“We are still far from the unity for which Christ prayed.”

Source: FSSPX News

On January 25, 2011, in the late afternoon, in the Roman Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, the pope presided at a celebration of Vespers (Evening Prayer) to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  

Among those present were Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, Archpriest of the basilica, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the members of the International Joint Council for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and some members of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany.

“We must be grateful because in recent decades the ecumenical movement, ‘fostered by the grace of the Holy Spirit’ (Unitatis Redintegratio, n. 1), has taken significant steps forward, which have made it possible to reach an encouraging convergence and consensus on various points, developing relations of esteem and reciprocal respect between the Churches and the ecclesial communities, as well as practical collaboration in facing the challenges of the contemporary world.  However we know well that we are still far from that unity for which Christ prayed,” Benedict XVI declared to the representatives of various Christian denominations.

Nevertheless, the pope affirmed, attaining Christian unity is “a moral imperative”.  That is why it is necessary, in his view, “not to give in to the temptation of resignation or pessimism, which is lack of trust in the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Unity among Christians, he then explained, is accomplished through “a strict and serious dialogue in order to deepen the common theological, liturgical and spiritual patrimony; with reciprocal knowledge, with the ecumenical formation of the new generations and, especially, with conversion of heart and with prayer.”  Read in our Documents section the dossier “Twenty-five years against the spirit of Assisi, in the name of the continuity of the Magisterium up until Vatican II”. (Sources : Apic/Imedia/L’Osservatore Romano – DICI no. 229 dated February 5, 2011)

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