Christian Unity – a priority for the pope

Source: FSSPX News


“It is today, on the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, that the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity comes to an end. During this week, in every corner of the globe, Christians have prayed together so that full communion may be realized”, said the pope from the window of his apartments at the Angelus on January 25, 2004. “Christian unity has always been a constant preoccupation of my pontificate and continues to be an essential priority of my ministry”, he affirmed. “The obstacles, the difficulties and even the misunderstandings and defeats can not and should not discourage us”.

Throughout the week, different ecumenical celebrations took place in Rome, as well as Eastern liturgies in the Russian, Greek and Byzantine rites, or again in the Malankar or Maronite rites.

In the afternoon this week of prayer for the unity of Christians came to a close with an ecumenical Vespers celebration, presided over by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. The Greek and Romanian Orthodox churches were represented by the respective rectors of these communities present in Rome. A local Anglican representative as well as the rector of the Lutheran community of Rome also participated in this ecumenical Vespers service.