Pope Francis called upon Christians to promote unity with those who follow other religious traditions at today's General Audience.
He assured that, although throughout history the Church has rejected those with different beliefs and has caused many divisions, we can heal those wounds through dialogue and prayer.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our catechesis on the Church, we now consider our fellow Christians who belong to other confessions or traditions.
Divisions between Christ’s followers are clearly contrary to his will, as expressed in his prayer to the Father that all might be one, so that the world might believe (cf. Jn 17:21). Christ desires us to be united in his love and in communion with one another; yet throughout history the Church has experienced temptations against this unity, leading to tragic divisions.
We must not be resigned to these divisions, but must join our prayer to that of Jesus in imploring among all his followers constant openness to dialogue and appreciation of the gifts of others. In loving the Lord and sharing the riches of his love, we will better see what unites us rather than what separates us.
By dwelling in the truth, and practicing forgiveness and charity, we will be ever more conformed to Christ’s will, reconciled with one another, and led closer to the goal of full unity which he wills for all his disciples.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the various groups from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Slovenia, Norway, Finland, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and the United States of America. In a particular way, my greeting goes to the ecumenical and interreligious delegation from Taiwan and the group from the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae. Upon you and your families, I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!”