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Divisions among Christians are serious sins, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - January 21, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI said that divisions within Christian are among “the most serious sins that disfigure the face of the Church,” during his public audience on Sunday, January 20.

Speaking on the day’s Gospel, which recounted the story of the miracle at Cana, the Holy Father said that the wine at the wedding feast represented not only the joy of the feast but also “the blood that Jesus will shed in the end, to seal his nuptial pact with humanity.” In that union, the Pope said, the bride of Christ—the Church, composed of fallen human members—“is always in need of purification.”

In that context Pope Benedict lamented the lack of unity among Christians, and especially “the historical divisions that have separated Christians and that still have not been overcome.” He called attention to the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, encouraging all the faithful to join in a effort “which awakens the desire for, and spiritual commitment to, achieving full communion.”

As he concluded his Sunday audience, the Pope also offered a prayer “for peace so that in all the various ongoing conflicts, the slaughter of unarmed civilians might stop.”

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