Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pope Benedict Closes Christian Unity Week By Opposing Resignation and Pessimism

I have not been very good this year highlighting the importance of Christian Unity week. Of course such thing should not just a week long affair but a YEAR long affair. So perhaps I can make up for it.

Pope Benedict close out Christian Unity week at the important St Paul outsides the Walls. This is where of course the remains of St Paul are located. See Papal Homily to Close Prayer for Christian Unity Week "We Are Still Far From That Unity for Which Christ Prayed".

He said in part:
The unity to which Christ, through his Spirit, calls the Church is not realized only on the plane of organizational structures, but is configured, at a much more profound level, as expressed "in the confession of only one faith, in the common celebration of divine worship and in the fraternal concord of the family of God" (ibid., No. 2).

The search for the re-establishment of unity among divided Christians cannot therefore be reduced to a recognition of the reciprocal differences and to the obtaining of a peaceful coexistence: What we long for is that unity for which Christ himself prayed and which by its nature is manifested in the communion of the faith, of the sacraments, of the ministry. The path toward this unity must be seen as a moral imperative, response to a precise call of the Lord.

Because of this, the temptation must be overcome to resignation and pessimism, which is lack of trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our duty is to continue passionately on the path towards this goal with a serious and rigorous dialogue to deepen the common theological, liturgical and spiritual patrimony; with reciprocal knowledge, with the ecumenical formation of the new generations and, above all, with conversion of heart and prayer.

That one Faith based on the deposit of Faith is of prime concern to Pope Benedict. Much more than everyone recognize the Pope as the head of the Church quite frankly which is how the media often reduces it. This is one reason Pope Benedict since the days he was a Cardinal takes extreme interest in what is happening in many mainline Protestant faith communities.

In the background of this of course are the Eastern Orthodox. The one group)s) that the Catholic Church sees officially as a CHURCH. Needless to say when people ask why can't the Catholic Church do x, y, and z it is often tied to the fact of the life giving Gospel message and Deposit of Faith we share with the Orthodox.

We pray in our lifetime that unity with them we might see more hints of in our lifetime. That is a huge priority for the Roman Church.

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