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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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To: smvoice

LOL, good thing we don’t have to depend on what you think for our salvation. I have already told you many times, I reject your idea of the way the Word is rightly divided.

I’ll take those who choose to study God’s word in prayerful devotion, in Mass and in their daily life.


1,351 posted on 02/11/2012 8:02:59 PM PST by Jvette
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To: Jvette
>>Some get out and live the gospel, some sit in their homes and parse it online with strangers.<<

To each as God calls them right!

1,352 posted on 02/12/2012 5:43:41 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: Jvette; metmom; CynicalBear; smvoice
Thank you for sharing your concerns, dear sister in Christ!

You agreed that one could receive the Word of God in ways other than reading. But, then you jumped to the conclusion that one who does not read Scripture must have lost interest in it.

I did not say that, you did.

me at post 1320: But a healthy literate Christian should examine himself if he has lost interest in the words of God, i.e. why has this happened?

you at post 1321: This is jumping to a conclusion. Why does it mean one has lost interest in the words of God if one does not daily read Scripture?

I didn't speak of daily Scripture reading much less describe the failure to do so as a loss of interest in God's words.

That said, I firmly aver that there is no substitute for the words of God. Ironically, today's Chambers devotional made the point rather well. The verse he addressed:

"They said to Moses, ’You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die’ " —Exodus 20:19

And Chambers' remark:

We show how little love we have for God by preferring to listen to His servants rather than to Him.

Surely no one here would argue that Moses was blessed to receive the words of God directly. Likewise the apostles and others were blessed by hearing Jesus directly.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. – Exodus 3:14

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. - John 8:58

And so many of us today have our faculties and are literate and have the words of God available to us, directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why wouldn't any of us want to read them?

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. - Revelation 1:7-8

To God be the glory, not man, never man.

1,353 posted on 02/12/2012 7:04:39 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

I reiterate what I said earlier and stand by it.

It was you who brought a lack of interest in God’s word into the conversation regarding whether or not the faithful must read Scripture.

God’s word is revealed to us in many, many ways.

His Word is Jesus.

*****And so many of us today have our faculties and are literate and have the words of God available to us, directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why wouldn’t any of us want to read them?****

St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”

He said this at a time when nearly all Christians had no personal access to Scripture due to the lack of availability, the prohibitive cost of owning a Bible or because of the inability to read.

****And so many of us today have our faculties and are literate and have the words of God available to us, directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why wouldn’t any of us want to read them?****

Again, some hear it in Mass, some read daily reflections or pray or watch preachers or religious programs on TV. It’s a matter of personal approach to hearing God’s word and just because one prefers one of these means to the solo/individual reading of Scripture, it does not mean they have no interest in God’s word.


1,354 posted on 02/12/2012 5:43:27 PM PST by Jvette
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To: Jvette

Let me ask you something: If Scripture is not necessary, and God’s word can be revealed in many, many ways, including prayers, hymns, television programs, etc., where do you go to prove that what you are hearing is God’s Word of Truth? We are told to search the scriptures daily to see if those things are so. We are to compare scripture with scripture to determine whether we are being taught false doctrine. Do you just accept that if Christ’s name is mentioned in the prayer it MUST be from God? Or if the teacher mentions the gospel, it is the gospel that you know and believe? The only way to KNOW these things is in God’s Word, the Bible. A burning in the bosom doesn’t confirm a single thing. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word. And in order NOT to be swept around by every wind of false doctrine, we MUST read what His word says. Just because it sounds lovely doesn’t mean it’s truth. Truth CAN be absolutely KNOWN. Not just hoped for.


1,355 posted on 02/12/2012 5:53:06 PM PST by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: smvoice

I stopped reading after this.....if Scripture is not necessary.

I NOWHERE and NO HOW ever said such a thing.

More jumping to a conclusion that comes from a predetermined mindset and not from actually reading and contemplating what was actually written.


1,356 posted on 02/12/2012 6:27:50 PM PST by Jvette
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To: Jvette; Alamo-Girl
It was you who brought a lack of interest in God’s word into the conversation regarding whether or not the faithful must read Scripture.

Show us where a-g said that the faithful MUST read Scripture.....

Why is everything *must* with Catholics? Anyone who loves God will love His word and want to read it. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness and all that.

alamo-girl keeps trying to straighten you out about what she actually said, but it's almost like you're TRYING to not understand what she said, because of your insistence on misquoting her in spite of her repeated corrections.

1,357 posted on 02/12/2012 7:34:37 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

Show me where I said that Alamo-girl said the faithful must read Scripture.

Like I’m trying not to understand? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

How about you try reading over the whole conversation, including and especially your own posts, then come back to me about which of us is the one trying not to understand.

I have not misquoted anyone, I have tried to keep to the subject at hand and present in my own words what I think is being posted to me in order to be clear what is being said.

I have not back tracked or forgotten my own posts, nor have I tried to misrepresent what was written to me.


1,358 posted on 02/13/2012 5:43:39 PM PST by Jvette
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To: Jvette; metmom
your post 1354: It was you who brought a lack of interest in God’s word into the conversation regarding whether or not the faithful must read Scripture.

I am not involved in a "conversation regarding whether or not the faithful must read Scripture."

My comments relate to separate issues but evidently that distinction cannot be, or will not be, recognized by you.

Therefore I will leave the thread. It has been interesting.


1,359 posted on 02/13/2012 9:58:03 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

LOL, I think that’s probably best since you can’t even seem to remember how you came into the conversation or what it was about in the first place.


1,360 posted on 02/14/2012 8:53:00 AM PST by Jvette
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To: Alamo-Girl

Enlightening at least.


1,361 posted on 02/14/2012 4:27:40 PM PST by metmom (For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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