Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
VATICAN CITY

Pope calls for friendship among religions, Christian unity

English
© ANSA

Vatican City, March 20 - Pope Francis called for
respect and friendship among religions and dialogue for
Christian unity in a meeting on Wednesday with representatives
of different faiths and of other Christian denominations.
"The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of
promoting friendship and respect between men and women of
different religious traditions," Pope Francis said not once, but
twice, in order to underline its importance.
"I confirm as of now my determination to continue on the
path of ecumenical dialogue," Francis continued.
He added that unity among Christians is "the first and
foremost of our concerns, one of the basic requirements for our
Christian testimony to be credible" to those on the fringes or
outside the church.
Francis referred to the Second Vatican Council and "the
words of the blessed Pope John XXIII" who in his inaugural
discourse cited Jesus Christ's "ardent prayer" to God for unity
before crucifixion.
The pope added: "Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
we all feel intimately united" in Christ's prayer at the Last
Supper 'ut unum snit', that the religion be one.
The pope also addressed Jewish leaders specifically,
underlining the "extremely special spiritual bond" that ties
Christians and Jews.
Pope Francis said he would continue the "Year of Faith", an
initiative initiated by "my venerated predecessor Benedict XVI
with truly inspired intuition".
Continuing his stamp as defender of the poor and the weak,
Francis added that he was "aware of the responsibility that we
all bring to our world, toward all of creation, that we must
love and protect. And we can do much for the good of those who
are poor, those who are weak, for those who suffer, to favor
justice, to promote reconciliation, to build peace".

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