Vatican City, Jan 20, 2016 / 05:32 am
In his general audience during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis focused on the common baptism Christians share, saying the strength of this bond is stronger than existing divisions.
“We are truly the Holy People of God, even if, due to our sins, we are not yet a people fully united,” the Pope said in his Jan. 20 general audience, adding that “the mercy of God, which works in baptism, is stronger than our divisions.”
The Pope’s audience, which took place in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, fell during the Week of Prayer Christian Unity. It runs Jan. 18-25, and is organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Commission on Faith and the Order of the World Council of Churches.
This year’s theme, “Called to proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord,” is taken from chapter two of the First Book of Peter, and was chosen by a group from Latvia, which is home to a strong presence of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians.
In his address, Francis pointed to a 12th century baptismal font in the Lutheran Cathedral of Riga in Latvia, where St. Mainardo evangelized.
The font, he said, is sign of the origin of the faith recognized by all Christians in Latvia, and explained that this origin “is our common baptism.”
Referring to the Second Vatican Council document “Unitatis redintegratio”, the Pope affirmed that baptism “establishes a sacramental bond of unity which links all who have been reborn by it.”