Vatican City, May 25, 2020 / 04:48 am
Pope Francis Monday remembered Ut unum sint, St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on ecumenism, on the 25th anniversary of its publication.
Ut unum sint “confirmed ‘irrevocably’ the ecumenical commitment of the Catholic Church,” the pope said May 25.
In a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Francis said St. John Paul II “desired that the Church, on her journey towards the third millennium, should be ever mindful of the heartfelt prayer of her Teacher and Lord ‘that all may be one.’”
The encyclical Ut unum sint was published on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, May 25, 1995, “placing it under the sign of the Holy Spirit, the creator of unity in diversity,” Pope Francis noted.
“In that same liturgical and spiritual context, we now commemorate it, and propose it once more to the People of God,” he added.
In his letter, the pope quoted Ut unum sint, saying it reaffirmed that “legitimate diversity is in no way opposed to the Church’s unity, but rather enhances her splendor and contributes greatly to the fulfilment of her mission.”
“Indeed, ‘only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity… It is he who brings harmony to the Church,’” he continued quoting.
Pope Francis said, “one thing is certain: unity is not chiefly the result of our activity, but a gift of the Holy Spirit.”