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Pope closes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, rues scandal of division

CWN - January 25, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI presided at an ecumenical Vespers service on Friday, January 25, to close the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

At the Vespers service, which was held at the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Pope said that “there is a great need for reconciliation, dialogue, and mutual understanding” among Christians.

“The scandal of division that undermines missionary activity was the impulse under which began the ecumenical movement that we know today,” the Pope said. He added that a restoration of full union among Christians would be a powerful witness and a spur to evangelization.

That unity is particularly important in our society today, the Pope said, at a time when “it seems that the Christian message is less and less a presence in personal and community life.”

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Jan. 25, 2013 8:11 PM ET USA

    Any restoration of "full communion" among Christians must involve "full communion" with the Vicar of Christ. The Pope is asserting this clearly in the case of the SSPX. "But although many non-Catholics may be found who loudly preach fraternal communion in Christ Jesus, yet you will find none at all to whom it ever occurs to submit to and obey the Vicar of Jesus Christ either in His capacity as a teacher or as a governor."(Pius XI) For Benedict, Vicar of Christ, a vexing problem indeed.

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