When Palmer told Bergoglio that he was an Anglican evangelical with a Catholic wife and children, the cardinal was curious: how did they live that difference? Palmer told him that it worked very well, but that, since he led his family back to the Catholic Church, he was no longer allowed to take Communion with them.
When Palmer told him that his children asked him why he would join a church that separated a family, he said that Bergoglio’s eyes filled with tears.
“His heart broke,” Palmer recalled.
At one point, when Palmer was tired of living on the frontier and wanted to become Catholic, Bergoglio advised him against conversion for the sake of the mission.
“We need to have bridge-builders”, the cardinal told him.
Palmer handed the pope a proposed Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission the evangelicals had drawn up, which they proposed would be signed by both the Vatican and leaders of the major Protestant churches in Rome in 2017, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.