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Rome Reports

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Pope describes lesson he received from members of Salvation Army

“I'm glad to meet you, as well. I am very attentive to your public presence in this world that we live in.”

The Salvation Army's general greets the pope, beaming as the two shake hands.

General Brian Peddle spoke on behalf of the group, which is both a Protestant church as well as an international charity. The general told the pope that the organization stands behind him and his concerns, and would like to stand together and pray for the redemption of humanity.

Pope Francis responded by thanking them for all they do and describing his own experiences with the Salvation Army.

“As I have mentioned on several occasions, it was by encountering members of the Salvation Army that I received, many years ago, from my grandmother, my first lesson in ecumenism. Their example of humble service to the least of our brothers and sisters spoke louder than any words.”

They then proceeded with exchanging gifts. Brian Peddle gifted the pope with the 2019 Salvation Army Year Book and a book on the life of their founder, William Booth.

 “Our founder William Booth, this is the man who is the inspiration around the Salvation Army.”

To end the meeting, the pope gifted the Salvation Army in return with his five most important writings and the medal that marks the year of this pontificate.  

Rachel Dobrzynski