Christian unity requires ‘authentic interior renewal,’ Pope exhorts
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- At today's general audience, Pope Benedict highlighted the current celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and emphasized the need for Christians to undergo “authentic interior renewal.” This renewal, he said, will allow Christians to give a united witness to an increasingly divided world.    

Addressing the pilgrims assembled in the Paul VI Hall this morning, the Holy Father explained that full unity is linked to the very life and mission of the Church in the world. “It is important that each Christian community become aware of the importance of unity, which is above all a gift of God,” he said.

The way to seek unity, Benedict XVI said, is to implore it “with tireless and faithful prayer, escaping our own concerns and addressing ourselves to Jesus. This is the invitation the 'Week' makes to believers in Christ from all Churches and ecclesial communities. Let us respond generously."

From the words of the Prophet Ezekiel, the Holy Father noted that "the Lord wishes all His people to proceed patiently and perseveringly towards the goal of full unity.” “Such a commitment requires humble and docile adherence to the command of the Lord, Who blesses it and makes it fruitful."

The Pontiff indicated that Ezekiel's vision has particular significance for the entire ecumenical movement, “because it highlights the vital need for authentic interior renewal in all members of the People of God, a renewal which only God can bring about.” “The week of prayer for unity thus becomes, for all of us, a stimulus to a sincere exchange of ideas, to an ever more humble acceptance of the Word of God, and to an ever deeper faith,” he added.

The Pope also offered a sketch of his ecumenical meetings over the past year. First, he mentioned his three meetings with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, and the patriarch's participation in the Synod on the Word of God held in the Vatican in October 2008.

Benedict XVI then spoke of the pain he shared with the Moscow Patriarchate for Alexy II’s death. He continued, “I remain in communion of prayer with these our brethren as they prepare to elect a new patriarch of their great and venerable Orthodox Church.”

Additionally, the Holy Father mentioned that he has had the chance to meet representatives of the various Christian communities of the West, with whom he said he continues “to consider the important witness Christians are called to give today, in a world ever more divided and facing so many cultural, social, economic and ethical challenges."

As he closed his words to the faithful at the general audience, Pope Benedict urged Christians to make St. Paul’s words in the Letter to the Ephesians their own, following Paul’s “supreme witness of faithfulness and of love for Christ.”

“The desire dwelling in our hearts is that the day of full communion may come quickly, when all the disciples of our one Lord may finally celebrate the Eucharist together, the divine sacrifice for the life and salvation of the world," the Pope said.

Following the audience, as is the tradition for today's feast of St. Agnes, the Pope blessed two lambs, the wool of which will be used to make palliums bestowed on new archbishops on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Subsequently, the Holy Father received the tile of honorary citizen from the Austrian town of Mariazell, home of a famous Marian shrine he visited in September 2007.

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

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20