Saturday 25th of October

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Ecumenism

"May they be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they be one in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21)

The spirit of ecumenism calls us beyond simple co-operation among different denominations. The word "ecumenism" itself comes from the Greekoikoumene, a Biblical word referring to God's whole created order, "the earth and its fullness" (Ps.24). Ecumenism is the commitment to the search for the fullness and unity God intended for creation.

It calls us to name what we believe in common and to celebrate that common faith, as well as to name our differences and to work to overcome obstacles to a united witness to Jesus Christ.

The Roman Catholic vision of ecumenism is founded on the will of Christ and the shared communion of all Christians through baptism. The "soul of the whole ecumenical movement," is a "change of heart" and "holiness of life" along with "public and private prayer for the unity of Christians." These three together are called "spiritual ecumenism" by the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism (#8).

"There is one body and one spirit - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all". Eph.4;4-5

"The Catholic Church embraces with hope the commitment to ecumenism as a duty for the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love.... This unity which the Lord Jesus has bestowed on his church and in which he wishes to embrace all peoples, is not something added on, but stands at the very heart of Christ's mission. Nor is it some secondary attribute of the community of his disciples. Rather, it belongs to the very essence of this community. God wills the Church, because he wills unity, and unity is an expression of the whole depth of his "agape." (Pope John Paul II, Ut Unum Sint, encyclical on Christian unity, May 25, 1995, para. 8)

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