FOR OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE AND
ALL PEOPLE OF FAITH
Personal contact is so important for Christian unity. Pope John Paul II's personal contact with Jewish people during his youth and his friendship with Billy Graham; and Pope Benedict XVI's contact with Lutherans during his military service, have shown us that all ecumenism begins at home.
An article in the evangelical magazine Christianity Today quotes Argentinian evangelicals' view of Pope Francis as "Answer to Our Prayers" (3/14/2013, website only). He "played a central role in Argentina's CRECES (Renewal Communion of Catholics and Evangelicals in the Holy Spirit) movement over the past 10 years."
Regarding the Eastern Orthodox, on Wednesday, March 20, the day after his inauguration, he received several dozen representatives of the various Christian Churches and other world religions who had attended. Vatican Radio, on its website, showed him embracing Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and calling him "My brother Andrew," after the Apostle Andrew, who is venerated as the founding apostle of Constantinople. Bartholomew was the only one to accompany Francis to the tomb of St.Peter the day before. Vatican Radio also reproduced the text of his discourse on March 20, in which Pope Francis assured his listeners of his "firm wish to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue."
In his inspiring inaugural homily, he asked the help of all to "protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest."
May Christians see more than ever the need we have of each other to accomplish this.
Pope Benedict gave Pope Francis an unexpected legacy
in Christian Unity. Click
here for the photo and one page summary from the
latest edition of Foreign Affairs. My thanks
to Seamus Finn OMI for sending me this item.