NEW YORK (AP) - Religious leaders say Pope Francis has quietly started a new era in relations between the Roman Catholic Church and rival Pentecostals. And he did it with just an iPhone and a video greeting.
Francis recorded the message in January on the phone of clergy friend with ties to the spirit-filled Pentecostal movement. The pope's friend then played the video for Pentecostal pastors in Texas and the greeting went viral.
Pentecostal movements have for years been draining parishioners from the Catholic Church, especially in Latin America.
But in the video, Francis calls the Pentecostal pastors his brothers and says they should work together for Christian unity. One Pentecostal leader says that small gesture did more to heal the rift than the past four decades of dialogue.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)