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Pope's General Audience: Divisions among Christians must stop!

2014-01-22

Pope Francis talked about the importance of Christian unity, as he led his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.  

Since the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is currently taking place, the Pope emphasized this year's theme, which asks: Has Christ Been Divided? The Pope explained that Christians must recognize that inner divisions lead to scandals and weaken the ability to spread the Gospel.  

Towards the end of his audience, the Pope also made an appeal, asking for peace in Syria, especially now that an international Syrian Peace Conference has begun in Switzerland. 

SUMMARY OF POPE'S GENERAL AUDIENCE 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In these days we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This year’s theme is a question taken from the First Letter to the Corinthians: "Has Christ Been Divided?”

 We know that Christ has not been divided; yet we must sincerely recognize that our communities continue to experience divisions which are a source of scandal and weaken our witness to the Gospel.  

In reproaching the Corinthians for their divisions, Paul reminds them to rejoice in the great spiritual gifts which they have received.  His words encourage us to rejoice in the gifts God has given to other Christians, gifts which we can receive from them for our enrichment.  

To be able to do this calls for humility, discernment and constant conversion.  As we reflect on Paul’s teaching during this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, may we be confirmed, together with all Christ’s followers, in our pursuit of holiness and fidelity to the Lord’s will.

***

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity I am particularly pleased to greet the students of the ecumenical Graduate School of Bossey.  May your studies help to advance ecumenical dialogue and understanding.  I also greet the pilgrimage of British Army Chaplains and the delegation from the Jewish Federation of Chicago.  Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience I cordially invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.” 


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