Ecumenism: January 2011 Archives

The Pope's homily for Vespers at the Basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls for the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul and the closing of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A video clip of the event.

Pope Benedict SPFLM.jpg

Following the example of Jesus, who on the eve of his Passion prayed to the Father for his disciples "that they may all be one" (John 17:21), Christians continue to invoke incessantly from God the gift of this unity. This request is made more intense during the Week of Prayer, which ends today, when the Churches and ecclesial Communities meditate and pray together for the unity of all Christians.

This year the theme offered for our meditation was proposed by the Christian communities of Jerusalem, to which I would like to express by heartfelt gratitude, accompanied by the assurance of affection and prayer either on my part or on that of the whole of the Church. The Christians of the Holy City invite us to renew and 

In the middle of the annual exercise of  prayer and study for Christian Unity, the Vatican's daily news paper, L'Osservatore Romano, interviewed Bishop Brian Farrell, LC, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The interviewer asked Bishop Farrell about problems in the ecumenical quest with the Orthodox Church, and his answer is below.

We are examining the crucial point of our differences on the Church's structure and way of being and operating: the question of the role of the Bishop of Rome in the Church communion of the first millennium, when the Church in the West and East was still united. After profound studies and discussions, the members of the Theological Commission have come to realize the enormous difference between the lived, assimilated, and narrated historical experience in Western culture and the historical experience perceived in the Eastern vision of things. Every historical event is open to different interpretations. The discussion has not led to a real convergence.

This week the Christian Churches around the world are observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Today, the Pope gave his thoughts on the subject:

1.  "we have listening to the teaching of the Apostles, or listening to the witness that they give to the mission, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It is what Paul simply calls the Gospel". "Even today, the community of believers recognizes in reference to the teaching of the Apostles the law for their faith; every effort to build unity among all Christians therefore passes through the deepening of fidelity to the deposit of faith handed down to us by the apostles."

Praying the Christian Unity

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Conversion of St Paul Caravaggio.jpgThe theme chosen for 2011s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: "One in the apostles' teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer" (cf. Acts 2:42). The week of prayer was collaboratively prepared by members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

In the US, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement spear-head many significant ecumenical initiatives.

Daily themes:

18 January: The Church in Jerusalem
19 January: Many Members in One Body
20 January: Devotion to the Apostles' Teaching Unites Us
21 January: Sharing, an Expression of Our Unity
22 January: Breaking the Bread in Hope
23 January: Empowered to Action in Prayer
24 January: Living in Resurrection Faith
25 January: Called for the Service of Reconciliation.

The closing Vespers service led by Benedict XVI held at the Basilica of Saint Paul's outside-the-Walls at 5.30 pm (Rome time) on Tuesday, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul. Various delegations of ecumenical guests will be present for Vespers.
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Ecumenism category from January 2011.

Ecumenism: December 2010 is the previous archive.

Ecumenism: June 2011 is the next archive.

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