Pope Francis visited the Waldensian Church in Turin
“On behalf of the Catholic Church I ask forgiveness for the non Christian – and not even human – attitudes and behaviors, which through history, we had against you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us!”
This is what Pope Francis said in the Waldensian Church of Turin, crowded with people for this historic moment of the relations between the Catholic Church and the most ancient Christian minority in the Country.
At the invitation of the Waldensian Church (Union of Waldensian and Methodist churches), the Pope crossed the threshold of a Waldensian church, knocking down walls 800 years high. “His request for forgiveness deeply touched us and we received it with joy – said the moderator of the Waldensian Board, Pastor Eugenio Bernardini, to Press Agency NEV -. Of course past cannot be changed, but there are words that must be said at a certain moment, and the Pope had the courage and the sensitivity to say the right one”.
The moderator Eugenio Bernardini in his speech asked the Pope two things: the first, that the Waldensian Churches are recognized as such and not merely as ecclesial communities; and the second, that an effort is done in terms of Eucharistic hospitality.
The gift from the Waldensian Church to Pope Francis couldn’t be but the Word, “the one which unites us”, as the moderator said in his speech: a facsimile of the Olivetan Bible from 1535, the first translation into French of the Holy Bible.