and all those involved with it.  

“These three things: baptism in the Holy Spirit, unity in the body of Christ and service to the poor. These are the forms of witness that, by virtue of baptism, all of us are called to give for the evangelization of the world. An evangelization that is not proselytism, but first and foremost witness: a witness of love. 'See how they love one another.' This was what impressed those who encountered the first Christians. 'See how they love one another.'”

He said without love and community, offices and programs established for evangelization are useless. 

He concluded this meeting by inviting all those present to pray a minute of silence for peace. This was to mark the fifth anniversary since his meeting in the Vatican between the presidents of Palestine and Israel. 

At the end of this minute of silence, Pope Francis had this to say jokingly to the Charismatic people.

“Thank you. For a community of the Renewal to be quiet is something almost heroic! Thank you!”

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal emerged after a student spiritual retreat in the United States in 1967. It seeks to relive the experience of the Apostles when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost.