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Ecumenical witness is crucial in secularized world, Pope says

Catholic World News - January 17, 2014

Meeting on January 17 with an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church in Finland, Pope Francis said that ecumenical work is “a spiritual process, which is carried out in faithful obedience to the Father, in fulfillment of Christ's will, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

The Pope reminded the Finnish delegation that St. Paul scolded the early Christian community in Corinth because of its divisions, and asked: “Is Christ divided?” That question, he said, today “is addressed to us.”

Ecumenical work is even more important today, the Pope continued, because Christians “must significant changes due primarily to the fact that we must profess our faith in the context of societies and cultures where reference to God, and everything that recalls the transcendent dimension of life, is always less present.” He suggested that the proper response would concentrate “upon the center of our faith, upon the announcement of God's love that is made manifest in Christ, his Son.”

The Pope also reminded the Lutheran delegates of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which would begin the next day: January 18.

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