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Christians must ‘learn from one another’ to achieve unity, Pope says at ecumenical service

January 25, 2017

“Authentic reconciliation between Christians will only be achieved when we can acknowledge each other’s gifts and learn from one another,” Pope Francis said as he closed the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with a Vespers service at the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

The Pope emphasized in his homily that reconciliation is a gift from God, which will come only when Christians commit themselves to living for Christ. But he remarked that ecumenical progress has been promising, saying in particular that is has been “a remarkable achievement” that allowed Catholics and Lutherans to join in celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

The impulse toward Christian unity is a call from God, the Pope stressed:

It is an invitation to leave behind every form of isolation, to overcome all those temptations to self-absorption that prevent us from perceiving how the Holy Spirit is at work outside our familiar surroundings.

One concrete expression of ecumenical cooperation was the music at the Vespers service, which was performed by the Sistine Chapel choir together with the choir of Westminster Abbey.

 
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