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Pope speaks to Taizé youth about Christ, ecumenism

Catholic World News - January 02, 2013

An estimated 40,000 youth associated with Taizé, the French ecumenical monastic community, took part in a prayer vigil with Pope Benedict XVI during their Dec. 28 – Jan. 2 pilgrimage to Rome.

A crowd of 30,000 had been expected.

“Today, Christ is asking you the same question he asked his disciples, ‘Who am I to you?’” Pope Benedict said. “Peter, at whose tomb we are gathered at this moment, replied: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ His whole life became a concrete answer to this question. Christ also wants to receive a response from each of you born of a deep inner freedom and not of compulsion or fear. In responding to that question your life will find its strongest meaning.”

Brother Roger, the community’s founder, “encouraged all those who passed through Taizé to become seekers of communion,” the Pope added. “We should listen in our hearts to his spiritually lived ecumenism, and let ourselves be guided by his witness towards an ecumenism which is truly interiorized and spiritualized. Following his example, may all of you be bearers of this message of unity. I assure you of the irrevocable commitment of the Catholic Church to continue seeking the paths of reconciliation leading to the visible unity of Christians.”

“What unites us is stronger than what divides us: one baptism and the same Word of God unite us,” said Brother Alois, the community’s prior since 2005. “We have come here this evening to celebrate this unity around you, a unity which is real even if it is not yet fully realized. It is when we turn together towards Christ that it grows deeper.”

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