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    » 01/23/2011, 00.00

    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.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year is an opportunity to rally around the "Churches and Ecclesial Communities of Jerusalem, gathered together in an ecumenical spirit”, said Benedict XVI Sunday, addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus.

    The reason for this closeness is twofold: first, because the theme of the week (celebrated January 18 to 25) "is a passage from Acts, which summarizes in a few words the life of the early Christian community in Jerusalem : 'United in the teaching of the Apostles, , fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer' (Acts 2:42). "

    The second reason is that the issue has been proposed by the same Churches and ecclesial communities (Protestant communities) in Jerusalem. "We know - said the Pope - how many trials our brothers and sisters of the Holy Land and the Middle East must face. Their service is therefore more precious, confirmed by a witness that, in some cases, even arrives at the sacrifice of life. So while we welcome with joy the insights offered by the communities living in Jerusalem, we gather around them, and this becomes for all an additional factor of communion. "

    "Even today - he continued - to be sign and instrument of intimate union with God and unity among men in the world, we Christians must base our lives on these four 'pillars': listening to the Word of God transmitted in the living Tradition of the Church, fraternal communion, the Eucharist and prayer. Only in this way, remaining firmly united to Christ, can the Church effectively carry out its mission, despite the limitations and failings of its members, despite the divisions. "

    "Each division in the Church is an insult to Christ," the pontiff said. At the same time it "is always in Him, the only Head and Lord, that we may find ourselves together, through the inexhaustible power of his grace."

    Benedict XVI, taking up a theme of the Gospel in today's Mass, then invited all to conversion: "The serious commitment to conversion to Christ is the way that leads the Church, in God’s time, to full visible unity. The ecumenical meetings which these days are multiplying around the world are a sign of this. "

    The pope also recalled the ecumenical appointments of the coming two days: tomorrow, 24 January, "a session meeting of the Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Ancient Oriental Churches" for January 25, the solemn celebration of Vespers the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul at the end of the week.

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    See also

    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."

    20/01/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: ecumenism has made "great progress", even if there are new problems
    Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience to the Week for Christian Unity. Positive outcome, especially in theological dialogue with the Orthodox, but the journey "is not linear and its outcome depends on the will of God”.

    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.



    21/01/2007 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.

    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.



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