BENEDICT XVI: "HOW CAN THE UNBELIEVING WELCOME THE GOSPEL IF CHRISTIANS ARE DIVIDED?"

” “How can "the unbelieving welcome the proclamation of the Gospel if Christians disagree among themselves, even though they all appeal to the same Christ"? The question was put forward this afternoon during the celebration of the Vespers at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls for the solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Pope Benedict XVI asked it as he recalled in his speech that this year, during the Week of Prayer, Christians have chosen to reflect and pray for a "common witness to the risen Christ". The theme is intended to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Missionary Conference in Edinburgh (Scotland), which is regarded by many as a key event in the birth of the modern ecumenical movement. "It is the very desire to proclaim Christ and to bring His message of reconciliation to the world – said Benedict XVI – that brings about the contradiction of division among Christians". "The communion and unity of Christ’s disciples – continued the Pope – is, therefore, an extremely important condition for it makes their witness more credible and effective". (continued)

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