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"Francis 'called us his brother bishops,' says Protestant pastor from Mobile"
Carol McPhail al.com MOBILE, Alabama - First, the pope does not want his ring kissed. And he prefers to be called Father Francis rather than Your Holiness. Those were some of the marching orders given to Rev. Henry W. Roberts II of Mobile and other bishops with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Oct. 10. The CEEC is an international ecumenical network that strives for unity among all Christians. "He looks like one of the fellas. He's so down to earth," said Roberts, describing a photo he took with the pope during the visit. Roberts is founding pastor of Word of Life Community Church, an interdenominational congregation of 1,500 with locations in Chickasaw and Whistler. A graduate of McGill-Toolen Catholic School, he has been a bishop with the CEEC network since 2007. Roberts said one of the bishops asked the pontiff if he would bless them to go and proclaim the miracle of unity. "He said, 'I can't really bless you, because we're brother bishops.' He actually called us his brother bishops," he said. Roberts said the group met with Pope Francis for more than an hour and shared lunch in his private dining room at Casa Santa Marta, his Vatican residence. The main topics at the meeting, which occurred during the recent Synod, were family and Christian unity. "He said, No. 1, that we as believers, as Christians, have to stop talking bad about each other and being condescending," Roberts recalled. to read more: al.com
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