Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,774 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Church unity will come 'in God's time, not ours,' Pope says

Catholic World News - January 26, 2012

At an ecumenical service closing the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI called for both patience and perseverance in ecumenical work.

Presiding at a Vespers service on Wednesday evening, January 25, the Pope compared the quest for Church unity with the conversion of St. Paul. “This transformation was not the fruit of long inner reflection nor of individual effort,” he said. “It was, first and foremost, the grace of God working in its mysterious ways.”

Church unity too will come when it is God’s will, the Pope said. Therefore the key to ecumenical progress is prayer, combined with a determination to be guided by God’s will. Success will come when we are “conformed to the image of Christ,” the Pontiff said.

While the realization of full Christian unity will be a great victory, the Holy Father cautioned that Christians have a special vision of victory, seeing it not as a sudden success but as a “process of transformation and development in goodness. It comes about in God's times, not ours.”

The Pope made his remarks in a homily during the Vespers service that was celebrated at the Roman basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls. The service was attended by ecumenical officials including representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Moscow, and the Anglican communion.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,153 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,847.05
83% 17%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: koinonia - Jan. 26, 2012 7:13 PM ET USA

    I hope no offense is taken by those "separated brethren." The conversion of St. Paul was violent. It is true that the working of God's grace can certainly be violent at times. Two quotes from Flannery O'Connor. “It's easier to bleed than sweat, Mr. Motes" and “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Church Moves On, Slowly 13 hours ago
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 17 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6