Promotion of Christian unity

Source: FSSPX News


On October 27, Benedict XVI received 45 secretaries of the Christian World Communions on the occasion of their annual meeting. Representing the various Christian denominations, they belonged to the Anglican Communion, the World Baptist Alliance, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Moscow, the World Lutheran Federation, the World Pentecostal Conference, the World Methodist Council and also the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. This year, the theme of the meeting was: Visions of Christian Unity, “a basic ecumenical issue”.

“For decades,” the pope declared, “the Conference of Secretaries of Christian World Communions has provided a forum for fruitful contacts between the various ecclesial communities. This has enabled their representatives to build that reciprocal trust needed to engage seriously in bringing the richness of different Christian traditions to serve the common call to discipleship.”

“It is clear to us all that today’s world is in need of a new evangelization, a fresh accounting on the part of Christians for the hope that is in them (cf. 1 Pet 3: 15 ). Yet those who profess that Jesus Christ is Lord are tragically divided and cannot always give a consistent common witness. Herein lies an enormous responsibility for us all.”

“The theological dialogues in which many Christian World Communions have been engaged are characterized by a commitment to move beyond the things that divide, towards the unity in Christ which we seek. However daunting the journey, we must not lose sight of the final goal: full visible communion in Christ and in the Church.”

“We may feel discouraged when progress [of ecumenism] is slow, but there is too much at stake to turn back. On the contrary, there are good reasons to forge ahead, as my predecessor Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, where he speaks of brotherhood rediscovered and greater solidarity in the service of humanity.”