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Card. Koch: Christian unity is more than acknowledging one another

2014-01-20

The split took place centuries ago, but in just as long, there have also been efforts to unite all Christians.

POPE FRANCIS
January 17, 2014
"Even before several voices that no longer recognize the full and visible unity of the Church as an actionable goal, we are urged to not desist our ecumenical efforts.”

Pope Francis made this statement to an ecumenical group visiting from Finland. They reflect the Catholic Church's commitment to unity with the other Christian Churches.

And so, each year Catholics join other Christians for a week-long prayer to achieve unity.

CARD. KURT KOCH
President, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity
January 17, 2014
"The foundation for this week of prayer for Christian unity is the high priestly prayer of Jesus in Chapter 17 of the Gospel according to John: that they may all be one, so that the world may believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”

There have been some improvements in the past few decades, including closer ties between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches after the historic meeting between Paul VI and Athenagoras in Jerusalem in 1964. But in addition to progress, challenges remain.

CARD. KURT KOCH
President, Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity
January 17, 2014
"For us Catholics, unity speaks about faith, the Sacraments, the Church's ministries. And many Churches, many ecclesiastical communities born from the Reformation no longer see this scope. They see unity only as the mutual acknowledgment of the Churches out there, that the sum of all these ecclesiastical realities is the only Church of Christ. But that is a vision that is not very adequate for Catholic thought.”

In 1908, Anglican Pastor Paul Wattson promoted the week of prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place each year from January 18-25.


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