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  • » 01/21/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Ecumenism, prayer and sharing are everyone's responsibility, says Pope



    Benedict XVI invites the faithful to come and celebrate ecumenical Vespers on January 25, in St Paul Outside the Walls Basilica. He makes an appeal against toy guns.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Christians are “heirs to past divisions,” but “Christ can do anything, he ‘makes the deaf hear and (the) mute speak’ (Mk 7, 37),” he can instil in Christian the ardent desire to listen to and communicate with one another and speak together with Him the language of mutual love.” It is with this heartfelt emphasis that Benedict XVI referred to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an annual event that will be celebrated by many Christian denominations from January 18 to the 25.

    “It is my intention to comment at length on this biblical subject,” said the Pope, “next January 25, liturgical feast of the Conversion of St Paul, when, on the occasion of the end of the ‘Week of Prayer,’ I shall preside over Vespers celebrations in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, starting at 5.30 pm. I expect you to come in great numbers to that liturgical meeting since unity can be especially achieved through prayer, and the more prayer is unanimous, the more it is appreciated by God.”

    The Pontiff said that this year’s theme was prepared by “faithful from Umlazi, South Africa, a very poor city, where AIDS has reached pandemic proportions and where there are very few human hopes. But the Risen Christ is hope for everybody, especially for Christians. Heirs to past divisions, they have tried on this occasion to launch an appeal: Christ can do everything, he “makes the deaf hear and (the) mute speak" (Mk 7, 37),” can instil in Christians the ardent desire to listen to and communicate with one another as well as speak together with Him the language of mutual love.”

    Talking about the ecumenical commitment to Christian unity, Benedict XVI stressed that such a commitment is not limited to the experts but is for everyone. “Ecumenism is a deep dialogical experience; it is listening and talking to one another, knowing each better. It is a task that everyone can accomplish, especially in terms of spiritual ecumenism based on prayer and sharing that are now possible between Christians. I hope that the yearning for unity, translated into prayer and fraternal collaboration to alleviate man’s suffering, can spread more and more at the parish level as well as in Church movements and religious institutes.”

    With this in mind, the Pope thanked the Ecumenical Commission of the Rome Vicariate and the parish priests who “encourage the faithful to celebrate the Week”.

    He added: “More generally, I am grateful to all those, in every corner of the world, pray and work for unity with conviction and steadfastness. May Mary, Mother of the Church, help all the faithful to let Christ intimately open [their hearts] to mutual communication in charity and truth, to become in Him one heart and mind (cf Acts 4, 32)”.

    Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI greeted teachers and students from Rome’s Catholic schools, expressing his personal “appreciation for their work.”

    In greeting Italian pilgrims, the Pontiff cited the promoters of the ‘Cambia gioco’ [Change the Game] project, who in the city of Lecce invited children to give up their toy guns.

    “I congratulate you for this initiative,” the Pope said, and “I want to broaden the appeal: Let us keep children from the contagion of violence!”

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    See also

    22/01/2006 vatican
    Pope Benedict: Progress in ecumenism with prayers for unity

    Benedict XVI highlights the initiative of the week of prayer for Christian unity.  Concluding the week, January 25th, his first encyclical will be published, "Deus caritas est".   A special blessing for the 500 years of the Swiss Guard.  Concern for the situation in Ivory Coast.



    23/01/2011 VATICAN
    Pope: Ecumenism, close to the Churches of Jerusalem
    Benedict XVI recalls the trials faced by Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East, even to the sacrifice of life. Every division is "an offense to Christ." This requires a process of conversion of the Church. Appointments for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: the meeting of the Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Ancient Oriental Churches, Vespers in the basilica of St. Paul, on 25 January.

    25/01/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: Christian unity, a privileged way to announce the faith
    At the end of the Week of Prayer, Benedict XVI said that doctrinal issues that still divide Christians "should not be overlooked or minimised. Instead, they must be faced with courage in a spirit of brotherhood and mutual respect." He also went on to say that Indian Christians are "at times called to bear witness to their faith in difficult conditions."

    25/01/2007 VATICAN
    Christians are “too silent” in bearing witness to the world, says Pope
    At the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Benedict XVI urges Christians to ask themselves if they “have become too silent”. Unit requires prayer and dialogue, but also bearing witness.

    23/01/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: The world wants to see "the face of God", but only in unity can Christians display it
    Benedict XVI's address for the general audience is dedicated to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In the 100 years since its institution, Christians have established friendly relations and theological dialogue, but above all they have learned to pray together for the return to full communion.



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