Vatican City, Jan 19, 2011 / 10:55 am
Improving the unity of Christians today requires the same elements that united the first apostles in Jerusalem, Pope Benedict XVI said Jan. 19.
Pope Benedict met with pilgrims to Rome in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall for his weekly general audience. In observation of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25), he based his message on "the gift of full communion."
Christians take part in the week of prayer for unity "to bear witness to the profound ties that unite them and to invoke the gift of full communion," said the Pope.
"They devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" is the theme of this year's prayer week for the unity of Christians. Pope Benedict said that this passage from the Acts of the Apostles offers a vision of four characteristics that defined the first Christian community in Jerusalem "as a place of unity and love."