06/28/2011, 00.00
Send to a friend

Christian unity requires study, reflection and mutual openness, pope says

In receiving a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in Rome for the feast day of Sts Peter and Paul, Benedict XVI highlighted the tasks of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue. In his message, Bartholomew spoke about the ardour with which the heads of the two Churches seek full unity.
Vatican (AsiaNews) – The continuing journey towards Christian unity calls for the theological dialogue “to be an extraordinary commitment to study, reflection and mutual openness” so as to bond the “true brotherhood” that already exists between Rome and Constantinople. This is the deepest conviction Both Benedict XVI expressed in his greeting when he welcomed a special delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, which, as tradition dictates, came to Rome for the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

Patriarch Bartholomew also sent a message to the pope. In it, he expressed “brotherly love” for Benedict XVI and “the ardour” with which the heads of the two Churches are working for the ecumenical journey.

“We follow,” the pope said, “closely the overall proceedings of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. From a purely human perspective, we might have the impression that the theological dialogue is moving slowly. In reality, the pace of the dialogue is tied to the complexity of the issues under discussion, which requires an extraordinary commitment to study, reflection and mutual openness. We are called to continue together in charity on this path, calling on the Holy Spirit for light and inspiration, certain that he wants to lead us to fulfil Christ’s will, that all be one.”

Both the pope and the patriarch stressed that man today need Christian witness. For Benedict XVI, “in an historic context of violence, indifference and selfishness, so many men and women of our times feel lost. Only through the shared witness of the truth of the Gospel can we help man in our age find the path that leads to truth. The search of truth in fact has always been the search for justice and peace. It is with great joy that I see His Holiness Bartholomew do his utmost on such issues. In view of our shared purpose, and conscious of the beautiful example set by my predecessor, the Blessed John Paul II, I invited our Christian brothers, the representatives of other religious traditions as wells figures from the world of culture and science, to participate on 27 October in the city of Assisi, to a World Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World whose theme will be ‘Pilgrims in truth, pilgrims in peace’. Walking together in the streets of Saint Francis’ city will be a sign of our will to continue along the path of dialogue and brotherhood.”

For his part, the patriarch said that we must be concerned that our journey towards unity be based on the strong foundations of faith and the confession of the Apostles and Fathers, “not only because this is required by our shared tradition during the first thousand years after Christ, but also because only the true apostolic and patristic faith, correctly interpreted, can today achieve man’s salvation.”

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday
Catholic music to promote dialogue in Ambon, the city of sectarian violence
17/10/2018 13:29
Synod for the Amazon: Card Stella hails the ‘great beauty’ of celibacy in a priest’s life
24/10/2019 17:56


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”