Papal encouragement for Finnish ecumenical pilgrimage
January 17, 2011
On January 15, Pope Benedict XVI met in a private audience with an ecumenical delegation from Finland. The group was in Rome on an annual pilgrimage marking the feast of St. Henry, the nation’s patron.
In his remarks to the group the Pope mentioned the successes of ecumenical talks between Catholics and Lutherans, particularly the joint declaration on justification. He added that he was confident a similar meeting of the minds would be forthcoming on “the nature of the episcopal office.” Nevertheless, he continued, “we are all aware that the ecumenical journey has, in some ways, become more difficult and challenging.” The joint pilgrimage is an important way to sustain ecumenical energy, the Pope said. He encouraged a spirit of prayer especially during the coming Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.