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Pope Francis explains the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at his general audience

2016-01-20

Pope Francis reflected on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity during his general audience catechesis. Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox celebrate the event at the same time, from January 18th to 25th.

The Pope proposed that "beginning from the baptism we all share in common,” Christians should move beyond divisions toward finding a way to work together to bring the mercy of God to the Earth.


SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,  

In these days we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
This year’s theme is drawn from the First Letter of Peter, and was chosen by an ecumenical group from Latvia. In his Letter, Saint Peter encourages the first Christians to acknowledge the great gift received in Baptism and to live in a way worthy of it.  He tells them: "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people”.  

This Week of Prayer invites us to reflect on, and bear witness to, our unity in Christ as God’s People. All the baptized, reborn to new life in Christ, are brothers and sisters, despite our divisions. Through Baptism we have been charged, as Saint Peter tells us, "to proclaim the mighty works of the one who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light”.  

During this Week of Prayer, let us ask the Lord to help all Christians to grow in that unity which is greater than what divides us.  Together, may we respond to his call to share with others, especially with the poor and forgotten of our world, the gift of divine mercy which we ourselves have received.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from New Zealand and the United States of America. In the context of this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I offer a special greeting to the group from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.  God bless you all!


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