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Ecumenism remains a top priority, Pope tells pontifical council

November 20, 2014

The quest for Christian unity must be an ever-present concern for the Church, Pope Francis said in a message to the members of the Pontifical Council for Christian unity, which is meeting in Rome this week.

In his written message the Holy Father welcomed the changes in attitude since Vatican II, but said that the spirit of ecumenism must be even more deeply embedded in the works of dioceses, parishes, religious communities, and lay movements. The Pope offered his thanks to everyone involved in ecumenical activities.

The quest for Christian unity faces fresh challenges, the Pope acknowledged, because of new divisions on ethical and doctrinal issues. Yet he welcomed the growth of “spiritual ecumenism”—a greater willingness of Christians to pray together, to cooperate in good works, and to recognize martyrs for the faith.


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