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    » 06/28/2007, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope launches Pauline Year with its unique ecumenical dimension



    In celebrating vespers in St Paul’s Basilica, Benedict XVI said “that the action of Church is credible and effective only to the extent that its members are willing to personally pay for their fidelity to Christ in every situation.” Dedicated to the bimillenary of the Apostle’s birth, the year will be celebrated with pilgrimages and many liturgical and cultural events.

    Rome (AsiaNews) – The year dedicated to Saint Paul which Pope Benedict XVI announced today will have an important ecumenical dimension. Inspired by the example of the Apostle to the Nations, the Pauline Year will show “that the action of Church is credible and effective only to the extent that its members are willing to personally pay for their fidelity to Christ in every situation.”

    In the Roman basilica dedicated to the Apostle to the Nations, the Pope stressed this afternoon the witness, which united Paul and Peter up to their martyrdom, during the first vespers for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul.

    Planned as part of the celebrations of Saint Paul’s birthday (which historians place between 7 and 10 AD), the Pauline Year—from June 28,2008 till June 29, 2009— will be in the Pope’s words “a series of liturgical, cultural and ecumenical events as well as pastoral and social initiatives inspired by St Paul’s spirituality.”

    “There will be conferences and special studies on St Paul’s writings which will improve our understanding of the wealth of learning they contain—a real legacy for humanity redeemed by Christ. Around the world in local dioceses, shrines and places of worship, religious, educational and welfare institutions bearing St Paul’s name or inspired by him and his teachings will be able to organise similar initiatives.”

    “Last but not least,” the Pope said, “a special aspect that will need much care at the different stages of the Pauline bimillenary is its ecumenical dimension. Especially involved in bringing the Good News to all the peoples, the Apostle to the Nations did all he could for the unity and harmony of all Christians. May he lead and protect us in this bimillenary celebration, helping us progress in a humble and sincere search for the complete unity of all the parts of the mystical Body of Christ.”

    As if embodying that hope, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople took part in the service listening to what Benedict XVI said. It was sent by Patriarch Bartholomew to repay a visit made by a Holy See delegation to Istanbul on the occasion of the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, founder of the Orthodox Church,

    “These meetings and initiative are not mere courtesy calls between Churches,” the Pope said, “but are meant to express their shared commitment to do all that is in their power to hasten the day when there will be full communion between the Christian West and East.”

    “This basilica, which has seen many ecumenically charged events,” Benedict XVI noted, “reminds us of how important it is to pray together to plead for the gift of unity, something for which Saint Peter and Saint Paul devoted their entire existence till the ultimate sacrifice of their blood.”

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    See also

    25/01/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Christian unity requires "all of our energy and efforts", but prayer above all
    At the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI recalls that this event has existed for one hundred years, and that for 40 years meditations and prayers for this appointment have been prepared together with the World Council of Churches. In this bimillennial Pauline year, the effort for unity takes on special significance.

    28/06/2009 VATICAN
    Follow Saint Paul in one’s passion for Christ and the Gospel, says Pope
    Benedict XVI sums up the positive results of the Pauline Year which comes to an end tonight. Saint Paul is also a model for priests in this Year for Priests which just began. The Pontiff greets the parish priest and the faithful from Latakiyah (Syria). Tonight the Pontiff will preside over Vespers in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, together with representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

    21/01/2008 VATICAN
    Christians of all confessions invited to Rome for the Pauline Year
    Illustrating today the Vatican's initiatives, "always strongly marked by a clear ecumenical dimension", for the bimillennial of the Apostle to the gentiles, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo said the pope will issue a document inaugurating the celebrations. The baptistry of Saint Paul becomes an ecumenical chapel.

    02/02/2009 VATICAN – TURKEY
    Pope calls for genuine respect of religious freedom in Turkey
    In receiving the country’s bishops, Benedict XVI expresses hope to see a joint commission set up to determine the Catholic Church’s legal status in the country. In his address he refers to the late Father Santoro and expresses satisfaction for the ecumenical nature of the Pauline Year.

    30/11/2012 VATICAN - TURKEY
    Pope: Catholics and Orthodox, witnesses of the Gospel to the world that has lost faith in God
    In the message for the feast of St. Andrew sent to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Benedict XVI emphasizes the common task to which the two Churches are called. Communion, though imperfect and the victim of divisions, is the fruit of a common faith. Continue on the path of unity, comforted by the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father, 'that they may be one in us: that the world may believe'".



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