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Pope says uniting Christianity requires conversion
cna ^ | January 18, 2012 | David Kerr

Posted on 01/18/2012 3:19:15 PM PST by NYer

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 6, 2012

Vatican City, Jan 18, 2012 / 02:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI said today that achieving Christian unity requires more than “cordiality and cooperation” and that it must be accompanied by interior conversion.

“Faith in Christ and interior conversion, both individual and communal, must constantly accompany our prayer for Christian unity,” said the Pope to over 8,000 pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall on Jan. 18.

The Pope’s comments mark the start of the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that runs until Jan. 25. It will be observed by over 300 Christian churches and ecclesial communities around the globe. 

The Pope asked for “the Lord in a particular way to strengthen the faith of all Christians, to change our hearts and to enable us to bear united witness to the Gospel.”

In this way, he said, they “will contribute to the new evangelization and respond ever more fully to the spiritual hunger of the men and women of our time.”

The Pope explained that the concept of a week of prayer for Christian unity was initiated in 1908 by Paul Wattson, an Episcopalian minister from Maryland. One year later, he became a Catholic and was subsequently ordained to the priesthood.

Pope Benedict recalled how the initiative was supported by his predecessors Pope St. Pius X and Pope Benedict XV.  It was then “developed and perfected” in the 1930s by the Frenchman Abbé Paul Couturier, who promoted prayer “for the unity of the Church as Christ wishes and according to the means he wills.”

The mandate for the week of prayer, the Pope underscored, comes from the wish of Christ himself at the Last Supper “that they may all be one.” He observed that this mission was given a particular impetus by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) but added that “the unity we strive for cannot result merely from our own efforts.” Rather,  “it is a gift we receive and must constantly invoke from on high.”  

The theme for 2012 Week of Prayer – “All shall be changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord” – was crafted by the Polish Ecumenical Council. Pope Benedict said it reflects “their own experience as a nation,” which stayed faithful to Christ “in the midst of trials and upheavals,” including years of occupation by the Nazis and later the Communists.

The Pope tied the victory the Polish people experienced over their oppressors to overcoming the disunity that marks Christians.

He said that the “unity for which we pray requires inner conversion, both shared and individual,” and it cannot be “limited to cordiality and cooperation.” Instead, Christians must accept “all the elements of unity which God has conserved for us.”

Ecumenism, the Pope stated, is not an optional extra for Catholics but is “the responsibility of the entire Church and of all the baptized.” Christians, he said, must make praying for unity an “integral part” of their prayer life, “especially when people from different traditions come together to work for victory in Christ over sin, evil, injustice and the violation of human dignity.”

Pope Benedict then touched on the lack of unity in the Christian community, which he said “hinders the effective announcement of the Gospel and endangers our credibility.” Evangelizing formerly Christian countries and spreading the Gospel to new places will be “more fruitful if all Christians together announce the truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, and give a joint response to the spiritual thirst of our times,” he explained.

The Pope concluded his comments with the hope that this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will lead to “increased shared witness, solidarity and collaboration among Christians, in expectation of that glorious day when together we will all be able to celebrate the Sacraments and profess the faith transmitted by the Apostles.”

The general audience finished with Pope Benedict addressing pilgrims in various languages, including  greeting a group of men and women from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, before leading the crowd in the Our Father and imparting his apostolic blessing.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Ministry/Outreach
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1 posted on 01/18/2012 3:19:16 PM PST by NYer
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To: NYer

And that’s why our Holy Father is awesome


2 posted on 01/18/2012 3:21:11 PM PST by caldera599
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
Pope Benedict then touched on the lack of unity in the Christian community, which he said “hinders the effective announcement of the Gospel and endangers our credibility.” Evangelizing formerly Christian countries and spreading the Gospel to new places will be “more fruitful if all Christians together announce the truth of the Gospel and Jesus Christ, and give a joint response to the spiritual thirst of our times,” he explained.

IOW - United, we stand; divided, we fall.

3 posted on 01/18/2012 3:21:35 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer

Will the pope be buying a Bible now?


4 posted on 01/18/2012 3:25:43 PM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: NYer

Unity among Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglo-Catholics and certain groups of Lutherans may have enough in common to possibly unite with the Holy Spirit’s aid, but I don’t know if unity with those who who reject apostolic succession is possible.


5 posted on 01/18/2012 3:28:02 PM PST by rzman21
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To: editor-surveyor

Will the pope be buying a Bible now?

>>He’s written volumes on the Bible. I think he already has a few Bibles.


6 posted on 01/18/2012 3:29:48 PM PST by rzman21
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To: NYer

I agree, conversion is required to unite Christianity.

So when will Joseph Ratzinger be converting to real Christianity?


7 posted on 01/18/2012 3:29:59 PM PST by Above My Pay Grade
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To: NYer

>> “IOW - United, we stand; divided, we fall.” <<

According to our Lord, its the opposite of that:

Matthew 10:

34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

[35] For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

[36] And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

[37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

[38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

[39] He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

[40] He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.


8 posted on 01/18/2012 3:31:44 PM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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To: rzman21

Will the pope be buying a Bible now?

>>He’s written volumes on the Bible. I think he already has a few Bibles.

You are probably right. I think a better question is, “Will the pope start OBEYING the Bible now?”


9 posted on 01/18/2012 3:33:38 PM PST by Above My Pay Grade
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To: Above My Pay Grade; Salvation; johngrace; NYer; narses; D-fendr

“Will the pope start OBEYING the Bible now?”

>>He already does. But the question is why you need to start a thread aimed at being divisive in response to a thread about Christian unity.

We have the likes of George Soros trying to subvert all forms of Christianity in the name of pushing atheism, and you want to slam the Pope for calling Christians to humble submission and prayer for finding unity.


10 posted on 01/18/2012 3:39:09 PM PST by rzman21
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To: editor-surveyor
According to our Lord, its the opposite of that

Please show me where in scripture where Jesus formed multiple churches and said all theologies were valid.

11 posted on 01/18/2012 3:40:31 PM PST by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: rzman21; Above My Pay Grade

George Soros can only hurt men’s time on this earth. The pope and others can hurt men’s eternal souls. There IS a difference.


12 posted on 01/18/2012 3:43:19 PM PST by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing is for an eternity..)
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To: Above My Pay Grade
The True Church will always be ready to welcome you back.
13 posted on 01/18/2012 3:45:03 PM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: Above My Pay Grade; MarkBsnr; narses; johngrace; NYer; Salvation; Fester Chugabrew; stfassisi; ...

So when will Joseph Ratzinger be converting to real Christianity?

>>Catholicism is REAL Christianity.


14 posted on 01/18/2012 3:45:21 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

When the pope calls for unity and conversion, he means all Christians submitting to the false doctrines of Roman Catholicism...oh yeah and to HIS authority.

If he truly means that Roman Catholics should prayerfully and humbly submit to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, eliminating all prayer to (or “with” as they claim) statues, saints, “Mary” (the “Mary” they pray to bears no resemblance to the humble woman of the Bible), worship of wafers, calling priests “Father” and even more blasphemously calling the “pope”, “Holy Father” (a name Jesus, used praying to His Father), the teaching of salvation by works, and dozens of other false doctrines and practices, then I apologize.


15 posted on 01/18/2012 3:51:55 PM PST by Above My Pay Grade
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To: smvoice

George Soros can only hurt men’s time on this earth. The pope and others can hurt men’s eternal souls. There IS a difference.

>>Tell me another story. The Pope saves souls. We have people here holding up their private interpretation of the Bible as if it were from God.

Sorry. Your tripe doesn’t wash.

George Soros is using his billions to fund liberal, postmodern groups that seek to undermine Protestants and Catholics alike.

So don’t tell me that George Soros’s actions don’t have eternal consequences.

My source is Tim Goeglein, Focus on the Family’s top lobbyist in Washington.


16 posted on 01/18/2012 4:00:52 PM PST by rzman21
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To: Above My Pay Grade

Repent and convert to Christianity.


17 posted on 01/18/2012 4:02:57 PM PST by rzman21
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To: rzman21

The Pope saves souls? I thought it was the gospel that saves souls. You know, the gospel of your salvation.


18 posted on 01/18/2012 4:04:53 PM PST by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing is for an eternity..)
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To: smvoice

I guess your minister doesn’t save souls then.


19 posted on 01/18/2012 4:08:56 PM PST by rzman21
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To: NYer

Would you settle for showing a half dozen or so places where the Lord condemns Roman Catholic practices?


20 posted on 01/18/2012 4:12:26 PM PST by editor-surveyor (No Federal Sales Tax - No Way!)
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