Can be watched here from to 2:37:12 to 2:43:44
[Note: On 25th May Archbishop Greg and Sylvia Venables surprised intruders in their house who savagely beat and kicked him. Pope Francis phoned to see how they were]
Can I just say – it’s a strange thing – two or people have come up to me in the short time I’ve been here in the United States this time in Atlanta and said, er: “We thought you were dead.” [laughter – adjusts stole ”“ more laughter]
Well I do want to assure you all, that I’m very much alive. [Applause]
And so is Sylvia, who is down at the ends of the earth where it’s been our privilege for many years to serve God and of course she sends her warm greetings to you Foley, and to your precious family this evening. She says to tell you, darling, (addressing Archbishop Foley’s wife, Allison) to follow the advice she was given when she began to walk with me many years ago. It was a hymn with two words: Go on go on go on go on ”“ Go on go on go on ”“ Go on go on ”“ Go on go on ”“ Go on go on go on, and there are I forget how many verses. [laughter] So darling, go on!
Can I say also that it is a wonderful privilege: when we began this whole process, many of you here will remember when this was, some of you didn’t have white hair in those days and I had some hair.
And today we are celebrating that not only am I still very much alive, but the Anglican Church is still very much alive! [Applause]
This is a celebration of true Anglicanism, and remember what Foley said earlier on this evening: this evening, meeting in this place is the majority of the Anglican Communion. This evening here the vast majority of the Anglican Communion is represented, because the vast majority of the Anglican Communion: believe that the word of God is true; believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; and believe that he is our only hope as we move forward. Amen [Applause]
Now I am here also this evening as a messenger, and I will try and fulfil my responsibility as well as I can and as briefly as I can…
When I was nearly dead, in May, as some of you might have heard, and I was lying there wondering if I ever wanted to be alive again, the phone rang. And I picked the phone up and said [I’ll do this in English, it’ll be easier for most of you] ”“ I said: “Hello”
And a voice said: “Hello, Gregory, how are you?” ”“ not with that accent of course.
And I said: “Yeah, who is this,” and he said: “Francis”.
And I was thinking, Francis, Francis, Francis: “Francis who?” ”“ and he..[laughter]
And he said with a wonderful degree of humility and patience which marks him as many of you now know: “No, it’s Father Jorge” ”“ Father George.
Now many of you know that in Argentina up until last year we had a very, very, very wonderful personal and close working relationship with Cardinal Bergoglio. It was our joy and privilege to work with him and walk together with him in the Gospel, because our brother is a Bible-believing, born again, Christ-centered Christian.
And he has asked me this evening, in fact he wrote to me just a few days ago and said: when you go to the United States, please in my name give my personal congratulations and greetings to Archbishop Foley and assure him of my prayers and support at this moment and in the future as he leads the church in this very important moment of revival and mission.
So if you will come and stand here, I’ve got to do this the way we do it in Argentina: God bless you. [passes on greeting to Archbishop Foley]
Thank you very much
Archbishop Gregory Venables has served as Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone and is Bishop of Argentina