Friday, January 18, 2013

Search for unity at the heart of our Christian faith


From the Website of Vatican

Search for unity at the heart of our Christian faith

2013-01-16 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) The annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Friday, focusing on a theme taken from a verse of the prophet Micah "What does the Lord requires of us?" This annual initiative, which is marked by countries around the world at different times of the year, provides an opportunity for local churches to step up contacts, to share in worship and to promote joint initiatives between Christians of different denominations.

This year the Student Christian Movement of India has prepared daily reflections and prayers for the week, with a very practical focus on the need for justice and solidarity with the poorest of the poor in their country – the Dalits or outcasts, as that community is often called.

Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch heads the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Philippa Hitchen talked to him about this Week of Prayer and about recent signs of reconciliation between the Polish Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches…..

"This week was prepared by groups in India, and in view of many injustices and problems to resolve there, it is a very big challenge. But for us, the biggest challenge is to find unity between churches and ecclesial communities, that’s our duty……

But many people today see the idea of Christian unity as an illusion?

Yes, that’s the mind of post modernism and relativism that many people don’t want unity, they want pluralism and relativism and tolerance is very important for people today. But for the bible and Christian tradition, unity – one faith – is very important. Christian faith without the search for unity is not Christian faith.
Where do you see the most important signs of hope?

I see many groups deepening the spiritual roots of ecumenism, communities of prayer praying that ‘all may be one so the world may believe” For the credibility of the Gospel it’s very important to find unity because the many divisions are a very great obstacle to the credibility of churches – that’s was evident in Edinburgh in 1910 and since then mission and ecumenism always go together. So today it’s important to deepen this relationship between ecumenism and new evangelisation.

Pope Benedict spoke recently of the reconciliation between Poland’s Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate - how significant is that?

In the past there were many problems between Russia and Poland so to find reconciliation of a high level between Catholic Church in Poland and the Patriarchate in Moscow is a beautiful and important sign for ecumenism. To find reconciliation between enemies is a very important challenge for all peoples – the first step towards Eucharistic communion is reconciliation of the past."

Vatican Website






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