.- In his homily during the celebration of Vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls on Monday evening, Benedict XVI outlined the essential elements of convergence between all Christian faiths. He also called for a "new, intense evangelization" to respond to important issues in the world today.
"In a world marked by religious indifference, and even by a growing aversion towards the Christian faith, a new, intense evangelization is necessary, not only among people that have never known the Gospel, but also among those in which Christianity has been spread and is a part of their history," Pope Benedict said emphatically.
Referring to the history of Christianity and the issues affecting the unity of all its branches, Pope Benedict explained, "Unfortunately, there is no lack of questions that separate some from others and we hope that they can be overcome through prayer and dialogue."
But, he added, "there is a central content of Christ's message that we can announce together: the paternity of God, the victory of Christ over sin and his death with his cross and resurrection (and) a trust in the transformative action of the Spirit."
"While we are on the path towards full communion, we are called to offer a shared witness against the ever more complex challenges of our time, including secularization and indifference, relativism and hedonism, the delicate ethical themes regarding the beginning and end of life, the limits of science and technology, dialogue with other religious traditions," Benedict XVI urged.
The Holy Father expressed the necessity of a united effort amongst all Christians to extend unity into other areas and that "from now on, we must give a shared witness (to) the protection of Creation, the promotion of the common good and peace, defense of the centrality of the human person, commitment to defeating the misery of our time, including hunger, poverty, illiteracy, unequal distribution of goods."
Joining members of the Roman Curia, bishops and religious in attendance at Vespers were members of various Christian Churches and ecclesial communities from throughout the city of Rome.