» 01/20/2013 12:55 VATICAN Pope: Historical divisions among Christians one of the most serious sins that disfigure Church At the Angelus, Benedict XVI invites prayers for Week dedicated to Christian Unity (18-25 January). This year's theme, "What the Lord requires of us" (cf. I 6.6 to 8), was chosen and developed by an ecumenical group in India. On January 25, Vespers at St. Paul Outside the Walls, along with representatives of the Christian Churches. A prayer for peace for "an end to the massacres of unarmed civilians, to all violence, and to find the courage of dialogue and negotiation."
(AsiaNews) - "One of the most serious sins that disfigures the face of the
Church is its visible lack of unity, especially the historical divisions that
have separated Christians and which have not yet been completely
is what Benedict XVI said in his reflection before the Angelus prayer with
pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. The
Pope's words are due to the fact that for more than 100 years, 18 to 25
January, the Christian world celebrates the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,
"a moment - explained the pope - always welcome by believers and communities,
which awakens in all the desire and spiritual commitment to full communion".
often say that the ecumenical momentum in Churches - especially non-Catholic ones-
is fading. But
Benedict XVI fondly remembers "the vigil I celebrated about a month ago,
in this square, with thousands of young people from across Europe and the
ecumenical community of Taizé: a moment of grace in which we experienced the
beauty of being one in Christ. " The
young people of Taizé in fact wanted to celebrate their European meeting at the
end of 2012in Rome.
pope encouraged "everyone to pray together so that we can achieve,"
What the Lord requires of us "(cf. I 6.6 to 8), as this year's the theme for
the week implies, a theme chosen by some Christian communities in India ,
inviting all to walk with determination towards the visible unity of all Christians
and to overcome, as brothers in Christ, any kind of unjust discrimination.
Pope then recalled that, as usual, January 25, at the end of the week, he will
preside at Vespers in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, with the
presence of representatives of other Churches and ecclesial communities.
Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel of the Mass today (II Sunday, year C),
which shows the miracle of the wedding at Cana (John 2: 1-12), where Jesus
performed the miracle of changing water
into wine. With
this sign, "Jesus reveals himself as the Bridegroom, the Messiah, who came
to establish the new and eternal covenant for his people, in the words of the
prophets:" As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God
rejoice over you "( Is
62:5). And the wine is a symbol of this joy of love, but it also alludes to the
blood that Jesus will pay in the end, to seal his covenant of marriage with
Church, said the pope - is the bride of Christ, who makes it holy and beautiful
with His grace. However this bride, made up of human beings, is always in need
before the Marian prayer, the Pope added: "Dear friends, as well as
praying for Christian unity I would once again ask you to pray for peace
because, unfortunately, so that in the different conflicts in act the massacres
of unarmed civilians ceases, that there is an end to all violence, and that the
courage is found for dialogue and negotiation. For both these intentions, we
invoke the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mediatrix of Grace. "