Brendan Gilligan

OTHER NEWS

Medieval pope’s seal discovered in Shropshire

A pope's seal dating back 700 years has been discovered in Shropshire. The medieval find represents the 1.5 millionth archaeological object to have been officially unearthed by the public in Britain. Pope Innocent IV, whose papacy began in 1243, used the lead...

Caritas worker warns of disaster in Burkina Faso

A Catholic aid worker has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Burkina Faso, with over 2 million facing starvation in the face of Islamist attacks and poor harvests. "People have been unable to cultivate their lands, so there've been no harvests, and this has all...

Search for Christian unity is making progress, says pope

Marking the 25th anniversary of St John Paul II’s encyclical on Christian unity, Pope Francis said he shares “the healthy impatience” of those who think more can and should be done, but he also insisted that Christians must be grateful for the progress made.

“Many steps have been taken in these decades to heal the wounds of centuries and millennia,” Pope Francis said in a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The letter was released by the Vatican on 25th May, the anniversary of St John Paul’s 1995 encyclical, Ut Unum Sint, Latin for “that they may be one.”

In the encyclical, St John Paul: reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s “irrevocable” commitment to working and praying for Christian unity; highlighted how Christians of all denominations already are united in the experience of martyrdom; called for efforts to promote a “healing of historical memories” and mutual forgiveness; asked other Christians to join a dialogue on the ministry of the bishop of Rome – the pope – in a united Christianity; and insisted that dialogue is not a negotiation, but a sharing of the gifts God has given each community.

Over the past 25 years, Pope Francis said, “mutual knowledge and esteem have grown and helped to overcome deeply rooted prejudices” and “theological dialogue and the dialogue of charity have developed, as well as various forms of co-operation in the dialogue of life, at both the pastoral and cultural level.”

The pope also used his letter to Cardinal Koch to greet the heads of the Christian churches and “all our brothers and sisters of every Christian tradition who are our companions on this journey.”

“Like the disciples of Emmaus, may we experience the presence of the risen Christ who walks at our side and explains the Scriptures to us,” the pope wrote. “May we recognise him in the breaking of the bread, as we await the day when we shall share the Eucharistic table together.”

Pope Francis thanked the staff of the pontifical council for their work on behalf of the Church and thanked the council for preparing an “Ecumenical Vademecum for Bishops,” which will offer practical advice and encouragement to bishops in fulfilling their obligation to promote Christian unity on a local level. The document is expected to be published in the autumn.

“On the path that leads to full communion, it is important to keep in mind the progress already made, but it is equally important to scan the horizon and ask,” as St John Paul did, Quanta est nobis via? (How much further must we travel?), Pope Francis said.

Photo: Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meet privately at the Vatican in September 2019. Marking the 25th anniversary of St John Paul II’s encyclical on Christian unity, Pope Francis said he shares “the healthy impatience” of those who think more can and should be done, but he also insisted that Christians must be grateful for the progress made. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Share

OTHER NEWS

Medieval pope’s seal discovered in Shropshire

A pope's seal dating back 700 years has been discovered in Shropshire. The medieval find represents the 1.5 millionth archaeological object to have been officially unearthed by the public in Britain. Pope Innocent IV, whose papacy began in 1243, used the lead...

Caritas worker warns of disaster in Burkina Faso

A Catholic aid worker has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Burkina Faso, with over 2 million facing starvation in the face of Islamist attacks and poor harvests. "People have been unable to cultivate their lands, so there've been no harvests, and this has all...