Christian unity is priority, Pope tells Christian leaders in Cologne
Christian unity is priority, Pope tells Christian leaders in Cologne

.- Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed Friday his commitment to work toward Christian unity, saying that unity is God’s command and many Christians around the world expect churches to grow closer together. During his four-day trip to Cologne, Germany, for World Youth Day, the Pope took the opportunity to meet with 27 representatives of different Christian churches, among them Lutheran, Greek Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic, Ethiopian Coptic and Romanian Orthodox.

“I am well aware that many Christians in this country, and not only in this country, expect further concrete steps to bring us closer together. I myself have the same expectation,” said the 78-year-old pontiff. “It is the Lord’s command, but also the imperative of the present hour, to carry on dialogue, with conviction, at all levels of the Church’s life.”

The themes of Christian unity and improved relations with Jews and Muslims have been ongoing in Pope Benedict’s speeches and meetings since his arrival here yesterday. He met with the Jewish community in the city’s oldest synagogue earlier Friday and was to meet with representatives of the Muslim community Saturday.

The pontiff also reaffirmed that the full visible unity of the disciples of Christ is the Church’s goal. “This does not, however, mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline,” he clarified. “Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity…full unity and full catholicity go together.”

“As a native of this country, I am quite aware of the painful situation, which the rupture of unity in the profession of the faith has entailed for so many individuals and families,” the Pope said. This statement was a reference to the tensions that existed between German Protestants and Catholics. German Christians are about evenly split, with about half professing the Protestant faith.

“In ecumenical dialogue Germany has a place of particular importance,” the Pope continued. “Not only is it the place where the Reformation began; it is also one of those countries where the ecumenical movement of the 20th century originated.

The new dialogue, he said, has created “a renewed sense of fraternity” and more trust between Christians.

This fraternity, the Pope continued, is “grounded in the supernatural reality of the one Baptism, which makes us members of the one Body of Christ.”

Christians must also seek uniformity in their positions on social issues, the Pope suggested. Contradictory positions of Christians on important ethical issues of the current time “are contrary to the will of Jesus and they disappoint the expectations of our contemporaries,” he stated.

The Pope said he was optimistic about Christian unity given the spiritual links that have developed between Catholics and Christians in prayer.

“Consequently, spiritual ecumenism – prayer, conversion and the sanctification of life – constitute the heart of the ecumenical movement,” he said.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: