"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ecumenism: the highest priority

Notice the following lines from Pope Benedict's letter released today:

The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority.

Our discord with each other "calls into question the credibility of [our] talk of God." How true.

Brothers and sisters, how can we pursue unity and reconciliation? Where is the path toward full communion with each other? Our disunity is like an eclipse that darkens the light and love of Christ to the world. Come, let us now with all our effort and determination pursue full reconciliation in one body, with one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. The time is urgent.

"night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4)

"the love of the many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12)

UPDATE: I have updated this excerpt in accord with the official Vatican translation.

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