06/04/2018, 15.32
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Pope: ecumenism will continue to mark the path of Catholics and Lutherans

Ecumenism is “increasingly becoming a necessity and a desire, as shown by the various joint prayers and the many ecumenical meetings that took place last year around the world. Let us not forget to start from prayer, so that it is not human plans that indicate the way, but the Holy Spirit”. Also, “The sufferings of many brothers oppressed because of their faith in Jesus are also a pressing invitation to reach an ever more concrete and visible unity among us. The ecumenism of blood.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis met today in the Vatican with a delegation of the German National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany.

Conscious of the “growing communion” between Catholics and Lutherans, the pontiff said that ecumenism "will continue to mark" their path, "not with the enthusiasm of running ahead to reach coveted goals, but walking patiently together, under the gaze of God."

In his address, Francis mentioned "with joy" his visit to Lund, in Sweden (pictured), last year on the occasion of the Common Commemoration of the Reformation, when both sides saw "that the five hundred years of history – sometimes very painful – in which we have been opposed and often in conflict, have left space, in the last fifty years, to a growing communion.”

"Thanks to the work of the Spirit, fraternal meetings, gestures based on the logic of the Gospel rather than human strategies, and through official Lutheran-Catholic dialogue, it has been possible to overcome old prejudices on both sides. With the help of God, we hope for a future in which we strive to overcome completely our divergences. We must move ahead.”

Ecumenism, he added, is “increasingly becoming a necessity and a desire, as shown by the various joint prayers and the many ecumenical meetings that took place last year around the world. Let us not forget to start from prayer, so that it is not human plans that indicate the way, but the Holy Spirit”.

"[W]e are also called to alleviate together the miseries of the needy and the persecuted. The sufferings of many brothers oppressed because of their faith in Jesus are also a pressing invitation to reach an ever more concrete and visible unity among us. The ecumenism of blood.”

"Let us support one another in the journey, also by carrying forward theological dialogue. [. . .] Some themes – I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry – merit precise and well shared reflections. Ecumenism also asks not to be elitist, but to involve as many brothers and sisters as possible in the faith, growing as a community of disciples who pray, love and proclaim.”

"May the Lord accompany us, so that our Christian being may be more centred in Him and courageous in its mission; so that pastoral care may be enriched with service and, in its various dimensions, be more imbued with an ecumenical spirit."

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