SILVER SPRING, Md. — On the morning of the first full day of his visit to the United States, Pope Francis paid a surprising visit to the General Conference headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Apologizing that he didn’t have a lot of time to socialize, the pontiff said that he nevertheless wished to extend his congratulations and heartfelt thanks for the efforts of Adventist church leaders in keeping the ordination of ministers within the denomination a male-only institution.
Praising GC executives and their appointees as “heroes of the age-old Catholic tradition of maintaining exclusively male priests” the pope stressed that despite distinct differences between the Adventist and Catholic doctrines and traditions, he was elated that Adventist delegates had voted overwhelmingly to uphold Roman Catholic tradition this summer.
“I have to say that I am highly impressed and more than a little bit surprised,” joked the pope before returning to nearby Washington DC. “Perhaps your next vote should be in favor of celibacy for all clergy.”
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