The Roman Pontiff lauded the advance in“theological dialogue spearheaded by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
“We are happy to note the increasing participation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Church in this dialogue,” he said.
Through the commission, “we have come to see that we have almost everything in common: one
faith, one Baptism, one Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,” he continued.
“We are united by virtue of our Baptism, which has made us members of the one Body of Christ. We are also united by the various common elements of our rich monastic traditions and liturgical practices. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“As has often been observed, what unites us is greater than what divides us.”
Pope Francis praised Ethiopia's advancements in improving “the living conditions of its people” and building “an ever more just society, based on the rule of law and respect for the role of women.”
He also spoke of cooperation between the Churches in serving the common good and protecting the environment.
“I am certain of the readiness of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia to work together with the Orthodox Tewahedo Church over which Your Holiness presides.”
The Pope concluded his address by expressing his “fervent hope that this meeting will mark a new chapter of fraternal friendship between our Churches.”
“We are conscious that history has left us with a burden of painful misunderstandings and mistrust, and for this we seek God’s pardon and healing,” he said.
“Let us pray for one another, invoking the protection of the martyrs and saints upon all the faithful entrusted to our pastoral care.”
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“May the Holy Spirit continue to enlighten us and guide our steps towards harmony and peace. May he nourish in us the hope that one day, with God’s help, we will be united around the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of Eucharistic communion.”