Italian Evangelicals Debate How to Relate to Roman Catholicism in AEI Annual Meeting
GeneralApril 5, 2016
WEA’s Secretary General Efraim Tendero and Pentecostal pastor with personal friendship with Pope Francis Giovanni Traettino, among those invited to share their views in the assembly of the Italian Evangelical Alliance.
Efraim Tendero (World Evangelical Alliance, WEA) and Jaume Llenas (Spanish Evangelical Alliance, AEE) are the foreign speakers who will join Italian evangelical church leaders and experts during the Italian Evangelical Alliance annual meeting in Rome (8-9 April). Many will remember when July 28, 2014, Pope Francis crossed the threshold of the Pentecostal Church of Caserta, welcomed by pastor Giovanni Traettino, for what the Vatican called a “private visit.” But this explanation could not diminish the impact of the meeting, which as expected, caused controversy and division both among Catholics and evangelicals. On that occasion, Bergoglio asked forgiveness for the persecution of Pentecostals by Roman Catholics in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Pastor Traettino has an old friendship with Bergoglio, which started when the Pope still was bishop of Buenos Aires. Bergoglio then used to take part in conferences organised by Pentecostal churches in Argentina, also attended by Traettino. The two had already met several times even after the election of Pope Francis.
This weekend, Italian evangelicals will have the opportunity to hear directly from Traettino the origin of this friendship with the Roman Pontiff, and the reasons for its proximity to the Roman Catholic Church, which has caused his exclusion from the majority of the Italian Pentecostal movements. THIS YEAR’S AEI MEETING Traettino wil be one of the speakers participating in the sessions and round tables organised for the AEI assembly. The theme of this year is “Evangelical Faith and Roman Catholicism: where are we? Where are we going?” The two-day event will take place in Rome this weekend, at the headquarters of the Pentecostal Church and Alpha Omega (Via Giorgio De Chirico 73).
Speakers giving their views will be:
- Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
- Giacomo Ciccone, President of the Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI).
- Jaume Llenas, Secretary General of the Evangelical Alliance of Spain (AEE).
- Leonardo De Chirico, Vatican expert, pastor of an evangelical church.
- Pietro Bolognesi, Institute for Evangelical Formation and Documentation (Istituto di Formazione Evangelica e Documentazione)
- Giovanni di Francia, pastor of a Pentecostal evangelical church.
- Agostino Masdea, pastor of an evangelical.
ROUND TABLES AND DEBATE
The titles of the sessions are: - “Evangelical faith and Roman Catholic faith: unresolved issues” - “A new era for Catholic-Evangelical relationships?” “- The identity of the Evangelical Alliance and the unity of Christians” - “Evangelicals and Roman Catholics in the 21st century” (roundtable)