On 9 June Pope Francis sent a video message to members of the John 17 Movement, an ecumenical initiative that helps build communion in friendship and love among Christians along the path towards unity. The message was sent at the start of the two–day retreat in New York of the Movement, which was started in 2013 by Pentecostal pastor Joe Tosini. The Movement, whose members come from a range of different Christian traditions, takes its name from Chapter 17 of Saint John’s Gospel, where Jesus prays, “That they may be one”.
In his message, delivered in Spanish, Pope Francis reflected that the John 17 Movement strongly emphasized that all Christians are “children of the one same Father”. The Holy Father continued, “Love is an encounter of life, first with the person of Jesus; and from this encounter of love are born friendship, brotherhood and the certainty of being children of the same Father”. “Everything starts from a fraternal encounter”, he said, encouraging the members to continue walking together and sharing life and fraternal love.