Vatican City, Nov 3, 2003 / 22:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The movement toward Christian unity is not a choice for the Church but an inherent part of its life and actions, said Pope John Paul II in a message to a plenary of cardinals and bishops on ecumenical dialogue.
The pontiff told members of the Pontifical Council for Promotion of Christian Unity's plenary to continue on the road toward Christian unity, despite obstacles, in a spirit of intense ecumenical spirituality.
“The ecumenical journey is not an easy one,” he said in a message addressed to Walter Cardinal Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
“The prospective of full communion can at times cause reactions of grief and sorrow among those who wish to accelerate the process at all costs or in those who become discouraged by the long journey still ahead,” said the Pope. As ecumenical dialogue progresses, the obstacles and difficulties become clearer, he said.
“We, however, are learning to live with humble trust this intermediary period,” he said. “We want to overcome together the contrasts and difficulties. We want to recognize the delays facing unity. We want to re-establish the desire for reconciliation where it seems threatened by suspicion and reluctance.”