The Pope greets a delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance

Good news on the ecumenical front, in my opinion!

The Pope greeted a delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance today.  The WEA leaders also were to meet with representatives from Christian Unity.

According to Vatican Radio’s English translation of the Pope’s remarks in Italian:

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us from the present evil age in accord with the will of our God and Father” (Gal 1:3-4). With these words, the Apostle Paul expresses our common faith, our common hope. I would like for this my greeting, which proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, to also reach the members of your communities of origin.

In offering our whole will, with renewed love, to the service of the Gospel, we help the Church to become ever more, in Christ and with Christ, the fruitful life of the Lord “until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ” (Eph 4:13). This reality has its foundation in Baptism, through which we participate in the fruits of the death and resurrection of Christ. Baptism is an inestimable divine gift that we have in common (cf. Gal 3:27). Thanks to it, we no longer live solely in the earthly dimension, but in the power of the Spirit.

-snip-

From the beginning there were divisions among Christians, and even now unfortunately rivalries and conflicts remain between our communities. Such situations weaken our capacity to fulfil the command of the Lord to preach the Gospel to all nations (cf Mt 28:19-20). The reality of our divisions disfigures the beauty of the seamless garment of Christ but never completely destroys the profound unity generated by the grace in all the baptized (cf. Ec. Conc. Vat. II, Decr. Unitatis redintegratio, 13). The efficacy of the Christian announcement would certainly be greater if Christians would overcome their divisions and could celebrate together the Sacraments and together spread the Word of God and witness to charity.

-snip-

Dear brothers and sisters, I am confident that the Holy Spirit, who inspires in the Church, with his mighty breath, the courage to persevere and event to seek new means of evangelization, can inaugurate a new stage in the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals—a stage that allows us to realize more fully the will of the Lord to bring the Gospel even to the furthest ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). I assure you of my prayers for this, and I ask you also to pray for me and for my ministry. Thank you

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