.- With the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity beginning on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI took a break from his series of catecheses on the Apostles and early Saints of the Church to speak on the theme of unity. The Holy Father said, before the 6,000 plus pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Auditorium, that Christians should not be discouraged by the long and difficult road to unity, because the journey is supported by Christ.
“That experience and others like it, have brought hope to my heart," the Pope said of his recent meeting with the head of the Eastern Orthodox Communion.
The Pope mentioned the fact that today, in some countries, is the Day for Dialogue between Jews and Christians, and he recalled some high points in the "mutual friendship" between the two communities, such as the Second Vatican Council and John Paul II's visit to the synagogue of Rome in April 1986.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will come to an end on January 25 with the celebration of Vespers presided by the Holy Father in the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, in the presence of representatives from other Churches and Christian communities.