Taize leader emphasizes importance of ecumenism and trust
Br. Alois Leser / Photo Credit: Sabine Leutenegger
Br. Alois Leser / Photo Credit: Sabine Leutenegger
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The importance of trust would be on founder Br. Roger's mind if he were at Taize's celebrations this weekend. The founder's successor as head of the ecumenical Taize community, Brother Alois, spoke with CNA about ecumenism, the close relationship of the Popes with the community and shared some of the founder's final thoughts.

German Br. Alois Leser is the Catholic prior of this France-based community which accepts people of all backgrounds, particularly Christian, to participate in spiritual activities. Working on the front lines for Christian unity, the group brings Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics together for shared reflections on the Word of God and his plan for each person.

"We have to be credible and as such we must be united," said Br. Alois of ecumenism, adding "how can we speak about the love of God and at the same time justify our separations?"

Following in founder Br. Roger Schutz' footsteps, this is one of the central questions that still drives the community today, he said.

Remembering back to the beginnings of the community in village of Taize, France 70 years ago this month, Br. Alois said that the original Protestant members created "links of communion" with the Catholic community.

These relationships also included a direct link to Rome. He explained, "Br. Roger was welcomed very warm-heartedly by Pope John XXIII and from then on he visited all the Popes and had regular contact with (them): Paul VI and then John Paul II."

Pope John Paul II even visited the community on an Apostolic Trip to France in 1986, having already spent time there when he was Archbishop of Krakow in the 1960s.

Br. Alois said that after close ties with the previous Popes, "now we are very glad that this regular contact continues with Pope Benedict XVI."

In each of the last five years since he took over the reigns after Br. Roger's tragic death in 2005, he has met with Pope Benedict in private audience.

He said the community was "very glad" to have received the message from Benedict XVI in the lead up to the community's anniversary celebrations this month, especially the part where the Pontiff refers to Br. Roger's witness for an "ecumenism of holiness."

The Holy Father wrote that "Although he has entered eternal joy, dear Brother Roger still speaks to us. May his witness to an ecumenism of holiness inspire us in our march towards unity, and may your Community continue to live and to radiate his charism, especially towards the younger generations!"

This, said Br. Alois, "means we want to live the Gospel, we want to be close to Christ. And when we all, from different backgrounds, turn together towards Christ then ... that's already the beginning of unity."

Turning to Br. Roger, he said that if the founder was there on Saturday for the 70th anniversary celebration, he would underline the necessity of trust, trusting in God and trusting others.

"This was one of his main messages at the end of his life," observed Br. Alois, "faith as trust in God and existential trust in God, and that (it) makes out of us makers of peace on Earth.

"This trust becomes a wellspring so that we overcome all borders and fulfill the will of Christ that his church unite people over all the borders - political, social, cultural borders - the Church is the people of God."

On Saturday evening, Br. Alois will be leading the community in celebrating its 70th anniversary and the five-year anniversary since Br. Roger's death.

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

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30